In this personal behind the scenes tale of one of Broadway’s legendary flops, director/actor Price chronicles the strange, exhilarating and career-changing experience of being cast as a lead in Stephen Sondheim’s short-lived "Merrily We Roll Along." In 1981, fresh from a string of hits including "Sweeney Todd," the duo of Sondheim and Hal Prince geared up to stage their next show, hiring a cast of young unknowns. Dreams of stardom are dashed when, amid scathing reviews, the show closes after only sixteen performances. Price, now a renowned Broadway director in his own right (he also played a supporting role in DIRTY DANCING), pieces together the musical’s rise, fall, and reemergence as a classic through rediscovered audition and rehearsal videos, footage of a 2002 original cast reunion concert with Sondheim and Prince in attendance, and an insightful look at how the experience impacted the careers of a clutch devastated young actors. DCP digital. (BS)
Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened...
2016, Lonny Price, USA, 95 min.
"A beautiful Broadway memoir... fond, swift, bittersweet." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Should be catnip for Sondheim aficionados, musical theater geeks, and anyone who loves a how-did-you-get-there-from-here story.” — Robert Abele, The Wrap
Wednesday, April 5 at 6 pm: This screening is a Movie Club event with a discussion led by original Broadway cast member Marc Moritz. The discussion will be held at Rosebud Prime, 1 S. Dearborn St.
Franca: Chaos & Creation
2016, Francesco Carrozzini, Italy/USA, 80 min.
"She's a very free woman," says photographer Peter Lindbergh of the late Franca Sozzani, the subject of this documentary portrait directed by her son, himself a noted photographer and filmmaker. As the editor of Italian Vogue from 1988 until her death last December, the legendary Sozzani redefined what a fashion magazine could be, breaking taboos and unabashedly mixing couture and controversy in fashion-photo shoots themed to such topics as war, plastic surgery, domestic violence, and oil spills. Luminaries including Bruce Weber, Baz Luhrmann, Marina Abramović, publisher Jonathan Newhouse ("She went too far!"), and philosopher Bernard Henri-Levi ("She's crazy!") weigh in, but the heart of the film is the candid, at times contentious back-and-forth between the strong-willed Sozzani and the son eager to learn more about the mother who wasn’t apologetic about putting profession ahead of parenthood. In Italian, English, and French with English subtitles. Courtesy of BOND/360. DCP digital. (MR)
MARCH 6: Following the March 6 screening, a panel chaired by Gillion Carrara, Director of the Fashion Resource Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and including Debra Riley Parr, Associate Professor of design history and theory at Columbia College Chicago, Geoffrey Rhodes, Associate Professor, Department of Visual Communication Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and fashion journalist and consultant Maria Vanessa Colapinto will discuss the issues.