PODCAST The enduring legacy of the Algonquin Round Table and the brilliant (and sometimes forgotten) people who made it famous.
One June afternoon in the spring of 1919, a group of writers and theatrical folk got together at the Algonquin Hotel to roast the inimitable Alexander Woollcott, the trenchant theater critic for the New York Times who had just returned from World War I, brimming with dramatically overbaked stories.
The affair was so rollicking, so engaging, that somebody suggested — “Why don’t we do this every day?”
And so they did. The Algonquin Round Table is the stuff of legends, a regular lunch date for the cream of New York’s cultural elite. In this show, we present you with some notable members of the guest list — including the wonderful droll Dorothy Parker, the glibly observant Franklin Pierce Adams and the charming Robert Benchley, to name but a few.
But you can’t celebrate the Round Table from a recording studio so we head to the Algonquin to soak in the ambience and interview author Kevin C. Fitzpatrick about the Jazz Age’s most famous networking circle.
Are you ready for a good time? The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue. — Dorothy Parker
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At top: The gorgeous modern painting by artist Natalie Ascencios which hangs over the spot where the original Round Table once sat.
A few members of the Round Table including Art Samuels, Charles MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker, and Alexander Woollcott
The Algonquin, as seen in the year 1907….
…..and 30 years later, in 1937.
A 1906 advertisement in Brooklyn Life extolling the virtues of the Pergola Room (where the first group of Round Tablers first met) at the Algonquin Hotel.
An ad featuring hotel manager Frank Case:
A couple stories of drama from the Algonquin’s early days:
Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper which fostered the talents of several who would end up sitting around the Round Table.
A few members of the Round Table, as featured on the show….
Franklin Pierce Adams
Edna Ferber and George F. Kaufman
Harold Ross and Jane Grant