August 26, 2012

Arts Around Ithaca (Week of Aug 27)

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Modern Times, Thursday, 8:30 p.m. at the Willard Straight Terrace: The Little Tramp’s curtain call remains not only a masterpiece but also the last silent movie by the man who defined the art. Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times may offer synchronized sound effects, as well as a few lines of dialogue and a famous song, but its soul, like that of Chaplin’s Little Tramp character, does not need a voice to speak. Portraying the subhuman treatment of workers in contemporary industry, Modern Times triumphs on all counts: as a defiant political statement, a beautiful assemblage of slapstick and a warm human story. Few films have earned the admiration of both critics and audiences worldwide as much as this one. Chaplin’s 1936 opus will cause both long-time admirers and first-time viewers to swoon with a special outdoor screening on the terrace of Willard Straight Hall on Thursday. — Zachary Zahos

Next to Normal, August 16-September 1 at the Hangar Theatre: When everything’s so far from normal, settling for next to normal is enough. This rock musical-comedy-drama bravely navigates the highs and lows of a mother’s mental deterioration. The clever score, with music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, makes the story of getting by exhilarating and heart wrenching. The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama has performed well at the Tony Awards. The Hangar’s production benefits from an exceptionally strong cast. Drama Desk Award-winning actress Andrea Burns puts in another stellar performance at the Hangar, after starring in last year’s Ever So Humble and CabarETC series. Tickets may be purchased online or by phone from Ticket Center Ithaca. — Daveen Koh

The Story of Film: An Odyssey at the Film Forum, Tuesdays at 7:15p.m. from August 28-November 13 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts: Some romances never die. Far more than money and marketing, ideas and passion have ruled the evolution of film. This 15-part series, curated by film historian Mark Cousins, opens with the making of the first films in the 19th century and concludes with a look at film in the future. The movies of the jazz age, the golden age of world cinema and the trauma of war are key topics covered by the series. Viewers will be able to catch a glimpse of landmark films like Gone With the Wind and The Third Man, see the filming locations and hear actors and directors discuss the filmmaking process. The first part of this series will be screened on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. at the Schwartz Center. — Daveen Koh

Original Author: Sun Staff