May 2021 Tavern Club Newsletter

Guests welcome to all Zoom events. Monday Night Dinners and Friday Lunches served in the Club. Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Oil on Panel : Brigid Williams

The Committee on Elections draws your attention to the new Name in the Book, also accessible under Members > Proposed Candidate for Membership.

Message from the President

It has been a pleasure to see real faces in the Club. Monday dinners and Friday lunches continue to draw members. Our numbers are small and the conversation lively. Among the real faces seen are the loyal staff: Tony, Flo, Michelle, Patrick, Salem, and Jacqueclin (Jack).  We are back, open, cheerful, and as ever, “at a low ebb.”

The Annual Meeting will take place on May 10, at noon, by Zoom. Thanks to the Nominating Committee (S. Righter, D. Eckel, and G. Perkins) there should be a vote on new officers, directors, and Election Committee members. Reports will be read. Proposed by the Executive Committee is a modest increase in the dues and initiation fees: materials describing these changes have been sent to you and will be sent again with the Zoom link the day before the meeting. Please call or write with any questions. Your dues have made it possible for the Club to support the staff through the pandemic. Because this was the membership’s priority, we qualified for a PPP loan/grant from the government. The amount covers two and a half months of our staff compensation expenses.

For your commitment to the staff and so many other reasons, do take credit for the Club’s collaborative way-finding in the pandemic. The weekly Zoom events, most recently the Prospective, have distributed joy. And we are not done. There’s May, June, and a bit of July. Further on, at the end of the summer, we are planning a real live Fête.

Thanks are never enough, but you have mine. ’Til soon, Nancy

Monday, May 3: 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Friday, May 7: 12:30 pm
Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Monday, May 10: Noon
ANNUAL MEETING BY ZOOM

Monday, May 10: 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Tuesday, May 11: 9 – 9:45 a.m.
Writing Gym by Zoom

All welcome. Impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Tuesday, May 11: Noon
Play Reading Lunch by Zoom.

La Putain Respectueuse, by Jean-Paul Sartre.  We will finish the season’s exploration of French “history” plays by modern masters with Sartre’s look at systemic racism in the US.  Though written in 1946, and taking place on a train in Alabama, the play resonates today, with “existential’ as well as societal dilemmas.  We will use the English version:  The Respectful Prostitute, Vintage, in paperback or Kindle, and available on amazon.  There is also a movie from 1952.  Respond to either Tony Fay or George Heaton (george.r.heaton@gmail.com).  Quel drame!

Photo : Brigid Williams

Thursday, May 13: 5:30 pm
SPECIAL EVENT: Discussion, led by Tavern architects, on how the pandemic is changing spaces

Abbie Trafford and a number of Club architects will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the built environment: what’s been revealed about spaces we inhabit; how those spaces have evolved under the pressure of home-schooling and home-officing; how design will continue to change to respond to new needs, fears, pleasures; how home can become the foreign land we can’t get to.

Guests welcome.

Sign up at manager@tavernclub.org.

Friday, May 14: 12:30 pm
Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Monday, May 17: 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern
Committee on Elections at 5.30

Tuesday, May 18: Noon
Book Club/Poetry Lunch by Zoom

Convening several Tavern psychiatrists including Peter Randolph, Watson Reid, and Hilary McGhee to discuss the psychiatric aspects of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland including the White Rabbit’s anxiety, the Red Queen’s narcissism, the drug addiction of the hookah-smoking caterpillar, Alice’s hallucinations, and more … In addition, we will touch on the nonsense Poetry in Through the Looking Glass including the Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter.   Guests welcome – reserve with manager@tavernclub.org.

Wednesday, May 19: Noon
History  Lunch by Zoom

Join Elizabeth Becker, author of You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War, in conversation with David Greenway, discussing their time in Vietnam, the role of women journalists during that war, and Becker’s marvelous, spellbinding book about  Catherine Leroy, Frankie Fitzgerald, and Kate Webb. In this mix of memoir, biographical portraits, and history, Becker takes us behind the scenes of war and journalism to give us an intimate and deeply affecting picture of what it took for women to succeed as war correspondents, perhaps the end of journalism most imbued with machismo. As these women discovered, it was their capacity to see the war through women’s eyes that gave their journalism power and originality that changed the reportage. Very much worth reading this wonderful modest-sized book before the meeting. If you would like the audible version for free, Carol Bundy can share it with you so just ask. Becker, whose career began as a war correspondent for the Post in Cambodia, has had a distinguished career at the NYTimes and NPR and won many prizes. Guests welcome. And be sure to note this is a NOON meeting.

Friday, May 21: 12:30 pm
Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Monday, May 24″ 6:30 pm
Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Thursday, May 27: 5:30 pm
Zoom: NEW EVENT: Tavern Moth Radio

Taverners! Sharpen your quills!  Send us a piece, no more than five minutes when read aloud, for a new Tavern event. Fiction or non-fiction, haunting or humorous, a rant or a rave, stories of healing or hope –

Share YOURS on the Tavern Radio Moth by Zoom.  Email your piece to anneaitken4@gmail.com.

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com.

MeistUrsingers
Sandy Righter
reports: A group of twelve MeistUrsingers met to sing with Tom Kelly in the Tavern on April 29 and another group is scheduled for May.  The regular Fall schedule for the MeistUrsingers will be coming out later in the Spring.  We have all very much missed the chance to sing together.

In Case You Missed It:

Prospective 2021: The second Tavern Prospective show showcased the diverse talents of 30 different Taverners in a wide range of musical vehicles: from Laurel Canyon rock to political diatribe in verse to tango about Ambivalence, a pair of duets about the physical chemistry of love and the pandemic induced glorification of the usual banes of normal existence,  5 vastly different haunting musical settings of a single poem, and so much more – and yet the Tavern theatre that night was empty of all but the ghosts and dust of productions past.  There were almost 100 Zoom viewers that night.  If you weren’t one of them but want to see what you missed, ask Anne Aitken for the link to the recording. Special thanks to George Perkins, Elaine Woo, and Albert LaFarge, and the poets, composers, performers, and filmmakers.

Narrenabend: April 1st, 2021

Bear With Me  – A pandemic fairy tale (based on a true story)

Head Writer: Gabrielle Wolohojian
Writers: Eleanor Andrews, Alice Cornwell, and John Rabinowitz
Director: Andrew Doherty
Assistant Director: Eleanor Andrews
Music: Jeff Peters
Props: Gabrielle Wolohojian
Producer: John Tittmann
Location Manager: Tony Fay
Poster: Chris Whitlock
Zoom Guru: John Tittmann

Cast of Characters:

Polly; Polly Drinkwater
Bear; Sam Thompson
Tavern Secretary, Reader of Henry V, Billiards Player; Bessel van der Kolk
Gourmand, Reader of Romeo & Juliet, Billiards Player; Elliot Davis
Professor, Reader of The Tempest, Billiards player; Phyllis Thompson
Artist, Reader of Richard III, Scorekeeper; Marshall Moriarty
Surgeon, Host of the book club, Billiards player; John Henderson
Jane; Jane Shaw
Sam; Sam Thompson
Edu; Eduardo Vivanco
Elizabeth; Elizabeth Hunnewell
Maisie; Maisie Houghton
Club Manager; Tony Fay

Upcoming: 

Future LIVE events:  Fête Champêtre is planned for the Summer, and in September,  Narrenabend 2020! in September 2021!  The glorious collaboration of David Scudder and George Steele in Don John in Hell.  Stay tuned!

Stephen B. McCurdy
                                                     Curious about many things, baritone, a retired financial services leader 

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Rodney Armstrong
Boston, April 14, 2021

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— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Click the Calendar Download button for a PDF.

April 2021 Tavern Club Newsletter

April 2021 Tavern Club Calendar

Note:

Guests welcome to all Zoom events. Monday Night Dinners and Friday Lunches served in the Club. Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

The Committee on Elections draws your attention to the new Name in the Book, also accessible by logging in to www.tavernclub.org. (Gallimaufry, Candidate for Membership)


Wednesday, March 31 & Thursday, April 1 at 5:30 pm via Zoom: Narrenabend 2021, Pandemic Edition.
So you thought the Tavern has been closed during the pandemic? Tune in to this year’s Narrenabend production to find out what’s really been happening at 4 Boylston Place while we’ve all been stuck at home.

Monday, April 5:  6:30 pm Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Thursday, April 8 at 6:00 pm  A Tavern Talk: Mayhem in the Courts: How Covid disrupts Law & Order.

A discussion between Tavern lawyers Gene Dahmen, Mark Green, Gabrielle Wolohojian, Andy Doherty, Bill Strong. What are the legal issues raised by the pandemic? Courts closed. Offices shuttered. What has happened to the wheels of justice? Everything from changing how to notarize documents to deciding who gets out of jail because of the virus. Is it possible to have a socially distanced jury—or require a vaccinated one, or even a masked one? Cross-examine on Zoom? Take depositions remotely? Where has been the greatest harm? What are the lessons to prompt future reforms?  Come join the debate or just listen in.

Monday, April 12:  6:30 pm Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Tuesday, April 13: Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:30 – 10:15 am

Impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Wednesday, April 14 via Zoom, the Arts Round Table will take an armchair field trip to the Naga Gallery on Newbury Street, where Taverner Joe Barbieri will give us a tour of his new exhibition of paintings, “Lucky Ducks and Lambent Landscapes.” Joe will enlighten us with the meaning of his latest imaginary bird/man portraits and the painterly technique of his lush Maine summer landscapes.

Monday, April 19:  6:30 pm Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Meeting of Committee on Elections at 5:30 pm by Zoom.

Tuesday, April 20:  Play reading at noon via Zoom

George Heaton writes: Having been tantalized and traumatized by the wonders of Camus’ “Caligula,” Acts 1 and 2, at our last session, we will race toward the bloody end next time, doing Acts 3 and 4.  There are lots of wonderful roles, and lots of great ideas — although they are mostly, as Camus would have it — “absurd.”  The Vintage Paperback continues to be our edition, and it is also available on Kindle.  Please sign up with Mr. Fay, and with any questions, contact george.r.heaton@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 21, 5:30 History Cocktails — Making Art, Making History or How We Survived a Pandemic.

Elliot Davis will put our Getty Challenge efforts into a longer historical context of creating Tableaux Vivant in response to paintings, and bring the topic up to date with the international phenomenon during COVID that inspired the Getty Challenge.  Our guest presenter, Julia de Peyster will be presenting a range of her COVID creations.  She will share her collaborative process in lockdown — a serious, whimsical, and sometimes uproarious time with the whole family arranging the scenes, lighting, and editing the works. Ultimately, she became part of a global community and will give us a glimpse of thousands of fellow tableaux-ists, making up a worldwide online community. Tavern Club artists, ad hoc amateurs, and art connoisseur consumers please join us as we admire the ingenuity and creativity of survival while at the same time being very happy it is history!

Thursday, April 22: The 2nd annual Tavern Prospective at 5:30 on Zoom

Eight lyricists, seven composers, and twelve performers have created a  “Tavernway” Show with more than a dozen songs for our pandemic times: Love in the Time of Covid.  A tango of Ambivalence. Nostalgia for Little Human Miseries of the pre-Covid-19 era (boring vegan cousins, traffic jams).  What about the Robot who stole the election? Always some good rock: Love Storm. And more. The creative team, led by Elaine Woo and Al LaFarge involves a wide swath of Taverners, including David Scudder, Belinda Rathbone, Martha Eddison, Roger Warner, Leslie Dunton-Downer, George Steel, George Perkins, and many more. And there’s something new this year in Prospectives: a single poem by Anne Carter Aitken will be set to music by each Tavern composer. Don’t miss this!

Wednesday, April 28: Book Club at noon via Zoom

Ed Tarlov writes:  Dr. Harvey Molotch will discuss his book Beyond Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger. Starting with public restrooms and continuing to an analysis of airline safety, 911, Hurricane Katrina, and other examples, this beautifully written book delineates what many people have been wondering. It turns out that safety is provided by bystanders rather than by officials on duty.

So welcome to what will be a provocative and interesting account of the environments we all passed through in the days we could go out.

Harvey Molotch taught Sociology and Metropolitan Studies at both New York University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2019, the American Sociological Association gave him its highest award – for Career of Distinguished Scholarship. His book, Beyond Security, received the Prose Award from the Association of American Publishers

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com

In case you missed it in March:

March 4: Tavern Film Festival the Retrospective:  George Perkins and Jim Terry brought us a  selection of musical numbers from over a century of Tavern music with the innovative twist of individually (and imaginatively) produced Zoom performances done by an impressive list of Taverners. Singers were Margery Kennelly, Joel Ives, Staffan Ericsson, Mary Rhinelander, George Steel, David Godine, Abbie Trafford, Sam Dennis, Shaw McDermott, Jim Terry, while the unsung heroes were the film producers and Tavern musicians who accompanied.

March 11: Conversations with Tavern doctors, who answered the questions that you were too embarrassed to ask and the press has been too superficial to explore. The panel expertise including virology (Victor Peña-Cruz), immunology (Hal Churchill), patient care (Mary Scott), and psycho-social issues (Watson Reid).

March 18:  Ambassador Nicholas Burns, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, wowed us with a thoughtful and articulate discussion of the current state of U.S. politics, from President Biden’s agenda and priorities to the reshaping of our foreign policy

March 25:  What would a Tavern month be without a Tom Kelly performance?  This month, we were treated to a medieval mystery tour starting at Monte Cassin monastery in southern Italy and winding up at Harvard’s Houghton Library, in pursuit of missing pages from an ancient musical manuscript.

— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Click the Calendar Download button for a PDF.

Tavern Club March 2021

March 2021 Calendar

Guests welcome to all Zoom events

(Except Monday Members’ Zoom Cocktails,
which will be announced via email and continue until in-club dining resumes.)

Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Message from the President:

It is almost a full year since the Club’s first pandemic closing in March 2020. You may remember that Ovid Night, scheduled for March 12, 2020, had to be canceled.

The Club didn’t reopen until last fall, and then only for Monday dinners and Friday lunches. We had to close again in January 2021, while the number of deaths and cases rose again in Massachusetts and in the nation.

You filled these gaps brilliantly, with online-everything, including Halloween and Christmas plays, and even an outdoor Fête in August. All the while, we were able to pay the staff their full compensation. Now there are vaccinations alongside falling infection numbers. We hope that by mid-March we can open the Club for Monday dinners and Friday lunches, still carefully staging meals with COVID-time rules.

Thank you for enduring friendships, indomitable creativity, and inspiring steadiness. I hope to see you soon.

—  Nancy Maull

Monday, March 1; 5:30 pm

Monday Night Cocktails by Zoom

Has living in quarantine changed how you make or appreciate art?

Tuesday, March 2; 9 – 9:45 am

Writing Gym by Zoom

All welcome – An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Thursday, March 4; 5:30 pm

Tavern Film Festival; The Retrospective

George Perkins and Jim Terry have assembled an outstanding team of experienced and totally novice filmmakers to bring you a tour of historic Tavern songs, ranging from 1892 to 2000, re-enacted by a cast of singers and musicians never before seen and heard quite this way.

Wednesday, March 10; 5:30 p.m.

Arts Round Table via Zoom

Belinda Rathbone writes: Taverner George Steel, Abrams Curator of Music at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will speak informally about his role at the museum, and his exciting plans for upcoming programs, including a sample video. “A deeply skilled trailblazer in the performing arts,” in the words of ISGM director Peggy Fogelman, George will also discuss a “business model” to meet the particular challenges of our times.

Thursday, March 11; 5:30 p.m.

Conversations with Taverners via Zoom

A panel of Tavern medical experts will discuss the COVID 19 epidemic and answer the questions that you were too embarrassed to ask and the press has been too superficial to explore. The panel covers a range of expertise including virology (Victor Peña-Cruz), immunology (Hal Churchill), patient care (Mary Scott), and psycho-social issues (Watson Reed).  Moderated by Bob Osteen.

Wednesday, March 17; 5:30 p.m.

History Cocktails via Zoom

Jock Herron writes: “Our own David Greenway will discuss his recently published Loaded with Dynamite: Unintended Consequences of Woodrow Wilson’s Idealism – a timely exploration of Wilson’s disingenuous call for national self-determination at Versailles. As Stephen Kinzer writes, “In Greenway’s hands…Italian pirates, Moroccan warlords and Chinese revolutionaries shape a grand narrative of rising nationalism and anti-colonial passion.” Having reported firsthand from ninety-six countries, David’s rare mix of political savvy, historical insight and global experience bring a more relevant than ever but potentially dry topic fully to life.”

Attendees are encouraged to read David’s book beforehand.  It is currently available at Tidepool Press (https://www.tidepoolpress.com) and soon on Amazon.

Thursday, March 18; 5:30 p.m.

Braving A New World: Role of Diplomacy in Global Competition

Ambassador Nicholas Burns will be our speaker at a special Zoom event on Thursday, March 18 at 5:30 pm. The professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, Ambassador Burns has served in the U.S. government for almost three decades. He was the lead US negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program and he was the Director for Soviet Affairs in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Early in his career, he served in the American Consulate in Jerusalem. What are the critical challenges facing the new world order of Great Powers?

Tuesday, March 23; Noon

Play reading at noon via Zoom

George Heaton writes: “Incest!  Regicide!!  Delusional demons!!!  All this and more come to the fore in Camus’ marvelous “Caligula” It’s another in our exploration of French history plays;  this time going deep into “existential” questions.  Not for the faint-of-heart, Caligula will bring out the best in all Tavern thespians.” We will read from the Vintage edition of “Caligula and Three Other Plays,” which is available both on the Kindle and in hardcopy.

Wednesday, March 24; Noon

Book Club Zoom at Noon

Ed Tarlov writes: Alice Cornwell will lead a discussion of  Marguerite Duras’  The Lover, set in the French Indochina of the author’s youth and telling the story of an adolescent girl from an impoverished French colonial family and her affair with a richer Chinese lover.  This will be the simplest of book club events: a gathering over lunch to talk about a book that inspired one Taverner to become a writer. There will be no guest speaker or expert. Still, no participant has an excuse not to read The Lover as it is a short 100 pages and completely mesmerizing. What intrigues Alice most about Duras’ writing are voice, rhythm, and the book’s kaleidoscopic structure, which she is still trying to figure out after reading it many times over many years.

Thursday, March 25; 5:30 p.m.

An Evening with Tom Kelly – What Were Those Old Monks Singing?

In medieval times, music framed the Christian liturgy, perfected the chant, and dominated performances. Once again, Taverner and Harvard professor emeritus Thomas Forrest Kelly will conduct a special Zoom event to reveal his adventures sleuthing around amidst medieval manuscripts with pictures of singing.

Wednesday, March 31 & Thursday, April 1; 5:30 p.m.

Zoom: Narrenabend 2021, Pandemic Edition.

So you thought the Tavern has been closed during the pandemic?  Tune in to this year’s Narranabend production to find out what’s really been happening at 4 Boylston Place while we’ve all been stuck at home.   Don’t miss it!  Sign up for the virtual Narrenabend on April Fool’s Day, aka Thursday, April 1, 2021.  And come for the dress rehearsal night performance for friends and family on Wednesday, March 31.

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George.r.heaton@gmail.com.


In case you missed it in February:

On Thursday, February 4, David Scudder and Anthony Pangaro addressed and debated the future of capitalism.

On Wednesday, February 10, Rob Perkins showed the film and led a discussion of his solo journey down the Arctic Back River in 1987.

On Thursday, February 11, Abbie Trafford and Rusty Tunnard hosted a Valentine’s party featuring musical performances by Jim Terry (as Pete Rollins,) Elaine Woo, Watson Reid, Sandy Righter, and Peter Randolph.

Thursday, February 18, 8:00 pm:  The Third Tavern in the Sky

Andy Calkins and the Tavern Film Club team hosted and led a fascinating discussion of I Am Not Your Negro  a film that imagines what James Baldwin’s final, the unfinished manuscript might have looked like, brought to life on the screen.

Upcoming events:

It’s in the book:  The 2nd Annual Tavern Prospective, April 22

The organizers are still on the hunt for lyricists and composers:

Calling All Lyricists: here in the link below are the lyrics received so far to give you inspiration!  Don’t worry about finding a composer.  They are waiting for your words!  Send your lyrics to albert@thelafargeagency.com or drelainewoo@icloud.com   and we will add them to the folder.

Calling All Composers: we will keep updating the file as lyrics come in but you can start consulting your Muses now!  Let Al and Elaine know your choice so we can post your name next to the lyrics. Don’t worry if more than one of you wants to tackle the same lyrics – makes it all the more interesting!! And plan on finding your performer(s).   We stand ready to help you!

— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Tavern Club February 2021

Guests are welcome to all Zoom events (except Monday Night Zoom Cocktails). Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Bear in the Snow

February 2021 Calendar

February 2021 Calendar

Monday, Feb. 1,  Monday Night Cocktails by Zoom  5.30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 2, Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Thursday, February 4, at 5:30 pm by Zoom

Whither Capitalism? —Tavern Conversation with David Scudder and Anthony Pangaro

With a brief history of the great advances wrought by capitalism over a couple of hundred years and the more recent inequities of the past 40-50 years, David Scudder and Tony Pangaro will address the future. Do we blame capitalism for the current turmoil in the economy? Or is the devil in how we define “capitalism?” Which form will prevail: “Crony Capitalism?” (Gilded Ages) Or “Autocratic Capitalism” (China)? Or “Democratic Capitalism” which is closer to Adam Smith’s original concept. Can we get back on track and how? David, a trailblazer in the investment management industry, spent years analyzing economic and financial trends to point towards investments for the future. Tony, a leader in private real estate development and corporate philanthropy has changed the city skyline with such landmarks as the Filene’s/Millennium Tower project. They will give us the insiders’ view.

This event follows the book club discussion on January 27 where David reviewed four books on capitalism. A recap of the talk and stimulus for the discussion will be emailed to all who sign up for this event.

Wednesday, February 10 Arts Round Table via Zoom at 5:30 p.m.

Into the Great Solitude

Yearning for a travel adventure? Taverner Rob Perkins will lead an informal discussion about his first PBS  film, “Into the Great Solitude,” an intimate chronicle of his solo journey by canoe along the Arctic Back River north of Yellowknife in 1987.

The film follows Rob through the tundra, along with his navigational challenges, soul searching, and solitude, as he strives to meet his plane at the end of the river 76 days later. “It’s truly a landscape where you’re in touch with bigger forces than yourself,” says Rob.

The film is also a story about his relationship with his stern Bostonian father.

Links to the films:

Into the Great Solitude available for  viewing from Feb. 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al2gkkmSWF4

As a bonus, you are also invited to view a sequel, eight years later, Talking to Angelshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5UpDCXMLX8

Guests welcome. Attendees are encouraged to view the film before the event.

Thursday, February 11 Valentine Party at the (Zoom) Tavern

We'll always have Paris

Bring on the champagne and candy kisses to celebrate the Saint of Love on Zoom with a special Tavern Cheer. Do you have a favorite love quote from the movies to share? We’ll always have Paris. Entertainment will feature Tavern love songs from the past and the future: From Retrospectives of earlier musical shows, watch the performance of “Wrap Yourself Up” (in crimson Valentine Paper) and the old favorite: “Spin the Bottle.” From Prospectives of songs yet to be, composed by current Taverners, listen to “Can’t do that no More” and “Love in the Time of Covid.” Your hosts, Abbie Trafford and Rusty Tunnard will debate the Valentine Conundrum—so please send in your favorite movie quotes to trafforda@rcn.com to help them figure it out. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 am

An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, Poetry Reading Brown-Bag Zoom at Noon: BYO Plague Poetry and Prose

Pestilence, plagues, and pandemics have provided fodder for all kinds of literature, from Lucretius’ vivid description of the Athenian plague in De rerum natura to later works by Pepys, Defoe, and others.  Albert LaFarge asks you to bring a short passage with moving descriptions of plague in any literary form and share it with others. Or perhaps you might be tempted to write your own verse about our current one?

To prime the pump, here’s a link to Lucretius: https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/bailey-on-the-nature-of-things#lf1496_label_279  Scroll down to The Athenian Plague.

No vaccine required to attend – Guests welcome!

Wednesday, February 17:  History Cocktails by Zoom at 5.30 p.m.

Meg Muckenhoupt

Jock Herron writes: In anticipation of spring, the history and prospects for New England foodways will be explored, celebrated, and possibly even re-imagined by acclaimed author Meg Muckenhoupt – most recently of The Truth about Baked Beans: An Edible History of New England – in conversation with Edith Murname, Executive Director of Mass Farmers Markets and former food ‘czar’ for Mayor Tom Menino.

An experienced writer on ecology and travel, Meg is also the author of Cabbage: A Global History and the local best-seller Boston Gardens and Green Spaces.  Edith was on the frontlines last year repositioning farmers’ markets across the state to accommodate COVID and is looking forward to supporting local farms and consumers anew this season.

Thursday, February 18, 8:00 p.m.  

The Third Tavern in the Sky Movie: I Am Not Your Negro

Bring your own nightcap and get ready to settle in for a Tavern discussion of this movie, the writer behind it, the historical icons it portrays, and its implications for our times.   I Am Not Your Negro  is the 2017 film that imagines what James Baldwin’s final, unfinished manuscript might have looked like, brought to life on the screen. Baldwin writes (and speaks, in the movie) about the murders of three iconic figures in America’s civil rights struggle – Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. It is powerful, timely, and deeply evocative.

We will divide into breakout rooms over Zoom for discussion.  To read more about the film, go to the IMDB listing for it; the top comment on that site is particularly compelling.  New York Times critic A.O. Scott wrote in his review: “Whatever you think about the past and future of what used to be called “race relations” — white supremacy and the resistance to it, in plainer English — this movie will make you think again, and may even change your mind. Through its principal figure, the novelist, playwright, and essayist James Baldwin, is a man who has been dead for nearly 30 years, you would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.”

The film is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Space is limited to 30.  Let Anson  (ansonwright@gmail.com) or Andy (acalkins@nextgenlearning.org) know if you need technical help.

Tuesday, February 23, Play Reading Zoom at Noon

Anouilh’s Becket—the finale.   850 years and two months later, Becket’s life will still resonate in this second session (Acts 3 and 4) of our reading of this wonderful play.  The stage has been set, and the plot will thicken as Becket and Henry collide.  Of course, we know the outcome; however, “the play’s the thing!”  There are many editions, but the Riverhead is available cheaply on Amazon.

Feel free to contact george.r.heaton@gmail.com or ansonwright@gmail.com with any questions.

Wednesday, February 24, Book Club Zoom at Noon

David Greenway will lead a discussion with Ian Buruma a Dutch teacher, author, and historian, living in America. His most recent book is The Churchill Complex, the Curse of Being Special, from Winston and FDR to Trump and Brexit.

David writes “Buruma’s book traces the so-called “Special Relationship” between the US and Britain that meant so much to Churchill in the second world war. But the power relationship shifted dramatically in America’s favor during the war and England’s decline as a great power has eroded ever since. For America, Britain could be a reliable ally upon occasion, but for the British, the special relationship was the hope of remaining relevant by sticking close to the Americans.  They were always hoping to play the clever Greeks to America’s more plodding, but more powerful Romans.”

Buruma has written 15 books, countless articles, and has won many literary awards. Foreign Policy Magazine named him as one of the 100 leading global thinkers.  He began with an interest in Japan and its culture and was an early contributor to the Far East Economic Review. He teaches at Bard College and was briefly the editor of the New York Review of Books.

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George Heaton at George.r.heaton@gmail.com.

Upcoming events:

On Wednesday, March 24 at noon on Zoom Alice Cornwell will lead a discussion of  Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, set in the French Indochina of the author’s youth and telling the story of a mixed-race love affair and the emotional turmoils of a near destitute French family. No participant has an excuse not to read a novel that Rachel Kushner in the New Yorker called “a wisp of a book you can read in a single afternoon” but also “a kind of artistic zenith.”  For its primal intensity, language and subject pared down to raw essentials, The Lover comes as close to crystalline perfection as Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, Alice says. Both books were written toward the end of the author’s careers.

It’s in the book:  The 2nd Annual Tavern Prospective, April 22

The organizers are still on the hunt for lyricists and composers:

Calling All Lyricists: here in the link below are the lyrics received so far to give you inspiration!  Don’t worry about finding a composer.  They are waiting for your words!  Send your lyrics to Al  albert@thelafargeagency.com or Elaine drelainewoo@icloud.com   and we will add them to the folder.

Calling All Composers: we will keep updating the file as lyrics come in but you can start consulting your Muses now!  Let Al and Elaine know your choice so we can post your name next to the lyrics. Don’t worry if more than one of you wants to tackle the same lyrics – makes it all the more interesting!! And plan on finding your performer(s).   We stand ready to help you!

Here’s the link to the lyrics already received:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OEouVV6HtF8EC_16cJcmT51bFD0uRv_Kk8E–fQq6tk/edit?usp=sharing.

Narrenabend coming on 4/1. Is this an April Fool? You’ll find out!

In case you missed it—January’s Special Events:

On January 7, Heather Cox Richardson shared her views on how we got to where we are, politically, at least.  Her insightful comments, laced with fascinating historical references, inspired a lot of questions and many new signups for her daily posts on “Letters from an American”

On January 14, Tom Kelly took us to Italy, this time to Milan, for the opening of Verdi’s Otello.   His well-attended talk pulled back the curtain on how the performance came to be, complete with backstage intrigue and romantic interludes. Want more Kelly?  Coming soon.

The 6th annual Charades evening took place on January 21. It not only survived the transition to Zoom, but many players called it the best one yet. The final results were close, but the team clued by Martha Eddison pulled ahead in the last furlong to win by a nose. There is demand for another session of this popular diversion—watch this space.

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John Lowell “Jack” Gardner
January 3, 2021
Hamilton, MA

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 — Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Do you want to print out the calendar? Here is a PDF. Here is a printable version of the Newsletter.

Tavern Club January 2021

2021

Message from the President:

During the isolated months of 2020, we managed to gather, whether at the Fête, at the Club, or on a screen.  Members created improbable events online.  extraordinary plays were produced.  None of this could have been predicted or planned for, and I celebrate our good spirit, ingenuity, and care for one another.  What we did together worked and worked well.

I’ve sent the staff a message to say that while we hope and expect to continue their support for the full length of the pandemic, we’ll provide their compensation for another three months.  The staff stuck with us, adapted, cheered us on, and succeeded in making the Club open and welcome for meals for Monday dinner and Friday lunches.

But now there is every reason to think that with caution and good fortune, the Club can be back in full stride after the summer of 2021. Until then, or maybe sooner, we’ll keep going in this new way.

— Nancy Maull

Note:

We hope to continue in-person Monday Night Dinners and Friday lunches at the Club in January.  Please watch your email for further information.

Guests welcome to all Zoom events. Reserve for all events with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

January 2021 Calendar

January 2021 Calendar
Zoom

Tuesday, January 5: Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 am

An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Thursday, January 7 by Zoom at 5:30.  Special Event: What Can History Tell Us About Modern American Politics?

Tuesday, January 5 : Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 am Impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts and a virtual cup of coffee.  Thursday, January 7 by Zoom at 5:30.  Special Event: What Can History Tell Us About Modern American Politics?

Join us for an evening with Heather Cox Richardson, historian, and political commentator. A professor of History at Boston College, she teaches courses on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, the American West, and the Plains Indians. She is the author of six books, her latest: How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America. Her popular daily online posts, “Letters from an American,” which cover the current political scene, have more than a million followers.

Guests welcome.

Wednesday, January 13  Arts Round Table by Zoom 5:30 pm

Novelist Claire Messud

Novelist Claire Messud will be our guest for an informal talk about her latest published book, Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write: An Autobiography in Essays – ” a glimpse into a beloved novelist’s inner world, shaped by family, art, and literature.” As a critic and essayist, writes Sarah Ditum for The Spectator, Messud “helps us to see the familiar with new eyes.”

Guests welcome.

Thursday, January 14, 5.30 by Zoom  Tom Kelly on Giuseppe Verdi.

Another spellbinding séance with Professor Kelly, who will guide us through the musical maze of Otello, the opera Verdi came out of retirement to write and for which he received twenty curtain calls at the première. We expect to salute Tom in a similar fashion.  Don’t miss it!  Guests welcome.

Wednesday, January 20  History Cocktail by Zoom, 5.30 pm David Michaelis on Eleanor Roosevelt

David Michaelis

History Cocktail with David Michaelis, prize-winning author of Eleanor, a book the Wall Street Journal called a “stunning breakthrough portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt,” in conversation with our fellow member and distinguished public historian, Ted Widmer. Of her time and also well ahead of it, Eleanor Roosevelt zeroed in on both the fault lines of America and the opportunities that led to the as yet far from realized aspirations of the Great Society. Author of the biographies Charles Schulz and Peanuts and N.C. Wyeth, Michaelis has an uncanny ability to capture distinctively American figures, Eleanor being an exemplar.

Guests more than welcome.

Thursday, January 21, 5:30 pm – Cocktails, Costumes and CHARADES. 

Happily announcing the 6th annual Tavern Charades evening (Zoom Style!)   Get dressed in your most inspired attire, make yourself the to-be-suggested cocktail du jour, and join us for another evening of team charades.    No special Zoom skills required (except patience and a laptop/desktop or iPad) , and no need to get up from your chair.   Teams will be pre-assigned to breakout rooms, and all clues (sadly no singing or sculpting this year) will be able to be acted from the waist-up.    Orientation (required) from 5:30 to 6 pm, charades at 6 pm, post-match frivolity, and deconstruction as soon as the winners are declared. To help with Zoom logistics please sign up with Mr. Fay by January 11.  Guests welcome.

Tuesday, January 26 at Noon. Play Reading by Zoom – Anouilh’s Becket.

There are a remarkable number of modern French masterpieces — by Anouilh, Camus, Sartre, and others, that plumb ancient history and suggest contemporary analogies.  The roles in these plays are great, ranging from Caligula to a swarm of flies!  So there’s plenty of material to go forward within 2021.  But let’s start with Anouilh’s Becket, — which takes place in 1170 but was written in 1959 — to be done over two sessions.  Anouilh famously remarked that it is “full of historical inaccuracies,”  (and the mov­­ie even more so); but who cares?  There are many editions, but the Riverhead is available cheaply on Amazon.  Please reserve with Mr. Fay, and feel free to contact george.r.heaton@gmail.com or ansonwright@gmail.com with any questions.

Wednesday, January  27 Book Club at Noon by Zoom

David Scudder will lead a discussion of The Upswing by Robert Putnam posing the question “Whither Capitalism?” Is capitalism the best advance in economic theory or the worst? The truth lies in the middle. David Scudder will explore this conundrum, while using as his primary text a recent book by Robert Putnam, The Upswing.  Also as sources he will use The Deaths of Despair – the Future of Capitalism (by Anne Case and Angus Deaton) and Capitalism Reimagined (by Rebecca Henderson).

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George Heaton at ­ George.r.heaton@gmail.com

In Case You Missed It

Conversations with Taverners

The first of a new series, Conversations with Taverners, took place on Thursday, December 10. Inspired by the recent exhibition Eric Carle’s Angels: an homage to Paul Klee, Nick Clark, and Elliot Davis held forth with eloquence and erudition on their overlapping interests in the angels found in the works of these two artists. Attendees were treated to a lively discussion and comparison of their differing approaches, Klee’s being more ethereal and surreal, while Carle’s colorful collages resulted from the “strange and mysterious passion” evoked in him by Klee’s work. We will repeat this successful format in more events over the coming months.

December 3, Tom Kelly took us on a memorable trip to Bayreuth in 1876 for the first performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold. If you missed this one, be sure join us for Tom’s next opera tour, this time to Milan for Verdi’s Otello (see Jan. 14, above).

December 9, PK Simonds, gave us fascinating insights on what is involved in being a writer and producer of the hugely successful Netflix four-season “Reign”.

Christmas Celebrations galore!

In chronological order:

Bears made their way into trees, arriving in beautiful Christmas boxes. The project was conceived by Gabrielle Wolohojian and carried out by a cast of helpers including her mother, friends, and the United States Postal Service.

Bears

The Christmas Festivities

Santa (Sam Dennis) and The Bear (Warren Ross) put in their annual appearance at the Tavern.  They were quite surprised at the lack of audience in the room, but they quickly adapted their performance to Zoom, thankfully.

The lovely Tavern Christmas poem was the work of Carol Burnes.

We anointed three new Buttoneers:  George Heaton, James Houghton, and Anson Wright, and introduced two new members, Robert D. ‘Pompi’ Macey and Eduardo ‘Edu’ Vivanco.

Into this season of good cheer, we’d like to add three buttoneers,
Each one a star, each one a treat, each one a Taverner complete
The charm of each could light a room, or pierce the gloomy doom of Zoom
Together, they are lots of fun but let’s just meet them, one by one

 The first we meet along this path is really quite a polymath
From Shaw to Shakespeare, Maugham to Milton, and like Quixote, windmill tiltin’
He acts, he sings, he reads, he stages, he makes us think beyond the pages
And brings it off in manner sweet and gentle, does our own George Heaton!

The next with talent does abound, she is a Taverner all around
She offers help to one and all, and you don’t even have to call
She does, with thoughtfulness and grace, so many things for this old place
Let’s celebrate, with song and dancin’ this sprightly Wright we know as Anson

The last is two words, someone’s name. First word, one syll, sounds like “games”
Speaking of which, he is the master of guessing answers, fast and faster
He’s low-key fun, what’s not to like?  He even shows up on a bike.
I promise not to leave you floatin’—You got it yet? That’s right, James Houghton!

And hot off the presses, this review of the Christmas Play: In response to the pandemic, and only just this side of pandemonium, Taverners gathered in Zoom-land to see the Tavern Players present the Christmas Play The Journey.  Collaborating once again, Anne Carter Aitken, book and lyrics, and Jim Crissman, the music, created a Christmas play about the Magi and their arduous travel to visit the Christ Child.  Inspiration for the story stems from T.S. Eliot’s 1927 poem, ‘Journey of the Magi’.  Inspiration for Eliot was a 1622 Christmas Day sermon given to James I by the English bishop, Lancelot Andrewes.

Joel Ives and Andy Doherty

Shooting with a cell phone camera, Directors Joel Ives and Andy Doherty gathered the separately staged scenes into a tightly edited film (thank you, Nathan Ives, Joel’s son!).  Lancelot Andrewes (Joel Ives) opened the Tavern play with his 1622 sermon from a church lectern for the camera.  T.S. Eliot (John Bethell), musing on Andrewes, typed out his poem from his home study, before falling asleep and pulling the audience into his reverie, bringing to life the tale.  At this point, the stage “sets” were clips from old movies, tapestries, and great master paintings deliciously “green-screened” behind our very own Tavern actors.

The Magi, Balthazar (James Houghton), Melchior (Kate Dahmen), and Kaspar (Nick Clark) sang of their travel travails in splendid costumes, but well masked as our State Governor expects.  A Silken Girl (Jane Manopoli) beguiled us, a Tavern Keeper (JoAnne Dickinson) sang to us in resplendent style, and a Camel (Bob Osteen) convinced us of his burdens, metaphorical and otherwise.  Mary (Mary Scott) and Joseph (Andy Doherty) sang philosophically and emotionally of their human feelings encountering the divine.

Zoom Caroling

Last but not least, the Caroling Evening!  Interspersed with Tom Kelly’s fascinating and beautifully illustrated history of carols, Taverners and guests sang traditional carols in a decidedly un-traditional way.  Through the adept ministrations of Tom Kelly’s leadership and Jeff Peters’ technical know-how, plus Jim Terry’s accompaniment, the MeistUrsingers were able to sing together for the first time since last winter, and Taverners gathered ’round their screens at home were able to join them, albeit muted.  You had to be there to understand what that means.

And coming next month:  Mark your calendars for a very special Book Club session with Ian Buruma at noon on February 24.  Buruma is the author of 15 books, countless articles, and has won many literary awards. Foreign Policy Magazine named him as one of the 100 leading global thinkers. .He will focus his talk on his most recent book:   The Churchill Complex, the Curse of Being Special, from Winston and FDR to Trump and Brexit. Further details forthcoming.

New Member: Eduardo ‘Edu’ Vivanco
Madrid-born, Manchester-based Architect, Art Historian, Educator, and Author

Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Do you want to print out the calendar? Here is a PDF. Here is a printable version of the Newsletter.

2020 December Newsletter

2020 December Calendar

Tavern Club December Calendar

Message from the Secretary:

Despite the limitations on our ability to assemble at the club, November turned out to be an engaging and eventful month, punctuated by intimate, in-person Monday dinners and well-attended Zoom events ranging from Chinese history to American elections, both real and imagined.  December promises to be even more festive, with the highlights being the traditional December doubleheader of the feast/play night and caroling evening, both reimagined for Zoom but trimmed with all the fixings that we know and love. Lots of other events, too. Sign up early.

We send our warmest wishes to you and yours for joyous, if distanced, holidays and join with you in anticipating a healthy and happy 2021, a year that should see us once again convening at our beloved Boylston Place. – Rusty Tunnard

Dinner & Lunch

Special Note:

The Tavern Club is open for Monday Night Dinners and Friday Lunches this month, maximum of 20 members.  Guests welcome to all Zoom events.

Reserve for all events, Zoom and in Tavern, with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org

Monday, November 30: Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern, 6:30 pm, members only.

Tuesday, December 1: Writing Gym by Zoom, all welcome  9:00 – 9:45 am

An impromptu writing workshop to engage our muses, share thoughts, and a virtual cup of coffee.

Das RheingoldThursday, December 3  Special Event 5:30 PM  (via Zoom) Guests welcome!

Tom Kelly on Wagner

Our inimitable impresario takes us on a trip to Bayreuth in 1876 for the first performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Illustrated with pictures, music, and special guest stars. The scene opens in the River Rhine….

Friday, December 4:  Friday Lunch at the Tavern, Noon, members only.

Monday, December 7: Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern, 6:30 pm, members only.

P K Simonds

Wednesday, December 9: SPECIAL  EVENT by Zoom, 5:30 pm, Guests welcome

Have you ever wondered what goes into creating a series for Netflix? Taverner PK Simonds, a writer, and producer of the streaming giant’s 4-season “Reign,” will take us there.

Mary, Queen of ScotsThe series, which began in 2013, is based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. From the French court of Henry II, where Mary grew up alongside her first husband, the dauphin Francis, to the treacherous shores of Scotland and her rivalry with Elizabeth II for the English throne and fatal marriage to Lord Darnley, “Reign” is non-stop political and sexual intrigue, with spectacular sets and costumes and enduring portrayals of the main figures in the drama, especially Adelaide Kane as Mary.

To get the most out of this special event, we urge you to watch a few episodes of “Reign” on Netflix in advance

Thursday, December 10: Conversations with Taverners, 5:30 pm via Zoom, Guests welcome

Angels! Angels! Join Taverners Nick Clark and Elliot Davis for a discussion of angels in the works of Eric Carle and Paul Klee.  The recent exhibition at the Carle Museum (Amherst)  Eric Carle’s Angels: an homage to Paul Klee,  has spurred Nick Clark and Elliot Davis to explore their overlapping interest in the angels found in the works of Carle and Klee. Elliot and Nick have prepared a slide show to accompany their fascinating conversational exploration of their common and complementary interests in Klee, Carle, and angels. Join them for a cocktail conversation.

Carle's Angels

Friday, December 11:  Friday Lunch at the Tavern, Noon, members only.

Monday, December 14: Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern, 6:30 pm, members only.

Wednesday, December 16: Christmas Play Dress Rehearsal by Zoom for Family, Friends

Thursday, December 17: Christmas “Feast” and Play, 5:30 pm, via Zoom

You’ll have to supply the feast this year, but the festivities will feature traditional Tavern Christmas rituals, toasts, introductions, buttons, and a guest appearance by the Great Man himself, followed by this year’s Christmas Play.

Christmas Play 2020

THE JOURNEY

2020 has been a journey for all of us … and such a long journey … With the voices singing in our ears That this was all folly. Were we led all that way for Birth or Death?  With the help of Lancelot Andrewes and T. S. Eliot, the direction of Rev. Joel Ives and Andy Doherty, the script by Anne Carter and the music of Jim Crissman, the timeless Journey of the Magi will be brought to life by the movie superstar cast of Joel Ives, John Bethell, Bob Osteen, Mary Scott, Andy Doherty, JoAnne Dickinson, James Houghton, Nick Clark, Kate Dahmen  and Jane Manopoli.  Poster by PeterBrooke, program by Brigid Williams,  all coming to a screen near you by Zoom.

The Journey

Friday, December 18, Noon:  Friday Lunch at the Tavern, members only.

Monday, December 21, 5:30 pm: Caroling Evening with Tom Kelly via Zoom

MeistUrs

The Master of MeistUrs himself writes: The Tavern’s annual caroling evening goes virtual. Tom Kelly (are we getting tired of him yet?) will present some new takes on Handel’s Messiah, some background on favorite carols, and will lead us in some socially-distanced but family-friendly caroling, with the collaboration of the Tavern MeistUrsingers. Dust off your vocal cords, deck the halls. (And no, Tom, we will never tire of you. Ever. And ever. Alleluia! —Ed.)

Wednesday 23, Book Club by Zoom, Noon

Join us for this most fitting final event for 2020, when Rev. John Finley will discuss Truman Capote’s story A Christmas Memory about Christmas in the Old South with his grandmother. If you print out the link below you will have this little jewel ready for you to read.  Guests welcome.

Click on this link or copy it to your browser: http://www.sailthouforth.com/2009/12/christmas-memory.html

A Christmas Memory

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George Heaton at george.r.heaton@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 24 to Monday, January 3 – Club Closed

MeistUrsingers: From Sandy Righter: The MeistUrsingers, open to all interested Tavern singers, began almost 30 years ago under the  guardian angelship of Jim Terry. Now the wonderful and indispensable  Tom Kelly, our director/conductor, keeps us connected in spirit even during the pandemic, and generously entertains all Club members by Zoom with talks about and clips from different operas.  Coming up he’ll be giving us Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Verdi’s Otello.  We are so lucky to have him!  He keeps our spirits up and our hearts full of song, though we miss each other terribly.

January preview: Arts Round Table, Wednesday, January 10, 2021, 5:30 pm via zoom

Novelist Claire Messud will discuss a work in progress based on her grandfather’s role in the North African campaign during WWII.

And much more in the works…

In Case You Missed It:

On November 5 (to a two-plus Zoom-screen event of sixty-some Taverners) Peter Bol talked about the very concept of China as a geographical nation, from ancient times to the present.  This talk, with animated maps, was preface to questions and discussion by Taverners.  Bol is a Harvard Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Film Night: Where is Mr. Smith who was supposed to go to Washington? The innocent, courageous “little guy” who exposes corruption and saves democracy returned to the Tavern on Film Night as we discussed the 1939 classic—Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—and explored its relevance to today in Washington. With hosts Anson Wright, PK Simonds, Andy Calkins and Rusty Tunnard, we reveled in the performance of Jimmy Stewart in the slow-paced, no color film that harked back to a comfortable mythology of the past. . . and concluded that Mr. Smith would likely have been quashed in today’s Congress. For more recent cynicism we debated the Wag the Dog, and for some uplift on leadership, Lincoln. What movies will come out the current era and the folks in Washington today? All that deal-making, globe-trotting glitter? How about Vuitton Vagabonds! Going to the movies, Tavern style, is produced by the Film Night Committee with Bobo Devens, Martha Eddison Sieniewicz, Anson Wright, PK Simonds, Andy Calkins. Stay tuned for more popcorn and fun at the next Film Night in February.

Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

Download the Newsletter

Tavern Club Newsletter for November 2020

November Month at a Glance

November 2020 Calendar

Message from the President

The fall was launched with a combination of in-person and virtual Tavern gatherings. The new season’s Tavern dinners are rather elegant for these times. Dress, as always, is highly appropriate. One enters the Tavern to be warmly greeted by Mr. Fay. A stately and distanced walk upstairs takes the Taverner directly to a table, where a few others gather for a drink or two and dinner.

Because we are limited to twenty members and pretty widely spaced, the effect is baronial. But the conversation is just the same in quality, the delight in seeing one another undiminished by time and distance. As we head into winter, the pleasure of your company is sought no matter how you choose to appear. — Nancy Maull

Note: The Tavern Club is open for Monday Night Dinners and Friday Lunches this month, maximum of 20 members. Guests welcome to all Zoom events. Reserve for all events, Zoom and in Tavern, with Mr. Fay, manager@tavernclub.org.

Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, November 2, 6:30 p.m.
Limited to 20; Members only

Election Day

Tuesday, November 3

Election Day

Chinese Contradictions

Thursday, November 5, 5:30 p.m.
Zoom Special Events by Peter Bol

Peter Bol is the Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard. Professor Bol writes:

“China—or at least its government—says China’s future will be linked to its unique past and that it is bringing about the ‘great revival of the Chinese nation.’ Whether this is cause for worry depends on our view of China’s history. I see it as beset by contradictions that China still wrestles with today.”

Please join us for what will be a fascinating discussion on the evolving nature of America’s biggest trading partner and a formidable adversary at the top of new world order.

Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, November 6 at noon; limited to 20; members only

Executive Committee Meeting

Monday, November 9 at Noon via Zoom

Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, November 9, 6:30 p.m.
Limited to 20; Members only

NEW EVENT: The Writing Gym

Tuesday, November 10 at 9:00-9:45 a.m. via Zoom

Attention: writers or wannabe writers! Are you stuck in a creative cul-de-sac? Mired in a metaphoric miasma? Or do you just enjoy writing? Well, then, visit The Writing Gym to re-energize the writer in you. Prompts are offered (you can ignore them!) and you write for one, then two, then three, then five minutes. We stop and read aloud (or not), and then keep going, continuing what we have begun or starting over.

No rules, no apologies. Email anneaitken4@gmail.com for more detail, or just zoom in and try it out.

Veterans Day – Club Closed

Wednesday, November 11
(NB: No Arts Round Table)

Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, November 13 at noon; limited to 20; members only

Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, November 16, 6:30 p.m.
Limited to 20; Members only

Poetry Lunch

Tuesday, November 17, noon, via Zoom

Feeling Satanic? Come to Part II of our Milton Poetry luncheons, in which we explore this fabulous character, Satan, who engineers the Loss of Paradise and fights God. Whose side are you on? Whew! George Heaton, Judith Thomson, and Albert LaFarge will all chime in briefly on the life and character of John Milton (1608-1674) before we dive into some of the juicy bits.

We will follow the conversation wherever it leads (hopefully not too far south).

Guests are welcome and should be greeted in the following manner:

“Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.”

History Cocktails

Wednesday, November 18, 5:30 p.m. via Zoom

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam, Harvard historian Fred Logevall will join us via Zoom to discuss his recently published, gracefully written, and already widely acclaimed, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956. Although Fred revisits what would seem to be well-worked territory, Stanford historian David Kennedy concluded authoritatively in the New York Times that,

“None has told the tale of the 35th president’s formative years better.”

Already underway with his second and concluding volume on Kennedy, few are as knowledgeable as Fred about Kennedy, the Kennedys, and America’s experience in the Cold War, Vietnam included. Fred leavens his intellectual mastery with a civilian-friendly style and a very good sense of humor.

JFK

Guests welcome.

Senator John F. Kennedy’s After-Dinner Speech at the Tavern Club, November 8, 1956

Film Night

Thursday, November 19, 8 – 9 p.m. via Zoom
The Second Tavern in the Sky Movie Nightcap: Political Edition

Andy Calkins, Anson Wright, P.K. Simonds, and Rusty Tunnard invite you to a discussion of three excellent movies all about…. Well, all about the nation’s Topic du Jour, de la Semaine, du Mois, and de l’Année: politics, democracy, and the future of the free world. You know something light! Bring an airy and fluffy dessert. We’re not able to think and talk about much else, these days, and so the Tavern’s Movie Night will go straight at it.

The Main Event: The organizers encourage all Nightcappers to watch the legendary Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (perennially listed as the best political movie ever made). Find out where to watch it here. This of course is the movie about national politics that dwarfs all of the others. It has likely been decades since most Taverners watched it. It’s Jimmy Stewart in possibly his best role, maybe outside of It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s worth seeing again, and after this election, it will really be worth seeing again, no matter who wins.

Your Choice of Second Options: Other movies the organizers suggest watching are Wag the Dog and Lincoln. Your choice (or watch both). Wag the Dog is the still-extremely-relevant film with Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman. “With a sex scandal about to dismantle the president’s reelection, a spin doctor (Robert De Niro) hires a big Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to fabricate a war. With amazing performances and a wickedly smart story, the movie is a scary look at the tricks done to make us believe the people in power. Some could make the argument this movie is more relevant today than it was back in the late 1990s when it was made.” (So says Insider’s list of best political movies). Find out where to watch it hereLincoln is the Spielberg tour de force from a few years ago that starred Daniel Day-Lewis in an Oscar-winning role and demonstrated Lincoln’s adeptness in marshaling warring factions to pass the Emancipation Proclamation. Taverners who saw Ted Widmer’s Zoom night on his book, Lincoln on the Verge, will be fascinated to see Day-Lewis bring him to life. Find out where to watch it here.

Space is limited to 30. Bring your own nightcap of choice, and some popcorn – or your own favorite political junk food (and let everyone know what it is).

Let Anson  (ansonwright@gmail.com) or Andy (acalkins@nextgenlearning.org) know if you need technical help.

Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, November 20 at noon; limited to 20; members only

Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, November 23, 6:30 p.m.
Limited to 20; Members only

Play Reading Lunch

Tuesday, November 24, noon, via Zoom

The 2020 season will conclude with something quite different from what we have read in the past.  That is: modern, American, one-act, with a bit of cross-media excitement.  It will be Wendy Wasserstein’s “Waiting for Philip Glass.”  In this play, inspired by Shakespeare’s rather bitter Sonnet 94, seven people wait for Glass at a posh party in East Hampton.  As he never arrives, it gives them an opening to bare their souls in good dialogue.  And a chance for us to insert some of the wonderful Glass Piano Etudes.  We will provide you with the text, as the Wasserstein plays are not online.  There is a hardcopy, “Seven One-Act Plays,” available on Amazon.

Guests welcome.

Book Club Lunch

Wednesday, November 25, noon, via Zoom

Book Club will meet to discuss Herman Melville’s last work, Billy Budd. Ed Tarlov will lead our consideration of this beautifully written powerful little jewel which deals with truth, beauty, martial law, forgiveness, fate, and human nature in its 82 pages, against the background of the great Royal Navy mutinies of 1797 at Spithead and the Nore which protested the cruelties of life at sea in Nelson’s time.

Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27
Club Closed for Thanksgiving

Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, November 30, 6:30 p.m.
Limited to 20; Members only

Bridge

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George Heaton at george.r.heaton@gmail.com.

Upcoming

Thursday, December 3, 5:30 pm via Zoom
Tom Kelly
on Wagner.

Wednesday, December 9, 5:30 pm Arts Round Table by Zoom
Taverner PK Simonds will speak about his role as writer and producer of “Reign,” a spectacular historical drama TV series about the life of Mary Queen of Scots, now on Netflix.

Thursday, December 17 via Zoom
The Christmas Feast Webinar

Monday, December 21
Tom Kelly with a Christmas Theme

In Case You Missed It:

On October 15, in person and at the Tavern, John Finley IV spoke to an elegant group of Taverners, all gathered to be reacquainted with his work in founding and sustaining the Epiphany School in Dorchester.  Asked to give us his thinking on race, diversity, and the experience of his school, he had interviewed teachers, some of whom are graduates of the School.  His perspective and advice elicited questions on the art of listening, mentoring, and growing our own membership. We’ve not heard the last of this discussion and will try to re-engage it in the future with both speakers and informal discussions.

The Halloween Plays, October 29, 2020   –   John Tittmann writes:

In response to the Pandemic, the Tavern held the annual Halloween Plays Competition entirely online.  More than 80 Taverners logged in to a Zoom Webinar hosted by the Tavern Players.  The warm-up to the presentation of the plays featured short interviews of Jane Shaw, Martha Sieniewicz, Andy Doherty, and John Rabinowitz by John Tittmann.  A heartwarming short video, made by Andy Doherty, reminded us what #4 Boylston place looks like!

After seeing the plays, attending Taverners voted to award the Bruin to the author of Just the Ticket, who was then revealed to be Anne Carter Aitken.

The first play, Just the Ticket, by A. Gambol (Anne Carter Aitken) was directed by Andy Doherty.  The play was “filmed” on a phone camera by Andy Doherty, and edited as a black and white silent film, complete with scratchy patina.  Jim Terry laid down an overlay of original piano.  The play follows a group of ne’er do wells who hang out at a Bar (the Tavern).  Sharpie (Sam Dennis), a thieving convenience store owner, pilfers a lifesaving and winning lottery ticket from Bag Person (Pieranna Cavalchini), only to have it stolen back from him as just desert when he goes to the Tavern for a celebratory drink.  The Bartender (Katharine Boden)  presides, and a Customer (Jeff Peters) observes all.

The second play, Zoom Doom, by Holly Wood² (Mary Rhinelander) was zoom Halloween ‘meeting’ directed by Martha Sieniewicz.  Recorded earlier, the play was presented on one screen in four zoom boxes.  The rather dysfunctional family, virtually gathers on zoom before dinner, all in the same house.  The Mom (Judith Thomson), prepares dinner in the kitchen;  Dad (Frank McGuire) drinks his quarantini in the library (was that a fly in his hair?);  the Daughter (Jane Manopoli), casts aspersions from her room;  and the Son (John Finlay) expresses his inner Cro-Magnon from his corner.  The surreal play ends with the doorbell ringing spookily like a death knell, followed by the mysterious disappearance of all.

The third play, Logic in the Time of the Coronavirus, by Impatient, (David Greenway) was presented live, in the zoom boxes.  Directed by John Rabinowitz, the play took us to a hospital room, where a recovered Covid patient, played by David Scudder, tries to get a discharge.  The Nurse (Margery Kennelly) is quite sympathetic, as is Doctor Jenkins (Phyllis Thompson).  Though Doctor Senior Doctor (Anthony Pangaro), following byzantine hospital policies, refuses to let him go home.  The Nurse, isn’t worried that he’ll be trapped, though, the hospital needs the bed!

And of course, all attending Taverners made their “appearance” for a virtual party at the end.

Technical help and was provided in great collaborative spirit by ever-optimistic members of the Plays Committee and the Directors three.  The Bruin itself was ferried across the Charles River from his berth at #4 by Warren Ross for his appearance on Zoom.

— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

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Tavern Club Newsletter for October 2020

October 2020 Month-at-a-Glance

October 2020 Calendar

Message from the President

As I write, the Governor has moved Massachusetts to an advanced phase of coronavirus “opening.” At the same time, our Mayor, concerned about possible city outbreaks, holds Boston in check.  The Tavern is limited to 20 members in the building at a time.   And while we’ll continue our caution and distance with one another, we’ll have Monday dinners and Friday lunches.  If all goes well, Alex Beam will come to the Tavern on October 1 and John Finley on October 15.  Many online events will bring us together.  Have a look.

The Annual Meeting was held by Zoom on September 21, the new officers elected and reports of the officers heard.  We’ll award medals and remember the deaths of members when we can be together again, in person.   Rusty Tunnard is your new Secretary, James Houghton is Vice President, Deb Bornheimer continues as Treasurer and Anne Carter Aitken as Keeper of the Rolls.  Many, many thanks to Bob Osteen and Ed Tarlov, departing President, and Vice President.

Directors
Katharine Boden, Anne Hawley, Arthur C. Hodges, John A. D. Gilmore, Robert L. Turner, and Eleanor T. Andrews, Joel M. Ives.

Committee on Elections
Chair: James DeKay Houghton
James Bride, David C. Brooks, Edward Roberts, Grant Winthrop, Martha Eddison, Ike Williams, Stephen S. Score, Mary Scott, Jane Shaw

As noted in the Annual Meeting: joy is ahead, just waiting to be constructed.  (I was thinking in particular of the three Halloween plays that are now are being cast and invented for viewing at home.)

Of course, the future is a stormy sea full of potholes.

We’ll be fine.  Do stay in touch.
Nancy Maull

Note: The Tavern Club is open for Monday Night dinners, Friday Lunches, and the two Special Events this month, a maximum of 20 members.  Reserve with Mr. Fay, and, for now, no guests.

Special Event/Arts Roundtable

Alex Beam on Farnsworth House
Thursday, October 1
Drinks 6:30, Dinner 7:00
Limited to 20 diners, members only. Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

The Arts Round Table will hold a special evening event with guest speaker Alex Beam on Thursday,  October 1. Alex will speak about his new book, Broken Glass: Mies van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth, and the Fight over a Modernist Masterpiece, published in March. The New York Times called it “a thorough and thoughtful account that is both a knowing biography of an object – the house – and of its two principles, the well-documented Mies and the widely overlooked Farnsworth.”

Well-known to Miesians but not to most of us, this is also the story of a romance between an architect and his client that wound up as a contentious court case.

House

Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, October 2
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Monday Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, October 5
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, October 9
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Club Closed

Monday, October 12

Special Event at the Tavern

John Finley: 30 Years in Dorcester: Reflections on Diversity & Inclusion
Thursday, October 15
Drinks 6:30, Dinner 7:00
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Abbie Trafford writes:

30 Years in Dorchester: Reflections On Diversity & Inclusion

As an undergraduate, John Finley helped start and run a homeless shelter for four years. Watching shelter guests struggle and often fail to change their trajectories led him to make education his life’s work. After teaching in a brand-new Jesuit school for boys from low-income families, he became an Episcopal priest and founded Epiphany (www.epiphanyschool.com), a tuition-free, independent Episcopal school where black lives have always mattered. To explore current issues around equity—economic, educational, racial, and otherwise—John has interviewed a number of his most experienced teachers, many of whom are themselves Epiphany graduates.  In this talk, he will share their perspectives as well as his own thoughts on his work. Please join John for this important conversation on equity in our times.

Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, October 16
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Monday Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, October 19
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Book Club by Zoom

Tuesday, October 20 at Noon
Reserve with manager@tavernclub.org to receive the Zoom link.

Laury Coolidge who will guide us writes:

War and Peace is an “Everything” novel.  It encompasses love, war, society, religion and ethics.  It is reflective of Tolstoy’s own life and thinking, and many consider it the greatest novel ever written.

War and Peace

Poetry Evening Online

Tuesday, October 20 at 5 p.m.
Reserve with manager@tavernclub.org to receive the Zoom link.

Albert LaFarge writes:

Jim Berkman, retired head of BU Academy and all-around gem of a dude (some of you may have enjoyed his company as fellow St. Botolphers), has offered to enlighten us on a topic related to his recently completed novel The Secret Ministry of Frost, probing Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s fraught relationship with his son Hartley. Jim will treat willing participants to “an interactive reading of Coleridge’s ‘Frost at Midnight’ and discuss how Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’ was a rip-off (the latter being written four months later as Coleridge and Wordsworth lived four miles apart in Somerset and were working on Lyrical Ballads together).” The conversation will, as always, take off in unexpected directions, and we hope you’ll join; guests are welcome.

History Cocktail Hour

Tuesday, October 21 at 5:30 p.m.
Reserve with manager@tavernclub.org to receive the Zoom link.

Chasing Chopin

Carol Bundy writes:

Annik LaFarge will talk about her most recent book, Chasing Chopin. She’s a wonderful writer whose first book was On the High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park, was the winner of the 2013 IPPY Award presented by the Independent Publishers for Travel Guidebook. If you interested in that book, the High Line Park and the landscape design of Piet Oudolf, check out Annik’s blog https://www.livinthehighline.com.

Chasing Chopin is equally, if not more original. It’s a mapping of Chopin’s creation of the Funeral March from his Opus 35 sonata. And, as the subtitle explains, it’s a journey across three centuries, four countries, and a half-dozen revolutions. LaFarge has discovered the march to be utterly different from the piece of music we think we know. Her telling of that tale works like a mystery, a page-turner, and an eye-opening portrait of Chopin, the composer, and a far more complex person that the tubercular dying Romantic of recent films.  Guests are very welcome.

Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, October 23
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Monday Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, October 26
Limited to 20 diners, members only.
Reserve: manager@tavernclub.org

Play Reading Lunch by Zoom

Tuesday, October 27 at Noon
Reserve with manager@tavernclub.org to receive the Zoom link.

The Play-Reading Luncheon Series Continues with The Wild Duck, Part Two

George Heaton writes:

Are you yearning for a play full of lies, submerged sex, animals in the attic, and crazy family members — none of which can be overcome by truth?  Well then, you’ll love “The Wild Duck,” Ibsen’s symbolist masterpiece.  Besides all getting roles, we’ll all get to take a turn in figuring out what that wounded wild duck stands for during discussion time!

So that we have a common edition, please use Dover Thrift Editions, available in paperback and kindle from Amazon. Do not hesitate to join, even if you missed Part One.

Halloween Plays Online

Thursday, October 29 at 5:30 p.m.
Reserve with manager@tavernclub.org to receive the Zoom link.

The Tavern Players are looking forward to an unprecedented response to a Pandemic Plays Competition.  We are still working out details, so stay tuned, and put the date into your calendars.  The Committee has selected three plays, drawn from sixteen brilliant plays submitted.  Directors Martha Sieniewicz, John Rabinowitz, and Andy Doherty are planning their efforts.  Cast and crew are being assembled as this is written.  The show must go on!

Bridge

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact George Heaton at george.r.heaton@gmail.com

In case you missed it:

Tom Kelly on Don Giovanni: Recording available for 3 weeks, COPY AND PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER:

https://juilliard.zoom.us/rec/share/1hLh5JEV9nThtDOJJbaiOyNNeKzMaMK3fLG293Q2I_agwDGgbeUdC24VG-uhp_DC.CpQDlr3s1QAcwNYW?startTime=1600983213000

The Journaling Project came to a close on September 17, when twenty or so Taverners showed their work:  photos, paintings, poetry, journal entries, and more.  Peter Rand led off with a reading from the Decameron and Alice Cornwell (Pompinea) guided the evening.  Warren Ross produced the most beautiful online show of work.  It was magical, even elegiac, an end to summer, a summer like no other.  Alice’s fine hat, by the way …

The Journaling Project

+
Leo H. Dworsky
Cambridge, Ma.
September 17, 2020
+

— Rusty Tunnard
Secretary

October 2020 Download Calendar

Tavern Club Newsletter for September 2020

September 2020 Calendar at a Glance

September 2020 Calendar

September Tavern Club Newsletter

A Note from the President:

A Note from the President

The incidence of coronavirus infections in Massachusetts remains low but not low enough. Despite the limited opening of restaurants and bars and several large public gatherings, there has been no major spike in infections. In the eyes of the State, the Tavern Club is a restaurant and, under current restrictions, we are limited to 20 members in the building at a time. The occupancy limitation will allow us to do a few things like Monday Night Dinners, Friday lunches, and small theme lunches but not the large events that we so enjoy. We will continue to have lectures on Zoom and we will hold the business part of the Annual Meeting by Zoom on September 21 to hear the officer’s reports and vote on the report of the Nominating Committee. The awarding of medals and reading of memorial minutes will be deferred until it can be done in person, possibly this winter.

Mr. Fay and I will meet with the staff on September 1 to review the protocols for safely opening the Club starting with Monday Night Dinner on September 14. We will follow the protocols established by the State for restaurants including one-way traffic in and out of the building, masks when not seated at a table, masks for the staff, readily available hand sanitizer, drinks ordered from the table, maximum six people per table, windows open, individual condiments, wrapped butter (sorry Nancy), and wine poured by staff. It will all require from the members conscientious flexibility and a sense of humor.

This fall, the hours worked by the staff will be less than normal but we intend to continue paying full salaries as we have during the time the Club was closed. Needless to say, the interruption in restaurant revenue is having an effect on Club finances, which Treasurer Deb Bornheimer will discuss at the Annual Meeting.

Stay safe and stay in touch,  Bob Osteen

Fête Champêtre (sans La Marseillaise)

Thursday, September 3 at 1:30 p.m.

Possibly sold out, but still worth going on the waitlist.

Fête Champêtre (sans La Marseillaise)

To celebrate the end of summer and a new (peculiar) year at the Tavern, you are invited to an open-air, socially distanced Fête at Carolyn and Bob Osteen’s home, 15 South Lane, South Dartmouth, MA on Thursday, September 3.

The picnic location is about 80 minutes south of downtown Boston. To minimize traffic delays and avoid travel after dark, the Fête will be a picnic lunch served at 1:30 p.m. Every effort will be made to make the event safe and compliant with Massachusetts regulations and recommendations. Attendance will be limited to the 48 people who can be seated at eight six-person tables under the tent. Guests will be asked to wear masks when not seated at their table. Drinks will be served at the tables. Lunches will be individually boxed with utensils.

Because attendance is limited by the social distancing requirements, members are limited to one guest each. Please notify Tony Fay and if space opens up you will be sent detailed directions, etc.

Put on your lawn-party attire and join us as we embrace the new normal at a distance from our old friends.

Monday Night Dinner at the Tavern

Monday, September 14 at 6 p.m.

Reserve with Mr. Fay.

Part II of Milton Poetry Luncheon

Poetry Lunch via Zoom

Tuesday, September 15 at Noon

Sign up with Mr. Fay to get the Zoom link.

Feeling Satanic? Come to Part II of our Milton Poetry luncheons, in which we explore this fabulous character, Satan, who engineers the Loss of Paradise and fights God. Whose side are you on? Whew!

12 Seconds of Silence
 Click for more info!

History Cocktails

Wednesday, September 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Sign up with Mr. Fay to get the Zoom link.

Carol Bundy writes:

Jamie Holmes has written a wonderfully reviewed book, 12 Seconds of Silence, on the various ways the Allies defeated the Nazis in intellectual warfare and the people who made that happen from then-presidents of Harvard to obscure engineers from the midwest.  It’s a fascinating, beautifully written book. Please sign up to join us via zoom and guests are welcome.

Journaling Project via Zoom

Thursday, September 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Sign up with Mr. Fay to get the Zoom link.

Alice Cornwell writes:

Three Cheers for Summer – While thrown into the partisan politics and the racial reckoning (and also hope) of this historic summer, while  threatened and constrained by the pandemic that keeps raging, Taverners have also found time to paint, sculpt, read, write plays and poetry, maneuver gin poles and the tops of Prosecco bottles. Join us September 17 for a Zoom party in which we will share the art we’ve created this summer and do the unthinkable: open the pages of our journals. Everyone welcome. The structure of the evening will be laid out clearly on the day but we hope to rekindle the good humor and art of conversation art that thrives around the much-missed and hallowed table at Boylston Place. People who have submitted journal pages, come prepared to read or speak briefly (for a minute or two) about your work or works.

Submissions accepted until Labor Day, September 7th. 

Please send submissions to our slide master Warren Ross at wardog@earthlink.net. If already sent to Alice Cornwell, don’t worry, I have forwarded them to Wardog.

Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, September 18 at Noon

Reserve with Mr. Fay

Annual Meeting via Zoom

Monday, September 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Sign up with Mr. Fay to get the Zoom link.

This is the required business portion of the Meeting, postponed from the usual date in May.  We’ll hear the officer’s reports and vote on the report of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee’s Report and Agenda will be sent to you shortly.

Book Club via Zoom

Wednesday, September 23 at Noon

Sign up with Mr. Fay to get the Zoom link.

Kauffman, The Last Kings of Shanghai

Jonathan Kaufman, Pulitzer Prize winning Northeastern Professor of Journalism will discuss his new book, The Last Kings of Shanghai.  Starting in the mid-19h century in Shanghai, two Jewish families, the Sassoons and the Kadoories, both originally from Baghdad, stood astride Chinese business and politics, profiting from the Opium Wars, surviving Japanese occupation, courting Chiang Kai-shek and losing nearly everything as the communists swept into power.  Kaufman tells the story of how these families participated in the economic boom that opened China to the world.The story stretches from Baghdad to Hong Kong to Shanghai to London. It is a tale of opium, struggling family rivalry, political intrigue and survival.

J. Kauffman, The Last Kings of Shanghai

Tom Kelly on Don Giovanni via Zoom

Thursday, September 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Reserve in advance with Mr. Fay to receive the Zoom link.

Tom Kelly will tell us about the premiere of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in Prague. There, in 1787, an audience first heard this dark tale, told in songs of humor, love, despair, horror, and evil.  A year earlier, the Prague audience had loved the sly Marriage of Figaro: what would they think of DG?

Marriage of Figaro

Friday Lunch at the Tavern

Friday, September 25 at Noon

Reserve with Mr. Fay

Monday Dinner & Elections Committee at the Tavern

Monday, September 28 at 6 p.m.

Reserve with Mr. Fay.

Playreading Lunch via Zoom

Tuesday, September 29 at Noon

Sign up with Mr. Fay to get the Zoom link.

George Heaton writes:

The Play-Reading Luncheon Series Resumes! Are you yearning for a play full of lies, submerged sex, animals in the attic and crazy family members — none of which can be overcome by truth?  Well then, you’ll love “The Wild Duck,” Ibsen’s symbolist masterpiece.  Besides all getting roles, we’ll all get to take a turn in figuring out what that wounded wild duck stands for during discussion time!

So that we have  a common edition, please use Dover Thrift Editions, available in paperback and kindle from Amazon.

We’ll do it on Tuesday September 29 at noon.  Please reply to Tony and George Heaton and/or Anson Wright — and let us know if you have any difficulty finding the text. (Do not expect to be cast as the wild duck except if you only want to listen;  it’s a non-speaking role.)

And Bridge continues online.  Contact Deb Bornheimer if you are interested in joining.  No experience required. duxdeb@gmail.com.

Coming Soon

Special Events/Arts Roundtable; Alex Beam on Farnsworth House

Thursday, October 1

The Arts Round Table will hold a special evening event with guest speaker Alex Beam on Thursday, October 1.

Alex will speak about his new book, Broken Glass: Mies van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth, and the Fight over a Modernist Masterpiece, published in March. The New York Times called it “a thorough and thoughtful account that is both a knowing biography of an object – the house – and of its two principles, the well-documented Mies and the widely overlooked Farnsworth.” Well-known to Miesians but not to most of us, this is also the story of a romance between an architect and his client that wound up as a contentious court case.

Arts/Roundtable

Last call for Halloween Plays

Due by Tuesday, September 8

From the Plays Committee Chair, John Tittmann:

Taverners:  Submit it to the Halloween One Act Plays Competition by September 8.  This year , imagine that we’ll be presenting the Halloween Plays virtually.  Think of the creative possibilities!  Instead of staging the plays in our theater, we might ‘stage’ the plays on Zoom.  Any play we’ve performed in the past on the stage would work in this new format. 

  1. Exactly Four actors. Clever writers might introduce more roles, but there are only four actors in each play.
  2. Length of total document, including stage directions, etc., should be no more than 1250 words long.  (There’s a 10% overage wiggle room)
  3. Only one pseudonym per author. By all means, write more than one play, but use the same name on each submission.  The idea of the competition is not just to have three plays, but to also have three different authors.

How to submit your play:

  1. Create an Word or PDF file named by the play name plus your Nom de Plume.
  2. Using your own email, send the file of your play to tchalloweenplays@gmail.com. This email is managed by a discreet plenipotentiary who will forward your file only to the Plays Committee, keeping the email source anonymous.
  3. Submit the file no later than Labor Day.
  4. Watch for confirmation from the TCHalloweenPlays email to confirm that you have successfully submitted the file.

+
Mitchell Lash Adams
Boston, July 18, 2020
+

— Nancy Maull, Secretary

Download the September 2020 Tavern Club Newsletter

 

Tavern Club Newsletter for July 2020

A Note from the President:

What a troubled and disturbing time! The events of the past month have roused many of us from our obligation-light cocoons where we were sheltering from the virus and forced us to consider horrible examples of police misconduct and confront uncomfortable issues of institutional racism. All of this without the solace of companionship at the Tavern. The good news is that Tony and the staff are well, and I am unaware of additional cases of the virus among members or their spouses. The building was not affected by the demonstrations on the Common. Emerson suffered some broken windows along Boylston Street, but the Emerson Police blocked the entrance to Boylston Place on one end and the Boston Police blocked the other end at the Transportation Building. Plans for the fall at the Tavern are still unsettled. We hope to have the Fête, in some form, on a Thursday before Labor Day. The re-opening of society is an ongoing experiment, the results of which need to be known before an organization such as ours with demographics like ours can safely resume operations. As a start, the theater is available for rehearsals by small groups who can maintain appropriate social distancing. No food or beverage service will be available. Call Tony if you have any questions. Courage, mes amis!   Bob

Tavern in the Sky 

Thursday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m.

Tom Kelly on Beethoven 9

Tom will talk about the first performance of Beethoven’s last symphony.  What could be better than an Ode to Joy in a dark season?  Consider the inimitable Harvard Gazette headline:

“Professor Delights in Details of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”

Or watch this to remind yourself of ongoing delight.

Sign up now with Mr. Fay  manager@tavernclub.org, to get the link for Thursday, July 2.

Online Bridge

Online bridge continues this summer, please contact Deb Bornheimer, duxdeb@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 22 at noon

Midsummer Book Club on Zoom, Abdi Nor Iftin will lead a discussion of his book Call Me American. Alice Cornwell will introduce him.

In this exquisitely written memoir, Abdi Iftin describes what it was like growing up in war-torn Mogadishu and brings a personal context to events most of us have only read about in headlines or in the movie Black Hawk Down. As a boy, Abdi survived a civil war, the arrival of U.S. Marines, and the Battle of Mogadishu when to his surprise “skinny rebels” pushed out “the movie-star Marines.”

He writes of learning English from Arnold Schwarzenegger movies played in a small shack while selling popcorn and peanuts to make money to help feed his family. Becoming known as “Abdi American,” he performed the latest hip-hop moves at local weddings. During the rise of the Islamist group al-Shabaab, Abdi hid out in Mogadishu sending reports that were written up in The Atlantic and recording radio reports for the NPR program The Story.

Please join Abdi to discuss Somalia and his journey here to life in Maine and Boston. Sign up for the Zoom link with Ed Tarlov, edward.tarlov.md@gmail.com.

In case you missed it:

On June 4. Andy Calkins, Anson Wright, and Bobo Devens invited us into three movies all about food and love: Big Night, The Hundred-Foot Journey, and Chef.  Participants recalled meals eaten and other food movies watched.  Longing for real meals, in person, was expressed.

The Poetry Slam on June 11 brought out the Club poets who had been musing over the state of the world while sheltering. Contributions ranged from a series of limericks combining boat names from transoms in Gloucester Harbor by John Paul Britton to a cry for a better world from Carol Burnes. Maisie Houghton read her touching poem in which she used fashion and memories of fashion to elicit a memory from her husband. Anne Carter linked together her son’s COVID 19 symptoms into a chilling poem. Andy Calkins and Watson Reid tied for the “Bob Dylan Poetry set to Music Prize.” Other contributors included Sandy Righter, Ed Tarlov, Hilary Bracken, Elaine Woo, Anson Wright, George Heaton, and Warren Ross. Nancy Maull summed up the spirit of the evening by quoting Seamus Heaney, So walk on air against your better judgment.

On June 19 Tom Kelly led us through the famous first night, in 1913, of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.  It was riveting.  The intensity of the music and dancing, coupled with the staging and costumes combined to make the audience’s riot perfectly reasonable. How can performance and audience both be so right?

From the Plays Committee chair, John Tittmann:

A Call for Halloween Plays

Taverners:  lurking inside each one of us is a playwright.  Take up the challenge and write your script this summer, and submit it to the Halloween One-Act Plays Competition by Labor Day.  This year, imagine that we’ll be presenting the Halloween Plays virtually.  Think of the creative possibilities!  Instead of staging the plays in our theater, we might ‘stage’ the plays on Zoom.  Any play we’ve performed in the past on the stage would work in this new format. 

  1. Exactly Four actors. Clever writers might introduce more roles, but there are only four actors in each play.
  2. The length of total document, including stage directions, etc, should no more than 1250 words long.  (There’s a 10% overage wiggle room
  3. Only one pseudonym per author. By all means, write more than one play, but use the same name on each submission.  The idea of the competition is not just to have three plays, but to also have three different authors.

How to submit your play:

  1. Create a Word or PDF file named by the play name plus your Nom de Plume.
  2. Using your own email, send the file of your play to tchalloweenplays@gmail.com This email is managed by a discreet plenipotentiary who will forward your file only to the Plays Committee, keeping the email source anonymous.
  3. Submit the file no later than Labor Day.
  4. Watch for confirmation from the TCHalloweenPlays email to confirm that you have successfully submitted the file.

Summer Project suggested by Alice Cornwell:

THREE CHEERS FOR SUMMER

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  (Henry James)

Do what we can, summer will have its flies. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Whatever you think of summer, it’s here and will be different to summers past. A call goes out to all Taverners interested in keeping (or already keeping) a journal of this historic summer. It might be interesting to record our thoughts and activities for Tavern posterity. How do we adjust, what changes are made and what do we manage to hold onto? Does the urgency of our current political situation make its mark on the season that we often hope will exist “outside of time?” Is it actually nice to stay near home?  If we venture out to a restaurant or go for a haircut, or even take a plane to a foreign country, what does it feel like? Or is your grandson still cutting your hair?  Just generally, where do our thoughts run during these times?

Email submissions – up to three pages – by August 31 to be read and shared at a fall Zoom cocktail – when the world might have all changed again. Writing of all types, drawing, sketches, paintings, pressed milkweed – all welcome. Whatever you would consider including in a journal.

To be hosted by Peter Rand, Warren Ross, and Alice Cornwell.

Submissions to alicelcornwell@gmail.com.

— Nancy Maull, Secretary

Social Distancing in Paris – sent by Katharine Boden
Social Distancing in Paris – sent by Katharine Boden

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