Everything Old Is New Again

It was as if Professor Peabody told Sherman to set the WABAC Machine to the 1630s, when the Boston Tennis and Racquet Club teamed up with Plimouth Plantation for an evening entitled “A Good Match.”

The event’s focus on 17th-century sport and food included a game of court tennis and a buffet prepared by food historian Kathleen Wall, which included “peascods” (little pies), “pears in broth” (which are actually meatballs), something called Lumdardy tart (quite tasty) and a 1600s version of cheesecake. Guests could also try their luck at such popular pilgrim-era diversions as Nine Pins and Nine Man Morris, but most of them were too enthralled watching the exhibition match being played on the only court tennis setup in the region.

The archaic form of tennis requires handmade balls, special racquets, slate walls, a layout reminiscent of a palace courtyard and the ability to hit off the sides and back surfaces, while the players included the club’s pro, U.S. Open winner and one-time No. 2 player in the world, Jimmy Burke, as well as Breton Hornblower, an avid Plimouth Plantation supporter (whose family donated their estate in Plymouth to create the museum).

Also on hand were the likes of proud mom Patsy Hornblower, Dave (no-relation-to-the-rock-star) Matthews, aspiring club member Afton Funk, board of trustees head honcho Steve Brodeur, the wildly entertaining Joanne Nikitas accompanied by the equally hilarious Paul Martin, blonde beauty Carolyn Wilde, and historian Vicki Oman, dressed in period garb.

The most curious remark: a very ladylike woman saying, “I won’t kiss you hello because I just finished smoking a cigar.” In short, the club hosted a most thoroughly entertaining evening, and the only negative thing there is to say is that the cash bar didn’t dial back the price of a gin and tonic by 400 years.

There’s an App for That

For a relatively intimate group (at least by Symphony Hall standards), there was a helluva lot of musical talent packed into the house when the Terezin Music Foundation hosted its 2012 gala.

The evening included a concert by opera super-star Dawn Upshaw and piano prodigy Simone Dinnerstein, performing a world premiere by boy-wonder composer Nico Muhly.

The organization, which celebrates the human spirit’s resilience as reflected by the music and art created in the Terezin concentration camp, boasts such boosters as the evening’s honoree, Samuel Bak, and his wife, Josee, cochairs Nancy Feldman and Cynthia Curme, music patron Peter Wender, Boston Conservatory head cheese Richard Ortner, mustachioed muchacho Avram Goldberg and the über-fabulous Carol, art dealer Bernie Pucker and the super-groovy Sue, eminence grise Michael Rotenberg and the flawless Karen, force of nature Sharon Rich, stunning blonde drama professor Barbara Grossman and her political heavyweight husband, Steve, French horn player Lisa Grenier, arts patron Alan Dynner, fashion plate Marcia Walsh, and a man who walked through the cocktail reception obliviously trailing a woman’s cashmere shawl from his shoe. (It turned out to be Walsh’s.)

The concert included music by Terezin prisoner Gideon Klein, as well as works by Charles Ives, Schumann, Bach and, of course, the piece commissioned from Muhly. Dinner followed, with Bak receiving a sculpture created by famed glass artists Sharon and Steven Weinberg. It’s safe to say that everyone left thoroughly satisfied, except for the man who complained, “I’m missing Monday Night Football.”


Photo Credits: Nancy Edman Feldman, Dawn Upshaw, Ambassador W. J. Cabaniss, Mark Ludwig, Simone Dinnerstein and Nico Muhly: Michael J. Lutch