Another unforgettable Cape Ann Cinema & UU Gloucester Meetinghouse collaboration was held on Sunday, December 3, 2017–a special screening of the silent film adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan as a benefit for Pathways for Children. Ellen Sibley was there for Pathways, welcoming guests and opening the evening.
Renowned organist Peter Krasinski explained that star Lindsay Crouse would use her artistry to accompany this silent screening like a Benshi, a Japanese word for performers who provided live narration for silent films in order to translate the intertitles. Though Krasinski has collaborated with benshi in Japan for some of his live performances, yesterday’s event was the first time he’s done so in the United States. I went to film school and was fortunate to take master classes in cinema studies with Bill Everson, a film historian and major collector. He’d invite Lillian Gish and other silent screen stars and producers to lecture, and always there were amazing accompanists. Not once though have I experienced a narration, too. I’ve heard Krasinski play before and seen Crouse act in film, tv and Gloucester Stage. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it would be like nothing else I’d ever experienced. Krasinski has seen Peter Pan numerous times and his confident music was subtle and charming, cueing the music to the action on the screen and improvising along with Crouse. Crouse’s narration was pitch perfect. Crouse spoke of her affection for the story and related seeing it 17 times as a child (yes, with Mary Martin) and how it’s among the defining and formative theatrical pulls of her youth.Who knew Nana’s whimpering and such subtle variations of so many characters crying throughout Peter Pan was possible? I googled Lindsay Crouse audiobooks right when I got home. Lindsay Crouse audiobooks
What amazing effort and art for a good cause.
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