Local Theater Watch


— Ryan Beltram, EDN

With award season officially over after last week’s Oscars, it’s time to focus on the movie coming out this year. The Bijou has three films debuting this week: a classic from the 1950s, a documentary about politics and funk; and a UK thriller about contract killing. Quite the eclectic group of films eh?

Sunset Boulevard: Drama – 1950 – 110 Min – Not Rated. Starts on Thursday, Mar. 8 at 4 pm.

I'm Ready for my Close up.

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, this Billy Wilder classic stars William Holden and Gloria Swanson as two Hollywood performers; him the struggling screenwriter and her the fading actress. After his car breaks down in front of a rundown mansion, Joe Gillis (Holden) gets curious and pokes around. He discovers Norma Desmond (Swanson) has been living there for years following her demise in the movie industry.

Desperate for work and money, Joe agrees to stay with Norma and write a script that will get her back into show business. But his optimism quickly deteriorates as he realizes that the old woman is beyond repair. Living in seclusion and without anyone but her butler, Norma has gone mad. The only thing keeping her from ending it all is the hope that she will one day be relevant again in Hollywood.

Despite being more than 60 years old, Sunset Boulevard remains the best film about hollywood ever made. At times thrilling and at others satirical, the film never crosses the line into melodrama. The film works as a noir, a black comedy or a drama. Sunset Boulevard is also timeless. Everything in it is as relevant today as it was in 1950. Will we be able to say that about the movies of today in 60 years?

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone: Documentary – 2010 – 107 Min – Not Rated. Starts on Thursday, Mar. 8 at 6:30 pm.

Tackling such issues as race, politics and history, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone is not your typical music documentary. Following the band Fishbone, the film chronicles the band’s rise to fame during the 1980s when economic and racial tensions were high.

Hoping to break down the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation, Fishbone used their unconventional mix of punk and funk to create a new genre of music.

Featuring interviews with musicians like Gwen Stefani, Ice-T and George Clinton, Sunshine traces the band’s history, influence and struggle to stay relevant in an industry that focusing on hot new acts.

Following the screening of the film on Thursday, the Cinema Pacific Filmmaker Dialogues series will present a Q&A with co-director Chris Metzler.

Kill List: Thriller – 2011 – 95 Min – Not Rated. Starts on Friday, Mar. 9 at 9:10 pm.

A Hitman and a Family Man.

Normally a contract killer in a film is portrayed as a badass or loner with personal issues. Kill List aims to take the character of a hitman and turn him into an ordinary  family man struggling to provide for his family.

Nearly a year after a botched hit, Jay is desperate for money. A friend proposes three killings with the promise of a big payoff if successfully executed. As the pair begin to find their three targets, Jay finds himself distracted with issues at home and conflicted with a desire to be a good father to his son.

Despite a desire to change for the better, Jay becomes more violent and unstable following a discovery about one of the men he’s supposed to kill. The desire to be a father and husband providing for his family slowly unravels as he eventually realizes what he truly is.

Still Playing at the Bijou:

A Separation: Showing at 4:45 and 7:25 pm Thursday and Friday. Additional showing at 2 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Showing at 9 pm Thursday. Showing at 6:25 pm Friday-Sunday.

Nothing new this week at David Minor. But you still have time to catch these films still playing at the local cinema.

Moneyball: Showing at 7:15 pm Mar. 8-14.

Tower Heist: Showing at 9:30 pm Mar. 8-14.

50/50: Showing at 9:30 pm Mar. 8-14.

Midnight in Paris: Showing at 5:20 pm Mar. 8-14.

Drive: Showing at 5:20 pm Mar. 8-14.

The Rum Diary: Showing at 7:15 pm Mar. 8-14.

In local theater this week, The VLT debuts a play about two sleuths up to no good while the Upstart Crow Studios presents a famous tale about never wanting to grow up and the Hope Theatre showcases a story about fear and censorship.

On Friday, Mar. 9, the Very Little Theatre will begin its production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Based on the 1988 film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, Scoundrels follows two sly con men who make money by swindling ladies out of their money.

Don't Trust Them!

But while at a Casino near the French Riviera, the two thieves become aware of each other and they decide to make a deal: The first to get $50,000 out of a woman gets to stay in town, while the other has to leave.

This award-winning musical comedy and Broadway hit can be seen Mar. 9-11 this week. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 pm with tickets costing $18. The Sunday Matinee is at 2 pm. Tickets are $18 and $13 for seniors.

On Thursday, Mar. 8, you can see Hope Theatre’s presentation of The Crucible. Originally released as a novel written by Arthur Miller in 1952, the story is a dramatization of the notorious Salem Witch Trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay between 1692 and 1693.

Written during the hight of McCarthyism  when U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and the US government blacklisted accused communists. The Crucible acts as a parable to the anti-communist years when slander and censorship destroyed the lives of politicians, filmmakers and everyday people.

Though loosely based on the actual witch trials, the play follows a small community dealing with suspicions of witchcraft. Required reading in school, The Crucible is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago. It’s a story that engages Puritan history around the Salem Witch Trials as a reflection on current trends, exploring the kind of paranoia and fear of difference ultimately expressed in violence, censorship and speculation.

The Crucible can be seen Mar. 8-10 at 8 pm. The Sunday show is at 2 pm. Tickets are $14.

Those looking for something a little more light and childish can see Upstart Crow Studios’ production of Peter Pan. A timeless story of pirates, mermaids, crocodiles and pixie dust, Peter Pan brings out the kid in all of us.

One night after their parents go out for the evening, Wendy and John are awoken by a young boy who flies into their bedroom. Peter promises a world of adventure and no adults. The two children go with Peter to Neverland where they meet Peter’s Lost Boys.

But what starts out as fun and exciting soon turns somewhat dangerous as they encounter Peter’s arch nemesis Captain Hook. Now the children must not only help Peter in defeating Hook, but also find their way back home.

You have two more chances to see this Award-winning musical on Mar. 9 and 10 at 7 pm. Tickets are $10.

Plays still in Production:

Fahrenheit 451: Showing at the Lord Leebrick Theatre at 8 pm Mar. 8-11. Tickets are $16 to $22.

Avenue Q: Showing at the Actors Cabaret at 8 pm Mar. 9&10. Tickets are $16 to $27; $41.50 dinner and show.

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