What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Friday, November 04, 2011

November & December Events at the Colonial

The Colonial Theatre has a great schedule on tap this November and December. The Bacon Brothers return for their annual Bringing Back the Bacons concert; Craig Shoemaker brings his world renowned standup routine; movies for the entire family and a December full of holiday cheer including a visit from Santa; there is truly something for everyone.

CONCERTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS


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

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). Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or online.

POINT ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS CRAIG SHOEMAKER
Tickets $25 - $38.
Sat, Nov 26 @ 8:00 pm

Craig Shoemaker sold out the Colonial in 2010! Named Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards on ABC, Craig Shoemaker’s half-hour Comedy Central special has been voted by viewers as one of the network’s Top 20 stand-up specials of all time. Craig’s feature film credits include the box office hit Scream 2, co-starring opposite Patrick Stewart in Safe House and his featured role opposite Daryl Hannah as her love interest in 2007′s Dark Honeymoon. His own film The Lovemaster (with Farrah Fawcett), won Best Film honors at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. Craig began his career in his hometown of Philadelphia, where he honed his comedy and characters winning the Best of Philly Award while working as a bartender and attending Temple University. Reserved seating. 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 checkout. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or online.

POINT ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS DAR WILLIAMS
Tickets $20 - $35.50.
Fri, Dec 9 @ 8:00 pm

A leader in the Folk-Pop movement for almost two decades, it’s Dar’s intimate and profound writing style and her warm and witty stage presence that has made her one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of her generation. Reserved seating. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1.50 per ticket Service Fee (max. $6). These fees will be calculated at check out. Tickets available with cash, check or credit card at the Colonial Theatre Box Office, or online.

CITY RHYTHM ORCHESTRA: HOLIDAY STYLE
Tickets: $7 - $27
Sun, Dec 4 @ 7PM

The City Rhythm Orchestra has been performing for over 25 years and has earned the reputation as one of today’s finest big bands. Bandleaders Pete Spina and Nick Vallerio have consistently cooked up exciting music with their key ingredients of hot horn players, a smokin’ rhythm section, and exciting charts. The band has been featured at major dance events, nightclubs and jazz festivals throughout the country, including notable venues in Philadelphia (Kimmel Center, Mann Music Center, Zanzibar Blue); New York (Lincoln Center, Highline Ballroom, Irving Plaza, The Supper Club); Boston (Faneuil Hall, Swing City); Washington, DC (Clarendon Ballroom, Glen Echo Ballroom); Tampa (Savoy South, Heritage Village); San Francisco (Sweets Ballroom, Biscuits & Blues Club); and many other locations. The band has also completed 4 successful tours of Italy over the last few years, with appearances in Rome and Florence, and at resorts in Sicily and along the Amalfi Coast.


CLASSICS ON SUNDAYS: CAPERS


THE ASPHALT JUNGLE
Directed by John Huston. US. 1950. NR. 112 min. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun, Nov 6 @ 2:00 pm

One dictionary definition of a caper (aside from those little salty berries found in some gourmet Italian dishes) is “an elaborate, well-planned criminal act, especially theft.” Well, this month we?re serving up some of moviedom’s finest caper flicks, featuring some of the best planned crimes on film. Starting off, we bring you John Huston?s adaptation of W.R.Burnett?s memorable crime novel, The Asphalt Jungle. With its top-level cast, including Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, and (heating up the screen in one of her first featured roles) a young Marilyn Monroe, this taut, realistic film keeps the viewer riveted from beginning to end. Detailing the organizing, meticulous planning, execution, and aftermath of the robbery of a fancy jewel firm, this is truly, as Leonard Maltin has called it, “a model of its kind.” The acting, especially by Sam Jaffe (Oscar-nominated for his role as the somewhat creepy mastermind who organizes the job) and Sterling Hayden, is top-notch throughout and thesuspense mounts masterfully to its inevitable climax. (Bill Roth)

RIFIFI
Directed by Jules Dassin. France. 1955. NR. 122 min. Rialto Pictures. DVD.
Sun, Nov 13 @ 2:00 pm

Another jewelry store, this time on the fashionable Rue de Rivoli in Paris, is the target in this sophisticated, tense and often charming caper film. The centerpiece of the film (and one of its claims to fame) is the nearly half-hour-long robbery itself, conducted without a word of dialogue and no music soundtrack, making for an almost unbearably suspenseful sequence. Then, after the robbery has taken place, the generally nice-guy quartet whopulled it off have to contend with some truly nasty gangster rivals, and the action really begins. Though born in America, director Jules Dassin (who fled to Europe during the McCarthy era) provides a genuine feel for the backstreets and boulevards of Paris in this tension-filled classic. In French,with English subtitles. (P.S. The term “rififi” is French slang for “trouble,” and these guys definitely get more than their share of it before the film is over.) (Bill Roth)

THE KILLING
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. US. 1956. NR. 85 min. MGM. 35mm.
Sun, Nov 20 @ 2:00 pm

Stanley Kubrick, like John Huston, is considered to have been one of America's greatest directors. And, like Huston, he has created one of the greatest caper/crime dramas of all time. Though similar in mood and theme to Asphalt Jungle, and though they share the same lead actor (Sterling Hayden), The Killing is a much grittier and much more cinematically complex film. With a cast that includes such noted character actors as Elisha Cook, Jr., Marie Windsor and Ted De Corsia, this tale of a racetrack heist is told in a semi-documentary manner, with many flashbacks and fascinating camerawork, and creates a genuinely claustrophobic and tension-filled atmosphere. This is the film that broughtKubrick to the national awareness, and it?s easy to see why. (NOTE: Because he was so impressed with The Killing, Kirk Douglas chose Kubrick to direct him in Paths of Glory and Spartacus. The rest, as they say, is history.)

TOPKAPI
Directed by Jules Dassin. US. 1964. NR. 120 min. MGM. 35mm.
Sun, Nov 27 @ 2:00 pm

Jules Dassin (Rififi) returns to the scene of the crime (well, not really – this caper takes place in scenic, colorful Greece and Istanbul, Turkey) with a wonderfully comic and fast-paced semi-spoof of thecaper films he helped to popularize. The internationally renowned cast, including Melina Mercouri (fresh from her breakthrough success in Never on Sunday), Robert Morley, Maximilian Schell, Akim Tamiroff, and Peter Ustinov (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role as a ne?er-do-well grifter who ends up possibly saving the day) seem to be having a ball with this witty, fast-moving caper, and it shows. Their goal is to break into the heavily-guarded Topkapi Museum in Istanbul and make off with a priceless dagger. As was the case in Rififi, the ingenuous way in which they do so provides for a thrilling, exceptionally suspenseful climactic robbery. The dialogue is witty, the scenery exquisite and the tension is palpable, making for a most entertaining afternoon of clever crime. Please join us for the fun. (Bill Roth)


CLASSICS ON SUNDAYS: HOLIDAY CLASSICS


IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Directed by Frank Capra. US. 1946. NR. 130 min. Library of Congress. 35mm.
Sponsored by Artisans Gallery & Cafe and Romantic Jewelers
Sun, Dec 18 @ 2:00 pm

“What is remarkable about It’s a Wonderful Life is how well it holds up over the years; it’s one of those ageless movies, like Casablanca or The Third Man, that improves with age. Some movies, even good ones, should only be seen once. When we know how they turn out, they’ve surrendered their mystery and appeal. Other movies can be viewed an indefinite number of times. Like great music, they improve with familiarity. It’s a Wonderful Life falls in the second category.” Print preserved by The Library of Congress.


PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES


SEGAL PUPPET THEATRE & CO.: BARTHOLOMEW BEAR’S MOON MISADVENTURE
Tickets: $8.50. Ages 4+. 40 min.
Sat, Nov 5 @ 2:00 pm

Take a fanciful flight through the seasons in this 40-minute interactive puppet show. This spin of Frank Asch’s story Mooncake finds our friends Bartholomew Bear and Patch on a warmsummer evening wondering what the moon must taste like. Wonder soon leads to adventure as the two make plans to discover new worlds only to find out that Mother Nature has a little surprise for them instead. So, buckle up, help our puppet friends build a rocket ship of shapes and colors, and travel through the seasons with us through interactive songs and activities on our “flight to the moon.”

WALLACE & GROMIT SHORTS
Directed by Nick Park. UK. 6+. 90 min. Aardman Animations. Blu ray.
Sat, Nov 12 @ 2:00 pm

We can’t get enough Wallace & Gromit! This time around we’re screening A Matter of Loaf and Death, The Wrong Trousers, and a couple of Shaun the Sheep episodes, another brilliant Aardman creation.

BABE
Directed by Chris Noonan. Australia. 1995. 4+. 95 min. Universal. 35mm.
Sat, Nov 19, @ 2:00 pm

A wonderful, whimsical fantasy that is a delight to folks of all ages, this is the heart-warming and often hilarious story of a young pig’s success and salvation. Young Babe, an orphaned piglet who has been adopted by a family of border collies, learns many of life’s lessons in his barnyard, and goes on to win hearts as well as prizes as he relies upon friendship and cooperation in the world of competitive sheep-dog trials. Babe was asurprise success when first released, turning cynics into believers with its tale of talking barnyard animals and the power of friendship to overcome the trickiest of obstacles. Besides its Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, the film was nominated for Best Picture and five other Oscars, including a well-deserved nomination for James Cromwell, as Babe’s owner, the taciturn but kind-hearted Farmer Hoggett. This is a movie that people of all ages can see, and enjoy, again and again.

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY
Directed by Constance Marks. US. 2011. NR. 80 min. Submarine Entertainment. blu ray.
Sun, Nov 20, @ 4:30 pm

The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. The film traces Kevin Clash’s rise from his modest beginnings in Baltimore, to his current success as the man behind Elmo, one of the world’s most recognizable and adored characters. Millions of children tune in daily to watch Elmo, yet when Kevin walks down the street he is not recognized. Pivotal to the film is the exploration of Jim Henson’s meteoric rise, and Kevin’s ultimate achievement of his goal to become part of the Henson family of puppeteers. In addition to puppeteering Elmo, Mr. Clash is arguably the creative force behind today’s Sesame Street, producing, directing and traveling around the globe training other puppeteers. Includes interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Carroll Spinney, Joan Ganz Cooney, Marty Robinson, Fran Brill, and Bill Barretta.

THE MUPPET MOVIE
Directed by James Frawley. US. 1979. 4+. 95 min. Universal. 35mm.
Sat, Nov 26, @ 2:00 pm

From Kermit the Frog’s humble origins in a swamp, to the entire gang being hired by studio head Orson Welles, The Muppet Movie is an absolute delight. As Kermit makes his way to fabled Hollywood, he assembles his team of like-minded individuals, including Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and others. The movie includes Kermit’s heart-tugging “Rainbow Connection,” and the film ends on a surprisingly existential note.

PHOENIXVILLE FEDERAL BANK & TRUST ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY
Presented by Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust
Sat, Dec 3 @ 2:00 pm

Meet Santa at the Colonial! Tickets are free but MUST be picked up in advance at any PFB&T branch. Movie to be announced.

BILLY KELLY AND THE BLAH, BLAH, BLAHS
Tickets: $8.50. All ages. 60 min.
Sat, Dec 10 @ 2:00 pm

Billy Kelly is a guy with a guitar and shoes and a nose and a new CD called “The Family Garden” and a couch and other stuff. Jeff Bogle from Out with the Kids called it “… an alluring pastiche of Americana, ragtime, & B-52s.” His songs are humorous as well as funny. Speaking of his songs, his song “People Really Like Milk” from his CD “Thank You for Joining the Happy Club” went to #1 on the SIRIUS/XM Satellite Radio channel “Kids Place Live”! (Please don’t mention this to his other songs.) National Public Radio said that Billy has “an endearingly oddball since of humor,” but sadly they did not say anything about his sense of smell, which is pretty good too. Billy Kelly’s live performances feature sing-alongs, dance-alongs, yell-alongs, and snowman-alongs, among other types of ‘alongs’ too numerous to enumerate here. This will be Billy’s third performance at the Colonial and we’re thrilled to have him back, along with his full band!

A CHRISTMAS STORY
Directed by Bob Clark. US. 1983. 6+. 98 min. Warner Bros. Blu ray.
Sponsored by Konell Insurance
Sat, Dec 17 @ 2:00 pm

“A Christmas Story grasps the full scope of childhood injustice and obsession. Amid the comically cranky Santa Clauses and tree-lighting mishaps, the movie’s key moment is a Billingsley crying jag, prompted by a fight with the neighborhood bully and the fear that his dad will clobber him. The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, butspecifically to director Bob Clark and writer Jean Shepherd’s awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day–and a surprising moment of parental grace–can ease a troubled mind.” (Noel Murray, The Onion A.V. Club)

THE POLAR EXPRESS
Directed by Robert Zemeckis. US. 2004. 8+. 95 min. Warner Bros. Blu ray.
Wed, Dec 28 @ 4:00 pm

“The Polar Express is a movie for more than one season; it will become a perennial, shared by the generations. It has a haunting, magical quality because it has imagined itsworld freshly and played true to it, sidestepping all the tiresome Christmas cliches that children have inflicted on them this time of year. The conductor tells Hero Boy he thinks he really should get on the train, and I have the same advice for you.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times)


DOCUMENTARIES


PAGE ONE: A YEAR INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES
Directed by Andrew Rossi. US. 2011. R. 88 min. Magnolia Pictures. 35mm.
Sun, Nov 6 @ 4:30 pm

“It’s not quite the same thrill as glimpsing the man behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz, but for journalism junkies, the fascination of Page One: Inside The New York Times is something like that. Granted unprecedented permission to hang out for a year at the Manhattan headquarters of one of the world’s most important and influential newspapers, documentary filmmaker Andrew Rossi found what journalism folks call a good lede: He positions his story at the intersection of how the Times, as an institution, is adapting to the rapidly changing world of Internet-era journalism and how the paper, as a beehive of reporters andeditors, is covering that same rapidly changing world during an era of revenue loss and budget tightening. (There’s been a change of top editors since the movie’s completion.) Among the handful of reporters and editors Rossi follows closely, he finds his human- interest peg in the person of media columnist David Carr, a colorful, unconventionally mediagenic character with a salty conversational style and a great backstory (seasoned newshound, former addict, devoted Times man). (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY
Directed by Constance Marks. US. 2011. NR. 80 min. Submarine Entertainment. blu ray.
Sun, Nov 20 @ 4:30 pm

The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. The film traces Kevin Clash’s rise from his modest beginnings in Baltimore to his current success as the man behind Elmo, one of the world’s most recognizable and adored characters. Millions of children tune in daily to watch Elmo, yet when Kevin walks down the street he is not recognized. Pivotal to the film is the exploration of Jim Henson’s meteoric rise, and Kevin’s ultimate achievement of his goal to become part of the Henson family of puppeteers. In addition to puppeteering Elmo, Mr. Clash is arguably the creative force behind today’s Sesame Street, producing, directing and traveling around the globe training other puppeteers. Includes interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Carroll Spinney, Joan Ganz Cooney, Marty Robinson, Fran Brill, and Bill Barretta.
Can’t get enough of the Muppets? Join us on Sat, Nov 26 at 2PM for a screening of the original Muppet Movie (1979).


FIRST FRIDAY FRIGHT NIGHT & CULT CINEMA


THE WARRIORS
Directed by Walter Hill. US. 1979. R. 92 min. Paramount. 35mm.
Tickets: $6 - $9
Fri, Oct 21 @ 9:45 pm

“A moody, eccentric take on the classic Homeric premise of a hero’s journey home. The Warriors opens with delegates from all the NYC street gangs summoned to a single place for a speech by a messianic leader.Shortly after the speaker calls for the gangs to unite to terrorize the populace, he’s shot by crazed hoodlum David Patrick Kelly, who immediately fingers the Coney Island gang The Warriors for the crime. With all the city’s gangs after them, plus the police, the accused street toughs have to negotiate the subway system and enemy turf, where thugs like the Baseball Furies and the lesbianLizzies await them. One of the few tailor-made cult movies that deserves its cult, The Warriors has a rich pulpy atmosphere that seems sprung from a lurid comic book, even if Hill’s new version didn’t put such a fine point on it.” (Scott Tobias, The Onion A.V. Club) We’ll be screening the original theatrical release, not the 2005 director’s cut.

NIGHTBREED
Directed by Clive Barker. US. 1990. R. 102 min. Private Collector. 35mm.
Sponsored by EB Art Guide
Tickets: $6 - $9
Fri, Nov 4 @ 9:45 pm

“Barker followed up the success of Hellraiser with this flawed but ambitious horror/fantasy epic about the underground city ofMidian, where monsters hide from the persecution of humans. Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg), a psychologist who moonlights as a masked serial killer, brainwashes a patient named Boone into thinking he’s the killer. A monster-obsessed psychotic leads Boone to Midian for asylum. As luck would have it, Boone is actually a monster who’s destined both bring the downfall of Midian and lead the refugees to a new home. Unfortunately, the immigration never happens on-screen because the movie and book were panned as trilogiesthat never materialized. There is a great deal to admire in this movie, especially the detail put into the numerous monster extras. Barker wanted this to be “the Star Wars of horror” so he actually wrote back stories for each creature. When I was fifteen, this was the greatest movie ever made.” (Bryan Theiss, The Scarecrow Movie Guide)

MST3K: MANOS – THE HANDS OF FATE
Directed by Harold Warren. US. 1966. NR. 93 min. Best Brains. DVD.
Fri, Nov 11 @ 9:45 pm
Tickets: $6 - $9

Have you quested for the fabled “WORST FILM EVER MADE?” Fear not, fellow MSTies, for Dr. Clayton Forrester claims to have found it and is subjecting Joel and the bots to Manos: The Hands of Fate in this experiment. Considered one of the most popular episodes of MST3K, the mere mention of this experiment by cast members at conventions brings thunderous applause. The ever creepy Torgo is our host during this trip through the mad machinations of The Master and his wealth of undead brides! Can Joel keep his sanity? Join us at The Colonial Theatre and find out! (Chuck Francisco)

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT
Directed by Charles Sellier, Jr. US. 1984. R. 79 min. Private Collection. 35mm.
Sponsored by EB Art Guide
Tickets: $6 - $9
Fri, Dec 2 @ 9:45 pm

“[When it came out in 1984] angry mothers who objected to the film’s decidedly un-Norman Rockwell portrait of the Yuletide season came out of the woodwork to protest its very existence. Here was a film with an eye-catching (and even still admittedly iconic) ad campaign featuring Santa’s ax-clutching arm sticking out of a snow-laced chimney. Even worse, it featured not one, but two deranged men in red fat-suits raping and slashing their way through a winter wonderland before being shot down by cops in front of an orphanage of wide-eyed cherubs. Perhaps most outlandishly, the audience is meant to identify (or at the very least empathize) with Billy, the screwed-up kid who sees his parents raped and killed by the first “naughty” Santa and then grows up (and strappingly fine) to become a deranged serial killer himself come Christmastime. As it was made in the locked-down ’80s, the controversy was not too surprising. (Also indicative of the conservative times it was created in: the violence is kept to a bare minimum.) But lost in thecontroversy is the film’s unmistakably savage (and sadly archetypal) presentation of women’s death scenes, which are distressingly juxtaposed with the exposure of their breasts in a manner that implicates their sexuality with their “naughtiness,” or original sin as it were. This was obviously not new territory for the slasher genre, mind you, but Silent Night, Deadly Night brought the idea to new levels of cold sleaziness.” (Eric Henderson, SlantMagazine.com)

DIE HARD
Directed by John McTiernan. US. 1988. R. 131 min. Fox. 35mm.
Tickets: $6 - $9
Fri, Dec 30 @ 9:45 pm

“Bruce Willis is an action hero with jet lag on Christmas Eve, caught in an office building taken over by terrorists, wearing no shoes. He sneaks around, walks over broken glass, and picks off bad guys one by one, like Alien in reverse. But he’s also a cynical smart-ass as he talks to himself, the terrorists over their walkie-talkies, or to the one cop (Vel Johnson) who knows what’s going on inside the building. The humor goes over well because it is the type that that people use to get through stressful ordeals more than it is formulaic punning and one-liners. Watching it now there are certainly dated elements (you have to enjoy the limo driver blasting Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”) but it holds up surprisingly well for a movie so imitated that it has become a genre of its own.” (Bryan Theiss, The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide)

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