Hello again, true believers…
Man, what a year I’ve had.
First, let me be clear that this is actually me––the actual Rob Newton––the founder and still-owner-and-operator of The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage here in friggin’ go’geous downtown Glosta (Gloucester for you Inlanders). I am still here, and after a summer of quiet convalescence, I am well-rested and physically and mentally better than I’ve ever been. Sorry if my state of unwellness panicked you or sent you at least temporarily into the sticky arms of those robotic, thin-walled googolplexes Up-The-Line.
Thanks to your help, we have endured the meteorological armageddon that was The Winter Of 2015. This spring, we set out to raise $75,000 for relief, buttressing, and those little marshmallows for our hot cocoa, and I am very happy to report that we have crossed the 90% mark, with $67,555 raised to date. While folks are still showing interest in buying the Cinema (after the “Win This Cinema” contest didn’t reach its entry threshold), I am not in such a rush to sell as I was when I was sick. The short of it is, I’m staying around for a while, as there is still work to do to make this wonderful thing of ours impervious to whatever the Universe throws at it.
Eight years after its inception, The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage continues to bring an eclectic and meaningful line-up of the best independent and foreign films to the North Shore, and with Awards Season approaching, that means a marathon of even-better-than-usual programming through the spring. And I will be here and with you all the way, putting in more time here since before my starchild Zoë Annabelle Austin Newton was born nearly 3 years ago (and she is well and so many kinds of awesome, thanks for asking).
So, where do we go from here? First, please help us shore up the last of the funds we set out to raise this spring. Again, there is less than $10,000 to go (and your gift is fully tax-deductible and we’ll thank you with some kind of gift). This is easy as cake. Or pie. Whichever of those is easier.
Beyond this home-stretch, the next drive will be to fund our Cape Ann Community Screening Room, a 20-seat second screen in what is now the upstairs lobby. With it, we will not only be able to offer a second great (albeit smaller) film every day, but also will be able to avail the space inexpensively or free to any local person or group who needs it. Also, the additional revenue generated by this seemingly small resource will fund a full-time salary for myself or someone. It will be like finding $30K under one of the couch cushions. Every year. Until the Comet comes. And probably after that, too.
Since the spring, we have been soft-selling both the 10-ticket discount blocks to filmgoers and the annual Partnership packages to local businesses. Now, with 100% confidence, we again actively offer both, and at a considerable discount to help make up for lost time:
10-TICKET DISCOUNT TICKET BLOCK ::: $75.00. This super deal comes with 2 extra “Tell A Friend” tickets, so that you might hand them off to someone you know who hasn’t visited with us yet (or you can just keep them for yourself). This works out to $6.25 per ticket, which is much lower than our regular ticket prices of $10.50 and $9.00. And speaking of our regular ticket prices, we have put off a ticket price increase for some time now, so on December 1, 2015, ticket prices will go up. Stock up on these wicked cheap tickets as a hedge against inflation, or give some as a gift this holiday season. This “micro-investment” helps the Cinema in big ways, and makes you the hero gift-giver.
ANNUAL CINEMA PARTNERSHIP ::: $599. Do you own a business, or work with a non-profit that needs greater visibility and a swell way to raise money and reward its volunteers and supporters? Then this bundle is a no-brainers. 60 movie tickets (good on all non-premium events, which is 95% of our line-up), a Partner ad slide during our pre-show (over 1,000 appearances), a link on our website, and real estate in our lobby. Plus, you get a sweet deal on Cinema and Community Screening Room rentals. And I will do a dance if you sign up. Or actually, based on how badly I bust moves, I’ll dance *until* you sign up.
So there you have it. To sum up, I’m back, I’m strong, so is the Cinema, and with your continued support, we will all shine on to infinity… and beyond!
Owner & Creative Director
The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage
Shannon Whisnant has a nose for a bargain. But when he bought a used grill at a North Carolina auction, the severed human foot he found among its ashes was not part of the deal. Soon the gruesome discovery becomes the toast of the infotainment world, and the new owner spies a golden opportunity to cash in on the media frenzy, until struggling addict and amputee John Wood recognizes his missing member and demands his own foot back. It is the stuff of documentary legend.
Bizarre twists of fate with perfectly twisted characters take center stage in a courtroom battle with television’s Judge Mathis, exploding this classic small-town feud to epic proportions as their 15 minutes of fame turns their lives upside-down and they find themselves basking under the heat lamps of the international talk-show circuit.
This astonishing, stranger-than-fiction tale defies definition because it uniquely traverses the quirks of a small town in the midst of a media phenomenon, while it examines manifold human paradoxes such as greed, ego, familial dysfunction, and that most elusive of all human conditions, redemption.
MEET THE PATELS
FEATURING FOOD FROM
MEET THE PATELS is a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian-American who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams … and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister in what started as a family vacation video, this hilarious and heartbreaking film reveals how love is a family affair.
Fresh out of a breakup with his secret white girlfriend, who his parents knew nothing about, and freaked out that he’s almost 30 and single, Ravi goes on a family vacation to India with his head and heart spinning. Ravi is willing to do whatever it takes to find love—but there’s one tricky detail to consider: In his family, everyone has the last name Patel. Patels marry other Patels. It’s not incest, it means they are from the same 50-square mile radius in India. Struck with how overwhelmingly happy the marriages are of his Patel family and friends, Ravi enters a fool-proof Patel matchmaking system and embarks on a worldwide search for another American Patel just like him.
THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE
What happens when a diverse group of LGBTQ youth dares to be “out” on stage to reveal their lives and their loves?
“The Year We Thought About Love” goes behind the scenes of one of the oldest queer youth theaters in America, with our camera crew slipping into classrooms, kitchens, subways, and rehearsal rooms with this fearless and endearing troupe. Boston-based True Colors: OUT Youth Theater transforms daily struggles into performance for social change. With wit, candor, and attitude, our cast of characters captivates audiences surprised to hear such stories in school settings. Our film introduces a transgender teenager kicked out of her house, a devout Christian challenging his church’s homophobia, and a girl who prefers to wear boys’ clothing even as she models dresses on the runway. When bombs explode outside their building, the troupe becomes even more determined to share their stories of love to help heal their city.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?
Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.
Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.
Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
Over the course of 90 minutes, viewers will meet…
Crystal, a young indigenous leader in Tar Sands country, as she fights for access to a restricted military base in search of answers about an environmental disaster in progress.
Mike and Alexis, a Montana goat ranching couple who see their dreams coated in oil from a broken pipeline. They respond by organizing against fossil fuel extraction in their beloved Powder River Basin, and forming a new alliance with the Northern Cheyenne tribe to bring solar power to the nearby reservation.
Melachrini, a housewife in Northern Greece where economic crisis is being used to justify mining and drilling projects that threaten the mountains, seas, and tourism economy. Against the backdrop of Greece in crisis, a powerful social movement rises.
Jyothi, a matriarch in Andhra Pradesh, India who sings sweetly and battles fiercely along with her fellow villagers, fighting a proposed coal-fired power plant that will destroy a life-giving wetland. In the course of this struggle, they help ignite a nationwide movement.
The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everythingprovides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.
Will this film change everything? Absolutely not. But you could, by answering its call to action.
BACK IN TIME
The documentary film BACK IN TIME is, at its heart, a look at the very real impact the Back to the Future movies have had on our culture. Funnily enough, the film’s genesis is a testament to how large that impact truly is. The project’s origins are humble: what started as an amusing addition to a Bar Mitzvah video, just happened to resonate and get stuck in director Jason Aron’s head. The Back to the Future trilogy had been a childhood inspiration which led to his career in film, and the idea of the De Lorean time machine wouldn’t leave his thoughts alone.
Those thoughts blossomed into idea for a film which would delve into the impact of the iconic machine. A plan was drawn up, and a Kickstarter campaign was launched. Over 600 backers helped the team supplement the feature’s budget, and for the past couple of years that money has gone to help Back in Time become something so much more than anyone involved ever imagined that it could be.
What was once a little idea that spawned a tightly-focused documentary has grown into something truly amazing over two years of filming. Instead of just a look at the eye-catching De Lorean, Back in Time is a cinematic monument to the vastness of the trilogy’s fandom. In addition to the footage and interviews revolving around the time machine itself, the crew found that simply by delving into the impact of the trilogy an epic journey began to unfold before them.
Shooting in London, England during a Back to the Future event, hundreds of attendees in 1950’s attire were captured for the documentary as they reveled in their shared love of the films; the crew got to set feet upon one of the prophesied hoverboards during a shoot at Hendo Hoverboards; and trips all across America took them from brightly-lit time machine-filled garages to the sun-kissed homes of some truly unforgettable faces.
The crew captured countless hours of footage during filming. From Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, to the Sheas and Hollers, and from James Tolkan and Lea Thompson to Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, Back in Time features interview after interview that simply must be seen.
The scope of the impact of the Back to the Future trilogy is truly something to behold. Back in Time will premier in the fall of 2015 thanks in great part due to the support of a legion of fans. Digital and physical copies of the documentary will be made available after the premier, with precedence going to all those who backed the film’s Kickstarter campaigns.
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD:
THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON
From the 1970s through the 1990s, there was no hipper, no more outrageous comedy in print than The National Lampoon, the groundbreaking humor magazine that pushed the limits of taste and acceptability – and then pushed them even harder. Parodying everything from politics, religion, entertainment and the whole of American lifestyle, the Lampoon eventually went on to branch into successful radio shows, record albums, live stage revues and movies, including Animal House and National Lampoon’s Vacation. The publication launched the careers of legends like John Belushi, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest and Gilda Radner, who went on to gigs at Saturday Night Live and stardom.
Director Douglas Tirola’s documentary about the Lampoon, DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON, cleverly chronicles its founding by two former Harvard students, its growth, demise and everything in between. Told thru fresh, candid interviews with its key staff, and illustrated with hundreds of outrageous images from the mag itself (along with never-seen interview footage from the magazine’s prime), the film gives fans of the Lampoon a unique inside look at what made the magazine tick, who were its key players, and why it was so outrageously successful: a magazine that dared to think what no one was thinking, but wished they had.
It only took us 7 years to get them here, but WCVB’s acclaimed show “Chronicle” covered us for the first time, in regard to our “Win This Cinema” contest. Enjoy and please share!
Prices are for pick-up at the Cinema. Shipping is available for $5.00.
Cape Ann Cinema & Stage Presents… TOMFOOLERY: The Words & Music of Tom Lehrer (Wed. Dec. 3 – Thu. Dec. 11)
Cape Ann’s premiere community cinema launches its new stage with a revue of the witty, wicked, and thoroughly twisted world of famed satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer.
THE CAPE ANN CINEMA & STAGE is pleased to present its first stage production, the witty musical, TOMFOOLERY: THE WORDS & MUSIC OF TOM LEHRER. The show runs from Wednesday, December 3 through Thursday, December 11, and features an all-local, ensemble-directed cast featuring Brian King, Jeph Ellis, Jennifer-Lee Levitz, and Olivia Gale. Joseph Nuccio is serving as Musical Director.
“This show is homegrown–by local folks, with local folks, for local folks,” explains Cinema owner and Creative Director, Rob Newton. “It’s a hilarious show, and we hope all of Cape Ann will join us for it as we kick off our new stage and our new name.”
Newton shares, “Thanks to a generous gift from Cinema friend Chris Deering, we were able to create this amazing resource.” The stage is 30’ wide, and features new live sound and a thoroughly modern LED lighting array. “It is through this kind of support that we are able to expand our community vision, not only around Cape Ann and the North Shore, but around the country, as well.” (Newton advised on The Luna Theater, a new community cinema project that opened in September at Mill No. 5 in Lowell, and in 2015, he will launch the non-profit OurTown Cinemas, dedicated to seeding and servicing small cinemas all over the U.S.)
Newton, who goes by the stage name “Fig,” cites Lehrer (as well as the likes of Weird Al Yankovic and Stan Freberg) as his personal musical and comic influences. With his debut novelty record “Monkey Bismuth,” Fig won two Just Plain Folks awards in 2004, which are like the Grammys for unsigned artists.
“My first exposure to Lehrer goes way back, like it does for a lot of kids who grew up in the ‘70s. Remember those animated earworms from ‘The Electric Company’ on PBS–‘Silent E’ and ‘L-Y’? That was Tom Lehrer. So this a tribute, not only to the days of youth, but to the ways of thinking differently that come across in Lehrer’s songs. And thinking differently is the whole reason that The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage exists in the first place.”
The Stage plans one new production every quarter, be they revivals like “Tomfoolery” or “Free To Be You And Me” or original productions like Mark Volpe’s “Citizen Wayne” (a story that supposes Orson Welles entertained making a Batman movie after “Citizen Kane”) or Newton’s own “Rocket Man” (a musical about space pioneer and Massachusetts native Robert H. Goddard).
Tomfoolery is based on The Tom Lehrer Songbook, and is a show like no other. Written by Cameron Mackintosh and Robin Ray, with music and lyrics by Tom Lehrer, this is one wildly wicked musical revue of novelty songs (there are no sad ones in this bunch). Music, laughter, and no one spared—when you’re dealing with the humor of Tom Lehrer, nothing is sacred.
In concerts, television appearances and a series of now-classic recordings, the Harvard-educated math professor delighted millions of fans during the 1950s and ’60s with his dry, cynical, but good-humored attacks on the A-bomb, racism, pollution, pornography, the military, the Boy Scouts and, of course, mathematics. No taboo is safe in this hysterical revue featuring such Lehrer favorites as “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park,” “When You Are Old And Grey,” “The Masochism Tango,” “The Old Dope Peddler,” “The Vatican Rag” and an unforgettable Gilbert and Sullivan-esque recitation of the Periodic Table of Elements, all linked together with Lehrer’s own inimitable concert patter.
Four actors, stools, a piano and a healthy dose of attitude are all you need to stage this delightful revue. Audience will be beside themselves with the clever lyrics and hummable tunes. Rediscover the man and songs that have delighted and skewered the world for over forty years in TOMFOOLERY! •••
SCHEDULE (CLICK A DATE TO PURCHASE TICKETS):
WED. DEC. 3 @ 8:00PM (PREVIEW NIGHT)
THU. DEC. 4 @ 8:00PM (OPENING NIGHT & GALA)
FRI. DEC. 5 @ 8:00PM
SAT. DEC. 6 @ 8:0PM
SUN. DEC. 7 @ 4:00PM
TUE. DEC. 9 @ 8:00PM
WED. DEC. 10 @ 8:00PM
THU. DEC. 11 @ 8:00PM
$20.00 GENERAL ADMISSION
$18.00 CACS MEMBERS
Purchase tickets online or at the door.
Advance tickets are strongly recommended.
Tom Lehrer performing “Wernher von Braun” in Copenhagen in 1967.
“Silent E,” from the 1970s PBS kids’ staple, ‘The Electric Company’
Tom Lehrer performing “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park” at the Cameron Mackintosh tribute show, ‘Dear Mr. Producer’ in 1998
TOMFOOLERY is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 * Tel.: (212) 541-4694 | Fax: (212) 397-4684 | www.MTIShows.com
Thomas Dolby, whose name you might have heard, or seen scrawled like graffiti on a blog about Moogs or something like that, is to pop music what Voyager 2 is to space exploration. And no, “She Blinded Me With Science” is not his only hit song, although you have probably seen the video all those years ago on MTV. Perhaps you bought “The Golden Age of Wireless” and came to appreciate this long-legged kind of glamorous Brit-pop for what lies beneath those strange album covers and glints of engineering on the bespectacled face of this heroic and legendary proto-geek. I didn’t. Instead, I huddled while imprisoned in the grey halls of a New England prep school, lonely, angry, and bewildered by joules of hormones, beneath my Walkman headphones listening to “Cloudburst at Shingle Street” and thinking of seducing the girls in my car pool if only they would talk to me. And I heard things I could only hope to say to myself in the submarine of scrubbing desks or sweeping floors during the summer break:
when I was small
I was in love
in love with everything
and now there’s only you
And now there’s only you, Thomas: the last bottle of New Wave Lafite ’82, a bouquet of Art Deco and stratospheric synths emboldened by persistence of vision and impeccable taste, whose sadness and observation, manic moments, and blind science create haunting atmospheres out of baryonic matter.
Having taken off two decades to facilitate a queue of non-pop accomplishment before returning with “A Map of the Floating City,” Thomas Dolby behind his insane steampunk facade offers something between friendly and spooky, reaching out with ordinary metaphor, in this case “Flying North” with a lo-fi digital camera, to catch the wonder betwixt the emptiness of “The Invisible Lighthouse.” He seems fine. More than that. Relaxed. Unrushed. The same man who referred to himself in the third person just a wee bit on “Weightless” to let us in on the frustration of his love life is now playing live the electronic sounds and lost melodies for which he continues to be loved.
I’ve waited thirty years.
You see, Thomas Dolby: The Idea is ever-present to his fans, who hover over him in chat rooms asking Who Is Caroline 452? Or, is that really the riff from “The Six Million Dollar Man” embedded in “One of Our Submarines”? (Yes, it is!) And Thomas Dolby is a good idea, thick in Britannia like on his album covers, whether he’s lost in the sauce expatriated in Los Angeles or sampling the doppler of church bell on “Cruel.” Between the electronic drum sounds of “Europa and the Pirate Twins,” he mentions his preteen crush to “The Twelfth of Never,” which I take as Nina Simone’s unforgettable 1963 version. And once you are old, and hear Nina sing it, and think about Thomas referencing this all those years ago, you get trapped in his mythology.
Then into “The Flat Earth” you go, with the maturity at hand to know why “Screen Kiss” makes you hurt, why it leaves you rushed and needy to have somebody love you before it’s too late. And if you’re like me, you grow up and move out West and behold the haze above old Hollywood, where deer look down from the hills, and it’s three o’ clock in the morning. And perhaps, if you’re lucky, you’ll synch a near perfect seduction to his cover of “I Scare Myself,” slow-dancing to the handsome Joe Jacksonesque piano blurs and so unbelievably lost in whatever that is.
Mr. Dolby, may I say what a pleasure it’s been to live inside your music for thirty years. I’ll see you November 1 for “The Invisible Lighthouse.” And most properly, sir, Adieu.•••
Thomas Dolby will present his film “The Invisible Lighthouse” with live music, narration, and foley at the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Friday, November 1st at 7:30pm to kick off the 6th annual Cape Ann Film Festival.