P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
July 2, 2003
Creature from the Black Lagoon at MASS MoCA with Live Music and Dialogue Added
(North Adams, Mass.) Led by sax impresario Roy Nathanson and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, The Jazz Passengers take on the classic Creature from the Black Lagoon at MASS MoCA on Saturday, August 2, at 8:30 P.M. The Jazz Passengers will perform to the film radio play style - removing the sound and providing both live music and hysterical dialogue as the film is screened. Shown in 3-D, glasses will be provided for the audience. Rolling Stone calls the production an "absurdist mix of jazz and musical comedy."
So many suspense and horror films have borrowed from Creature from the Black Lagoon that it starts to look clichéd until one remembers that this was the film that raised the horror flick bar. A creature feature milestone, the film featured shots that would be copied by movie greats, including Steven Spielberg, for years to come. The then-cutting-edge 3-D technology was expertly handled without employing cheap tricks and gimmicks. "Gill Man" wore some of the best hand-crafted masks of the 1950s and was played on land by powerful stuntman Ben Chapman. Underwater champion swimmer Riccou Browning gave the hideous creature extraordinary grace without benefit of scuba gear. One of the first films to use sophisticated underwater footage, the underwater photography was state-of-the-art at the time of the film's release.
In the film, a research team digging in the Amazon comes across the fossilized hand of a human fish creature. That night, the creature emerges from the swamp to kill. When the hand makes it back to an oceanographic institute, conscientious scientist David (Richard Carlson), greedy scientist Mark (Richard Cunha) and the beautiful girl they fight over, Kay (Julia Adams), head up the Amazon to find more fossils. Instead, of course, they run into the real thing, and terror begins. While Mark and David fight over what to do next, the creature falls in love with Kay, and makes plans of his own.
Founded in 1987 by saxophonist Roy Nathanson and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, The Jazz Passengers borrowed a chapter from Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers when they chose their name. They say it signifies that the musicians are merely along for a wild ride. The group endeavors to bring back lively humor and entertainment into modern jazz. Nathanson and Fowlkes met while playing in the Big Apple Circus pit band. They both joined John Lurie's Lounge Lizards and later recorded a duet album together. They added more and more albums employing top-rate studio musicians until they finally decided to make it official and give the group a name. The newly formed Jazz Passengers quickly gained a reputation in the New York City avant-garde scene, performing at venues like the Knitting Factory. They're probably best known for their recent album with rock singer Debbie Harry of Blondie singing lead vocals and featuring Elvis Costello.
MASS MoCA's popular Silent Film/Live Music series is sponsored by Holiday Inn Berkshires.
Lickety Split will be open to serve dinner and snacks starting at 8 P.M. when the doors open. There will also be a full bar. In case of rain the film will move indoors where the Hunter Center will have been transformed into a full movie palace.
Tickets to Creature from the Black Lagoon are $12 adults and $6 for kids. MASS MoCA members get 10% off. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time of day.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release