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Ringling’s Historic Asolo Screens Classic Movie Musicals

July 24, 2008

By January Holmes, The Bradenton Herald, Fla.

Jul. 23–Remember when Julie Andrews flew in with her trusty umbrella as “Mary Poppins” or Audrey Hepburn’s famous Eliza Dolittle makeover in “My Fair Lady”?

If you’ve never seen these classic musical films or would like the chance to reminisce with these and other cinematic masterpieces on the silver screen, then you may want to take advantage of the John and Mable Ringling Museum and the Sarasota Film Festival series “A Summer of Song: The Great Cinematic Musicals.”

Ringling’s Historic Asolo Theater will host 12 favorite musical gems at 7 p.m. every Monday through Sept. 29. All for $7 a show.

Last week’s opener, “Singin’ in the Rain,” brought in a good group of movie-goers, said Dwight Currie, the museum’s curator of theater programming.

He’s hoping to draw in more crowds with hits such as “Top Hat,” starring Fred Astaire, the beloved “Grease” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and the musical spectacle of “Moulin Rouge” with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.

“We’re bringing back some of those films to the large screen to give people the experience of how these films where meant to be seen,” said Currie.

Many of the films scheduled are kid-friendly, providing an opportunity for youths to see the films of yesteryear in a movie-theater setting they are familiar with — minus the popcorn and drinks, though.

Films such as “An American in Paris,” Frank Sinatra’s “On the Town and several other movie selections at Ringling were voted as the American Film Institute’s top film musicals of all time, according to AFI’s Web site, www.afi.com.

That may be considered must-see status for some film fans, especially those wanting to share the golden age of film with a new generation.

“I just hope parents take the opportunity to get their kids in to see it,” Currie said. “To see these films as they were meant to be — it’s a great opportunity. And it’s fun.”

January Holmes, features writer, can be reached at 745-7057.

‘Summer of Song: The Great Cinematic Musicals’ schedule

The John and Mable Ringling Museum and Sarasota Film Festival’s “A Summer of Song: The Great Cinematic Musicals” include:

–This Monday, “Mary Poppins”

–July 28, “Moulin Rouge”

–Aug. 4, “West Side Story”

–Aug. 11, “On the Town”

–Aug. 18, “Grease”

–Aug. 25, “Top Hat”

–Sept. 1, “Meet Me in St. Louis”

–Sept. 8, “Cabaret”

–Sept. 15, “An American in Paris”

–Sept. 22, “The Music Man”

–Sept. 29, “My Fair Lady”

Films start at 7 p.m. every Monday. Tickets are $7 per film or $72 for the whole series.

For more information or tickets, call 360-7399 or visit www.ringling.org.

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