The question of whether or not a woman can really have it all is by no means a new query, but with the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel it comes with new responsibilities.
In season two, our heroine, Midge Maisel, has committed to her new life as a comedienne, but though she may moonlight as a stand-up, she still has a family and a day job, and plenty of changing relationships to juggle. Still, Midge remains a masterful and energetic communicator who is a tour de force when placed in the right setting. In the first season, Midge Maisel dazzles party guests, sometimes as a guest herself, with her caustic wit and sometimes riotous humor. Those 1950s soirees allow for some good practice for Midge when she’s not under the spotlight on stage, as well as some fun party inspiration for 2018. It makes sense, then, that Rachel Brosnahan, the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actress who portrays Midge, would pick up a few tips from the humorous hostess and help share how we can all bring a little bit of Mrs. Maisel into this millennium. You don’t need to be a midcentury housewife to throw a good party, but it turns out there are a few aspects of planning a party that remain timeless. Here, Brosnahan outlines her ideal hosting tips for throwing a simple, stress-free holiday party this year, covering everything from recipes to entertainment suggestions.
Midge Maisel has the appearance of the perfect housewife who thinks she can do everything and often struggles to strike a good balance, but she really is a master entertainer who can dazzle a room. If you were throwing a holiday party, what would you say is the best way for a host to entertain their guests?
I really love to help everyone find a group dynamic, whether they already know each other or don’t. I personally love games. The game depends on who you’re with and what they enjoy, but I love anything from board games to card games to charades or Pictionary. I feel like games are a good icebreaker and a way to start new conversation, or avoid conversation if that’s what you’re interested in in the moment.
What should a host expect their guests to bring?
I wouldn’t expect anyone to bring anything necessarily, but it is nice when guests bring things like dessert or alcohol of some kind. You can never have enough of either of those things! One of my favorite things that a guest ever brought to an event that I was hosting was a succulent plant. It lasted a long time. It was very difficult to kill! It was something we could put on display to really liven up the space.
How late is too late to show up to a party?
For a dinner party, I think it’s important to show up on time because otherwise food gets cold. And the chef, whoever is cooking, has worked very hard to make sure everything is good and warm and the best it can be. A holiday party, I feel like within 30 minutes is generally a safe space.
What’s the best method of sending an invite? Facebook, text, or e-mail?
It largely depends on what kind of event you’re having! If it’s something very casual, a text on a thread will suffice. If you’re getting everybody together for brunch, I feel like a casual invite via Facebook or text message, or something of that sort, is fine. Most inviting has become more and more casual, but if you’re having a really nice event or a very important occasion, I love paper invites. There’s something so special about receiving a paper invite to something in the mail. I don’t think I’ll ever be on board with exclusively e-invites.
Is there one thing millennials can learn from the midcentury parties viewers might see on display in a show like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?
They gave a good presentation, for sure. Presentation can help you get away with a lot. You can order Domino’s pizza if you put it on a really cute plate. That’s something I would personally borrow from Midge. When I did research for the role, I came across a lot of women’s magazines that put emphasis on simple dishes. Keeping things simple. Dishes that you can make in one pot, or crowd pleasers that were very easy to make. I have a recipe like that myself.
What’s the recipe?
We have a recipe that’s been in my family for about 50 years. It’s super, super simple, and people can’t get enough of it. Literally, it’s addicting. There’s no secret ingredient, but once you start eating it, you cannot stop. It’s called the cheese mound. It is a mound of cheese, and it’s just four ingredients. You can find the recipe on the American Express Holiday Hosting website.
As for the second season of Maisel, what are you most excited for viewers to see?
I am most excited for people to see how Midge and Susie’s relationships evolve. As Alex [Borstein] and I were saying, the second season shows that the honeymoon is over. These guys jumped in bed together really quickly, to link arms and walk down this path together that has never been taken before, or has very few times been taken. In season two, they spend a lot more time together, in close quarters. They’re struck by the reality of what this life altering, world-shattering decision—world-shattering for them, I mean—looks like in practice. They have some high highs and some low lows. They learn a lot more about each other and about how they work to obtain the same goals. They’re sometimes in conflict with each other, but I’m excited for people to see how their friendship deepens and how their work relationship grows.