Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Johnny Guitar

Whittier Community Theatre cast of Johnny Guitar
(Left to Right) Jason Miramontes as The Dancin' Kid, Mallory Kerwin as Vienna, and Matthew Berardi as Johnny Guitar
Whittier Community Theatre's next production is coming soon!  The Western musical Johnny Guitar premiers Friday, February 20th.

Some of you may know of the campy Joan Crawford movie this musical is based on.  The film version is a 1954 American Republic Pictures' Western drama, selected in 2008 for preservation by the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The movie poster for the 1954 film
The musical theatre version is a fast-paced, family-friendly musical based on this historic Western.  The stage show was the winner of numerous awards as the Best Musical of 2004.

The current Community Theatre production, which opens a week from Friday,  is directed by John Francis, assisted by Nancy Tyler, and stars the talents of Mallory Kerwin, Matthew Berardi, Lindsay Marsh, Jason Miramontes, Greg Stokes, Jonathan Tupanjanin, Justin Murphy, Andy Kresowski and Richard DeVicariis.

Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden in a scene from the movie

Song legend Peggy Lee made the title song a 1950s a hugely popular hit.  She helped write (with Victor Young) the title song, and sang it herself in the film's closing moments:

Play the guitar, play it again, my Johnny
Maybe you’re cold, but you’re so warm inside
I was always a fool for my Johnny
For the one they call Johnny Guitar

If you are a film buff, you may have seen Johnny Guitar playing briefly in Pedro Almadovar's famous film (one of my favorites!), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, as two of the main characters are dubbers for the film into Spanish.

The film version of Johnny Guitar also appears in the French film La Sirรจne du Mississippi, where Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve go to a showing of it in Lyon and discuss the film in the street afterwards.

The stage version has been described as 
"Pure entertainment delight, Western Style!"  
Y'all come see it now, y'hear?

Friday and Saturdays, February 20th - March 7th, 2015  
(with one matinee on Sunday, March 1st)
The Center Theatre  7630 S. Washington Avenue
Whittier, California
For Ticket information:
or call 562-696-0600 for reservations 

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