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MGM’s “Singin’ in the Rain” at the Post called “Greatest Movie Musical of all time”

By Jim Reed/SMN

Those of you who’ve been reading Film Scene for a while now are surely aware that the restored, historic Tybee Post Theater out on lovely Tybee Island has carved out a niche for itself by primarily programming one-night-only revivals of either classic or popular Hollywood pictures from decades past on its single screen, when its stage is not being used for live musical or comedy shows, that is.

That trend continues with the intimate, 200-capacity venue’s March 23 showing of the 1952 MGM musical “Singin’ in the Rain” (which was previously screened just a tad over a month ago at downtown’s Lucas Theatre). Stanley Donen (“Damn Yankees!” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”) co-directed this beloved favorite with its magnetic star, Gene Kelly, and the film’s cast includes such luminaries as Donald O’Connor and the recently deceased Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher’s mom, for those of you too young to know better). The script, while fictional, is closely based on the real-life confusion and upset that accompanied Tinseltown’s rough transition from silent films to those with synchronized sound (better known as “talkies,” till that term had run its course).

Packed with show-stopping, timeless musical and dance numbers, it’s been called the “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” by the prestigious American Film Institute. Melissa Turner, executive director of the Post Theater, says she selected “Singin’ in the Rain” because it seemed like a “perfect follow-up” to the venue’s two-night engagement of the recent smash musical “La La Land,” which takes place on March 18-19.

Going contemporary

You see, increasingly, the Post Theater is presenting special one- or two-day runs of contemporary motion pictures, such as that Oscar-winning Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone vehicle, or the similarly Oscar-winning drama “Fences” (starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis), which plays the Post on March 16-17. According to Turner, there are a significant number of Tybee residents who simply aren’t interested in making the drive from the island to Southside Savannah to catch even the biggest motion picture hits of the year. These blink-and-you’ll-miss-them bookings allow those folks to catch the occasional high-profile blockbuster (such as the sci-fi flick “Arrival,” which the Post showed a few weeks back to a strong turnout) just a few minutes’ drive or even walk from their homes.

It also gives Savannah area viewers who either had not gotten around to seeing such films in their initial first run — or perhaps want to enjoy them on the big screen again — a chance to do so while supporting a small, nonprofit theater. The drive to the beach isn’t that awfully long, folks. Pick up on it.

Counterculture drama “Midnight Cowboy” heats up the Post

By Jim Reed/SMN

On March 9, the historic Tybee Post Theater presents a one-show-only booking of director John Schlesinger’s landmark 1969 counterculture drama “Midnight Cowboy,” starring the unlikely pairing of Dustin Hoffman (“Marathon Man,” “Lenny”) and Jon Voight (“Conrack,” “Anaconda”) as, two desperate, down-and-out, would-be prostitutes adrift in the seamy social underbelly of late-’60s New York City. Despite moments of genuine levity, “Midnight Cowboy” is a dark and depressing film, albeit a stunningly well-made and well-acted one.

Originally rated X in its earliest theatrical releases (because of an almost hilariously misguided and outdated notion that blatant homosexual content in any way shape or form would be dangerous for viewers between the ages of 18 and 21 to see), the film’s rating was later reduced to R as society’s views on sexuality caught up with Mother Nature’s. Still, just for a laugh, let’s raise a glass to the Tybee Post for proudly showing an X-rated film, shall we?

Despite its rating troubles, “Midnight Cowboy” wound up winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director — which I believe makes it the only X-rated film to ever win any sort of Academy Award. It also took home six BAFTAs (the U.K.’s equivalent of the Oscar). Look out for an amazing supporting cast, including memorable turns and cameos by the likes of Sylvia Miles, Brenda Vaccaro and the reliably terrific Bob Balaban. Showtime is 7 p.m., with $10 admission (which includes a glass of wine for those of legal drinking age, and a chocolate kiss). As one might imagine, this film is recommended for mature viewers.

Until next week, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

The Fabulous Krewe of Equinox Orchestra Mardi Gras @Tybee Post Theater

By Anna Chandler/ConnectSavannah
NATIONAL sensation and hometown favorites The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra are getting back to their roots! Louisiana natives Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson will lead their dynamic band in a tribute to their home state tradition this weekend.

The party kicks off with a VIP Mardi Gras gala complete with complimentary cocktails, Cajun hors d’oeuvres, naturally, king cake. Attendees are encouraged to arrive in Mardi Gras fashion—purple, green, gold, or parade-ready costumes are welcome.

After the gala, head into the Theater to hear the best of the Great American Songbook as performed by the tremendously talented, always-entertaining Orchestra.

Saturday, February 25, gala at 7 p.m., concert at 8 p.m., $50 for both, $25-30 concert only

Post presents mesmerizing “A Streetcar Named Desire”

By Jim Reed/SMN
On Feb. 23, the Tybee Post Theater presents a “Girls Night Out,” by showing controversial director Elia Kazan’s masterful 1951 silver screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Set in a rundown New Orleans tenement building, it focuses on the emotionally scarred former public school teacher Blanche DuBois and her relationships with family members and acquaintances after transplanting herself to the French Quarter.

The film is uncommonly close to its original stage production, owing to the fact that Kazan also directed the play on Broadway, and several key cast members (including Karl Malden, Kim Hunter and Marlon Brando) reprise their roles from that very same production. “Streetcar” resulted in Brando’s first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. In fact, the film set a record by becoming the very first motion picture to ever win an Academy Award in three distinct acting categories: Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Actress in a Leading Role.

A triumphant showcase for charismatic personalities, “A Streetcar Named Desire” is surely one of the most mesmerizing motion pictures of its era, and one that still resonates strongly today, more than six decades later. Showtime is 7 p.m., with $10 admission (includes a glass of wine and a package of tissues in case you are overcome with emotion).

Until next week, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

Altman’s “anti-Western” McCabe & Mrs. Miller at the Post

By Jim Reed/SMN

On Feb. 9, the Tybee Post Theater will screen the late writer-director Robert Altman’s peculiar 1971 romantic action drama “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie (whom some of you may have recently seen at Trustees Theater in Nicolas Roeg’s stunning 1973 horror flick “Don’t Look Now”). The film, which takes place around the turn of the 20th century, concerns an American gambler who partners with a British woman to run a brothel in a small town in Washington state before running afoul of violent characters.

Decades after its release, Altman described the film as an “anti-Western,” as it sidesteps many of the most reliable tropes of traditional Western motion pictures. Boasting a musical score by none other than the late, great Leonard Cohen and beautiful camerawork by the legendary and supremely influential Vilmos Zsigmond (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “The Deer Hunter,” “The Sadist”), the film was well-liked by critics and audiences alike, and garnered Christie an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Showtime is 7 p.m., with $10 admission (includes a glass of wine — for those of age — and a chocolate kiss).

GRAY’S REEF FILM FESTIVAL AT THE TYBEE POST THEATER

Come to the Tybee Post Theater for the Gray’s Reef Film Festival on Sunday Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. This year’s theme is “Our Community, Our Ocean,” which will focus on the preservation of our community and conservation of our ocean. The festival’s screening at the Post Theater will include a range of films from the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.

This is a free event but donations are welcome and all proceeds will benefit Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. A wrap party with a cash bar immediately follows the screenings at the Post!

For more information please click here.

The Bridge: 18th Annual Tybee Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day!

By Renee LaSalle/WSAV

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Hurricane Matthew badly damaged the roof on the historic Tybee Post Theater just one year after its long coming renovation and grand reopening.

The repairs are made, the bills half-paid and thanks to the Tybee Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day the rest of the money is about to come in.

The Tybee Polar Plunge returns to Tybee Island on Jan. 1, 2017!  Thousands will take the plunge into the brisk Atlantic Ocean at Noon on New Year’s Day. Registration comes with a souvenir long-sleeve 2017 Tybee Polar Plunge T-shirt!

It kicks off with the legendary Gang of Goofs costume contest and parade, judging starts at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion – Tybee Island, GA 31328

WHEN: Sunday,  January 1, 2017

COST: Adults $25, Kids under 12 $15

18th annual Tybee Polar Plunge promises a refreshing start to 2017

By Linda Sickler/SMN

Now really, how cold can it be?

You step into the Atlantic Ocean, get your head under water before you realize what you’re doing and then it’s all over for a whole year. Go on, give the Tybee Polar Plunge a try — if nothing else, it’s a good cure for a New Year’s Eve hangover.

“I did it twice,” says Melissa Turner, executive director of the Tybee Post Theater, which sponsors the event. “It was before we took over organizing the plunge.”

In fact, Turner participated in the 2012 plunge, which made the Tybee plunge the only one in the country to occupy a place of honor in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“It was the largest gathering of people wearing swim caps,” Turner says. “We had 2,049 that year.

“The Guinness folks sent out officials to count,” she says. “It was fantastic. That was the biggest crowd we’ve ever had for a polar plunge.”

But that record could be broken this year.

“We expect a bigger year than ever before because of the holiday falling on Sunday,” Turner says. “All the tourists will want to plunge before they go back home.”

The Gang of Goofs competition starts at 11 a.m., followed by the Polar Plunge at noon. The biggest attractions for participants and spectators alike are the Gangs of Goofs, who compete for prizes for best costumes.

See Spotted photos from the 2015 costume competition and plunge here.

“Last year’s winners were the Zany Zodiac, 12 women from Tybee,” Turner says. “Each one was dressed up like a sign of the Zodiac — we had the Gemini twins, Scorpio was a scorpion. All had dressed up in zodiac signs.

“There were a couple dozen groups last year,” Turner says. “One of the most popular was the Tybee Plungers, who wore toilet seats and carried great big plungers.”

And it’s all for a good cause, to benefit the Tybee Post Theater.

“We get volunteers to participate so all proceeds can go to the continuing restoration and programming of the theater,” Turner says. “This year also helps us pay off our brand-new roof.

“The old roof was taken off by Hurricane Matthew. The roof was only 10 years old, so it was quite a shame.

“We’re halfway toward our goal,” she says. “People had roofing problems all over on Tybee.”

The Tybee Polar Plunge has nature on its side.

“Let’s face it, the water isn‘t going to be lower than 50 degrees,” Turner says. “Some years, it’s in the 70s.

“Sure, it’s chilly. The temperature last year was in the 60s and it was also a little drizzly, but still quite comfortable.

“It wouldn’t compare to New England or Michigan,” she says. “You don’t suffer quite as much when you plunge. And you get a long-sleeved T-shirt to take with you to get you all warm.”

The plunge is suitable for all ages.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Turner says. “It’s a great way for families to celebrate the New Year.

“Lots of families do this together,” she says. “Families dress as Gangs of Goofs.”

The Gang of Goofs costume contest is also a parade.

“They get together and parade up the pier and in front of the celebrity judges,” Turner says. “They get great cash prizes.”

The cost to participate is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. To avoid crowds, participants can register early, from noon-4 p.m. through Dec. 31 in the tent by the Strand Roundabout or online.

People from all over the country participate.

“We had 36 states last year,” Turner says. “I can’t say they all come for the polar plunge, but over the holidays between Christmas and New Year’s, Tybee is a popular destination spot.

“Some people come back year after year. We get some of the same folks from other states and they dress up for the Gang of Goofs.”

“You get the honor of an exciting start to the new year,” she says. “There is no better way to cleanse the soul and start fresh.”

The event is still growing.

“The thing that is growing most is the Gang of Goofs costume contest and parade,” Turner says. “All it takes is three folks to constitute a gang.

“They come as penguins, ducks and one year as ‘Risky Business,’ with men in underwear and pink T-shirts. You name it, there are all kinds of themes.

“It doesn’t cost to register a gang, you just need to pay to participate in the plunge,” she says. “And you can’t win two years in a row, so the Zany Zodiac girls are working as volunteers this year.”

IF YOU GO

What: 18th annual Tybee Polar Plunge

When: Jan. 1; Gang of Goofs Costume Contest and Parade at 11 a.m., Polar Plunge at noon

Where: Tybee beach, pier and pavilion

Cost: $25 adults, $15 kids 12 and younger; includes long-sleeved T-shirt

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

“Love Actually,” a Christmas love story at the Post

By Jim Reed/SMN

Now, as I mentioned in last week’s column, this Thursday night, Dec. 22, the historic Tybee Post Theater (just blocks from the beach on Tybee Island) offers up its latest installment in an ongoing series of well-known, romantic-themed features called “Girls Night Out at the Movies.” I’d be remiss if I did not point out that these films are quite suitable for folks other than those of the female persuasion. I should also note that admission to this series includes a complimentary glass of wine (if you’re old enough) and a small pack of facial tissue (as the Post management assumes you’ll shed a tear or two during the proceedings).

Their selection this time out is director Richard Curtis’ 2003 British rom-com “Love Actually,” which is set around the Christmas holidays and boasts a phenomenal ensemble cast (including Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor). It’s a delightfully enchanting blend of bittersweet drama, awkward humor and heartwarming romantic vignettes that is mightily hard to resist. It’s a perennial favorite around this time of year on cable, but if that’s the only way you’ve ever caught it in the past, treat yourself to a big-screen display. Showtime is 7 p.m., with $10 admission (including that wine and Kleenex).

Tybee Post Theater Gala @Tybee Post Theater

By Anna Chandler/Connect Savannah
GET gussied up for a gala! Donning your finest frock for a good cause can (understandably) cost a pretty penny, but Tybee Post Theater’s big fundraiser offers tiered ticket pricing so everyone can get in on the fun.

George Gee Swing Orchestra will make it an evening to remember with big band swing and ‘40s swankiness. Gee and his bandmates have a knack for performing diverse musical selections with show-stopping flair—listen for rock, soul, and even a little roadhouse boogie.

The esteemed Gee is a New York staple, making weekly appearances at the world-famous Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center and leading the house band at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club every Tuesday for almost 20 years.

Before the dancin’ begins, VIP ticketholders can enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, live music, and a dazzling holiday ambience under the big tent outside. Make sure to get a sip of the Post’s special hot mulled gluhwein, sure to put a little warm shimmy in your step.

Friday, December 16, gala begins at 7 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m., $25 for concert tickets only, $50 for concert and pre-show gala, $30 for premium front-of-the-house seats

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2017 Tybee Wine Festival
Upcoming Events
  1. “Those Were the Days!”

    March 31 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  2. Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club

    April 1 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  3. Johnny Mercer on Tybee

    April 21 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
  4. Call of the Wild

    April 22 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  5. Tybee Youth Council Talent Show

    April 29 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  6. Tybee Wine Festival

    May 4 - May 6
  7. Pride & Prejudice

    May 12 - May 13
  8. Tony Arata and Friends

    July 21 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm