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Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:55

Lyric Theatre celebrates the 50th anniversary of classic film with showing of a sing-a-long movie

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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One of the most successful films of all times is making a return to Swift Current and this time audience members will be able to sing along to the music.


The musical drama The Sound of Music was first released in the United States in March 1965 and it became a box office success in countries across the world.
The Lyric Theatre is celebrating the 50th anniversary of this classic movie with a screening of Sing-a-long a The Sound of Music Nov. 19, which allows the audience to participate through subtitles for the songs.
Lyric Theatre board member Gwen Uher watched the sing-a-long movie on Vancouver Island and suggested the screening in Swift Current.
“I went to it about three years ago and it was a wonderful experience,” she said. “They sang along, the whole theatre. It was a big theatre in Comox and the theatre was filled. As soon as that movie started, everybody started to sing. It was very, very neat.”
The original movie’s first showing in Swift Current took place 49 years ago at the Lyric Theatre. Uher said the Lyric Theatre still has some of the tickets from that show, which took place on Monday evening, March 27, 1967. The tickets for the upcoming sing-a-long movie will have a similar appearance.
“We’ve used that example to make up the tickets for this year,” she mentioned. “So they’re modelled after that.”
The story of the seven Von Trapp children and their governess, played by Julie Andrews, has remained popular over the years.
The screening of the sing-a-long version has gained popularity in countries across the world since the early 2000s. Sing-a-long a Sound of Music had a successful launch in Canada in February 2001 with a five-week run at a theatre in Toronto.
The Lyric Theatre wants to celebrate the movie’s 50th anniversary with this fun event on Nov. 19.
The theme for the evening is “A few of your favourite things” and people are encouraged to dress up.
Janet Keene was eager to be a member of the group that is organizing the sing-a-long movie screening.
“I just love the music and Julie Andrews, who stars in it, has always been one of my favourite actresses,” she said. “I just think she’s such an elegant lady and she was just so popular in those days. I love the music in it and I learned how to play some of the music on the piano.”
She grew up in Swift Current and still has fond memories of seeing The Sound of Music for the first time at the Lyric Theatre in the late sixties when she was about 11 years old.
“I remember as a young girl that it was the first movie I’d ever been to where there was actually an intermission because it’s quite long,” she said. “So we got to get up and walked around. I thought it was just so neat that it was coming back to the Lyric where I’d seen it the first time.”
She considers the sing-a-long movie as a way to not only mark the original movie’s 50th anniversary, but to also celebrate the history of the Lyric Theatre.
“I’m hoping that a lot of people will be like me, that maybe had grown up here and saw the movie here when it was here originally,” she said. “It’s just a nice walk down memory lane. My recollection of it as a child and a teenager was just going to these Saturday matinées with plush velvet sheets and velvet curtains that went across the stage.”
Another member of the organizing committee has memories of selling tickets and popcorn as a teenager at these Saturday matinées at the Lyric Theatre.
“Then we have one quite young person on the committee who has just loved The Sound of Music movie because it was one of her mother’s favourite movies, and so she wanted to be a part of it,” she said.
According to Keene the sing-a-long movie will be a nice pre-Christmas event for families to enjoy and businesses can even use it as an outing for employees during the festive season.
“It’s going to be an event because during intermission we’ll have some favourite things, because that’s one of the songs from the movie,” she said. “We’ll serve some of our favourite Christmas cookies. There will be door prizes and audience participation as far as singing and then a few other things, so it will be a lot of fun.”
The event is a fundraiser for the Lyric Theatre and there will be a variety of raffle prizes.
“We have some lovely prizes to raffle off as well,” she said. “We just really encourage everyone to come out and have a real feel good evening.”
Tickets for the Sing-a-long a Sound of Music are $25 each and available at Pharmasave. Doors will open at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, greetings will be at 6:45 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m.
Another fundraising event for the Lyric Theatre takes place Nov. 21 with Taste of Spain, an opportunity to enjoy Spanish food and culture.
Uher said previous events that celebrated food and culture from different parts of the world have been popular.
“They’ve gone over very well,” she noted.
The evening’s entertainment includes flamenco and tango dancing by a Saskatoon group as well as Spanish and flamenco guitar by Swift Current guitarist Michael Eckert-Lyngstad.
“He’s going to be the flamenco Spanish guitarist that will wander through the crowd as people are eating,” she said. “Then we have a group coming from Saskatoon and they will be bringing their own guitarist and their singers and dancers. They’ll be on the stage and they’ll perform a flamenco et cetera.”
Tickets for Taste of Spain are $20 and available at Pharmasave. The ticket price includes one glass of sangria. Tapas are sold individually. Doors on Nov. 21 open at 6 p.m. and serving of tapas will start at 7 p.m.

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