Lifestyle: Spotlights

Hampton Habitues

Good news gossip about our notable friends and neighbors.
By Dawn Watson - May 24, 2018

While we usually nearly exclusively cover the worlds of art and culture, we can’t do June without at least a passing mention of one of the biggest sporting events of the year, which just happens to be right here in the Hamptons. Golf fans (and those who get to make some quick bucks by renting out their East End houses to them) get their due this month as the 118th U.S. Open Championship drives into town. Underway at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, major names hitting the links for the 2018 competition include Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy. This year marks the fifth time that Shinnecock has hosted the Open.

On the topic of recent world events, we’ve got some great royal wedding-related scoop for local theater fans. Those who caught the outstanding performance by actress Parisa Fitz-Henley, who brilliantly played Queen Charlotte in Tina AndrewsBuckingham at the Southampton Cultural Center a few years back, are surely not shocked that she just pulled off another regal portrayal, that of the most recently minted princess in the House of Windsor. In May, she starred as Meghan Markle in the Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. Brava!

While they may not have been titled, the elder and younger Edie Beales are certainly queens in our book. And fortunately for Grey Gardens fans, we get to catch another rare glimpse into their storied lives with the documentary That Summer. Chronicled by Montauk photographer Peter Beard way back in 1972, the long-lost footage has been assembled into filmic form by director Göran Olsson. Yes!

Starring Big and Little Edie, Lee Radziwill, and Mr. Beard himself, the movie also promises glimpses of Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Truman Capote. For anyone obsessed with the landmark Maysles’ footage—which became a cult classic and inspired a Broadway play, feature film and countless awesome Halloween costumes—this is a family portrait that cannot be missed. We are counting the days until we hope to see it in October at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

Other legends who live on in their work, and in our hearts, include the literary lions Edward Albee and Tom Wolfe. Though they have passed, these two giants among men will not soon be forgotten.

If you still haven’t seen it, now’s your last chance to catch Albee’s Three Tall Women, which has been slaying on Broadway. Penned by the Montauk man who famously wrote Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? and The Goat, it’s Albee’s most personal work. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s story of women A, B and C was most recently nominated for six Tony Awards. This production, starring Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill and directed by the East End’s own Joe Mantello, closes on June 24.

It comes as no surprise that since his death in May, the works of Tom Wolfe will yet again reach bestseller lists the world ‘round. The innovative journalist and novelist, whose sartorial style was nearly as memorable as his prolific prose, died last month at 88.

The author of The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, A Man in Full, and many more, spent summers in Southampton with his wife, Sheila. A major wit and literary pugilist of sorts, he was the creator of New Journalism and the coiner of the phrases “Radical Chic” and “the Me Decade.” RIP Mr. Wolfe, one of the greats and a personal writing hero of mine.

Ending on a happy note, hurrah for Sag Harbor writer Susan Scarf Merrell, whose novel Shirley will be made into a major movie. The filmed adaptation, based on Merrell’s 2014 story about the true-life events surrounding writer Shirley Jackson and the disappearance of Bennington College student Paula Weldon, will star Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg. Can’t wait to see how these fine words are put to action.

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