On August 19th people, men and women, flocked to the Belvedere in a history making event to the Belvedere, now a male only guest house in Cherry Grove, opened its doors to the public for the first time in fifteen years for the benefit of the Grove's resident Island Repertory Theatre Company. it was a swellegant, elegant affair.
In 1956, scenic artist/master of trompe l'oeil/architect John Eberhardt began work on his masterpiece, The Belvedere, which took many years to complete.
The world-famous Belvedere Guest House was co-ed until the late 1980's, when "For Gay Men Only" lodging became a part of our culture. Contrary to belief, the decision to restrict women was not mean-spirited, but an attempt to compete with gay establishments around the world that began offering exclusive features that appealed to a strictly gay male clientele.
In spreading the word, many women told me of their attempts to get in to see the historic digs that included dressing like men and following paying guests into the place when they used their keys to unlock the front door.
Note from Richard LaFrance: Although we only had five weeks to pull it together, the party went off without a hitch. The committee of talented people worked very well together. Although most of the wine, cheese, nuts, fruit, refreshments, etc. were donated, we did have about five hundred dollars worth of expenses and cleared about six-thousand-two hundred dollars, which will pay our summer production deficit.
John and Craig Eberhardt were very pleased with the event and are already talking about another next year.
We are grateful for the support and look forward to 2007 theatre season.
photos by Jeannie