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RiverRun’s Saturday Night Fever and a different potter

by Mark Burger

We’ve still got six more months until the next installment of the RiverRun International Film Festival (April 22-29, 2009), but that hardly means the festival’s on siesta the rest of the year. This Saturday, the festival will present encore screenings of some of its most popular and acclaimed films from years past. So, if you missed ’em the first time around, or would like to experience them again…. This Saturday, at the Main Theatre of the ACE Exhibition Complex on the NCSA campus (1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem), audiences can enjoy Gina Angelone’s documentary Rene and I, winner of the 2006 Audience Award, which will be screened at 6 p.m. Then, at 8 p.m., it’s time for Hawes Bostic and Austin McKenna’s documentary Barbecue is a Noun, winner of the 2005 Audience Award. Tickets for each screening are $6 and are available in advance at the Stevens Center box office (405 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem; 336.721.1945). For more information, about these screenings or about the festival in general — including guidelines and rules for submitting films to the 2009 festival — see www.riverrunfilm.com. >>>>

The Mixed Tape Film Series has a little Christmas treat of its own: a special theatrical screening of Tim Burton’s 1990 hit fantasy Edward Scissorhands on Dec. 3. This isn’t just some DVD projected onto the big screen; this is a 35mm print rented from the NCSA School of Filmmaking’s vast archive. I’ve seen that archive up close, and believe me, it’s vast. Johnny Depp stars in the title role, along with Winona Ryder (his then-fiancee), Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker and the two main reasons I saw the film back in 1990: Vincent Price and Alan Arkin. The film was a boxoffice hit and earned an Academy Award nomination for best makeup. The film will be screened at 7, 8, 9:15 and 10:15 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Carousel Luxury Cinemas (1305 Battleground

Ave., Greensboro). Tickets are $4 ($2 with college ID). Drinks and pizza are $1. The movie’s rated PG-13. For more information, see www.carouselcinemas.com

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The Children’s Theatre of Winston- Salem celebrates the holiday season with its annual production of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester. A century before Harry Potter captured the world’s imagination, the author (Helen) Beatrix Potter did likewise, thanks to a series of best-selling children’s books that includes “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” “The Story of Miss Moppet,” “Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes,” and several others. The Tailor of Gloucester, based on Potter’s third story (published in 1903) and produced by Richmond, Va.’s acclaimed Theatre IV touring children’s theater. The title character is commissioned to fashion a cherrycolored coat for the Christmas wedding of his town’s mayor. When he discovers that he lacks just enough silk to sew on the final button, he gives his last coin to his faithful pet cat, Simpkin, with the express order to go out into the snow and procure the much-needed twist of silk. >>>> It being Christmas Eve, however, animals are granted the gift of speech for one night, and Simpkin realizes that he must team up with the mice he has trapped beneath teacups for his holiday feast in order to save the tailor’s business. Far be it for me to give away the ending, but it’s not inaccurate to say that everyone lives happily ever after… cats and mice and humans alike. Showtimes are 10 a.m. on Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. on Dec. 6, and this production will be presented at the First Presbyterian Church Worship Center (300 N. Cherry St., Winston-Salem). Tickets are $8 (general admission) and $12 (reservedseating), and reservations are suggested. If you’re looking for Christmas presents, the theater is also offering discount specials for its upcoming shows. There’s the Family Four Pack, which includes two tickets to any four Saturday-morning matinee and/or weeknight evening shows ($56 general admission, $84 reserved-seat tickets); the Family Season Pass includes two tickets to all seven Saturday-morning matinee and weeknight evening shows ($84 general admission, $126 reservedseat tickets); the Saturday Matinee Six- Pack, which includes two tickets to all five Saturday-morning matinee shows and the 7 p.m. performance on April 29 of Butterfly: Story of a Life Cycle ($77 general admission; $122 reserved-seat tickets). For more information about the Children’s Theatre, see www.childrenstheatrews.org or call 336.725.4531.

To comment on this story, e-mail Mark Burger at marksburger@yahoo.com.

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