2001-06-09 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein "Man Chases 6-foot Chicken." "Uncle Sam Wants Elvis Look-Alike."

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein "Man Chases 6-foot Chicken." "Uncle Sam Wants Elvis Look-Alike."

From The Artists Studio
Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein "Man Chases 6-foot Chicken." "Uncle Sam Wants Elvis Look-Alike."

These two headlines could lead off stories about the films being shown this Friday and Saturday evenings at RAA’s free "Movies by Moonlight." You requested more information about the films of "M x M," so here it is.

"The Gold Rush" (1925), the film for which Charlie Chaplin most wanted to be remembered, contains a scene in which a prospector, hallucinating due to lack of food, mistakes the Little Tramp for a plump chicken ready to roast. Perhaps the most famous scene in all of Chaplin’s work, the "Dance of the Bread Rolls," received so much applause at the premiere that the management rewound and replayed it. Typical of Chaplin, the love scenes will make you smile and cry at the same moment. Hysterically funny, exquisitely tender, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting, "The Gold Rush" reveals the quintessence of Chaplin’s genius.

The film that made Ann-Margaret and Dick van Dyke stars, "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), is an energized musical comedy to please the entire family. A swaggering, hip-swaying rock and roll teen idol is being drafted into the army and the young girls of America are in a panic. Countless pony-tailed protesters march on Washington with placards that read, "Spare him, Take me." (Sound familiar? I guess that would depend on if you were around in the 50’s.) Fainting teen-agers, "Birdie"-mania, stolen kisses and "The Ed Sullivan Show" ensue. The great songs in this timeless hit include "Put on a Happy Face," "Kids" and "A Lot of Loving To Do." "Birdie" will be preceded by the animated romp, "Out the Fire."

You’ll never get the chance to see these two film classics at your local movie theater. You will never again get to see these two classics for FREE, under the stars, caressed by gentle breezes and surrounded by fellow movie-lovers on their beach chairs and blankets. So grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the whole family. Share an evening’s entertainment and your homemade popcorn. Watch the exquisite Jamaica Bay sunset from Fort Tilden. Come to the fort on June 8 and 9, rain or shine. Show time each night is 8:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Blockbuster Video, the Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA) and Gateway National Recreation Area (GNRA). Thanks also go to publisher Susan Locke and the staff at The Wave and to John McLoughlin, editor-in-chief of The Forum of South Queens. For directions and information, contact RAA by phone or email RockArt116@aol.com.

RAA Building Fund Benefit Fever is rising! This year the annual event takes place Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m. in building T-149 in Fort Tilden. The purpose is to raise funds to renovate T-7, in order to fully serve our community’s artistic, social and economic needs. For just $30/ ticket you get a delicious buffet meal from The Beach Club, great live music, dancing, a breathtaking sunset (specially ordered), the opportunity to spend time with old and new friends and the knowledge that you are contributing to an arts center for this entire section of Queens. For information call Marina at 718 474-0861.

RAA’s next meeting is Monday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. in building T-149, Fort Tilden. All are welcome. Bring your artwork or just enjoy the work of others. Guest speaker is Michael Redpath, who will present a talk and slide show of his work. Redpath is an extraordinary artist who not only paints and sculpts. He takes old pieces of furniture and paints them to look like subway cars, movie theater buildings, restaurants, etc. The results are completely unique, functional works of amazing beauty.

RAA members -- deadline for submission of a photo of your work for the 2002 RAA calendar is the June 11 meeting. Work may be black and white or color.

Belated thank you to Patrick Clark for his astutely composed slide presentation at last month’s meeting. It was visually beautiful and psychically soothing.

"Gateway to Nature: Artists in the Park" an exhibition of artworks reflecting 12 artists’ connections to Gateway National Recreation Area, in a variety of media. The show runs June 17 – August 10 at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The reception is Sunday, June 17 at 1:30 – 4 p.m. Included in the show are works by RAA’s Martha Elliott Killian and Joseph Rothenberg.

Don’t miss the Rockaway Theatre Company’s production of Neil Simon’s "Come Blow Your Horn" at the Post Theater, Fort Tilden, GNRA. It premiered last week to thunderous applause and uncontrollable laughter. Performances are every Friday and Saturday this month at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 at 2 p.m.

Our part of Queens has a great deal of which to be proud in terms of culture and the arts. Come out and enjoy it.

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