VERO BEACH — Riverside Theatre announces a free film week to take place from Oct. 12 through Oct. 16 showcasing the music of Academy Award-winning lyricist, Johnny Burke. Different films will be shown Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. on the Waxlax Stage.
Johnny Burke was a prolific writer of popular songs from the 1920’s through the 1950’s with many of his tunes becoming instant classics. Working with such famous artists as Irving Berlin, Guy Lombardo, Fats Waller, Ozzie Nelson, and Nat King Cole, Burke is probably better known for the songs written for the films of Bing Crosby.
Of the 41 films Burke worked on while under contract at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, 25 starred Crosby. The Academy Award-winning Crosby film, Going My Way, includes the Oscar-winning song “Swinging on a Star.”
In 1995, a musical revue depicting Burke’s life titled “Swinging on a Star” opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. Riverside Theatre will be presenting “Swinging on a Star” as the first production of the 2015 – 2016 Season.
To reacquaint patrons with this acclaimed lyricist, Riverside Theatre will be presenting classic movies featuring the music of Johnny Burke. Films being shown are: Road To Zanzibar, Road To Utopia, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Road to Morocco, and Going My Way. All films start at 2 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 12 – Road to Zanzibar (1941) 1 Hr., 32 min.
Tired of working the traveling sideshow circuit in Africa, con men Chuck Reardon (Bing Crosby) and Hubert “Fearless” Frazier (Bob Hope) get tangled up with tycoon Charles Kimble (Eric Blore), who fleeces them with the deed to a worthless diamond mine. After swindling someone else with the same mine deed, the boys rescue a pair of seemingly innocent young cuties in peril, Donna (Dorothy Lamour) and Julia (Una Merkel), not realizing that the girls are confidence tricksters themselves.
Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Road to Utopia (1945) 1 Hr., 30 min.
During the Alaskan gold rush, beautiful young Sal (Dorothy Lamour) travels to Alaska on the trail of the pair of thugs (Nestor Paiva, Robert Barrat) who murdered her father and stole the map to his gold mine. Meanwhile, genial con men Chester (Bob Hope) and Duke (Bing Crosby) unwittingly steal the wanted men’s identities and get involved in an escalating series of mistaken identities and double-crosses involving Sal, the real thieves and avaricious bar owner Ace (Douglas Dumbrille).
Wednesday, Oct. 14 – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949) 1 Hr., 42 min.
Following a head injury sustained during a storm, Hank Martin (Bing Crosby) comes to in Camelot in the year 528. Thought to be a criminal, Hank is brought before King Arthur (Cedric Hardwicke) and the evil magician Merlin (Murvyn Vye). Using his knowledge of technology, Hank convinces everyone that he has special powers. After falling for the lovely Alisande (Rhonda Fleming), Hank must duel with her fiancé, Lancelot (Henry Wilcoxon), and save the king from Merlin’s fiendish scheme.
Thursday, Oct. 15 – Road To Morocco (1942) 1 Hr., 23 min.
Starving vagabond Jeff (Bing Crosby) sells best friend Orville (Bob Hope) into slavery in a Moroccan marketplace to buy food. Searching for his partner after an attack of conscience, Jeff discovers that Orville is now engaged to the gorgeous Princess Shalmar (Dorothy Lamour), whose astrologers have told her that her first husband will die violently, leaving her free to marry her beloved Sheik Mullay Kasim (Anthony Quinn). But when the princess falls for Jeff, things get complicated.
Friday, Oct.16 – Going My Way (1944) – 2 Hrs., 6 min.
Father Charles O’Malley (Bing Crosby) is an easy-going, golf-playing young priest whose entry into a tough neighborhood parish in midtown Manhattan is viewed with skepticism from all quarters, especially the aging Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald). While dealing with some unfinished business from his former life in the form of an old flame who now sings at the Metropolitan Opera (Rise Stevens), Father O’Malley inspires the youth of his parish by forming a boys choir.
Tickets are free, however, while there is no cost for entrance, a ticket will be required. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Riverside Theatre Box Office at (772) 231-6990 or online at www.riversidetheatre.com.
Riverside Theatre is located at 3250 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963.
The 2015-2016 Season is sponsored by: Fidelity Investments, O’Haire Fessler Group-Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Northern Trust, Dale Sorensen Real Estate, PNC Bank, Wilmington Trust, Indian River Press Journal, 93.7 The Breeze, Vatland Honda, Marriott SpringHill Suites, and Riverside Theatre’s Patron Producers.