Jan 5, 2018 - The Guyon Tavern (circa 1819) at Historic Richmond Town (HRT) serves up an authentic 19th century acoustic music experience with a warm and resonant sound quality that is rarely found anymore, thanks to the original aged wood and plaster, and the unmistakable handmade construction.
Think of it as the ultimate analog music performance, one that is not even capable of being reproduced by the most pristine LP played on a vintage Technics SP10 or MK3 turntable. Audiophiles of Americana who attend the Tavern will spin right round, baby, like a record, baby, at the ultimate acoustic music nanoseries of New York City.
With a nearly 20-year history of concerts being presented in the nearly 200-year setting, the tavern comes to life with period-authentic servers pouring mugs of beer, wine, and hot mulled cider in the flickering glow of candles, in a room warmed by a wood-burning pot belly stove.
"The room is pure acoustics... the ambiance is pure magic,” notes Ken Bach, interim executive director, adding that “this year we are ramping up the time-traveling experience provided by HRT's period-authentic historical interpreters by adding acclaimed actor Charles Sullivan to the cast portraying James Guyon Jr. This interactive theater experience brings historical context to the people behind the names of the buildings at HRT and the streets of Staten Island, and helps us fulfill our mission to inform and entertain.”
“I am thrilled to be the inaugural portrayer of James Guyon, Jr. at the rollicking Guyon Tavern Concert Series," comments Sullivan. "A lifetime of hard work and studying has prepared me for the role of a lifetime — hanging around in a tavern, drinking ale and singing and storytelling! Join us for a pint- we’ll party like it’s the 19th Century!”
Bach adds that "history is meaningless unless it is shared in a relevant way," and preserving the main village is a primary concern. The Tavern series this year kicks off a fundraising campaign to help fund the repair of the tavern's roof and siding, and is part of a vision to reactivate the Richmond Road corridor, which unveiled a Betsy Ross Flag in lights on the Winter Solstice in partnership with Steven and Scott LoBaido to raise awareness and funds for Staten Island's oldest house, the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine home in Dongan Hills.
Charles Sullivan is no stranger to character acting. This time traveler has appeared on stages all across Staten Island, and in an earlier life sang his throughout the US and Europe with the Yale Whiffenpoofs. Sullivan is a corporate and litigation attorney, with a client list that includes Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Prince, Roger Daltrey and DMX.
James Guyon Jr. (1778-1846) was an American politician from Staten Island, New York. He was Captain of the Second Squadron, First Division of Cavalry 1807; member of the 16th United States Congress 1820-1821; and Colonel of the First Regiment of Horse Artillery 1819. Despite the magic of Sullivan’s interpretation convincing guests to the contrary, Guyon is interred in St. Andrew's Cemetery on Staten Island.
JAMES GUYON JR. GUYON TAVERN SERIES The annual acoustic music marathon at New York's only living history village
- When: All performances are at 6 & 8 p.m. Saturdays, January 13 through March 31.
- Where: Guyon Tavern, Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Ave.; 718-351-1611, ext. 281.
- How much: Tickets are $16 in advance. Reservations strongly recommended.
- For more information and to purchase tickets: http://hrtown.eventbrite.com