After a run of 694 performances on Broadway during the 1955-1956 season, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof made it to the big screen in 1958, just in time for Elizabeth Taylor to get her second Best Actress Oscar nomination in two years. The film was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike and it received five additional Oscar nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Paul Newman); Best Director (Richard Brooks); Best Writing; Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Richard Brooks and James Poe); and Best Cinematography – Color (William Daniels).
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is truly an actor’s movie, and it is one of those rare films where every single actor is perfect.
Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor are both brilliant as Brick and Maggie. Not very often is there a screen couple that have the same chemistry together that they do. And those eyes! It is hard to say which of them had the most captivating eyes. Taylor and Newman were more than extraordinarily beautiful. She was an amazing actress, and he is arguably one of the greatest actors of all time. The relationship between Brick and Maggie is fascinating; full of confusion, betrayal, honesty, dishonesty, love, desire, and trust.
As Big Daddy, Burl Ives gives one of the best performances of his exceptional career. Jack Carson, Madeleine Sherwood, and Judith Anderson round out the cast as Gooper, Mae (Sister Woman), and Big Momma, and all deliver performances that are astoundingly memorable.
Tennessee Williams was reportedly unhappy with the screenplay, which removed almost all of the homosexual themes and diminished the original play’s critique of homophobia and sexism. But it is important to remember that the play and the film are two separate entities. The film is an adaptation, and they are not meant to be the same. They should be judged each on their own merit!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is one of the great pieces of 20th century American literature and cinema. It has some universal lessons we could all profit by in viewing it.
Managing Artistic Director
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!
May 28, 1910 – Rose married Jack Olaf Hovick at age 19
August 20, 1915 – Rose and Jack divorced, and June began performing in vaudeville at age 2 ½
May 26, 1916 – Rose married Judson Brennerman at age 25
December 1928 – June eloped with Bobby Reed (Weldon Hyde), a dancer in their vaudeville act, at age 16. Rose was 38. Louise was 17. June and Bobby both left the show. They later divorced.
January 1930 – Louise became Gypsy Rose Lee. She was 19 years old. Rose was 39 years old.
April 2, 1932 – June gave birth to April Hyde.
1935 – June married Donald S. Gibbs. They later divorced.
August 25, 1937 – Louise married Arnold “Bob” Mizzy. They later divorced.
1942 – Louise married William Alexander Kirkland. They divorced in 1944.
December 11, 1944 – Louise gave birth to Otto Preminger’s son, Erik Lee.
January 25, 1948 – June married William Spier. They remained married until William’s death in 1973.
1948 – Louise married Julio de Deigo. They later divorced.
1950s – April Hyde became an actress with the stage name April Kent.
1957 – Louise wrote and published her memoirs, titled Gypsy: A Memoir
1959 – The musical Gypsy: An American Fable premiered on Broadway with Ethel Merman as Rose
1962 – Gypsy was made into a movie with Rosalind Russel as Rose
April 26, 1970 – Louise died at age 59
December 28, 1998 – April Kent died
Have you ever been to the PIX to see a movie?
Please consider coming to see the award winning 1962 American biographical film The Miracle Worker on Monday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m.
The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 Broadway play which was based on the 1902 autobiography of Helen Keller called The Story of My Life.
Anne Bancroft won the Academy Award for Best Actress portraying the tutor Anne Sullivan and Patty Duke won the Award for Best Supporting Actress portraying the young Helen Keller, blind and deaf since infancy due to a severe case of scarlet fever.
The plot centers around a battle of wills as Anne breaks down Helen’s walls of silence and darkness through persistence, love, and sheer stubbornness.
The Miracle Worker holds a perfect 100% score from the movie critics site Rotten Tomatoes and is ranked #15 on the American Film Institute’s list of America’s Most Inspiring Movies.
Time Out London’s review said, “It’s a stunningly impressive piece of work…deriving much of its power from the performances. Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft spark off each other with a violence and emotional honesty rarely seen in the cinema lighting up each other’s loneliness, vulnerability, and plain fear.”
Patty Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, after which she devoted much of her life to advocating for and educating the public on mental health issues.
Since Patty Duke died this past March 29, what better way to honor her memory than coming to see the film that made her a star at 16 for the role that she had originated on Broadway?
WCT Board Director
The Academy at Civic Theatre proudly presents Annie JR. The classic Depression-era tale of the plucky young orphan girl with a bright outlook on the world comes to life on the Waukesha Civic Theatre stage this August. Annie, living in an orphanage run by the bitter Miss Hannigan, is determined to find her parents. When billionaire Oliver Warbucks invites her to spend Christmas in his mansion, Annie’s life changes as much as she changes the lives of those around her.
The Broadway Junior series, developed by Music Theatre International, features author-approved, shortened versions of classical musicals designed for younger performers. The cast of WCT’s production of Annie JR. are students of the theatre’s A.C.T. program, learning and growing as performers under the direction of Jes and Jacob Sudbrink. Annie JR. represents weeks of dedicated study and rehearsal.
Annie Jr. features all the classics from the original musical. The young performers bring well-loved songs like “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” and, of course, “Tomorrow” to life. So many students wished to be involved in the show that there are two casts, each performing twice. The Easy Street Cast performs August 1st at 7:30 p.m. and August 2nd a 2:00 p.m., while the NYC Cast performs August 2nd at 7:30 p.m. and August 3rd at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $6 for subscribers. For tickets or more information, please visit our website or call the box office at (262) 547-0708. Box office hours are 12-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.