Whether you venture out on Open Chicago weekend or plan to stay in, Music Box has an awesome lineup of entertainment.
From the creator of HAMILTON and the director of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, the joyous new musical IN THE HEIGHTS opens this weekend at the Music Box!
Rated 97% FRESH on RottenTomatoes, this exuberant story of young dreamers in Washington Heights is being hailed by critics as “A magnificent sight to behold” (RogerEbert.com), “Consistently surprising and creatively fearless” (Slant Magazine), and “A vital work of art” (Vox).
Please note, while COVID restrictions are changing in Chicago starting this Friday, the Music Box will be upholding the guidelines they had in place when they first put tickets for IN THE HEIGHTS on sale. Masks are still required in all areas of the Music Box, and the main auditorium is capped at 250 people, with socially-distanced seating in place.
Also opening Friday, a meticulous film censor is assigned to a disturbing new movie, in the eerie new horror CENSOR. RogerEbert.com praises CENSOR as “Frightening, disorienting and frankly shocking”.
Mom and Dad are out of town, let’s start the ruckus in the MUSIC BOX GARDEN! This weekend, you can gather for outdoor screenings of the Kid ‘n Play classic HOUSE PARTY, followed by ‘90s teen touchstone CAN’T HARDLY WAIT next Monday-Thursday (including the night of June 17th, Barry Manilow’s birthday).
And if you feel like staying in this weekend, you can check out 4 New Movies on MUSIC BOX DIRECT!
New this week, the Champ’s hometown comes together in the wake of his passing in CITY OF ALI, passionate educators change lives in Chicago’s South Side in TOMORROW’S HOPE, a family community in Rome begins to crumble in the disquieting BAD TALES, and the new documentary UPHEAVAL: THE JOURNEY OF MENACHEM BEGIN.
Scroll down for information on each of these films, and Watch-At-Home on Music Box Direct starting Friday!
IN THE HEIGHTS
The creator of “Hamilton” and the director of “Crazy Rich Asians” invite you to a cinematic event, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big… “In the Heights.” Lights up on Washington Heights…The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.
“In the Heights” fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.
Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye-gougings she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.“Frightening, disorienting and frankly shocking” — RogerEbert.com
Screening in the Music Box Garden | Extremely Limited Seating Available | A Part of Mom and Dad Aren’t Home with CAN’T HARDLY WAIT
Play’s parents are out of town, and he’s planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend, Kid, wants to go more than anything, knowing Sydney (Tisha Campbell-Martin), the hottest girl in school, is sure to be there. But when Kid gets into a fight at school, his father grounds him. Still determined to go, Kid sneaks out of the house and faces one calamity after another as he makes his way to Play’s house and the party of the school year.
CAN’T HARDLY WAIT
Screening in the Music Box Garden | Extremely Limited Seating Available | A Part of Mom and Dad Aren’t Home with HOUSE PARTY
School’s out, and an entire graduating class — from football stars and cool girls to complete nerds — gathers at a wealthy classmate’s home for a party. There, the artistic Preston (Ethan Embry) hopes to move in on Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt), the beauty he has admired from afar for years. Dorky William (Charlie Korsmo) schemes to pay back meathead Mike (Peter Facinelli) for years of bullying, and would-be rapper Kenny (Seth Green) gets locked in a room with snarky Denise (Lauren Ambrose).
CITY OF ALI
City of Ali is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of how the death of Muhammad Ali brought the people of his Kentucky hometown – and the world – together for one unforgettable week. Ali’s passing on June 3, 2016, came in the context of a bitter U.S. presidential election, a proposed Muslim ban and the global expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet on the day of Ali’s funeral procession, more than 100,000 people lined the streets of Louisville to celebrate his life, and an estimated one billion people worldwide watched events like Ali’s memorial, held in the packed KFC YUM! Center as stories of the Louisville Lip’s wit, generosity, swagger and commitment to justice were retold by President Bill Clinton, BillyCrystal, Lonnie Ali, and many others.
City of Ali explores Ali’s lifelong relationship with his hometown through candid interviews with friends and relatives whose history with The Champ dates back to his childhood at 3302 Grand Avenue, and who share stories even devoted Ali fans have never heard. We also get behind-thescenes accounts of this unprecedented celebration of one man’s life from those who planned the events. We also hear thoughtful reflections from visitors such as NBC’s Craig Melvin, TV legend Dick Cavett, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, 4-time Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, ESPN’s Hannah Storm and many others who gathered in Louisville to answer the question, “How do you say good-bye to The Greatest?”
Tomorrow’s Hope brings us into the journey of passionate educators and tenacious kids and their families on the south side of Chicago, determined to carve out the future despite a sea of incredible challenges.
In the film we reunite with three present-day high school seniors who had started out in the Educare preschool’s first-ever class, exploring the continuing effects of early childhood education as they navigate their way through difficult circumstances.
While today the Educare Early Education Center is going strong, in the documentary we learn about its utterly harrowing yet remarkable early stages as “The Beethoven Project” located within “Forgotonia” – a name the film’s Portia Kennel uses to describe what was at the time the largest housing project in the world.
Exploring the contrast of promises kept against a pervasive backdrop of promises broken, Tomorrow’s Hopecelebrates the resilience of the human spirit.
Once upon a time, in a small family suburb on the outskirts of Rome, the cheerful heat of summer camouflages a stifling atmosphere of alienation. From a distance, the families seem normal, but it’s an illusion: in the houses, courtyards and gardens, silence shrouds the subtle sadism of the fathers, the passivity of the mothers and the guilty indifference of adults. But it’s the desperation and repressed rage of the children that will explode and cut through this grotesque facade, with devastating consequences for the entire community.
In Italian with English subtitles
UPHEAVAL: THE JOURNEY OF MENACHEM BEGIN
Imprisoned by the Soviets. Orphaned by the Holocaust. Elected Prime Minister. Crowned peacemaker by the Nobel Prize Committee. Disgraced by the Lebanon War. Menachem Begin was a pillar of the State of Israel and a tireless fighter for the Jewish people. He was, at the same time, a controversial leader. His life is a nuanced and complicated canvas that tells the story of key events in the history of modern Israel and its relationship to its Middle East neighbors. With evocative imagery, rarely seen archival materials, and revealing interviews with those who knew him, UPHEAVAL portrays the life and essence of this brilliant, tough, complex, loving, and proud man who never compromised when the survival of Israel and the Jewish people were at stake.
Experiential cinema in its purest form, GUNDA chronicles the unfiltered lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy. Using stark, transcendent black and white cinematography and the farm’s ambient soundtrack, Master director Victor Kossakowsky invites the audience to slow down and experience life as his subjects do, taking in their world with a magical patience and an other worldly perspective. GUNDA asks us to meditate on the mystery of animal consciousness, and reckon with the role humanity plays in it. Executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix.
“Pure cinema. This is a film to take a bath in – it’s stripped to its essential elements, without any interference. It’s what we should all aspire to as filmmakers and audiences – pictures and sound put together to tell a powerful and profound story without rush. It’s jaw dropping images and sound put together with the best ensemble cast and you have something more like a potion than a movie.”– Paul Thomas Anderson
TINY TIM: KING FOR A DAY
Narrated by Weird Al Yankovic, TINY TIM: KING FOR A DAY is a biographical doc about a musician who is not only well known for hits such as Tip Toe Through The Tulips but for his trail blazing personae that paved the way for other rock stars such as David Bowie, Prince, Iggy Pop and Boy George. An outcast from a young age, Herbert Khary’s rise to stardom as Tiny Tim is the ultimate fairytale. Considered a freak by many of his peers, Tiny Tim left no one unaffected. His wedding on the Carson Show was watched by over 45 million Americans and his queer personality have been celebrated by the likes of Bob Dylan, Marilyn Manson and Lady Gaga. There were plans and hopes that Tiny Tim would be a lasting star, not only a novelty act but one man ruined these plans: Tiny Tim.
The exclusive access to Tiny Tim’s intense diaries, the playful and powerful animations and the interviews with his family and friends, makes this film not only a captivating portrait of one of the oddest stars the world has ever seen, but also a psychological drama, examining the borderline between insanity and geniality.