Photo courtesy Amazon Studios
The Amazon Prime original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is back for its third season! The show began in New York City in 1958, and is part Mad Men-esque in its mid-century setting, part La La Land in its theatricality – minus the singing, though it often feels like song and dance might break out any minute. These elements combined may seem cringeworthy, even to us period drama obsessed folks here, but the superb acting and comedic timing of the cast, led by Rachel Brosnahan of House of Cards, Tony Shalhoub of Monk fame, and Luke Kirby of Rectify, along with the spunky writing of Amy Sherman-Palladino, make this show a sleeper hit. In fact, it was one of Amazon’s most highly-reviewed pilot episodes (with a customer rating of 4.9), when it premiered in March 2017. The full first three seasons are now available on Amazon.
The premise: Upper West Side housewife Miram “Midge” Maisel, of an esteemed Jewish family, seems to have it all – a successful husband, a great apartment, two kids. Her husband Joel has taken on what Midge thinks is a hobby – doing standup comedy at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village but it turns out he’s been straight up stealing routines from famous comedians. This leads to a comedy of errors, whereupon Midge drunkenly takes the stage showcasing her natural talent.
In the second season, Midge’s mother Rose has hightailed it to Paris to rediscover herself, while Midge is working as a telephone operator at B. Altman’s department store and honing her skills in her burgeoning comedy career. Midge gets her own romantic arc, while vacationing in the Borscht Belt in the Catskills, but ultimately decides to give up the hunky surgeon, Benjmain. In the third season, Midge and Susie go on tour with singer Shy Baldwin, with an opening scene at a USO show. Expect the usual hijinks!
Here are the film locations seen in all three seasons (starting with the latest!)
1. The Stage Deli
Photo courtesy Amazon Studios
We’re back inside the Stage Deli! Midge calls up Lawyer Fred from the USO show to get updates on his assistance negotiating Midge’s contract for the tour with Shy Baldwin. The scenes from the last three seasons were shot inside Artie’s Delicatessen, a former retro Upper West Side deli that closed in April of 2017. Filmed after the closing, the interior was made extra retro for the shoot. It appears that for subsequent seasons, the deli was recreated as a set.
If you visited the exhibition Making Maisel Marvelous at The Paley Center for Media this past summer, you would have been able to sit at one of those booths and had waitress Verla get your order. Or if you checked out the Carnegie Deli popup restaurant that arrived in Nolita timed with the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a lot of the design inspiration including the booth seats, the red chairs, and tiling, came from this set. Artie’s was opened in 1999 at 2290 Broadway by Artie Cutler, who also ran the chain of Ollie’s Chinese restaurants and Carmine’s, the Italian restaurant.