Blog Archives

PIX Flix Spotlight on the Board: The Sound of Music

September is a great time to gather the family together and come to PIX Flix, in Historic Downtown Waukesha! We are thrilled to bring The Sound of Music back to the PIX Theatre, now the home of the Waukesha Civic Theatre, on Monday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m.!  I say “back,” because, while I wasn’t able to find historical proof, I feel certain this film must have been shown at what is now our amazing community theatre, back in 1965, when it was first released by 20th Century Fox.  The film, which debuted in sold out theatres around the country for over a month, was produced and directed by Robert Wise and stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  The film was adapted from the musical, and two new songs were written just for the movie, “I Have Confidence,” and “Something Good.”  Becoming an instant hit, it is no wonder this stunning film won five Oscars at the 38th Academy Awards!

Influenced by other successful movies of the day, such as Camelot, Mary Poppins, and Cinderella (all of which also starred Julie Andrews) the screenwriter, Ernest Lehman, used artistic license to convey the meaning and essence of the times in Salzburg, just as the Nazis were gaining power.  A small amount of historic exploration will uncover many ways that opulence and pageantry, which were not historically accurate, were employed to draw the audience deeper into the unfolding story and to create a visual masterpiece.  In reality, the von Trapps did not live in a mansion or play in the hills of Salzburg and the home they lived in was not actually their ancestral home, as is depicted in the movie.  However, the visual backdrop of the movie we have come to know and love is enchanting and it is almost impossible to imagine the story without it.

Then there is the music!  Who of us has not grown up with “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “So Long Farewell,” and “Climb Every Mountain,” as part of our own personal soundtracks?  My family had such a thrill sharing these songs and the film with the next generation that our daughter was cast as Brigitta von Trapp in Waukesha Civic Theatre’s 2014 production of the musical!  These songs will forever be in our hearts.

We hope you will take this opportunity to bring your families, young and old, to see the cinematic treasure The Sound of Music at the Waukesha Civic Theatre on the big screen on Monday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m.  Always a value, our PIX Flix films are still only $5 per ticket and of course, we have popcorn and refreshments available too!  While you’re there, pick up an A.C.T. (Academy at Civic Theatre) brochure and discover all the amazing educational opportunities that await at our own community theatre, WCT.  You will also be able to find a calendar for our 63rd season Mainstage productions – the first of which, The Little Prince, opens September 13, 2019.  Mainstage Season Ticket Packages are available now and the lineup is outstanding!  We will also present Bad Seed, Elf the Musical, Come Back, Big Fish, Silent Sky, and The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes this season, in addition to many Random Acts of Entertainment!  We look forward to seeing you at the Theatre.

 

 

Jenny Erato

Board Director

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Spotlight On The Board: Thoroughly Modern Millie

My family has been patiently waiting for the Waukesha Civic Theatre to present the musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie for a long time! As the first show my husband and­ I saw on Broadway (with the Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster in 2003), it immediately became a favorite! When our four-year-old daughter started tap dance lessons, we could not wait to show her the movie that the musical was based on. At the ripe old age of 6 years old, we treated her to the tap-dancing, mad-cap antics of Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore featured in the 1967 film, also starring the recently deceased Carol Channing. Finally, bringing everything full circle, the same daughter, now sixteen years old, just finished her sophomore winter musical as Millie Dillmount in Catholic Memorial High School’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. We are thrilled that our own cultural cornerstone, Waukesha Civic Theatre, is able to introduce a new generation of theatre lovers to this classic story of determination, perseverance, and, of course, love!

A spoof set in New York City at the height of the roaring twenties, the musical introduces the audience to Millie, a “modern,” who comes from small town Kansas and plans to marry her boss at a job she hasn’t yet found. The situations she and her friends get caught up in at the Hotel Priscilla, their temporary residence, are somehow shocking and hilarious at the same time, eventually leading Millie, Dorothy, Jimmy, and Ching Ho to discover the true meaning of love.   Along the way, the group encounters flappers, speakeasies, a villainess-involved in kidnapping, and time in jail. All this, combined with a powerful score and explosive tap numbers, promises an evening of entertainment that will leave you grinning!

If you saw Gypsy at the Waukesha Civic Theatre in 2016, you will be thrilled to know the amazing actress who played Gypsy Rose Lee, Megan Miller, is starring as Millie Dillmount in this show! Audiences will once again be wowed by her talent!

Thank you for coming, and enjoy the show!

 

 

Jenny Erato

Board Of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Mary Poppins

I love the penguins. There, I said it. How could you not? They are as enamored with Mary as we are and can hardly contain their joy at being around her. Soon we will have a sequel to Mary Poppins, starring none-other than Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I have read that the penguins will be back! This makes me happy. It makes me happy that Disney is working to stay true to the whimsy and joy that is Mary Poppins.

I grew up on this movie, it was released the year I was born, no I won’t tell you which year that was, and I remember being spellbound as Julie Andrews (the ONLY Mary Poppins there will ever be for me) and Dick Van Dyke frolicked around, above and literally IN the streets and sidewalks of London. It introduced me to the city of London, and to this day, it is my favorite city in the world!

Mary Poppins received a total of 13 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture – a record for any other film released by Walt Disney Studios – and won five; Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Cher-ee”. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Mary Poppins is widely considered to be Walt Disney’s crowning live-action achievement, his only film to gain a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars in his lifetime. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for that entire last paragraph.)

But it isn’t just the music and the visual effects that make this a must-see on the big screen. The story addresses a range of situations and emotions relevant in today’s world: Parents distracted by careers, social activism, the need for civility and manners and so much more. But unlike productions and movies of our current day, Mary Poppins doesn’t preach, nor does her main character apologize, cajole or bully.

Tie this together with a spoonful of sugar and you have a classic that should not be missed. Take a break from the summer heat, enjoy the beauty of the cool dark theater with your family and brush up on your non-sensicality. It is time to come see Mary Poppins – August 13 – 6:30 P.M.

 

Jane Klett

Board Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: The Drowsy Chaperone

In many ways, I am The Man In The Chair. As a child and young girl, I spent hours in our living room, ears glued to the speakers, listening to my mom and dad’s LPs, imaging the likes of Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, and Mary Martin as they gallivanted across the streets of London in My Fair Lady, rode the vaudeville circuit in Gypsy, and sang and danced on sugar sands in South Pacific! I could see them so clearly in my mind’s eye that it was as if they were right there with me in the room, performing just for me, thrilling me and making me laugh and cry, dance and sing! How can you NOT love a classic musical?!?!?

Welcome to The Drowsy Chaperone, where we all get to be The Man In The Chair! As a WCT board director and performer, I am constantly amazed and thrilled by the variety of theatre options the WCT brings to our community every season. From cutting edge drama like 33 Variations to the innumerable learning opportunities through ACAP, STEM Academy, and A.C.T. to family friendly classic movies with PIX Flix and more, WCT is truly a gem.  But I confess, deep down in my heart, my absolute favorites are the WCT musicals. No one does them better than WCT!

Our historic 60th season ends next month with Neil Simon’s Barefoot In The Park, as we look forward to our 61st season and your continued support. Without the generous support of our guests, we could not continue to provide these great services to the Waukesha community. Please consider a donation today to support our mission to provide quality live theatre performances and educational opportunities that will enrich, challenge, and entertain both participants and audience members for years to come.

 

Enjoy the Show!

 

 

Jane G. Klett

Board of Directors