Wednesday nights in Chilliwack feature films about love

Darren Blakeborough will discuss the movie themes related to Romeo & Juliet prior to the screening of West Side Story on Feb. 18

UFV prof Darren Blakeborough will discuss the movie's themes and relate them to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet prior to the show on Feb. 18. The Musical Movies Film Festival is on Wednesday nights from February 11 to March 4 at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas.

February is known for love.

Secondary Characters is celebrating most of February by presenting a Movie Musicals Film Festival: a Series of Films about Love.

Each Wednesday night will feature a different, well-known and well-loved musical on-screen at the Cottonwood from Feb. 11 to March 4.

“We’re thrilled with the variety of movies we’ve managed to acquire, and hope our audiences love them as much as we do,” said Secondary Characters vice-present Alyson Seale.

Tickets for individual shows are just $10, or a festival pass to see all four shows is $35. The Movie Musicals Film Festival kicks off with Grease and to make the show even better, this particular show will be Sing-Along Grease.

Secondary Characters board member Michael Berger added: “We want Chilliwack audiences to enjoy these movies as more than just a movie, by immersing themselves in the show.

“Whether it’s a live band before the show to set the mood, or a providing a dance-along version of the show, we know people will love this film festival!”

The Musical Movies Film Festival is on Wednesday nights from February 11 to March 4 at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas.

Doors open at 6:30 pm for pre-show entertainment, followed by the movie at 7:00. Tickets for individual shows are just $10, or buy a festival pass to see all four shows for only $35.

Tickets are sold at two locations. The Chilliwack Cultural Centre sells tickets in person 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., over the phone at 604-791-SHOW (7469), or online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca.  Tickets are also available at the Cottonwood 4 Cinemas anytime leading up to the Film Festival.

The series of four Musical Movies kicks off on February 11 with Grease, celebrating young love between greaser Danny and good girl Sandy. This 1978 feature stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, and a host of other stars. Who can forget songs such as “Summer Nights”, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, “Greased Lightnin’”, “You’re the One That I Want” and of course, “Grease”.

Young love is also the key to the February 18 presentation of West Side Story. Leonard Bernstein’s music, with lyrics by Stephan Sondheim gorgeously surrounds the action in this modern take on a Shakespearean theme. Set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s, this musical explores the rivalry between two teenage street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Tensions grow as Tony, a member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, sister of the Sharks leader. This show features songs such as “Maria”, “America”, “Somewhere” and “Tonight”. This 1961 hit movie was a springboard for stars such as Natalie Wood, Richard Beymar, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. To add some background to this viewing, UFV Professor Darren Blakeborough will discuss the movie’s themes and relate them to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet prior to the show.

February 25 is set aside for The Music Man! This 1962 musical starred Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the feature roles. Set in 1912 in River City, Iowa, a travelling salesman masquerading as a youth marching band leader attempts to con the locals into paying him to create a band. Once he’s collected the money and the instruments and uniforms have arrived, he plans to hop the next train out of town. This gorgeous film was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and is a window into small-town America a hundred years ago. Featuring songs such as “Ya Got Trouble”, “Goodnight, My Someone”, “Shipoopi”, “Till There Was You” and of course, “76 Trombones”, this show will have you tapping your toes and ready to march through town playing an instrument. We’re also fortunate enough to have the Curbside Traditional Jazz Band entertaining us with old-time favourites before the movie starts.

It all wraps up on March 4 with a modern hit, Mamma Mia! This show exploded onto the public conscience in 2008 when the Broadway musical of the same name was adapted to film. Based on the songs of 1970s pop super group ABBA, this movie stars Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth as well as two cameo appearances of ABBA members themselves. Set on a Greek Island, a bride-to-be named Sophie posts three wedding invitations to three different men. It’s only when Sophie’s bridesmaids arrive that we find out that Sophie discovered her mother’s diary and that she has three possible fathers. She’s mailed each of them in hope of determining which one is her father, and having him walk her down the aisle. With ABBA hits such as “Fernando”, “Chiquitita”, “Voulez-Vous”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You” “Take a Chance on Me” and the classic “Dancing Queen” providing the musical backdrop to this sun drenched film, you’ll be dancing in the aisles as we off a Dance-a-long Mamma Mia! We won’t even mind if you sing a bit too.

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