The Persian Room Presents
Published by: Ballymaloe Publishing
Release Date: January 16, 2013
One of the most magical places within the Plaza Hotel now exists only in memory, the nightclub known as The Persian Room. For more than forty years, from 1934 to 1975, The Persian Room was the place to be in New York City. An unperilled array of performers graced its stage, and though more than almost five decades have passed since the final ovation, there are many from both sides of the footlights who remember the extravagant nightclub with great fondness. Over the course of writing this unique and memorable oral history, stars, and idols of the past and present opened their homes and hearts , relishing the opportunity to share cherished moments from their long careers. Making The Persian Room Presents a vivid journey through the clubs elegant history.
"Congratulations Patty on a mammoth job well done. You've captured the majesty of an age of entertainment long gone."
—Carol Lawrence, singer and movie star
"Some of my happiest days and nights were spent in the Plaza Hotel and the Persian Room. Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers packed them in every night. Thank you, Patty. Great memories!"
—Andy Williams, Singer (15 gold albums and 3 platinum)
"My first New York cabaret appearance was at the fabulous Persian Room. It was absolute magic, and Patty Farmer helps us relive a very special time that I wish we could all have again."
—Leslie Uggams, singer, and movie star
“Eloise was born in The Persian Room and raised in The Plaza. Thanks to Patty Farmer she will be with us forever”
—Hilary Knight/ Illustrator of ELOISE
“I was delighted to lay hands on Patty Farmer’s memorable nostalgic work.”
“The Plaza is the pinnacle of the hotel industry. People walk through the foyer just to say they’d been there and once The Persian Room was the centerpiece of the magic. Patty Farmer has captured that magic and included memories of the great and special times that need to be remembered. The Persian Room Presents is a must-read with wonderful visuals and poignant quotes direct from the great ones in entertainment.”
–Ed Fuller, Former President, and Managing Director, Marriott International
“Patty Farmer transported me back to a time in New York City that I often forget. She makes a long-ago time seem like yesterday. I luxuriated in the descriptions of the hotel, the restaurants, the suites, and of course the Persian Room. Working at The Plaza was like entering another world…I will forever be spoiled by the remarkable time I spent there.”
“For any fan of the greatest city in the world this is truly not a gift, it’s a treasure.”
—Amy Lignor/Feathered Quill Press Reviews
When we got together, I reminded Carol Lawrence that Ed Sullivan called her Persian Room Show the best nightclub act he had ever seen. “That was the headline, and the next day you couldn’t get in,” she remembered. “We were sold out for the entire run.”
“Mr. John was the majordomo who ran the room, and he would always give me a list of who would be in the audience, so I could acknowledge them. Well, one particular night he said, ‘tonight… tonight, tonight, you are so lucky. Cary Grant rarely comes because he’ll be mobbed by the ladies, but tonight he is here to see you. He’ll sit at a small table closest to the door by my station, and you are not permitted to mention that he’s in the audience.’ All during the show I saw people walking and moving around and finally I realized what it was. Women were getting up to go all the way across the floor to go to the powder room because they spotted Cary. When it came time to introduce people in the audience I did and then –I couldn’t help myself. I said, ‘and of course there is an elephant here who needs no introduction. I have been a great fan of his for as long as I can remember. Cary stood up and said, ‘well, this wasn’t supposed to happen.’ He folded his napkin and I thought he was going to leave, but instead he walked up to the stage and HIS KISSED me. In my best Fanny Brice voice, I said, ‘you are absolutely gorgeous,’ and he said, ‘well thank you my darling, and right back at you!’ he came back to my dressing room where my two young boys were waiting, and we all chatted for at least an hour.”
Carol has had a ton of successes –including widespread stardom as Maria on Broadway in West Side Story—yet she told me, “Many great things happened during my career but that is one of my favorite memories.”