Disruptions, Seasonal and Otherwise

Disruptions are on the mind of At Quaquanantuck this week. And loath as I might be to continue, ad nauseam, to talk about the weather, it could be said that the unwelcome disruption of the first colorful stirrings of spring by Monday’s sudden six inches of whiteout is very much akin to the disruption of an engaging piece of live theater by the suspension-of-disbelief-shattering clarion ringtone of a cell phone.

Q Beach 0331
Out like a lamb: March 31.                                                                                      –A. Botsford Photo

Given that there is no one who actually enjoys having a cell phone “ring” during a live performance or a film, how can it be that it still occurs, all too regularly? Members of the audience can’t stand it; performers are driven to distraction and homicidal thoughts because of it; and the person who owns the offending instrument is perhaps the most horrified. Yet still they go off.

Compounding the problem is the phenomenon of the phone’s owner being so embarrassed that he or she refuses to reach into a pocket or a handbag to turn it off, in the vain hope that no one will know it’s theirs if they do nothing. And so it rings and rings, with audience and performers thinking of practically nothing else until it stops.

The emergence of spring, signaled by wild crocus blooms (A. Botsford photo) was disrupted Monday by the sudden dumping of 4 to 6 inches of snow (Chris Osborne photo).

At Quaquanantuck was at opening night of “The Boys Next Door” and heard the director Ed Brennan’s request that everyone silence or turn off their cell phones. Partway into the show, a cell phone went off, and continued to ring for an interminable 30 seconds. At Quaquanantuck returned to see the show again on Friday, March 30, and again heard the director’s request for cell phone silence. He even remarked on how a phone had gone off after he made the request on opening night. During the first act, three separate cell phones “rang.” During the second act, three more “rings” were heard; one of them sounding identical to a phone that rang during the first act.

How to explain this level of disrespect for the actors and the other audience members? How to curb this incredible lack of consideration? Should patrons be asked to sign a pledge, or made to show that their phones are off when they enter the theater? The problem is clear; the solution, so far, seems sadly out of reach.

Meanwhile, this is the last weekend to see the Hampton Theatre Company production of Tom Griffin’s “The Boys Next Door” at the Quogue Community Hall. The touching comedy about the trials and the triumphs of four men with various mental disabilities living in a group home has five more performances on the schedule: tonight, Thursday, and tomorrow, April 6, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 7, at 2:30 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 8, at 2:30 p.m.  

BND final wknd
“The Boys Next Door” at the Quogue Community Hall closes on Sunday, April 8. –Tom Kochie Photo

Audiences and critics have been touched by this very funny and very poignant production. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to catch it before it closes.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, email info@hamptontheatre.org, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

Meanwhile, lest anyone think that spring has not yet sprung, news items about programs in the near and more distant future have been pouring in, so get out the calendar and start filling it in.

Quogue Historical Society Hosts Reception for Prospective Volunteers April 7

The QHS is all set to sign up volunteers at a special “Signup Coffee” reception at the Society’s Pond House headquarters at 114 Jessup Avenue on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Among the volunteer opportunities on the table are: docents needed for the Pond House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays in April, May and June; and docents needed for the Pond House and 1822 Schoolhouse from 10 a.m. to noon and noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from June 30 to September 1.

All in the community are being asked to save these dates: the QHS “Celebrate Art!” benefit cocktail party will be held this year on Friday, August 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.; the QHS 2018 Art Show on the Green will be held on Saturday, August 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed for the art show for two-hour shifts starting at 10 a.m.

Best to stop over to the Pond House on Saturday to get all the information about this summer’s exhibitions and programs and sign up to help out this wonderful organization.

Photography Tips for Shooting in Difficult Environments

Drawing on the fact that today’s digital cameras can produce excellent images in conditions that were once almost impossible when using film, the always helpful folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are hosting a program presented by photographer Kevin Ferris on Saturday, April 7, at 1 p.m. that will provide some tips on how to plan and photograph in some of these environments.

The program will include tips on nighttime photography, focusing in the darkness, issues with composition and equipment, choosing locations, preparing the camera for long exposures and cold conditions, issues with lighting (strobes and hand-held lights) and playing with fire (e.g., steel wool photography). For examples of Mr. Ferris’s work, visit ozarkimages.com. The fee is $5 per person for this program, which is limited to 15. Reservations (631-653-4771) are required and payment is due at time of reservation.

Roger Rosenblatt’s “The Boy Detective” Now in Italian

You enjoyed it in English; soon you can savor it in Italian. That’s right, an Italian edition of Quogue author Roger Rosenblatt’s memoir of his precocious childhood in Manhattan is coming out soon. Here’s what the cover looks like: RR Boy D Italia

At the Quogue Library

Notable programs, among many, coming up at the Quogue Library include a Safe Boating Course for adults on Saturday, April 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and a program on “Cardiac Care and the East End” presented by Dr. Stanley Katz on Tuesday,  April 10, at 6 p.m.


For more information, visit the library website at www.quoguelibrary.org; to register, call 631-653-4771, ext. 101.


Foreign Policy Association Looks at “Waning of Pax Americana?”

The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, moderated by Susan Perkins and David Rowe, will take up the question of “The Waning of Pax Americana?” for its first meeting of the 2018 series, scheduled for Saturday, April 14, at 5 p.m. at the Quogue Library.

During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established after the Allied victory in World War II. Since 1945, Pax Americana has promised peaceful international relations and an open economy, buttressed by U.S. military power.

In championing “America First” isolationism and protectionism, President Trump has shifted the political mood toward selective U.S. engagement, with foreign commitments limited to areas of vital U.S. interest and economic nationalism as the order of the day. Geopolitical allies and challengers alike are paying close attention.

The mission of the Foreign Policy Association today, as it has been throughout its 99-year history, is to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.

The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program provides background information and policy options for the eight most critical issues facing America each year, serving as the focal text for discussion groups across the country. For more information, visit www.greatdecisions.org. Call the library at 631-653-4224 to sign up.


Services April 14 for Jane Post

A memorial service for Jane Post, who died January 14, 2018, will be held at the Westhampton Presbyterian Church on Meeting House Road on Quiogue on Saturday, April 14, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow at the Quogue Field Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Westhampton Presbyterian Church, 90 Meeting House Road, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list, or just to visit AtQuaquanantuck.com and feel free to follow.

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