Tavern Club September 2017

A Note From Bob Osteen

As soon as the Club closed in July, construction started on renovations to the second and third floors. Brett Donham and the House Committee (Brigid Williams, Sam Dennis, and David Lawrence) worked hard last spring to get architectural drawings done, solicit bids, and select a contractor who could perform the work over the summer at an acceptable price. The Club is indebted to Brett and his committee for providing professional services that would have had significant cost from an outside architect. Over the summer, the construction has been supervised weekly by Brigid Williams with help from Deb Bornheimer. Tony Fay has hovered protectively the entire summer. Construction on the fire stair, an Emerson project, started in August, a little later than anticipated, but both projects should be completed in the latter part of September. The Boylston Place Foundation has agreed to defray some of the Club’s construction costs. The Foundation is also funding projects to improve lighting of the art works and publication of a comprehensive catalogue of the collection. Under the direction of Sam Thompson and Watson Reid, a new audiovisual system has been installed on the second floor to improve the sound and make the space more useful for meetings and lectures. With Tony Fay’s active support, Bobo Devens and Bob Turner secured the services of Lisa Shaw to collaborate with Chef Salem Kmimech in the preparation of menus that will include some old favorites and some new dishes with emphasis on flavor, freshness and quality ingredients. Mark your calendars – a Moroccan feast is scheduled for Thursday, September 28. See you after Labor Day. Bob Osteen


Blues Night, originally scheduled for September 5, will be rescheduled due to the construction.

Arts Round Table   Wednesday, Sept. 13, 12:15 pm

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Taverner Brett Donham will give an illustrated talk on how the Reformation changed the course of church building design – from the plain meeting houses of 17th and 18th century New England at one extreme to the gilded Baroque churches of the Counter-Reformation in Spain, Portugal, and Southern Italy at the other. Brett is an architect whose practice has included the design and renovation of 25 church buildings, most recently the Cathedral of St. Paul at 138 Tremont St.

Guests welcome.

No Poetry Lunch in September.  Stay tuned for a treat in October!

The Tavern Book Club will meet at noon on Wednesday, September 20 to discuss Duff McDonald’s The Golden Passport, provocatively subtitled Harvard Business School: The Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite. Our discussion will be led by Howard Anderson, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, a longtime member of the HBS faculty and a lecturer at the Sloan School, the Tuck School, and internationally. He is a graduate of HBS, and a superb and entertaining lecturer with extensive experience in the business communities and head of the Yankee Group. His book traces the history of the HBS and its evolution to its present form. This will be a most interesting meeting. Guests welcome.


The MeistUsingers will meet on Thursday, September 21, at 12:20 in the theatre. Open to all Taverners who like to sing! Please let Tony Fay know if you intend to stay for lunch.

The Committee on Elections will meet on Monday, September 25 at 5.30pm in the Library.

If you have a potential member to propose, contact Ed Tarlov, Chair of the Elections Committee, edward.tarlov.md@gmail.com. Write a letter describing the candidate and his or her potential contribution to the magic of the Tavern Club; give the names of Taverners who know the candidate, including one who will write a seconding letter.  The Elections Committee will then do its work.

History Lunch: Wednesday September 27 12 for 12:15. Donna Lucey will talk about her new book, Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas in which she examines the lives of Sally Fairchild, Elsie Palmer, Elizabeth Chanler, and Isabella Stewart Gardner. All were painted by Sargent as exemplars of wealth, position and privilege but their lives were far more complex than that as Lucey reveals in her “seductive and multilayered biography”. Her previous book was Archie and Amelie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age. Guests welcome!

Moroccan Feast, Thursday, September 28.

Don’t miss the special Moroccan feast on Thursday, September 28. The Tavern dining room will be transformed into a souk-inspired banquet hall that you might find in Fez or Marrakesh as our Chef Salem turns out an exotic Moroccan feast based on the dishes from his native North Africa.  Come and bring your friends to taste the intriguing flavors of the casbah – couscous, tagines, kebabs.  And raise a glass with wines selected for the occasion. B’saha (“to your health”)! Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:15; dinner, at 7:00.  Please contact Tony Fay for reservations.

Halloween Plays Competition

The Tavern Club’s ancient and venerable Halloween One Act Plays Competition will take place Wednesday for guests, and Thursday for Taverners, October 25 and 26, 2017.  Mark your calendars now.

Three original plays are performed, written by Tavern authors, under pseudonyms.  The best play, as selected democratically by audience vote immediately after the performance, wins the coveted Bruin, and its author’s true identity revealed.

All who are interested in participating on the boards, backstage or frontstage, should contact John Tittmann, the Plays Chair, at the email below.

All Taverners are encouraged to write a one act play and submit it under a pseudonym to the Plays’ Committee for consideration.  Three plays will be selected from all submitted.  Submit the play no later than 5 pm on Friday, September 8.

There are only three rules:

  1. Exactly four actors.
  2. About 10 minutes long.
  3. Only one pseudonym per author. (Submit as many plays as you’d like, but please use only one pseudonym. It’s a competition for three authors, as much as for three plays!)

A few pointers to make your play appealing:

Keep the lines short.  Learning lines is hard; short passages are easier to remember than long speeches.  Keep reliance on props and sets to a minimum.

How to submit your play:

  1. Save your play document under your pseudonym to a pdf file.
  2. Using your normal email, send the pdf of your play to the (new) Tavern Club Halloween Plays Competition email: tchalloweenplays@gmail.com.
  3. This email account will be managed discreetly by blind Cistercians to transfer the submissions to the Plays Committee preserving the anonymity of the authors. By using your normal email, we can eventually link the pseudonyms to the authors.
  4. If this seems difficult, ask a teenager for help.

In Case You Missed It:

The annual Fête Champêtre (July 13) was graciously hosted by Bina and Robin Thompson.  The weather did not deter a fulsome crowd.  Although the glorious grounds could not be appreciated to the full,  the Clambake was tackled with tavernly dexterity, enhanced by the music of Watson Reid, Chris Whitlock and Andy Calkins.  A guest from France was seen to wince only slightly at the traditional singing of the La Marsellaise.

Nancy Maull

Calendar at a Glance

Tues. September 5; CLUB RE-OPENS

Fri. September 8; Halloween Play Scripts due

Mon. September 11; Monday Night Dinner

Weds. September 13; Arts Round Table Lunch

Mon. September 18; Monday Night Dinner

Weds. September 20; Book Club Lunch

Thurs. September 21; MeistUrsingers

Mon. September 25; Committee on Elections

Weds. September 27; History Lunch

Thurs. September 28; SPECIAL EVENT, Moroccan Feast

Thursday, Oct. 12; Special Event, Dinner with Brian McGrory, Boston Globe Editor in Chief

Tuesday, Oct. 24; Book Club: Tom Kelly will lead discussion on his book First Nights

Oct. 25/26; Halloween Plays

Monday, Nov. 6; Exec. Comm.

Nov. 23-24; Club closed

Dec. 13/14; Christmas Feast/Play

Monday, Dec. 18; Christmas Carols

Dec. 19-Jan. 2; Club Closed




Guests are warmly welcomed at lunches and special events, and Monday Night dinners with Secretary’s permission.


Spouses of Taverners (and their guests) are welcome for lunch at the Club on any day with or without member spouse.


Call 617-338- 9682 or email

manager@tavernclub.org Tony Fay AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE to reserve for all lunches, dinners, special events.

Access the Tavern Club website, go to https://tavernclub.org,

  1. Click on “Register” (top right) even if you’ve already registered.
  2. Register if you have not yet done so.
  3. If you have registered, scroll to the very bottom of the Registration page, and click on the tiny little “Log In” box.
  4. That’s all!

To download a copy of this month’s calendar, click here.

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