Welcome to The Hunchback Of Notre Dame! This production at Waukesha Civic Theatre is truly a must-see “TV” (Theatrical Venue) event. This is an amazing institution that showcases local talent in quality shows, and I am proud to be on the Board of Directors. Do not miss other sell-out performances this season! We have some great productions yet to come.
We have an amazing array of entertainment and involvement opportunities all year round: Mainstage, Random Acts, A.C.T., Friday Night Live, PIX Flix, our community partnerships such as ACAP, and Waukesha Reads, and a host of special events. You can be involved on and off stage! So whether you can pound a nail, sing a solo, teach kids, focus a light, or just have a passion for the arts, there are plenty of ways to get involved. I encourage you to speak to any board member about being part of this community.
In the original work, Victor Hugo expressed his passions for maintaining a reverence for the achievements of a society in transition. Today, live theater stands in stark contrast to the bite-sized hand held electronic entertainment that consumes so much of our modern era. And this live experience does not exist without performers and patrons who have a passion for the arts. Please come join us in that important community expression.
See you at the Theatre!
Board of Directors
In a 2013 interview, Mandy Patinkin confessed that his favorite line in The Princess Bride is not the immortal words of his character, Inigo Montoya: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you keeled my father, prepare to die.” Rather, Patinkin’s favorite quote comes from the end of the story, when the heroes are escaping the castle, and Inigo prepares to jump from the window to ride off on one of four magnificent white horses. He pauses and says to Wesley: “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”
To Patinkin, this is what it is all about. “The purpose of revenge is completely worthless and pointless and the purpose of existence is to embrace our fellow human being … and turn our darkness into light.”
In today’s world of cynicism, political strife, and discord, Patinkin’s words were never truer. I own multiple copies of The Princess Bride and have seen it, beginning to end, at least 30 times, and yet, if I happen upon it while channel surfing, I immediately stop and luxuriate in the perfection of this movie. It is a classic. A movie that knows what it is. Perfectly cast, beautifully filmed, heartwarming, irreverent, hilarious, and imminently quotable, The Princess Bride is like a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold day.
The beauty of this film is that it is familiar and fresh all at the same time. The story lines are ones we know: a grandfather spending time with his grandson; a son avenging his father; miracles; and, of course, true love. But the movie is intertwined with such joy, humor and unexpected quips, that it surprises and never gets old. No matter our age, gender, background, or mood, The Princess Bride is always the perfect fit.
I first saw The Princess Bride the year it was released (1987). Just a year out of college, it charmed me and made me laugh. Years later, I introduced it to my soon-to-be-husband who immediately fell under its spell. When our children came along, it became a family night favorite and, as they have grown, the jokes have become funnier, the subtle humor more appreciated and the lines more quotable. On more than one occasion I quoted Miracle Max as they headed out of the house “Have fun stormin’ the castle!”
When released, The Princess Bride was not a blockbuster hit. It wasn’t until release on VCR that it truly hit its stride and became popular. It is now universal. Test this yourself. Ask people you know what their favorite line is from The Princess Bride. You will be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t have a quote or who hasn’t seen the film. In a 2012 interview in New York Magazine, Patinkin said that his most famous line from gets quoted back to him by at least two or three strangers every day of his life. Patinkin told the interviewer that he loves hearing the line and he also loves the general fact that he got to be in “The Wizard Of Oz of our generation.” What an apt description. Like The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride is a celebration of storytelling! So let’s celebrate its 30th anniversary at the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s PIX Flix on Monday, November 13, 2017 – 6:30 pm.
What’s MY favorite quote? Meet me at the Theatre on the 13th, and I’ll let you know!
Gotta get back in time…
What were you doing in 1985? And if Doc Brown pulled up in a DeLorean right now, would you go back?
Back To The Future was the highest-grossing film that year, and remains one of my favorite movies. Who can forget Marty, Lorraine, George, and Biff? Huey Lewis in an adorable cameo role? A space alien who likes Eddie Van Halen? And a young, confused Calvin Klein?
Join me at the PIX to relive this classic comedy about time travel, rock and roll, and young love on the big screen.
Your popcorn is on me if you say “You’re my density!” at the concession stand. See you at the PIX!
“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!
Vertigo is a 1958 American crime film. It is a romantic story of obsession, manipulation, fear, suspense and mystery all wrapped around twisted human psychology. The versatility and genre befuddled audiences of 1958. “Dolly zoom,” zooming a zoom lens to adjust the angle of the view toward or away from the subject created a continuous perspective of distortion. It was a technique used to increase the drama in a scene.
Hitchcock actually pulled Vertigo out of circulation in 1973. It wasn’t until 1980 that audiences saw it again and grew to appreciate it more. A digital restoration of the film in 1996 further returned it to its original glory.
The film was shot on location in San Francisco, California and Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Scottie’s apartment is one block downhill from the “crookedest street in the world”. The Mission San Juan Bastista is a real place. Madelaine jumps into the sea at Fort Point, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The views of San Francisco and surrounding area are beautiful. The step back in time with the classic automobiles of the 1950’s is dramatic.
In 1989 Vertigo was recognized as a “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” film by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in the first year of the registry voting. As of 2016, on Rotten Tomatoes the film has a “certified fresh” rating of 97%.
What better place to watch this film, considered to be one of Hitchcock’s best, if not THE best, than the big screen at the Waukesha Civic Theatre?
Take a look for yourself and decide whether or not Vertigo is the greatest Hitchcock film of all time. Don’t leave yourself hanging in suspense (like poor Scottie).
Also, don’t forget, Hitchcock appears somewhere in all of his films. Will you spot him?
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!
Next month, on Monday, March 20th, we bring Mr. Holland’s Opus back to the big screen. Friends, bring tissues.
Glenn Holland is a composer who wants to write the great American symphony. Instead he grinds out a career teaching high school music for decades to children of widely varying attitude and aptitude, while fighting his administration for funding and appreciation.
At home he’d love nothing more than to share his love of music with his only child, but tragedy strikes and his son is born deaf. Along with this heartbreak, Holland’s stubbornness causes him to estrange himself from the boy for years.
Michael Kamen was so moved by his experience composing for this movie that afterward he founded the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org) to “[keep] music alive in our schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs nationwide.”
Richard Dreyfuss gives us yet another Oscar and Golden Globe nominated performance in this modern family classic, with an ending evocative of It’s a Wonderful Life.
Please join me on Monday, March 20th for the feel-good movie of 1995. I’m not crying – you are!
Put Monday, February 13 at 6:30 p.m. on your calendar to join my wife Dawn and me at the Waukesha Civic Theatre to see one of my all-time favorite films – Casablanca for only $5.00. Critic Leonard Maltin considers it to be “the best Hollywood movie of all time.”
It stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, in his first truly romantic role and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund which her website calls her “most famous and enduring role.” Critic Roger Ebert called her “luminous” and her chemistry with Bogart: “she paints his face with her eyes.”
Casablanca has some of the most famous lines ever! Watching today’s news, an anchor said they “rounded up the usual suspects” which Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault says twice to great effect.
One of the best final lines in any movie, “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” was added a month after shooting ended. Other famous Bogart lines are: “We’ll always have Paris,” and “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Personally I love when Renault says, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling’s going on here” and then’s told, “Your winnings, sir.” I also love when Bogart tells the head Nazi, “Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”
So come see why Casablanca, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, won Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay at the 1943 Academy Awards and includes the iconic theme song, “As Time Goes By” sung by Dooley Wilson. Then you should watch Woody Allen’s 1972 film, Play It Again Sam, which Bogart never actually says.
I guarantee you’ll enjoy seeing it on the big Civic screen – “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” How many films offer comedy, romance, suspense, and the fifth most memorable line in cinema – Rick’s toast to Ilsa, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” which Bogey said to Bergman as he taught her poker between takes.
Waukesha Civic Theatre Board Director
This exciting film did not come without its dangers, however. The original Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen, reacted to the makeup and had to be replaced. The aluminum powder makeup coated his lungs, causing him to be hospitalized and the makeup team to switch to an aluminum paste over a layer of clown white. Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch Of The West, suffered second degree burns when the grease in her makeup caught fire during a Munchkinland scene. They had to fully remove the makeup before treating her burns. After six weeks in the hospital, she returned to finish filming.