Short Subjects

Posted August 16, 2007

Author discusses church and state

Next Thursday, author Alan Dershowitz will speak on his new book, "Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Highjacking our Declaration of Independence."

Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, reviewed the book and commented: "The wall of separation between church and state is one of the great barriers to religious tyranny. Among the wall's most articulate defenders is Dershowitz, who shows in this readable book why the authors of our Declaration feared theocracy and favored democracy."

Mr. Dershowitz's presentation will be at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center at 7:30 pm, and is sponsored by the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. The suggested donation is $10. Students are admitted for free. For more information, call 508-693-2291.

Bossa Nova show

"A tropical treat, with a sensual beat," says Che's Lounge's newsletter, Intelligentsia, of this Sunday's Bossa Nova show. At 8 pm, Bella and Daniel Waters will perform the popular Latin rhythm. Admission is free. Che's Lounge is located on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. For more information, call 508-693-8555 or e-mail

Regard The Charlotte Inn

Available for your coffee table this summer is a photography book that showcases many aspects of The Charlotte Inn, an Edgartown inn that Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy Onassis relied on for sanctuary and is regularly ranked as one of the best small hotels in the world. From its grounds and rooms to its unusual collection of antiques and art, "Behind the Times on Purpose: The Charlotte Inn on Martha's Vineyard" is filled with over 150 photographs by Island photographer Nina Bramhall, a history of the inn and renovations, and personal stories from the owners, Paul and Gery Conover. To purchase the book, or for more information, call 508-221-2338 or e-mail

Former Senator Brooke in Oak Bluffs

In 1967, Edward W. Brooke was elected U.S. senator from Massachusetts. He was an African-American Republican, in a state where the African-American population was 2 percent, and he was not Catholic. How did he do it? He will be speaking at the Oak Bluffs library today, from 4 to 7 pm, on his autobiography, "Bridging the Divide: My Life." His account of working in the government in the post-World War II years, his relationships with the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, and Hillary Clinton among many other activists and politicians, and his personal struggles, which most recently include cancer, make for a most dramatic and inspirational life story. For more information, call the library at 508-693-9433.

Pure Confidence
"Pure Confidence," now open.

"Pure Confidence" at Playhouse

In the latter part of the 19th century, it was common for African American slaves to work as racehorse jockeys. The Vineyard Playhouse's fourth production of the 2007 season, "Pure Confidence," is inspired by historical accounts of these jockeys. Said to be surprisingly funny and emotionally moving, this inside look at race, humanity, love, and pride highlights one's true meaning of freedom among human triumph and failure. The director is MJ Bruder Munafo, who recently directed The Tempest, shown at the Tisbury Amphitheater. New York actor Tyrone Davis stars as Simon Cato, the slave who rides a horse named Pure Confidence, in order to buy his freedom with his winnings from owner Colonel Wiley Johnson. Island performers include Danny Jensen and Jill Macy.

Pure Confidence, August 22-September 8. The Vineyard Playhouse, 24 Church St., Vineyard Haven. Times and ticket prices vary. For more information, call 508-696-6300 or visit

American perspective on WWII

In a duel benefit for the Hebrew Center and WGBH, the center will air the first episode of "The War," a new, seven-part epic documentary about World War II. The series was directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Ms. Novick will be in attendance, and will speak about the film. This film explores an American perspective about the history and horror of WWII, and focuses on people in four towns: Waterbury, Conn.; Mobile, Ala.; Sacramento, Calif., and Luverne, Minn. Admission is $15, and includes the reception following the screening. For more information, call 508-693-0745, or visit

Children perform "Nancy Luce"

Summer's end is near, and with that comes the final production of the Island Theatre Workshop's Summer Musical Theatre Camp. "Nancy Luce: The Musical" will be performed on Friday, August 24, at 11 am and 7:30 pm at the Sailing Camp Park, located on Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs. This is the camp's fourth performance of the summer. Written by Dana Anderson and with music by Linda Berg, the show is based on the life of Nancy Luce, an eccentric West Tisbury resident who loved chickens. Tickets are $5 at the door, with no charge for children under 5 years old. For more information, call 508-693-9840 or 508-627-4030.