Blog Archives

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Vertigo

Vertigo is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film.  It will make its Waukesha Civic Theatre debut on the big screen at 6:30 pm on May 1, 2017.

John “Scottie” Ferguson, played by James Stewart, is a retired San Francisco police detective with a case of acrophobia.  Madelaine, played by Kim Novak, is the lady who leads him to high places.

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?

Hope to see you May 1st!

Mary Dembinski

Board Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

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!

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: 33 Variations

Welcome to another jewel of the 60th Waukesha Civic Theatre season. You are in for another Civic treat. From the start of 33 Variations, you will be entranced by the phenomenal work of Ludwig van Beethoven.  Throughout the show, you will hear the works of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and follow the journey of a musicologist as she discovers the reason for 33 distinct variations on a waltz theme.

This unique play is like no other in that we get to enjoy classical music inside a personal journey around that music. The music in this play is often considered to be one of the greatest sets of variations for piano. This play holds a special place in my heart because of my musical background in playing in various symphonies through my younger years. While I didn’t have the opportunity to perform this specific variation since it was written for the piano, I did enjoy the other Beethoven pieces that I have played in the past. Since my primary instrument was bassoon, I will unfortunately not have the opportunity to play this variation. I do, however, get the pleasure and the honor to hear my wife practice and perform these Beethoven variations at home and while I watch this moving story unfold around the music.

Please enjoy this production of 33 Variations and tell your friends and family about the show.  We have many ticket packages to enjoy this and as many productions of Civic that interest you.  Please remember that we thrive on entertaining the community and the generosity of our civic family.

Richard Johnson

Treasurer

Board of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Mr. Holland’s Opus

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!

Penzkover Angela 2012Angela Penzkover

Board President

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Blithe Spirit

I’d like to welcome you to Blithe Spirit, the fourth Mainstage show of our historic 60th season. We are thrilled to present this classic play by Noël Coward! With such timeless opportunities for our local talent, I’m honored to be a member of the Board. Yet, surprisingly, there are still some people who don’t know of this entertainment gem centered right here on Main Street!

We have a plethora of different entertainment options running year-round! Between 135+ stage performances, 12 movies, 27 weeks of A.C.T. classes, 18 Friday Night Live concerts, countless hours of design, rehearsals, & construction (and so much more!), the Waukesha Civic Theatre is a bustling metropolis! Our special events – like the upcoming Festival Of Fools – provide entertaining and fun ways to support the theatre. And our education program even extends beyond our doors to teach kids in local schools. That’s right: we’re not just for actors! Whether you can pound a hammer, program a computer, alphabetize a file cabinet, or perform an aria, there are plenty of ways to get involved almost every day of every week. So spread the word!

You are also invited to join in celebrating the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s proud achievement of providing challenging, enriching, and entertaining opportunities for 60 HISTORIC SEASONS. Having reached this elite diamond status, we ask you to help us look to the future with your support. Without the generous support from our guests, we could not continue to provide these great services to the Waukesha County community and beyond. Please consider a donation today. Thank you!

I look forward to seeing you, and let me know what you think!

danner-jonathan-2010Jonathan Danner

Secretary

Board Of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Casablanca

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.

Nelson Larry 2011

 

Larry Nelson

Waukesha Civic Theatre Board Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: For Purely Elfish Reasons

The Waukesha Civic Theatre is a hidden gem right here in historic downtown! I’d like to welcome you to For Purely Elfish Reasons, the third Mainstage show of our historic 60th season. We are thrilled to present this new gem, by local playwright Jason Powell! Opportunities like this are one of the things that make WCT’s quality, live entertainment not just another night at the theatre. With such a wonderful, professional venue for our local talent, I’m honored to be a member of the Board. Yet, surprisingly, there are still some people who don’t know of this entertainment gem centered right here on Main Street! Please spread the word about our very own cultural cornerstone!

Between the Mainstage, Random Acts, A.C.T., Friday Night Live, Special Events, and our community partnerships with ACAP, the STEM Academy, Waukesha Reads, and others, we have a plethora of different entertainment options running year-round! Our special events – such as Festival Of Fools in April – provide entertaining and fun ways to support the theatre. We also have outreach programs like anti-bullying workshops, the Civic Broadway Singers, the Civic Senior Players, and many more! Our theatre arts education program offers classes at WCT and extends beyond our doors to teach kids in local schools. Likewise, we partner with Carroll University and UW-Waukesha for students of all majors to intern in our office or with our classes.

That’s right, we’re not just for actors! Whether you can pound a hammer, program a computer, alphabetize a file cabinet, or perform an aria, there are plenty of ways to get involved almost every day of every week. So spread the word!

You are also invited to join the celebration of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s proud achievement of providing challenging, enriching, and entertaining opportunities for 60 HISTORIC SEASONS. Having reached this elite DIAMOND status, we ask you to help us look to the future with your support. Without the generous support from our guests, we could not continue to provide these great services to the Waukesha County community and beyond. Please consider a donation today. Thank you!

I look forward to seeing you, and let me know what you think!

danner-jonathan-2010Jonathan Danner

Secretary

Board Of Directors

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: To Kill A Mockingbird

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s historic 60th season!

Proof that To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a beloved classic of literature, cinema and theater is that I have a nephew whose cat’s name is Atticus and a good friend whose cat’s name is Scout.

How many people were inspired to become lawyers or understand social justice issues better because of the incredible moral role model of Atticus Finch?

How many childhood memories have been triggered by the touching point of view of Scout who looks at the world initially through innocent eyes?

That dedication to the wonderful characters in Mockingbird is why WCT is thrilled to collaborate with the 10th anniversary of Waukesha Reads whose programming you can learn about at waukeshareads.org.

What a fantastic opportunity to read (or reread) the novel, see the electrifying live performance at the Civic Theatre, and watch Gregory Peck in his iconic role on November 13 at Dinner & a Movie.

Enjoy this historic pairing! Don’t forget to visit waukeshacivictheatre.org to see how you can save 19 to 26% on future WCT shows and score a Subscriber Benefits Card.

Nelson Larry 2011Larry Nelson

Board Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Gypsy

We weren’t much when we started.

The first play we put on was The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. The year was 1957 and the performance space was Waukesha High School (known later as Waukesha Central Middle School and currently as Les Paul Middle School).

David Hundhausen writes: “On opening night, one of the actresses … did not make her entrance because she was afraid to go onstage. Cast members … had to literally push her onstage as her lines were crucial to the audience’s understanding of the play.”

Look at us now. Under John Cramer’s leadership our beautiful theatre is open all year, with dozens of performances of all kinds. Our educational programs are second to none. And the performers, volunteers, and staff maintain the same spirit that infused our founders.

In the very first program, Harold Brierton, our first board president, said, “The future of our organization depends on you!”

His words are just as true today. We need your financial support to maintain and grow programming that will enrich, challenge, and entertain this community for decades to come.

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s 60th season. The future of our organization depends on you!

Penzkover Angela 2012Angie Penzkover

WCT Board President

PIX Flix Spotlight On the Board: There’s No Business Like Show Business

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!!

Klett Jane 2009Jane Klett

WCT Board Director