Curtain Up: Musical Movie Mondays at Segerstrom Center

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Segerstrom Center - Movie Mondays - Photo by Joesan DicheFilm fans can watch classic movie musicals al fresco-style this summer when Movie Mondays returns to Segerstrom Center’s Arts Plaza for five Mondays evenings in a row starting July 7.

This annual event draws thousands of moviegoers to the Arts Plaza to watch films projected onto the side of Segerstrom Hall. In addition to the featured film, Segerstrom Center has partnered with the Newport Beach Film Festival to show a selection of the best animated short films from this year’s festival prior to each week’s main feature.

Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs or other easily portable seating items. Set-up begins at 5:30 p.m., with the movie starting at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.). Guests may bring their own snacks and picnic suppers. The Center has invited a number of food trucks to be on hand to serve dinners. Barbecues and similar food preparation are not permitted.

Contests will be held prior to each screening at approximately 7:30 p.m. and are open to all moviegoers. Prizes such as show tickets, apparel, CD/DVDs and other great items will be awarded to winners. Previous contests have included trivia games and dance competitions.

This year’s lineup of movie musicals:

July 7: “The Little Colonel”

Set immediately after The Civil War, Shirley Temple stars in this family comedy – drama as the spirited granddaughter who tries to mend the estranged relationship between her cantankerous grandfather (Lionel Barrymore) and dismayed mother (Evelyn Venable). The classic film features the famous staircase dance duet between Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Rated NR (children’s classic), 1935, 80 minutes.

July 14: “Spice World”

Feature-film debut of the five Spice Girls – Posh Spice, Sporty Spice, Scary Spice, Ginger Spice, and Baby Spice – as the quintet challenges the London pop scene during five days before their first live performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Photojournalists follow as they travel from press conferences to practice sessions to photo ops, passing London landmarks in the comfort of their cavernous Spicebus and emerging in a musical cascade of color, trendy clothes and blinding flashbulbs. Rated PG, 1997, 90 minutes.

 July 21: “Gigi”

Leslie Caron is Gigi, a young girl raised by two veteran Parisian courtesans (Hermione Gingold and Isabel Jeans) to be the mistress of the wealthy, handsome young Gaston (Louis Jourdan). When Gaston falls in love Cabaretwith Gigi and asks her to be his wife, Jeans is appalled: never has anyone in their family ever stooped to anything so bourgeois as marriage! Weaving in and out of the story is Maurice Chevalier as an aging boulevardier who, years earlier, had been in love with Gingold’s character. Lerner & Loewe tunes include “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and “I Remember it Well.” Filmed on location in Paris, Gigi won several Oscars, including Best Picture. Rated G, 1958, 116 minutes.

July 28: “Cabaret”

Originally a Broadway musical, this groundbreaking Bob Fosse musical uses the decadent and vulgar cabaret as a mirror image of German society sliding toward the Nazis, and this intertwining of entertainment with social history marked a new step forward for the movie musical. Michael York plays a British writer who comes to Berlin in the early 1930s who meets flamboyant American entertainer Sally Bowles, played by Liza Minnelli. Sally works at the Kit Kat Klub, where each night the Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey) introduces a jazz-driven “girlie show” to his debauched audience. Cabaret won eight Oscars, including awards to Minnelli, Grey and Fosse. Rated PG, 1972, 128 minutes.

August 4: “Sweet Charity

Shirley MacLaine plays Charity Hope Valentine who, despite her job at a seedy dime-a-dance joint, is an incurable optimist. Charity never stops looking for true love and never seems to look for it in the right places. “Sweet Charity” was adapted from the 1965 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by the 1957 Fellini film “Nights of Cabiria.” Rated G, 1969, 157 minutes.

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