What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

August & September Films and Special Events at the Colonial

The Colonial Theatre has something for everyone during the months of August and September. Featured films starring Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Altman, cult classics like Jaws, the Children's Summer Series and several other special events, including the return of TEDxPhoenixville, means they surely have something for everyone.

CLASSICS ON SUNDAYS: ELIZABETH TAYLOR


LITTLE WOMEN
Sun, Aug 7 @ 2PM
Mervyn LeRoy. US. 1949. NR. 121 min. WB. 35mm.

In honor of her recent passing, the Colonial is presenting a brief retrospective of the career of Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most renowned, beautiful and glamorous fim stars of the last half of the twentieth century. In this, one of her earliest featured roles as a young woman (after her breakout role as a child star in National Velvet), Ms. Taylor takes on the role of Amy in a lush adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel. With a top-flight cast of MGM players, including June Allyson (as Jo), Janet Leigh (as Meg) and Margaret O’Brien (as Beth), as well as Peter Lawford, Rossano Brazzi and Leon Ames, this is a charming and beautifully photographed rendition of one of America’s best-loved novels, about the four March sisters as they grow up and learn life’s lessons New England during the time of the Civil War. (Bill Roth)

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Sun, Aug 14 @ 2PM
Richard Brooks. US. 1958. NR. 108 min. WB. 35mm.

As she matured throughout the course of the 1950s, Ms. Taylor moved from being perceived as just another pretty movie star into the ranks of the truly respected actresses of her time. Her role as “Maggie the Cat” in this film version of Tennessee Williamsʼ stage triumph did much to solidify that perception. Despite the fact that the mores and censorship standards of the time caused the film to water down a key element of the story (the possible homosexuality of Maggieʼs husband, here played by Paul Newman in an Oscar-nominated portrayal), this is a stunning dramatic tour-de-force, exploring greed and “mendacity” (Williamsʼ term) within a Southern family, whose strong-willed patriarch (Burl Ives, ably repeating his Broadway role as “Big Daddy”) is dying. The film garnered six Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Cinematography, as well as for the two stars. This is the film that made the critics, and the public, take notice of Taylorʼs acting chops; see it and youʼll definitely find out why. (Bill Roth)

BUTTERFIELD 8
Sun, Aug 21 @ 2PM
Daniel Mann. US. 1960. NR. 109 min. WB. DVD.

This is the film for which Liz Taylor won her first Academy Award, in the role of a high class call girl searching for love, but finding only Lawrence Harvey, as the ultimate heel. Although, at the time, Ms. Taylor didnʼt like her work in this film, the Academy felt differently. Butterfield 8 came out at around the time that Liz was being seen by the public, and her peers, as the “bad guy” for stealing sweet Debbie Reynoldsʼ then-husband, Eddie Fisher, who also has a role in this film. However, this animosity turned to sympathy when Liz caught pneumonia in London, and had to undergo an emergency tracheotomy to save her life, shortly before the Academy Awards. Was the award just a gesture of sympathy, or was it well-earned for her sexy, sensitive performance? See it and decide for yourself. (Bill Roth)

FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Sun, Aug 28 @ 2PM
Vincente Minnelli. US. 1950. NR. 129 min. WB. 35mm.

“In this delightful family comedy, Spencer Tracy may have proved the inspiration for every sitcom father who has ever had to deal with a teenager. But few have done it better; it’s hard to believe someone could be so funny just lifting an eyebrow. The story follows father Tracy and mother Joan Bennett readying for daughter Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding.” (TLA Film Guide)


CLASSICS ON SUNDAYS: ROBERT ALTMAN


M*A*S*H
Sun, Sep 3 @ 2PM
Robert Altman. US. 1970. R. 116 min. Criterion. 35mm

This is it. The real thing. The quite iconoclastic film that spawned the very popular, long-running TV series of the same name. Starring Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould (as, respectively, Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John MacIntyre), this was Robert Altman”s breakthrough film. Featuring Sally Kellerman, in her breakout role as “Hot Lips” Houlihan, and Robert Duvall as poor Frank Burns, this was one of the most irreverent films of the 1970s. Though the subject matter and setting was a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit in 1950s Korea, everyone who saw it knew that it was a biting, mordant, and often hilarious commentary on the madness of our incursion into Vietnam and, by extension, all wars. Featuring Altman’s trademark rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue and (for the time) shocking views of surgical realities, with black humor thrown in, this was one of the biggest hits of its time, garnering several Academy Award nominations and providing Ring Lardner with an Oscar for his hilarious, trenchant screenplay. And yes, that is Gary Burghoff in the role of “Radar” O’Reilly, the only actor here to transfer his character to the famed TV series. (Bill Roth)

THE LONG GOODBYE
Sun, Sep 18 @ 2PM
Robert Altman. US. 1973. R. 112 min. MGM. 35mm.

Altman again plays against type, by casting the spectacularly non-heroic Elliot Gould in the role of Raymond Chandler’s tough but tender private eye Philip Marlowe, a character normally portrayed on the screen by the likes of Humphrey Bogart (The Big Sleep), Richard Powell (Murder, My Sweet), and Robert Mitchum (Farewell, My Lovely). As portrayed by Gould, Marlowe is a down-on-his heels, well-meaning, laid-back eccentric. Although this alteration of the character may offend Chandler purists, it brings a different type of humanity and humor to the fore, while still emphasizing the character”s strong sense of morality within a tarnished world. The plot is a basic one, with Marlowe hired to find a missing husband. However, the situations and twists involved make for an exciting and entertaining take on the traditional film noir. So if you like a bit of humor and iconoclasm mixed in with your whodunnits, this is the film for you. (Bill Roth)

CALIFORNIA SPLIT
Sun, Sep 25 @ 2PM
Robert Altman. US. 1974. R. 108 min. Sony. 35mm.

Altman again teams up with Elliot Gould, providing a fascinating, off-the-wall insight into the world of compulsive gamblers. This time Gould is joined by George Segal, another excellent improvisor and ad-libber. As reviewer Steven Scheuer has so aptly put it, “Gould and Segal work beautifully together as two parasitical gamblers, and the scenes in the poker parlor capture the compulsive quality of the frenzied souls down on their luck, hoping for a reprieve, but obliged to bet on virtually everything, including the names of the Seven Dwarves.” Whether this film serves as a comedy or a tragedy will very much depend on your feelings about the gamblers’ world; but one thing is certain – it isn’t boring. (NOTE: The title of this film refers to a form of cutthroat high-low poker, not to the then-burgeoning divorce rate in that state. Just an FYI.) (Bill Roth)


CHILDREN’S SUMMER SERIES


BALLOON FREAK JOHN CASSIDY
Tue, Aug 9 • 10:30am • Ages 4+

John Cassidy, our most popular kids performer at the Colonial, is an eccentric comedian whose bizarre antics have earned him widespread acclaim as one of the most original and unique performers today. He has also made numerous television appearances having appeared on such popular shows as Live with Regis and Kelly, NBC's Today Show and Martha Stewart Living and regularly plays Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City and his native Philadelphia. John also holds several Guinness World Records for speed in balloon sculpting. You can learn more about John and check out some amazing videos and photos online at johncassidy.com.

DAVID SMITH: ONE MAN SIDE SHOW
Tue, Aug 16 • 10:30am • Ages 4+

David Smith - a common name for an uncommon man. Dave presents a laugh-a-minute show of juggling, sideshow, and comedy. He’s one of our most popular live performers, amazing everyone, year after year, with his magic, juggling and crazy contortion of his 6ft+ body!

MAKIN’ MUSIC ROCKIN’ RHYTHMS
Tue, Aug 23 • 10:30am • Ages 4+

Get ready!! The focus is on rhythm, music, and FUN as you stomp, clap, and sing your way through a rockin' good time with Makin' Music Rockin' Rhythms, a fun, interactive music enrichment program designed for young children. This award-winning program is a Delaware Valley institution and earns rave reviews from critics, parents, teachers, and children alike. Michael Kropp (or "Mr. Mike" as the kids know him) manages Makin' Music Gilbertsville. A local hit with his own classes, appearances at pre-schools, daycares, libraries, and other public events, Michael always puts on an upbeat show that combines a mix of traditional children's favorites and easy-to-follow Makin' Music original songs. Makin’ Music is thrilled to bring their show to the Colonial’s historic stage.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS FOR THE CHILDREN’S SUMMER SERIES:
  • Tickets are available for advance purchase beginning May 1. Advance tickets are $7 (including a $2 per ticket restoration fee) Tickets purchased at the box office are $8 (including a $1 per ticket service fee).
  • Online is the fastest, least expensive way to buy tickets. Go to thecolonialtheatre.com and click “Buy Tickets.”
  • If purchased online, you will be prompted to print out your tickets as a pdf at the end of the purchase process. You will also receive an email with a link to reprint your tickets.
  • For purchases of 10 tickets or more for a single show, please contact Kirsten at 610-917-1228 or at Kirsten@thecolonialtheatre.com for information on our group discount.


FIRST FRIDAY FRIGHT NIGHT


THE FOG
Fri, Aug 5 @ 9:45PM
John Carpenter. US. 1980. R. 89 min. 35mm.

“After scoring a surprise hit in 1978 with Halloween, director John Carpenter and his producing/screenwriting partner Debra Hill attempted a different kind of horror movie with 1980′s The Fog. The film tells the story of a mysterious mist threatening the citizens of seaside California resort town Antonio Bay, and Carpenter and Hill wanted a mood to match their subject–something more in line with H.P. Lovecraft, EC Comics, and campfire ghost stories than with the nonstop jolts of knife-wielding bogeymen. But no sooner had they wrapped production on The Fog than the post-Halloween boom of gory horror movies forced a rethinking of their film’s literally atmospheric approach to fright. A few post-production re-shoots later, Carpenter and Hill had a Fog that awkwardly lurched between subtle creep-out and blood-spattered impalement-fest. Twenty years later, after a career that can generously be described as hit-and-miss, Carpenter and Hill’s opportunistic injection of viscera doesn’t irritate as much, in part because their lighter touches hold up.” (Noel Murray, The Onion AV Club)


PIECES
Fri, Sep 2 @ 9:45PM
Juan Piquer Simón. US. 1982. R. 89 min. Grindhouse. 35mm.

“Modern horror got you down? Starving for mindless bloodshed? Brain-dead actors? Aimless weapons slicing into unidentifiable slabs of meat? Look no further, as the high mark of low-brow terror is here: Pieces! Sexist? Racist? Totally tasteless? Admittedly so, but also a gruesome, straight-faced exploration of the goofiest cross-section of ’80s exploitation insanity. An uncomfortably twisted and questionable work, even for this genre, Pieces is a particularly glaring product of the anything-for-a-shock ’70s/’80s international horror sweatshop. See teenagers flayed and filleted with clumsy ferocity while you guess the identity of the mysterious killer. Is it the embittered tennis instructor? The shameful stereotype of a kung fu teacher? The gardener who also played Bluto in Popeye? Who cares? Bring on the guts!” (Zack Carlson, The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide)


CULT CINEMA


JAWS
Fri, Aug 19 @ 9:45PM
Steven Spielberg, 1975. PG-13. 124 min. Universal. 35mm.

There are very few films in the history of cinema that can be considered perfect. Jaws (1975) is, without a doubt, one of them. Plagued with production problems of all sorts Jaws emerged as the first summer blockbuster and changed movies forever. This is a true classic of the silver screen and one of the most quotable movies of all time. Get to the theater early because there is a good chance “we’re going to need a bigger boat.” (Bob Trate)

MST3K: THE HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND
Fri, Sep 9 @ 9:45PM
Fritz Bottger. 1960. NR. 90 min. Best Brains. DVD.

In this outrageous experiment on the Satellite of Love, Mike and the bots are subjected to a dubbed German film concerning the exploits of Bob Box Body and his buxom bevy of beauties. This exercise in absurdity contains leering jerks, dancing girls, a wimpy monster and more ridiculousness than you could shake a Tom Servo at. WATCH the most absurd plane crash sequence ever! SEE hot survival skills put to the test! THRILL with Mike, Servo and Crow in this awesomely hysterical episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000! (Chuck Francisco)


SPECIAL EVENTS


TEDTalks SALONS
Tue, Aug 16 @ 7PM
$5

As we gear up for our second annual live TEDxPhoenixville event on Sep 24, we’d like to share some of our favorite TEDTalks with you. Join us each month for a different program of compelling and inspiring talks. Each evening’s program will consist of pre-recorded TEDTalks plus one live performance. The salons will continue once per month thru August and will take place in the theatre's third floor screening room. Seating is limited to 50 people. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased in advance at www.TheColonialTheatre.com.

SILENT MOVIE
Sun, Sep 11 @ 3PM
$5 - $10
Presented by The Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley
This program benefits the TOSDV Theatre Pipe Organ Restoration Fund. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 children 12 and under. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or at www.TheColonialTheatre.com. For additional information visit the Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley online at TOSDV.org; email tosdvinfo@verizone.net; or call 215-780-0831.

POINT ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS IAN HUNTER
Sat, Sep 17 @ 8PM
$25 - $42.50

As leader of Mott the Hoople (All the Young Dudes) and a highly renowned solo artist, Ian Hunter has produced a matchless repertoire of music combining homage, honesty and killer hooks. With the group, he quickly established himself as an incredibly inventive songwriter with his gritty and thought-provoking songs, which paved the way for the original wave of punk rock. As a solo performer he has also succeeded with an eclectic catalog of superbly intelligent albums and an immensely dedicated following. Reserved seating. Gold Circle: $42.50. Orchestra: $36.50. Front Balcony: $32.50. Rear Balcony: $25. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1 per ticket Service Fee (max. $4). These fees will be calculated at check out. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or at www.TheColonialTheatre.com. Please note: seats in the rear balcony have limited legroom.

POINT ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS ADRIAN BELEW POWER TRIO & STICK MEN
FEATURING TONY LEVIN AND PAT MASTELLOTTO
Fri, Sep 23 @ 8PM
$22 - $60

Reserved seating. Gold Circle with Meet & Greet: $60. Gold Circle: $39.50. Orchestra: $34.50. Front Balcony: $29.50. Rear Balcony: $22. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1 per ticket Service Fee (max. $4). These fees will be calculated at check out. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or at www.TheColonialTheatre.com. Please note: seats in the rear balcony have limited legroom.

TEDxPHOENIXVILLE
Sat, Sep 24 @ 10am
$20 - $30

Phoenixville’s second annual TEDx conference playfully titled MindBlender, will explore how the brain and the mind work via the arts, science and technology. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share ideas worth spreading. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. We’re in the planning stages of this half-day conference (10AM – 3PM). The speaker line up will be announced on August 16. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for members of the Colonial Theatre at the producer level and above, and $20 for seniors, students and children. Ticket prices include lunch. Visit www.TheColonialTheatre.com or www.TEDxPhoenixville.com to purchase tickets and for updated information.

CITY RHYTHM ORCHESTRA: STAN KENTON TRIBUE
Sun, Sep 25 @ 7PM
$5 - $25

This is sure to be an amazing evening of music as the band performs a wide array of Kenton’s dazzling music! Born in 1911, Stan Kenton played in various dance bands in the 1930’s. In 1941 he formed his own group, and eventually went on to be one of the most famous and controversial bandleaders of the 20th century. His music went far beyond the scope of the typical big bands of the day. He constantly experimented with the sound of the band, incorporating jazz, swing, classical and Latin concepts. His compositions and arrangements, as well as those of Pete Rugolo, Johnny Richards, Bill Holman, Bill Russo and others, led the band to break new ground in jazz well into the 1970’s. CRO is excited about presenting this music and has obtained the original arrangements of many Kenton classics like Artistry in Rhythm,” “Eager Beaver,” “Peanut Vendor” and others. They will also feature his more extensive works such as “Concerto to End All Concertos” and music from the “Cuban Fire” album. The Kenton sound requires a very large ensemble and CRO will include over 20 musicians for this concert.

General Admission Seating. Adults: $25. Producer Level Members and above: $20. Students & Children: $5 (with purchase of an adult or member ticket). Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1 per ticket Service Fee (max. $4). These fees will be calculated at check out. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or online. Just click on the “Buy Tickets” link at the upper right of any page of our website to buy your tickets online. Please note that the seats in the rear balcony have limited leg room.


LOOKING AHEAD:


PHOENIXVILLE ADVENTURE FILM SERIES: FROM EVEREST TO ANTARTICA
Sat, Oct 1 @ 9:30AM – 5PM
$10 - $120

A cinematic journey from the golden age of exploration to the present day. Screenings include: The Conquest of Everest, The Fatal Game, Shackleton’s South, and Call of the White. Everest session (morning) includes a Q&A with Everest summiteer Paul Deegan, and Antarctica session (afternoon) includes a Q&A with polar explorer Felicity Aston. General admission seating. Adult Full Day: $20. Adult Half Day: $15. Child < 13: $10. Join us for a special fundraising dinner with Everest summiteer Paul Deegan at Majolica immediately following the festival. Tickets are $100, include all screenings and dinner, and benefit the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. http://www.phoenixvilleadventure.com (website will be live in mid-August).

BRINGING BACK THE BACONS
Fri, Nov 18 @ 8PM
$75 - $100

Once again the Bacon Brothers have generously donated a concert performance at the Colonial Theatre to support the causes of culture and conservation in our region. The concert, featuring the brothers performing their own material with their band, will benefit both the Association of the Colonial Theatre (ACT) and the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust (FPCCT). General admission seating. Orchestra: $100. Balcony: $75. Tickets go on sale July 29 and will be available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or at www.TheColonialTheatre.com.

CITY RHYTHM ORCHESTRA: HOLIDAY STYLE
Sun, Dec 4 @ 7PM
$5 - $25

General Admission Seating. Adults: $25. Producer Level Members and above: $20. Students & Children: $5 (with purchase of an adult or member ticket). Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1 per ticket Service Fee (max. $4). These fees will be calculated at check out. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or online. Just click on the “Buy Tickets” link at the upper right of any page of our website to buy your tickets online. Please note that the seats in the rear balcony have limited legroom.

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