Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Vincentennial has come and gone, folks! I was so excited to be reminded a couple months ago of Vincent Price's then-impending 100th birthday and the accompanying festival that took place in St. Louis. While I was unable at the time to visit that city and attend panels held by such esteemed speakers as Victoria Price (VP's only child) and Roger Corman (shock shlock director par excellence), I sure wasn't prepared to let the event pass me by without some kind of celebration to mark the occasion! Thought I would share with you a little of the decorating and get-down for VP's birthday party. I apologize in advance for the dusky, dim quality of the photos... did I or did I not tell you the flash on my digital camera is just this side of NEVER WORKING.
The hallmark of any party thrown at my house is definitely the table spread. I always take guests as a special occasion to whip out vintage cookbooks and try new recipes on people and go as "theme" as possible. Nothing super fancy, but everything super 60's. Additionally, I made the flyer above from a Vincent Price still on Dr. Macro, and a little clip art from Microsoft Publisher. I think the results were stunning, if I do say so myself. (: Batter up!
This vulnerable little cheeseball is simply garnished with an olive cut in half and mixed nuts to form his hedgehog appearance. I love the plaintive expression of "What's going to happen to me?".
Color! Color! Color! Here's a preview shot of the strawberry cake, a tray of pineapple, and the celery-cream cheese- raisins combo that makes up the hors d'oeurve "ants on a log". Bab assembled the later himself with great pride!
The most handsome photo of VP ever taken (simply removed from the wall in one of the back bedrooms, where it hangs in a gallery of movie star portraits), and a candle shaped like a skull from Old Navy Halloween, circa 2007. Devilled eggs (deriving their name from the devillish amount of time it takes to prep the seemingly simple dish in large quantities), green and black olives, and drink garnishes a-go-go. Signs of the Aquarius chip bowl in background... hovering.
I bet you will never guess what flavor this cake icing is! Vanilla cake with strawberry icing and strawberry garnish. Strawberries are in season and on sale at Kroger's, which translates into "Lisa foolishly buys four pints of strawberries... is stuck with a HYPER perishable food to dispose self of immediately". I think the effect turned out swimmingly, however! Definitely tasted far superior to previous "just icing and cake" attempts.
Once more, with feeling. My ma gave me the cake plate for Christmas, as she truly knows what gifts I will use and use and use again. It flips over to double as a punch bowl! Useful.
I set up a lap top at the utensils station featuring a Youtube playlist of VP clips and trailers (pretty much this list plus a few added by me of appearances on What's My Line, the Dating Game, and Alice Cooper's television special, etc, etc), and "House of Wax" (sadly only in 2D) on the vintage tv in the living room. I neglected to take pictures of this, as I was hard core milling about the house as different groups of friends showed up in waves. But you can imagine, right?
The high point of the evening, after a marathon, probably hour long round of Catchphrase (AMERICA'S. FAVORITE. PARTY GAME. NOOOOO CONTEST... best clue, given by Brian F., to describe Winnie the Pooh: "I'm not sure if he's a bear or a pig... he has some friends, and lives in a tree..." followed by wild conjecturing by the crowd as to who this tree-bound "pig bear" could possibly be), happened to star the man of the hour.
About two years ago, on an EXCELLENT, and I believe since-abandoned (or at least since severely neglected) mp3 blog called "Evil Pain Clown", someone posted pdf files, as well as the accompanying mp3's, of the full script to "Co Star, the Record Acting Game: YOU act the scenes opposite your favorite star!". Talk about coup of the century. I'd heard the idea parodied on the Albert Brooks comedy record "Comedy Minus One", but I wasn't aware of the original property until I stumbled across this link.
On the record, each scene is introduced by a narrator, and then Vincent Price reads the first line. And then... wait for it... YOU READ THE NEXT LINE. When you put it all together, you are acting in a scene with Vincent Price! Omg, right? This concept was carried out with other stars like Tallulah Bankhead, Pearl Bailey, Cesar Romero, and Basil Rathbone (to name a few... check out the ebay results), but this Vincent Price recording has got to be one of your best options, in my opinion.
Here, you can see Brian H. holding the script in the bottom left hand corner, and Thomas, seated stage middle, doubled over in mid-laugh as the muffin scene from The Importance of Being Earnest, starring VP and... well, Brian!... unfolds in the foreground. I was a little worried about how the party game would come off (would it be too boring? Would people not want to participate?) but boy, did I underestimate my crowd. I had Brian as kind of a ringer, as he'd done some theater work in high school and, like my Bab, is at his best at his hammiest, but soon others fell in! I think six people total went toe to toe with the birthday guy via mp3, and Lord, what a time. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. I'd served the cake just before hand, so maybe it was a magical combination of sugar rush and slight buzz, but gosh everyone did such a good job!
My best friend from college Caroline looks over the script as Brian reads. I made several copies so people could keep up with what was going on as the scene unfolds. I'll tell you, if you're not REALLY fast with some of the line readings, Vincent Price definitely steps on your lines (to heightened comedic effect, as Brian simply starts cursing the recording out for going too quickly).
Last but not least, I spent most of the day Friday cutting out and assembling the following paper doll (which, if you click on it, becomes, as always, full sized and not blogger-microscopic):
Which came from THIS SITE (I really was dependent on the blogosphere for the outcome of this party! Thank you, evil pain clown and Pippa Toole!!), where an artist had done up some jointed, about twelve inch high paper dolls for Halloween. Thank my lucky stars! I was idly surfing Google for good, semi- high resolution photos for maybe a photo booth like set up with Vincent Price at the party, when I found these. I printed up twenty five on cardstock, ran them through the printer again to read "The Vincentennial: May 27, 2011" on the back of the torso, and carefully cut each out, joining the arms with 1/8'' brads and a 1/8'' hole punch. You can see them in a garland setting at the top of this post, and I also had an envelope of them to give away upon each guest's departure.
The catch to the giveaway? As a challenge, I asked the guests to take a photo of VP, traveling-gnome-style, in some exotic setting and post it to my Facebook sometime the next day. A few brave participants took it up with gusto! Here are the results:
VP gets all Nashville on it with a mandolin! This is my friend Dena's instrument and submission. I love the lifelike way VP is posed.
Oh nooooo....! VP swims with the turtles in this photo by Jennelaine. PS how cute are baby turtles?
Lana paired her VP with a poster from last year's bar benefit for our favorite bartender. I'll take my Vincent Price straight up, with a twist, please. Awesome!
The aforementioned Caroline snapped VP on his way to Knoxville. Give the "blow the horn" gesture to that trucker, VP!
And last but not least, my own entry, VP doing what God put him on this earth to do. Which was apparently ride a totally sweet dinosaur into the 21st century. Giddy up!
I hope you guys had a wonderful Vincentennial! And if you forgot... there's always the Vincentennial-plus-one next year, right...?