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,

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

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 (  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

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

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

Bridge continues online.  All levels of competence are welcome.  Just contact

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


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 


Rodney Armstrong
Boston, April 14, 2021


— Rusty Tunnard, Secretary

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