By Robert Levine
It takes more than a little rain to keep the folks of Fire Island Pines down. The wet late July was full of things to do. It began with the Fire Island Dance Festival at the bayside VIP cocktail reception on Friday evening at Whyte Hall. Their regular scheduled performances on Saturday had to change to an earlier time because of rain predictions. It worked perfectly, because the rain arrived after 6 p.m. Sunday’s performance was scheduled at 5 p.m. The audience was seated when suddenly it began to drizzle. We were told by Denise Hulran Roberts to go to Whyte Hall where drinks would be served. It rained all evening, and the party went on for at least two hours; the Sunday performance was cancelled. Many of the performers arrived at the party and we all had a great time. (Please read my full article on page 40 of this paper.)
The film “Cherry Grove Stories” by Mike Fisher, which premiered in the Grove last summer, had an encore showing at Whyte Hall. Even in the rain, it was sold out. Since I was one of the featured speakers in the film, Mike asked me to attend the Pines screening. I was at the Cherry Grove Film Festival, but I sneaked over. I arrived just in time to make a personal appearance. I recreated my song “I Feel A Song Comin On” for the audience. After the movie, I was driven to the Harbor by Jeff Mahshie to catch the water taxi back to the Grove. I returned to the Film Festival, took my seat for the Alan Cumming film “After Louie,” and hardly missed a beat. Who said you can’t be in two places at once?
“Cherry Grove Stories” has been shown, and will continue to be shown at film festivals around the world. London featured it in their Gay Film Festival in March. Miami showed it at their Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last winter. It will be shown in Dublin on Aug. 5 at the Gaze Film Festival. It is booked in South Korea at their gay festival in the fall. More to come. Congratulations to Mike Fisher.
Pines resident and my driver to the water taxi that evening, Jeff Mahshie, who designed the clothes for the Roundabout production of “She Loves Me” two seasons ago, will design the clothes for the upcoming Roundabout production of “Kiss Me Kate,” starring Kelli O’Hara.
Another Pines resident, Broadway Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell is the director and choreographer for new Broadway show “Pretty Woman,” which just opened and is still in previews at The Nederlander Theatre.
I have spoken to Bill Moore and Tony La Rocco who are in Ft. Lauderdale. They send their regards to the Pines. Jim Streacker and Scott Ahlborn enjoyed their visit to Tiffin, Ohio, for a family reunion. Welcome Mike and Laura Hartstein who returned to the Pines for a few weeks. They sold their house last season, but you know we who love it here cannot stay away. Linda Tain, who hasn’t been to the Pines for five years, was the houseguest of Richard de Jardin and Nick Politis. They were at the Rain Out cocktail party. Ira Helf and his guest, Lewis Warshuer, were seen in Cherry Grove having dinner.
Will Andy Cohen return to the Pines this year as he has for the past five years? He is very busy with his show “Love Connection.” He was also a guest on Seth Meyers’ show last week.
On behalf of Randy Wilson, I am thanking all who attended the Tag Sale on June 9 in the Harbor. The money raised was divided among several interfaith groups in the Pines and the Grove.
Lambda had it’s 40th Annual Pines fundraiser at a luncheon/pool party on Crown Walk. Read my article all about it on page 26.
Last Saturday night FIPPOA had its annual Pines Party. This year’s theme was “Time Machine.” As predicted it was a lavish evening, including drag performers as Madonna and Cher. FIPPOA and all the staff did a great job coordinating this wonderful evening. The security was the best ever. People came from Amsterdam, London, India, France, Canada, Italy, Spain and even the Baron Von Buttgenbach from Germany.
Do be careful of the sharks out there kids!
Aug. 4: From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Pines Conservation Society will host its second annual Go Native tour. The topic this year is Ocean to Bay Ecology: An Examination of Local Maritime Habitat and Environmental Conditions on Fire Island. The National Parks Service will join the Conservation Society for a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation, followed by a tour that will culminate at the Harrington Estate where refreshments will be served, and the building will be open for a tour. Scott Ahlborn and John Krawchuck are the board committee leaders who thank all the supporters. Check in at 9:45 a.m. at the Harbor.
Aug. 4: The third “Unplugged” series will be presented at the home of Albert Lepage, at 5 p.m., featuring Aline Muniz, a Brazilian singer/songwriter. Tickets available at the Harbor.
Weekend of Aug. 17: This year’s SPRAY features many special events. For info and tickets: sprayfireisland.com.