Step back in time to the Roaring 20s at the Speakeasy – Orange County Register

By Penny E Schwartz


Flapper costumes and Charleston dance moves will be all the rage when the Florence Sylvester Senior Center turns into a speakeasy this month.

As in the Prohibition days of the 1920s, guests who know the secret password will be able to access the gin joint through a back door on Saturday, January 28th.

Once inside, they can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, sip Prohibition-style cocktails and watch the 1928 silent film Speedy starring Harold Lloyd and set in New York City.

Lloyd was one of the best-known comedians of the silent film era, often performing dangerous stunts in death-defying drama. A photo of the actor dangling from a watch arm in the movie “Safety Last” is one of the most iconic images from silent movies. This film celebrates its centenary this year.

“Speedy” was the last silent film to star the slapstick comedian. Lloyd plays an unemployed New Yorker who helps save the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar, run by his girlfriend’s grandfather.

Pianist Michael Mortilla, who has accompanied silent films in many high-end venues, will play the piano as the film unfolds.

Suzanne Lloyd Hayes, the actor’s granddaughter, will be present at the senior center and will speak about Lloyd who helped raise her. She will also show home videos of her family and answer questions.

Caretaker of the Lloyd film collection since she was 19, Hayes has traveled the world speaking about her grandfather and his films.

“I am very proud to represent his films and artwork,” said Hayes. “It’s fun to make people laugh and introduce my grandfather to people who haven’t seen his films.

“You need a laugh these days, and I know he would love it too.”

The Roaring 20s event was the brainchild of Aimee Roberts, Director of the Senior Center. Through a personal connection, Roberts met Hayes.

“We had the opportunity to bring Sue to the center and she volunteered her time and her pianist,” Roberts said. “I decided to build an entire evening around it, not just the film. I thought it would be more fun.”

Roberts also came up with some ideas for appetizers that were popular in the 1920s – deviled eggs, duchesse potatoes, Italian sausage, meatballs, and for dessert, lemon bars, fruit cocktail and banana pudding.

“My grandma used to make things like this and I remember eating them,” she said.

Alcohol was, of course, banned during Prohibition, hence the reason for speakeasies where alcohol was illegally sold. Historic cocktails at the party include Old Fashioneds and Cosmopolitans, Roberts said.

“That’s the whole idea of ​​the speakeasy, because it was all illegal,” she said. “That’s why we bring people through the back door through the kitchen with a password.”

The party also features a Charleston dance lesson and a performance of Sway Ballroom Dance. There will also be a photo booth where guests can take photos of themselves in their flapper costumes.

If you don’t have a flapper costume — don’t worry, Roberts said. “Just wear black. A simple black dress with a few accessories – a headband with a feather, a pearl necklace, black gloves.”

The event is a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels. It will take place on January 28th from 4pm to 7pm. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at the Senior Center at 23721 Moulton Parkway.

The deadline for purchasing tickets is Tuesday 24 January. For information call 949-380-0155.

And the secret password? Guests get this when they buy their tickets. Step back in time to the Roaring 20s at the Speakeasy – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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