To Kill A Mockingbird could easily borrow a line from Dickens that said… “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This cinematic classic is based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel about innocence, strength and conviction. Experience one of the most significant milestones in film history…nominated for 8 Academy Awards and starring screen legend Gregory Peck as courageous Southern lawyer Atticus Finch. Peck’s Academy Award winning performance was hailed by the American Film Institute as the greatest movie hero of all time.
There are so many life lessons to be taken from this classic story…from Scout’s perspectives on growing up as seen through adult eyes as Jean Louise narrates the story. It truly is “the best of times” as we witness the adventures of Scout, Jem and Dill and they dare to discover the legend of Boo Radley. Through Atticus’ wisdom the children learn that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”
As the story develops “the worst of times” is portrayed when an angry mob attempts to take Tom Robinson from the safety of the jail…only to be stood down by Atticus and Scout in the end. The angry hatred and racism incited by Bob Ewell toward Tom Robinson leading up to and throughout the trial provide some intensely dramatic moments.
The highlight of my 40 plus year community theatre acting career has to be delivering Atticus’ closing argument monologue in defense of Tom Robinson. Very powerful and emotional even now as I reflect on that scene.
This is one of my personal all time favorite movies. However, my affection for the movie begins with the classic novel and stage play. As I pen this blog I am drinking coffee from a mug that says…
What would Atticus do?
A present from the young actress who played Scout onstage at WCT in November 2016. It was truly a blessing and honor to portray Atticus finch with an amazing ensemble cast. I will always remember the final scene of the stage play when looking across the stage to see young Scout returning home from escorting Boo Radley and making brief eye contact with the adult Jean Louise as it becomes clear to her that Atticus knew that she was “already beginning to stand in other peoples’ shoes!”
Please join us on Monday, January 7 at 6:30 pm, sit back and enjoy every classic minute of this cinematic treasure as we present…
Board Of Directors
“O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills” ~ Walt Whitman
Dead Poets Society is our third PIX Flix in our 61st season! Robin Williams called this one of his favorite performances of all time: “it had some sort of amazing… there’s something in that movie that affected people beyond just a movie.” Join us as we help celebrate his legacy! Get inspired by joining us for this extraordinary film on September 25th at 6:30 pm! Tickets are $5 for everyone – you won’t find a better deal than that!
As in all his roles, Robin Williams lent a certain genius to this film. Playing a new English teacher, John Keating, he sets out to encourage his students to cast aside normality and chart their own course through life. Learning of his colorful past, his students resurrect the unsanctioned Dead Poets Society, and sneak off to explore their own individuality. What follows is a foray you won’t want to miss!
“The poem by Henry David Thoreau that is featured on the front page of the poetry book Neil receives is not an original poem by Thoreau. Rather, it is a rearrangement of sentences from his work “Where I Lived,” Chapter Two from his seminal work, Walden.” ~IMDb
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, …” ~Henry David Thoreau
Dead Poets Society won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Tom Schulman). Peter Weir received a nomination for Best Director and the film itself was nominated for Best Picture of 1989. Robin Williams received his second Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination and it has since been widely recognized as one of the actor/comedian’s best roles. It also won the BAFTA Award for Best Film.
For only $5, join us on September 25th to celebrate the legacy of Robin Williams, Tom Schulman, poetic inspiration, and our 61st season all at once! See you at the PIX!
WCT Board Secretary
“Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
Come join us on Monday, July 31st at 6:30 pm for the classic movie-musical, West Side Story! Set against a backdrop of two warring teenage gangs on the streets of New York City in the 1950s, this musical re-telling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet opened on Broadway on September 26, 1957. Racial tensions against a growing immigrant population from Puerto Rico fuel the feud between the Sharks, a gang of Puerto Rican immigrants, and the Jets, a gang of Americans. Caught in the crossfire are the star-crossed lovers: Tony and Maria. While at a school dance, Tony and Maria meet, falling in love at first sight. However, their love is ill-fated as Tony is a former Jet and Maria is the sister of the Sharks’ leader, Bernardo.
The story unfolds as told through the dialogue by author Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Together, the team created some of the most beautiful and recognizable songs in Broadway history, including, “Something’s Coming,” “Maria”, “Tonight,” “America,” and “I Feel Pretty.”
A film adaptation of the musical was released in 1961, starring Natalie Wood as Maria and Rita Moreno as Anita. West Side Story went on to win 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Musical Score. Jerome Robbins received a special Academy Award for his choreography.
To this day, West Side Story remains a favorite in the theatre community. What better way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of West Side Story than to see the film at the Waukesha Civic Theatre on Monday, July 31st at 6:30 pm? Tickets are only $5!
No movie may be more nostalgic of the 80’s than E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. I’d like to welcome you to enjoy our presentation of the April PIX Flix feature on Monday, April 10th. This was one of my favorite movies growing up. What could be more intriguing to kids both young and old than the mystery of a young boy befriending an alien from another planet?
From the moment this movie starts, it captures your imagination and relates it all to a young boy with an older know-it-all brother and talkative younger sister. This younger sister was the breakout performance to none other than Drew Barrymore.
A set around the fall season and Halloween adds to this timeless adventure. The whole story is pulled together by the continued breathtaking music compilations by John Williams. John Williams has been nominated for 50 academy awards and won 5 for iconic movies like Star Wars and Jaws, including one for this very movie.
This movie has everything a good family movie should have. There are emotional ups and downs along the way, but it remains one of the most touching family friendly movies of all time. So please join us with your whole family for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on Monday, April 10th, and don’t forget the popcorn!
Don’t Be A Grinch … Come See The Grinch!
By now you are all most likely aware of our new PIX Flix movie series, where we have brought the Silver Screen back to the PIX one Monday every month. We are half way through our second season of the series, and our next movie makes me giddy. It is no secret that I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of year, and I love, love, love, love, love holiday movies. I’m hoping to get a full house for our December movie, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, and more. This is easily one of my all-time favorite holiday movies, and I can watch it over and over.
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss and the original 1966 cartoon TV special narrated by Boris Karloff, the movie brings the wonderful world of the Whos to life. Ron Howard directed the movie, which has become the second highest-grossing holiday film of all time with over $345 million worldwide. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
And of course there’s Jim Carrey.
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Jim Carrey’s 100% commitment to every role he plays. When Mr. Carrey first started having success on the big screen I was not amused. I didn’t understand what the buzz was about, but I saw every film he was in. Perhaps begrudgingly, but I saw it. Over time I grew to appreciate his genius, and now he is one of my favorite actors of all time. His ability to completely transform himself, both vocally and physically, is a wonder to behold. And his Grinch is pure brilliance.
I love quoting the Grinch. I’m no Jim Carrey, but it sure is fun to imitate him. This is my usual go-to:
The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?
The movie’s soundtrack is loaded with fun, funny, and sentimental songs, including “Green Christmas,” “Christmas Of Love,” “Better Do It Right,” and “Perfect Christmas Night.” And of course, Carrey’s inspired version of the classic “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is spectacular. These songs are in my personal holiday music playlist and always make me smile when they start to play.
The movie will be on Monday, December 19th at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5 each, and we have concessions (including popcorn!) and bar service. It would be a great night for everyone that loves WCT to gather just before the holiday to celebrate this incredible organization, each other, a very fun and funny movie, and our NEW SCREEN and PROJECTOR!!!!! I’m hoping that we can get 200, or MORE, of our key supporters and participants to come see this movie. You can fully experience our projector and screen, purchased and installed a little over a year ago thanks to the generous donations we have received for our Spotlight On The Future Campaign. (It’s never too late to give to the campaign, or give again to the campaign. We are at 47% of our total goal). You can buy tickets online or at the box office by phone, email, fax or in person. Get your tickets early so you are sure to have a seat! I’ll see you then, if not before!
Managing Artistic Director
PS – click here to check out the rest of our PIX Flix series!
“I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.” – Jefferson Smith
Waukesha Civic Theatre’s next PIX Flix presentation is Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, starring James Stewart, Claude Rains, and Jean Arthur, and directed by Frank Capra.
“Aah, he’ll never get started. I’ll make public opinion out there within five hours! I’ve done it all my life. I’ll blacken this punk so that he’ll – You leave public opinion to me. Now, Joe, I think you’d better go back into the Senate and keep those Senators lined up.” – Jim Taylor
When it premiered in 1939, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington was a widely celebrated, highly controversial film. The story of idealistic everyman Jefferson Smith, who is temporarily appointed to the United States Senate only to find it filled with corruption, has inspired audiences for over seventy-five years.
“You can’t count on people voting, half the time they don’t vote, anyway.” – Senator Joseph Paine
Politics may seem inescapable at times, but this film still speaks to audiences today. Neither the Republican nor Democrat parties are ever mentioned or even hinted at on screen, and at the time of its release, it was both lauded for its patriotism and decried as pro-communist and anti-American. Washington insiders hated it, but fascist states in Europe banned it for fear that it showed that democracy worked.
“This is the most titanic battle of modern times. A David without even a slingshot rises to do battle against the mighty Goliath, the Taylor machine, allegedly crooked inside and out.” – Diz Moore
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, one of the great films of 1939 (a prestigious company that includes classics such as The Wizard Of Oz, Gone With The Wind, Stagecoach, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips), was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, ultimately winning for Best Original Story. It made the American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list, ranking at number 26, and it is widely considered one of Frank Capra’s best films.
“Because of just one, plain, simple rule: Love thy neighbor. And in this world today, full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust.” – Jefferson Smith
For only $5, join us at 6:30 on Monday, November 7th for this classic American film. And don’t forget to vote!
WE’RE HAVIN’ A HEAT WAVE!!!
Come see Marilyn Monroe in the number that scandalized Ed Sullivan and celebrate the end of summer at Waukesha Civic Theatre’s PIX Flix – There’s No Business Like Show Business – September 19 at 6:30 pm!
This 1954 musical/comedy – highlighting the genius of composer Irving Berlin- is a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood greats, staring Ethel Merman, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Marilyn Monroe, Dan Daily and Richard Eastman. If you love laughter, singing and musical dance numbers (…and who doesn’t?!) this is a MUST SEE!
Waukesha Civic Theatre is celebrating its 60th season of bringing great entertainment to Waukesha, and it is not hard to imagine PIX theater patrons of the past filling the seats to watch this movie spectacle unfold in Fox’s first musical in Cinema Scope and DeLuxe Color!!! Come join the tradition!
Based on a story by Lamar Trotti, There’s No Business Like Show Business follows the family of Terry and Molly Donahue (Dan Dailey and Ethel Merman) as they shepherd their brood of three (Johnie Ray, Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O’Connor) through the ups and downs of vaudeville life. The film is a tribute to the power of a loving family and is chock full of romance, comedic intrigue, dancing, music and a plethora of show girls (and boys). Fans of the golden age of Hollywood will not want to miss this gem with musical numbers: “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and, of course, the film’s namesake sung by Ethel Merman herself. Everything about it is appealing!!
Although it received lukewarm reviews when first released, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards and Donald O’Connor later called it the best picture he ever made.
Make it your business to come see There’s No Business Like Show Business, September 19 at 6:30 pm See you there!!
WCT Board Director