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Fulfill all your fantasies through the big screen

By Jim Reed/Do Savannah

Back in 1973, when “The Rocky Horror Show” made its stage debut, it was in a 63-seat “studio theater” in London’s West End. By the fall of 1975, after a successful, nine-month American stage run at Los Angeles’ fabled 500-seat Roxy Theatre nightclub, the play had made its inevitable transition to film.

“The Rocky Horror Show” was struggling British actor-cum-playwright Richard O’Brien’s raunchy, sex-drenched musical homage to the hokey 1950s and 1960s sci-fi and horror flicks he adored as a young man.

The film version, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” was a flop upon initial theatrical release, but slowly, over time, the unabashedly progressive and unapologetically ribald motion picture developed into a cult phenomenon quite unlike anything before or since. It made underground stars of its terrific cast of minor stage and screen actors (including Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick and future Oscar winner Susan Sarandon), and remains as the single longest-running movie in ongoing theatrical release.

Decades later, audiences around the world still line up for weekly screenings, often dressing in costumes inspired by the film’s characters, and at times either interacting rudely with the film’s recorded dialogue or merely repeating it verbatim from their seats. Some diehard fans take things a step further, dressing up in full costume and mimicking their chosen characters’ onscreen actions in front of the projected film. Seeing “Rocky” in a theater has become something of a rite of passage for sexually conflicted and/or curious teens and a comforting slice of non-conformist nostalgia for those of us old enough to remember the birth of the phenomenon.

Just how well all of this debauchery and flamboyant behavior will mesh with the relatively sedate environs of the historic Tybee Post Theater remains to be seen. However, on April 13, this 200-capacity venue will likely get as freaky-deaky as it has since re-opening in 2015 after decades of disuse. Who knows — perhaps this will become an annual event at the Post? Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission info for this and all of our featured Film Scene events can be found in the accompanying sidebar listings.

And do call her Shirley

Savannah Community Theatre performs Shirley Valentine

By Jim Morekis/ConnectSavannah

THE PLAY Shirley Valentine has entered the realm of the classics with its funny, poignant portrayal of an unhappy housewife’s journey of self-discovery.

Written by Willy Russell, it is also arguably one of the great one-person shows of all time.

Malinda Davis Smith and the Savannah Community Theatre bring Shirley to life onstage at the Tybee Post Theater, in a show opening this weekend and directed by the renowned J. Tom Coleman III. Read More …

 

A St. Patrick’s Day celebration with Chloë Agnew

By Anna Chandler/Connect Savannah

WHEN she was just 14 years old, Chloë Agnew joined one of the most successful musical groups in history.

Since its creation in 2004, the Irish musical ensemble Celtic Woman has been named Billboard World Album Artist of the Year six times and has sold over nine million records worldwide. Agnew bloomed professionally in the group, touring the world and sharing her Irish heritage and tradition with countless fans. Read more …

Little Tybee returns to roots with island concert, treasure hunt for fans

By Kim Wade/Do Savannah

Local favorites Little Tybee will return to their roots with a performance with New York City-based Reign of Kindo on March 8. And, according to Little Tybee’s Brock Scott, their performance at the Tybee Post Theater was an intentional stop on their recent tour.

“Our music can kind of be delicate and we wanted to play in a space that is more of a listening room,” Scott says. ” … That’s why we chose that spot… It’s obvious from our name that we hold the area of Tybee in high esteem and I think a lot of the sound we create is based on our roots there. Read more …

John Denver tribute @Tybee Post this Sat.

By Anna Chandler/Connect Savannah

Singer-songwriter William Florian is back at the Post Theater by popular demand with a loving tribute to the great John Denver.

As a singer with 1960s folk band The New Christy Minstrels, Florian is particularly well-equipped to interpret Denver’s earthy catalog. Not only will audiences hear hits like “Take Me Home Country Roads,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” and “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane”—Florian will incorporate stories about Denver’s career and fascinating life as a musician, activist, humanitarian, and pilot into his performance. Fans can look forward to an engaging performance peppered with humor and Florian’s seasoned onstage charisma.

Saturday, March 3, 8 p.m., $20-25 via tybeeposttheater.com, all-ages

Oscar contenders at the Post starting this weekend

By Jim Reed/Do Savannah

On Saturday, the Post kicks off back-to-back limited, second-run engagements of two of the past year’s most celebrated feature films — starting with the darkly tragi-comic revenge drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which is increasingly seen as a favored contender for the Best Picture Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards.

Written, produced and directed by Oscar-winning British-Irish playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh (who received the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film back in 2004), it stars a powerhouse ensemble of veteran actors adept at mixing deadpan humor with intense pathos, including Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and John Hawkes.

The less you know about the plot of this film the better, but suffice it to say, it is rooted in a furious mother’s grief over the loss of her daughter and the unorthodox methods she employs to try and find her child’s killer. It’s an incredibly well-constructed and cathartic big-screen experience that benefits from a quiet and respectful audience. Four showings only, at 7 p.m. Feb. 24-26, plus a 3 p.m. matinee Feb. 25.

WWII thriller

Then, from Feb. 28 to March 2 at the same venue, “Dunkirk,” the WWII thriller from heralded director Christopher Nolan (“Memento,” “The Dark Knight,” “Interstellar,” “Inception”) will be shown. A visually stunning blockbuster about the evacuation of Allied troops from the titular French city, “Dunkirk” stars Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. It was both adored and despised for its unconventional approach to non-linear storytelling, but it’s clearly designed for a cinematic experience. It screens at 7 p.m. each night.

Girls’ Night Out: “It Happened One Night” @Tybee Post

By Jim Reed/Do Savannah

On Feb. 22, Tybee Post Theater continues its “Girls Night Out” series with a one-show-only presentation of beloved director Frank Capra’s 1935 Oscar-winning smash“It Happened One Night,” starring the radiant Claudette Colbert and the dashing Clark Gable. It’s the tale of a spoiled heiress whose wealthy father attempts to destroy her marriage to a character he doesn’t care for. This leads the daughter into a chance meeting with a snarky newspaper reporter, and before you can say “meet cute,” he’s fallen for her.

A staple of late-night TV screenings in the 1970s, it is rarely seen these days, but has stood the test of time and remains a true gem of an old movie that should be appreciated by today’s young people just as well as it was over 80 (!) years ago. I mean, hey, how can you pass up an opportunity to see a film that won Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Picture? Admission includes your choice of a beverage (hard or soft), or you can make reservations in advance at tybeeposttheater.org for $35, which includes a three-course dinner before the 7 p.m. film at 80 E. Gastropub, just a few blocks from the venue.

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

Close To You: The Music of The Carpenters @Tybee Post Theater Sat. night

By Anna Chandler/ConnectSavannah

Be on “Top of the World” this Saturday with a special tribute show. Headed up by Chicago-based vocalist Lisa Rock, “Close To You: The Music of The Carpenters” showcases Rock’s incredible four-octave range and all the favorites of the 1970s band.

Rock performs alongside backing vocalist Sari Greenberg and pianist Ken McMullen. The group will perform songs like “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “I Won’t Last A Day Without You,” and more.

Saturday, February 17, 8 p.m., $18-22 via tybeeposttheater.com, all-ages

Lyn Avenue, straight up @TybeePost, Fri. night

By Anna Chandler/ConnectSavannah
SAVANNAH band Lyn Avenue has made their hottest record yet—literally and figuratively.

“We went in the studio in August with no AC,” vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter CC Witt remembers. “Literally, sweat, blood and tears went into this!”

Since they started out as a teenage garage band, Lyn Avenue as an entity has grown up just like its members, refining sounds, honing songwriting strengths, and deepening a chemistry that’s been there since the beginning. It’s all evident in their new, highly-anticipated EP, ‘Never Been to Nashville,’ available at the band’s Tybee Post Theater release concert on Friday.

Though they’re one of their home state’s favorite country acts (Lyn Avenue has been crowned “Best Country Band” not once but three times by the Georgia Music Awards and the Georgia Country Awards), that Southern flavor wasn’t always a part of the sound.

“We started as a garage band back in, I want to say, 2008 or 2009,” Savannah native Witt says. “We were kids jamming making noise for a long time!”

That’s how Witt spent the first day she met Patrick Ellington, her co-writer in the band and, as of a few months ago, husband.

“The day we met, we were playing music,” Witt recalls. “He came over to play. We’ve known each other for 11 years and we grew and we argued and we wrote songs together.”

Witt’s childhood home certainly had its share of country music played throughout—her dad listened to Marty Robbins and Elvis Presley—but her folks also loved disco, soul, and The Police. That diverse influence is evident on ‘Never Been to Nashville,’ which goes full old-school country on lead single “Kentucky Bourbon” but dips into progressive country sounds throughout the rest of its tracks.

In those early days, Witt was inspired to try writing a country song for one of her best friends, a lover of the genre. The result was fan favorite “Guardian Angel,” which has finally been recorded for the ‘Never Been to Nashville’ EP.

Country was the perfect style for Witt’s writing.

“It just clicked,” she shares. “It was natural, and we started gravitating toward that sound and my writing style lended itself more to a country style. I focus more on emotions when I write. Patrick writes more visually, I think. Together, we make a country song.”

When it was time to hit the studio, the band selected the songs that capture them at their best, reaching back to the early days for “Guardian Angel.”

“We wanted to give those songs a second chance and bring them to maturity,” explains Witt. “Since ‘Guardian Angel’ was the song that started our journey with country music, we really wanted to bring that one to fruition. ‘You Don’t Need Me’ was a bonus track, and ‘Little Big City Town’ I wrote and put on my solo EP [2016’s ‘Down Memory Lane’], so we decided to make it a full band version.”

Lyn Avenue recorded ‘Never Been to Nashville’ at Dollhouse Studios supported by a mosaic of local musicians. The EP employs four different drummers, as well as Igor Fiksman (Damon and the Shitkickers) on pedal steel, Jay Rudd (City Hotel) on mandolin and banjo, Kenny Munshaw (co-owner of Dollhouse Studios) on keys, and Witt’s aunt, Nancy Witt, on keys.

click to enlarge
Patrick Ellington and CC Witt channel classic country style on their EP’s album art.
Patrick Ellington and CC Witt channel classic country style on their EP’s album art.
“We just had a lot of ideas, and we tried them all and it ended up coming together,” Witt recalls of their time in-studio. “We definitely want to show people that we’re not from this bro-country stuff that’s on the radio. We want to write about real things and substance. And we still really like to write catchy songs! We want to continue with that classic country vibe.”

These days, Witt and Ellington are considered the core of the band, bringing in bassists and drummers to support their sound live. For their album release show, Lyn Avenue will include drummer AJ Davis, bassist Larry Jones, Fiksman on pedal steel, and some special surprise guests. Everyone attending the concert will receive a free ‘Never Been to Nashville’ EP. City Hotel’s Aaron Zimmer and Jay Rudd will perform an opening set.

“We’re just grateful,” Witt says. “Everyone’s been so gracious and supportive and kind, especially with our single [“Kentucky Bourbon”] that we released. We’re really excited to share all this with everybody else. We’re trying to put together a good show. It’ll be the best one yet!”

CS

Jane Ogle and Southern Holiday Jazz Band bring Billie Holiday to Tybee Sat. Feb. 3

By Christopher Berinato/SMN
Tybee Post Theater continues its popular Jazz Legends Series with a tribute to Lady Day.

The songs of Billie Holiday are brought to life in “Billie on Tybee!” featuring singer Jane Ogle and the Southern Holiday Jazz Band. Ogle has been performing this show since 2013, and her current band includes Robert Britton Saunders on drums, Marc Chesanow on upright bass and Judy Duva on piano.
Holiday changed jazz music during her career from the 1930s through the ’50s with a unique, uncompromising and emotional vocal style, and her influence can still be felt in music today. Read more ….

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