Event Notices

Author Lizabeth Cohen, “Birth of a Nation” (105th Anniversary) and the Old Howard Troupe at the West End Museum

The West End Museum is proud to host the following educational and entertaining events. Pre-registration is required for all three events at thewestendmuseum.org.

Lizabeth Cohen: Saving America’s Cities
February 4 @7PM; $10 / Free to Museum Members; Pre-registration required at thewestendmuseum.org
Trident Booksellers will facilitate book sales at event for author signing

Prizewinning historian and author Lizabeth Cohen will discuss her new book, “Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age.” Cohen examines Logue’s work in urban redevelopment during the three decades following WWII in: New Haven during the 1950s, Boston during the 1960s (when he headed the Boston Redevelopment Authority), and New York State from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Urban renewal in this era has acquired a very poor reputation, much of it deserved, but it was not an unchanging story of urban destruction. After disasters like the demolition of Boston’s West End, there were improvements in approach over time and even some progressive goals, such as: creating more socially mixed communities, learning to negotiate with communities, pressuring suburbs to share the burdens of urban inequality, and holding the federal government responsible for funding more affordable housing, rather than depending mostly on the private sector.

105th Anniversary Screening of “Birth of a Nation” with Discussion
February 8 @ 4PM; $10 / Free to Museum Members; Pre-registration required by phone at 617-723-2125 or online.
Light refreshments will be served

First shown on February 8, 1915, “Birth of a Nation” is one of the most notorious and controversial films in U.S. history. While it achieved several filmmaking firsts — a full musical score played by an orchestra, shots like the close-up and fade-out — it also embodied a deplorable message of revisionist propaganda that contributed to the renewal of the Klu Klux Klan upon its release 105 years ago. African Americans in Boston protested the film’s portrayal of the Klan as a heroic force for good, but white Bostonians flocked to the film in droves. The screening introduction and subsequent discussion will address the cultural implications of the historic film with extreme discretion and tact.

An English Music Hall Night with The Old Howard Troupe
February 14 @7:30PM; $10 / $5 Museum Members; Pre-registration required at thewestendmuseum.org

The Old Howard Troupe takes its name from the renowned Howard Athenaeum in old Scollay Square, affectionately known the world over as “The Old Howard.” The Troupe’s veteran artistes revive the experience of the old English music hall for the enjoyment of modern audiences. Their over-the-top stage costumes span the heyday era of this British theatrical genre, from Victorian to late Edwardian (just on the verge of the flapper era). The Troupe performs classic songs like “Let Me Call you Sweetheart” and “Daisy Bell” as well as lesser-known tunes with irresistible choruses such as “A Little Bit of Cucumber” and “I’ve Had a Glass of Gin.” Many songs feature tongue-in-cheek humor, and audience members are invited to sing along on the choruses. This vintage entertainment is a crowd-pleaser for all ages.