On Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., New Hope Celebrates History committee will present its first Artists & Authors speaker series livestream event, “Odette’s – An incredible era of music, piano, cabaret, and a family of friends,” featuring “Cabaret at Odette’s” founder and musical director of the venue for 19 years, pianist and impresario Bob Egan. It is a 45-minute Zoom event, and is free to everyone who registers.
The newly-constructed River House at Odette’s is currently previewing in September and is scheduled to officially open Monday, Sept. 28. Egan will muse the audience through the life of Broadway and the film actress Odette Myrtil, who performed internationally before settling in New Hope as manager of the Playhouse Inn.
She then went on to open “Chez Odette” in 1961. Using vignettes of tunes from a variety of eras, Egan will talk about the illustrious popularity the venue gained with celebrities, guests and locals alike. NHC History will supplement the presentation with relevant photos.
Built alongside the Delaware River and adjacent to the D&R Canal, Odette’s Restaurant and the Cabaret at Odette’s enjoyed tremendous popularity until it succumbed to extensive water damage in 2006 after three consecutive floods. The glamorous history it accrued during its six decades of fine food and renowned entertainment is a story that needs to be told, and Egan will tell it.
While the 200-year-old original structure has been moved to dry ground not far away and refurbished, the new structure will attempt to recreate the diverse and welcoming atmosphere of the good old days.
Donations are gratefully accepted, as the organization depends on private funding to bring these events to the public. Future episodes in the series will include authors and artists relevant to the LGBTQ+ community, but chosen for their interest to all. More to come.