'Stars of the Borscht Belt: Entertainment Legacy of the Catskills' Webinar

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'Stars of the Borscht Belt: Entertainment Legacy of the Catskills' Webinar

Can't make it live? Register and get access to the full replay for one week! New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com

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About this event

The Catskill Mountains, and the dozens of resorts therein, were the summer destination of millions of mostly Jewish families from the New York area for many decades — and particularly in the 1950s and early '60s, became an ineffable part of American culture. What are the stories behind some of the most legendary resorts, and who were the major entertainers who graced their stages? It's time to explore the entertainment legacy of the Catskill Mountain resorts and uncover what made them so special.

Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the entertainment legacy of the Catskill Mountain Resorts. These dozens of sprawling resorts — which attracted mostly Jewish families in the New York area (and earned it nicknames like the "Borscht Belt" and "Jewish Alps") — hosted virtually every major entertainer, comedian, singer, and actor of the day, providing incredible entertainment that the whole family could enjoy.

Led by award-winning author Will Friedwald, who is widely considered one of the nation's most prolific music writers, our journey through the diverse A-list entertainment of the Borscht Belt circuit will include:

  • How the resort area became an indelible part of the American Jewish experience, whether the family vacationed there for a single weekend or an entire season
  • A brief history of some of the most legendary resorts in the Catskills, such as Grossingers, Kutsher's, The Concord, The Nevele, and many others
  • The great comedians who graduated from the "Jewish Alps" to the big time, including Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, Henny Youngman, Norm Crosby, Buddy Hackett, Jean Carroll (who was the inspiration for Mrs. Maisel), and many others
  • The fabulous vocalists who sang up a storm in the Catskills, including The Barry Sisters, Eddie Fisher, Leo Fuchs, Marilyn Michaels, and many others
  • Examples of the "Borscht Belt" portrayed in popular culture, from classic movies like Dirty Dancing to TV shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Afterward, we'll have a Q&A with Will — any and all questions about the "Borscht Belt" circuit are welcomed and encouraged!

Can't make it live? Don't worry, you'll have access to the full replay for one week!

See you there, virtually!

*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar

**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you're using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.

***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week

About Will

Will Friedwald is a featured arts writer for The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, and the award-winning author of ten books on music and popular culture, including the new Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole, as well as A Biographical Guide To The Great Jazz And Pop Singers, Sinatra: The Song Is You, Stardust Melodies, Tony Bennett: The Good Life, Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies, and Jazz Singing. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.


"Great videos. Fun presentation from Will as always. Keep making these things! All are entertaining and educational." -Lane

"Will covered as as.much as he could in the Times allotted. If he did another webinar a out the Catskills I would definitely sign up. Will always has really enjoyable webinars." -Laura

"The subject matter was wonderful" -Carol

"got to revisit wonderful performances by people who I knew about but had forgotten. This experience brought them into the present for me and I had many good laughs as well as a good feeling about that period in entertainment history" -Susan

"I’m from NY City where these hotels were so popular as were the comedians. Brought back memories." -Ruth

"Will really explained his topic very well and changed my perception of what these resorts looked like. I did not know they were so elaborate and sophisticated. The video’s were so educational and brought out the rich Jewish heritage of American entertainment." -Charles

"It was interesting and informative. Will made it clear we were not going to talk at length about the end of this era. The clips were fun—especially when I recognized someone. But I had not heard of many of the performers, and when a singer imitated other singers, I didn't know who most of them were. And I liked being chatty on the chat page." -Melissa

"As a "kid" of the 50's who spent summers in the Catskills and knew most of these comedians - I LOVED it!" -Barbara

"Great videos. Fun presentation from Will as always. Will, keep making these things! All are entertaining and educational." -Lane


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Categories: Virtual, Art & Entertainment