History of the Round Table
"My friends will tell you that Woollcott is a nasty old snipe. Don’t believe them. [They] are a pack of simps who move their lips when they read." — Aleck Woollcott
Editor's Note: This page will expand as more history bits are added. This is just the beginning of the full history of the Vicious Circle. Check back often for new material.
The Round Table began meeting in June 1919. These are some of the places associated with the members.
The first offices of The New Yorker were located at 25 W. 45th St. This building was owned by Raoul Fleischmann, heir to a yeast fortune, and the main investor in getting The New Yorker off the ground. The magazine had its first offices here, from 1925-1935.
49th Street Theatre, 235 W. 49th St. Location of No Sirree! The debut production for the Round Table, April 30, 1922. “An anonymous entertainment by the Vicious Circle of the Hotel Algonquin”. The entire group – actors & actresses, columnists and critics – wrote and acted in a one-night show for friends. Other celebrities reviewed their work. The most important act of the night was “The Treasurer’s Report” by Benchley, which prompted Irving Berlin to hire him for his Music Box Revue and RB to move to Manhattan. Parker wrote a song called “The Everlastin’ Ingenue Blues” that had Helen Hayes and Tallulah Bankhead among the chorus. Built: 1921 Demolished: 1940.
The long-gone Punch & Judy Theatre, 155 W. 49th St. This was the location of "The 49ers" in 1922, the second production by the Round Table, a non-sequential revue. This time the members weren’t in it; with skits by Ring Lardner, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Marc Connelly and others. It ran for 15 performances. The theater was built in 1914 and closed in 1926. It became the World Theatre in 1935 and showed foreign films; later adult films. It was a movie theatre until it was demolished in 1987. Today it is home to the New York Yankees store.