An Artful Weekend
As temperatures (and air conditioning bills) rise, it’s hard to believe that just this past Saturday night I had to bring a sweater with me to the Third Annual Montrose Film Festival on Honolulu Avenue.
I wasn’t able to attend Friday night’s screening of “Back to the Future,” but on Saturday I made my way over to the parking lot of Andersen’s Pets where a makeshift theatre was set up for “Back to the Future II.” Though the temperatures had dipped a little, there was still a strong showing – over 400 people between the two nights – which no doubt pleased organizers Steve Pierce and Tony Smith.
On the former site of the Montrose Theatre (which burned down in the ‘80s), the parking lot of Andersen’s was outfitted with plenty of folding chairs and a big screen sent over by the City of Glendale. A façade of a movie theatre was set up at the front of the parking lot on Honolulu Avenue and, with a red carpet leading into the makeshift “theatre,” passersby were encouraged to stop in to the free event.
Popcorn was free for the asking and delectable mini-cupcakes from Polkatots were for sale. Members of the Prom Plus Club from CV High School dressed in period outfits, taking dinner orders from patrons then zipping over to any number of local restaurants to place and pick up the orders. All tips went to the club. Steve G., Steve Pierce and I shared a pizza from Star Café that was delish.
I have to give a shout-out to Prom Plus Club members. These kids were amazing this past weekend. A strong contingent of PPC members was at the film festival both nights to help make sure that the grunt work got done. Whether it was setting up and taking down the 250-plus chairs, taking food orders or manning the popcorn booth, they were at the ready. And not only were they pleasant, respectful and accommodating, they wore period outfits! Whether dressed like Don Johnson from “Miami Vice” or rocker Pat Benatar, these kids embraced the periods reflected in the movies making the evenings even more fun. And when it came to the end of the evening, these students were breaking down chairs, tables and anything else that needed to be done to make sure that those attending Harvest Market on Sunday morning would have no clue as to what took place on Saturday night. Bravo, PPC!
On Sunday, my friend Marilyn and I headed down to Los Angeles for the last concert of the season for Cal Phil.
This was an amazing season for the Cal Phil. They changed venues from the Arboretum in Arcadia to the Santa Anita Racetrack, which was spectacular! During the season, I attended one of the Festival on the Green concerts and was dazzled by tables set up in the infield – decked out with linens no less – for the patrons, the excellent sound system and, of course, the personable maestro Victor Vener.
The maestro obviously enjoys his work. Whether addressing the crowds on the green or in the Walt Disney Concert Hall (where I saw him Sunday afternoon), he eagerly tells his audience what it is they are about to hear. He is a wonderful storyteller, setting the stage so his listeners will fully appreciate what his musicians are playing.
On Sunday, the menu was the music of Beethoven and John Williams. We were taken on a journey celebrating the accomplishments of both these composers. Always expanding on the Cal Phil offerings, Maestro Vener brought to the stage the princess of Sierra Leone, Sarah Culberson. She read the words to the composition, “Dry Your Tears, Afrika,” from a poem that was set to music by John Williams for the film “Amistad.” Then the baton was raised, leading the orchestra and The Cal Phil Chorale in a moving interpretation of this glorious piece of music.
And this was in addition to the scores of “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Superman.” The concert ended with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
I left the concert exhausted from the energy expended by the musicians and excited for the 2013 season.