Category Archives: Celebrities

Nantucket Film Fest Opening Night Party

The Nantucket Film Festival Opening Night Party took place at the Chanticleer immediatelyafter the opening film at the Casino, “Cold Souls”. Some of the people we saw there: Katherine Kay, Nancy Thayer, Mike and Charlotte Jehle, Jack & Anne Curlett, Hazel Fleming, Bill Frederick, Susan & Larry Levine, Susan & Howard Bloom, Jeniffer Blum, Anne Chaison, Jonathon Burkhart, Michael Kopko, Jesse & Billy Voss, Marietta Hale, Jessica Garner, Susan Galvani, Mark Hsu, Nancy Thayer, Melissa Murphy, Natalie Ciminero, Christine Malia, Jason Briggs, Ivey Day, Suzanne Lewis, Justin Levitas, Kirby Hosea, Brandon Rohwer, Lauren Hall, Jennifer DiMartino, Lisa Frazar, Paul Giamatti, Michael Kopko, Anna & John Shaw, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Elle Christy, Deanna Chandonnet, Scott Leonard, Christina Samone, Charlene Kelly, Jennifer Boysen, Rick James, Christina Dirossos, Josie Williams, Amy Bicikler, Hans Dalgaard, Kevin Flynn, Keith War, Melanie & Mike Hajjar, Cheryl Fudge, Gabriel Gould, Tom Scott, Kate Brosnan, Dagmar Klein, Dave Murphy, and Katie McGrath. Photos by Gene Mahon, assisted by Amanda Morgan. More photos online. See also Plum TV’s coverage of the opening night.

NFF Opening Night 2

Jim Belushi on Nantucket Slideshow

Actor Jim Belushi belted out the blues on Friday night, August 1st in the new grand ballroom of The Point Breeze Club and Residences, hosted by Mia and Bob Matthews. This followed the grand opening of the ballroom on Saturday, July 19, with a beautiful performance by eight time Grammy winner, Natalie Cole, with over 200 people in attendance. Here’s a short slide show of the band.

Coming Up

A late addition to the calendar, but a big one – the legendary Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson with the Magic Rockers is coming to the Muse on Saturday night, October 6th, from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. Luther is one of the best blues musicians to emerge from Chicago’s music scene, where he started playing in the 50’s. Johnson played and sang with Muddy Waters’ band from 1973-79, when his front and center solos for that band got the world’s attention. This is the real thing folks. Don’t miss it. Admission only $15.

Summer resident and MSNBC’s Hardball moderator Chris Matthews returns to the island to talk about his new memoir ‘Life’s a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation and Success’. Saturday, October 6th, 5:00 pm, Unitarian Church. Book signing at Mitchell’s Book Corner follows.

live&local, just one facet of the Nantucket Arts Festival, presents Dave Provost, Mike Kopko, Andy Bullington, Cary Hazlegrove and Chris Westerlund, Friday, October 5th, beginning at 7:00 pm, at the Preservation Institute, Upstairs at 11 Centre Street. Al Louderer and Ben Briere will open the evening. Saturday night it’s Amy England and Susan Berman, same time, same place.

One of the centerpieces of the Nantucket Arts Festival is the Organ Crawl, this year the 15th annual, on Saturday (6th), from 9:15 am to noon. See the complete schedule here.

The traditional Arts Fest wrap is the Artists Association Wet Paint Live Auction, this year on Sunday, October 7th. Preview at 4, auction at 5, at the AAN Gallery. Click here for a complete list of participating artists.


Happy Birthday to Anne Meara, her birthday just last week.

Thank you to everyone who showed up at American Seasons last week to donate to Carla‘s medical expenses for her broken, but now nearly healed, arm. Between the money raised in house and your tips that night, $6,500 was raised. Kerry Hallam donated a painting, which hangs on the patio, and is still looking for more bids.

Orla Murphy, co-owner of American Seasons, wrote: It is nights like tonight that make me glad I live here when you see the support that people give to some one as awesome as Carla. It’s going to be a huge weight from her shoulders.”

Carla asked me to pass this along:

“Nobody but nobody, can make it alone out here.” Maya Angleou

Thank you to all my friends at American Seasons for last Monday, they went above and beyond as usual! And thank you to all who supported in person and in spirit – and continue to do so every day. You are all part of the reason that I remain on this alluvial sandspit, almost-antipodean, from my homeland. I look forward to ‘paying it forward’.
Cheers mates!
Love Carla.

A Night at the Summer House

Every once in awhile, the planets align and all the right people show up at the same place, and the result is a magical night you’ll not forget. Such was the night of Saturday, August 4, at The Summer House. Good friends, a fun group of people we didn’t know, a beautiful and quintessentially Nantucket restaurant, and a few celebrities thrown in the spice it up. Steven Tyler had dinner with some friends, then stopped out front on his way to the Chicken Box to say hi to Peter and Danielle and Donna (pictured). Katie Couric first served her table of friends a tray of shooters (pictured), then joined Jamie at the piano for the better part of two sets. And all sang and danced into the night.

For more photos, go to the Mahon About Town Photo Pages.

A Night at the Summer House 2

Coming Up This Week 8/11/07

11th Annual Boston Pops with Natalie Cole, to benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital, gets going at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Jetties, with conductor Keith Lockhart and host Tim Russert, sponsored by Nantucket Island Resorts Jill and Steve Karp. Ticket information and availability at 508-825-8181. Always a spectacle, the annual town beach party.

Best Bets for Music (Check calendar for all listings)

  • Nantucket School of Music student Junyi Fitzgibbon is quite simply a child prodigy on piano. Here’s a fairly rare chance to see her perform Monday from 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm at the Methodist Church, performing solo works of Liszt and Scarlatti. Junyi also appears later in the week with “Young Pianists on Nantucket”, Junyi Wang Fitzgibbon, Samantha Reis, and Martina Ivanova, Thursday, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm at the Unitarian Church.
  • Spookie Daly Pride at the Box tonight, Saturday. Not touring anymore, this wacky eclectic group comes together only to play at the Box. Each time could be their last.
  • Livingston Taylor plays the Methodist Church Thursday night at 8:00 pm to benefit the Two Centre Street Preservation Project.
  • I’ve written about Jamaican singer Nicole Miller before, and her synergy with singer/songwriter Jeff Ross. They’ll be playing together on Thurday and Sunday nights for the next few weeks at the Starlight from 9:30 to 1.

The first Nantucket Farmers and Artisans Market, sponsored by Sustainable Nantucket, opens today, Saturday, from 9 to noon at the Nantucket New School, 15 Nobadeer Farm Road, and will run for 9 Saturdays. The market, completely run by local vendors, will feature locally grown vegetables, berries, herbs, plants and cut flowers, eggs, baked goods and locally, hand-crafted pottery, jewelry, crafts and more. The market’s mission is to provide fresh, native produce directly from local growers to residents, to promote local cottage industry and to educate the community about the personal benefits of healthy eating and the economic benefits of supporting local entrepreneurs.

The Nantucket Arts Council Shakespeare by the Sea Festival kicks off on Saturday night with Seaside Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night, featuring a cast of on and off-island actors including Susan Burns, Ciaran Byrne, Tom Butler, Laurel Devaney, Christy Kickham, Chas Libretto, Len Germinara, Susan Lucier, Susan McGinnis, Adam Skogen, Amy Stiller, and AT Wilce, with original music by Kim D. Sherman, played by Robert Behrman and Armen Ghazarian. Saturday (11th) at the Unitarian Church at 5 p.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m. at Children’s Beach; Sunday and Monday at Children’s Beach at 6 p.m.

Films shown this week as a part of the Festival are: Richard III, 8:00 pm Monday, Nantucket Whaling Museum, and “Henry V” with Kenneth Branagh, released in 1989: Tuesday 8:00 pm Whaling Museum.

Marjorie Garber, the author of “Shakespeare After All”, speaks at the Coffin School on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. Book signing to follow. Mick Hales, author of “Shakespeare in the Garden”, appears Thursday night at 6:00 pm at the Coffin School, with a book signing to follow.

Fashion shows are more frequent with higher energy this season. Sunday night I expect the best yet. It’s at the Box, with live southern rock by the Christopher Robin Band, and it’s called Live Music Couture, presented by Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Vodka, and Nantucket Vineyard. Models will wear clothes from the Lauren Di Nardo Collection, Cheryl Fudge and Current Vintage. Admission is $20 at the door, $15 at Cisco Brewery, the proceeds to benefit Sustainable Nantucket. It all gets going at 9.

Authors and Speakers

Suzy Welch will moderate a Q&A session with Jack Welch on the topics of Winning and Leadership today at the High School Auditorium, Wednesday night at 8:00 pm.

You don’t often see Corey Sandler, but he does live here. Corey writes books. Lots of books. Look him up on Amazon. 164 entries there, some duplicates I’m sure, but it’s got to be 100 books under various categories: Business & Investing (29), Entertainment (19), History (6), Computers & Internet (70), Home & Garden (8), Professional & Technical (47), Science Fiction & Fantasy (7), Sports (13), Travel (49). I joined WNAN radio’s host of “The Point”, Mindy Todd, (9;30 am weekdays on 91.1) when she interviewed Corey about his new book ‘Henry Hudson; Dreams and Obsession. The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer’ back in the middle of May. Here’s a podcast of that interview.

Corey calls Henry Hudson the “least known of the great explorers who went to the ends of the known world, though he profited nothing.” He describes Hudson’s trip to the North Pole when he tried to find a way from Europe to Asia, thinking it would not be frozen in summer, with no navigational cues (compasses are not accuarte that close to the magnetic pole, and there are no stars in 24 hour daylight. And in a later quest to reach the Bering Straight by sailing up the (now named) Hudson River, sailed just south of Nantucket on August 6, 1609.

Corey is speaking Monday night at 8 pm at the Atheneum, cosponsored by Nantucket Bookworks and the Atheneum. Pictured are Corey, Corey showing Mindy photos from the trip, and the interview.

Happy Birthday Jerry Stiller

Happy Birthday to Jerry Stiller, who was 80 years old last week.

A Tribute to David Halberstam

This from my oldest and best friend, Larry Hatab, known to many as “Arab”.

I was not a close friend of David Halberstam. We met on Nantucket when I was living there in the mid 1970s. Gene and I came to know him through our mutual friends, Frank and Maggie Conroy. David also frequented the Company of the Cauldron, where I worked in its inaugural season in 1976, the year I left Nantucket in the Fall to teach philosophy at Old Dominion University. David’s renown as a writer was of course well known, but on Nantucket I think he enjoyed the intimately relaxed attitude, where the spirit of the Island was the common bond among all sorts of people and personalities. With David, you engaged a very interesting person who happened to be a world-famous journalist. And he seemed to take an interest in people on their own terms. I suppose he was taken by the fact that I was a philosopher who happened to be a waiter. We had several discussions about intellectual matters, especially the state of higher education in America. One of the reasons why David was such a great journalist and writer was the quality, depth, and range of his mind, which I got to see up close.

When I left the Island, summer visits were my life-line, and I would often see David out and about, but the best times involved Third World Softball games. For the record, Andy Malcolm and I invented the name, which stood for the utter absence of bravado or a skill requirement for players. Anyone could participate, young and old, male and female, able and unable. One summer, my girlfriend at the time was encouraged to join in even though she had never played softball before. She had a very unusual batting technique: When the pitch came she would move toward the plate and flail away at the ball, basically trying to swat it away from her. I walked over to her and said: ‘Remember, this is softball, not dodge-ball. The idea is to hit the ball onto the field, not defend yourself against the pitch.” She was cheered on with great enthusiasm.

The Third World spirit was much in evidence when David came to plate against Frank Conroy, a pitcher of legend. Let’s just say that David was no Joe Dimaggio, and Frank was barely mobile (he needed a pinch runner when he batted). But this match-up was always elevated by the group into an epic Battle of the Author-Titans, often with arcane literary references shouted out as “pepper” by the crowd. David did not usually fare well against Frank, mostly because he was a sucker for Frank’s worst pitch, a moon-shot arc that would just plop down on the plate, almost perpendicular to it. We would yell: “David, don’t swing at that shit!” But it was hard for him to resist. Perhaps there was a touch of literary bravado involved, and Frank would always relish his triumph. We called it the Best and the Brightest playing the Worst and the Dullest baseball. And we loved every minute of it.

As time went on, I no longer spent full summers on Nantucket, only an occasional vacation visit. A few times I would run into David and it was always pleasant and interesting. As I said, we were not close friends, and for about 15 years we barely saw each other. Then, as it happened, David was invited by my university to speak at its President’s Lecture Series, a prestigious public event in the Virginia region. When I learned of this I wrote David a letter to remind him that I taught at Old Dominion and to suggest that we get together for a drink after the lecture, if possible. I hadn’t told anyone that I knew David, and I wasn’t sure if the setting or schedule would allow us to meet up, but I was hoping we could. One feature of the Series was a banquet at the President’s home just prior to the lecture, with 30 or 40 people from the university and community joining to honor the speaker. There was no cause for anyone to think of inviting me to the banquet.

I arrived at the auditorium about 15 minutes before the lecture was to start. It was already packed and I was looking for a seat. All of a sudden the President and other university officials rushed toward me with frantic looks on their faces. Yikes, what was this about? The President said: “We were trying to get in touch with you! Mr. Halberstam was very upset that you weren’t at the banquet. Why didn’t you tell us that you two were friends!” I was amazed at this. I was told that David was in a room by himself getting ready and that I should go to see him immediately. When I walked into the room, David gave me a warm hug and we talked a little, just as if we had run into each other in a bar on Nantucket. We agreed that going for a drink afterwards would be great. After the lecture, I moved toward him amidst a crowd of admirers. I told one of the organizers that David and I were planning to meet and that perhaps some others from the university might want to come. He said: “Oh no, that’s all right. I’m sure you and David would rather be alone.” He assumed that we were close friends. I drove David to his hotel and we spent about 90 minutes together in the bar, having a wonderful conversation about all sorts of things, and Nantucket in particular.

This episode at the lecture was startling to me at first. What had David said at the banquet that got people so embarrassed about my not being there? (One thing related to me was that David made much about our playing softball together on Nantucket.) I came to think of this episode as revealing two things about David: First of all, what a sweet and generous person he was. Secondly, how much he valued Nantucket and the people he knew there. Although we were not close, in an off-Island setting there must have been something quite intimate for him about seeing me and drinking in the spirit of the Island again.