Film Festival welcomes legendary actress and dancer Jane Powell for screening of ‘Seven Brides’ tonight!

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to welcome legendary actress and dancer Jane Powell to town for a special screening of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Turner Classic Movies host, Robert Osborne, will be hosting the film and conducting a live Q&A discussion with Ms. Powell following the screening. Showtime will be 7:00 p.m. at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School. This is part of the film festival’s “Living Legends” series.

“This is a big coup for Sedona and for anyone who is a Jane Powell and ‘Seven Brides’ fan,” said Patrick Schweiss, festival director. “To get to experience this film the way it was meant to be seen — on the big screen — and then get to meet Ms. Powell herself and enjoy a Q&A with classic movie master Robert Osborne goes beyond description.”

Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved in advance by calling 282-1177.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1955. It won the Oscar for Best Musical Score and won the hearts of movie lovers around the world. It has become one of the most endearing classic movie treasures and a timeless favorite of audiences for the past 55 years.

Adam Pontipee (Howard Keel), the eldest of seven brothers, comes to town to trade and announces to the shopkeepers that he is in the market for a wife. He quickly becomes enamored of Milly (Jane Powell), a pretty, hard-working young woman who cooks for the local boardinghouse. Explaining that the responsibilities of running a farm do not allow for a lengthy courtship, Adam proposes to Milly that same day, and they are married right away. They return to his backwoods home. Only then does she discover his six brothers — all living in his cabin.

Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam develops an inspired solution to his brothers’ loneliness: kidnap the women they want!

The legendary Jane Powell — a pert, petite musical film star of the late 1940s and 50s — began in films in 1944 after hosting her own radio show from the age of 11. Soon, she was at MGM as a perk teen in “A Date With Judy” (1948) and “Nancy Goes to Rio” (1950). With her chirpy girl-next-door charm and operatic singing voice, Powell was in some ways a successor to Deanna Durbin, who retired in 1948. She hit her stride in the early 1950s in such musical classics as Stanley Donen’s “Royal Wedding” (1951) — replacing the ailing Judy Garland — and as the lead in Donen’s “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” (1954). Powell’s last film at MGM was “Hit the Deck” in 1955 and her last starring film to date was “Enchanted Island” (1958).

Ms. Powell kept busy during the late 50s and early 60s on TV, including a remake of the Vincente Minnelli musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1959). She made a stage comeback when she replaced Debbie Reynolds on Broadway in the 1973 revival of the musical “Irene.”

Looking wonderful in her later years, Ms. Powell was a relaxed guest on interview specials recalling the MGM of old and was most welcome hosting a series airing classic movie musicals on PBS. In 2009 she toured with Robert Osborne and Michael Feinstein and a host of other leading ladies in a show which celebrated MGM movie musicals.

“Now, Mr. Osborne is poised to bring his dear friend and Hollywood legend Jane Powell to Sedona for the enjoyment of our audiences,” added Schweiss. “It is Hollywood movie magic at its finest … live, right here in Sedona … and in our brand new performing arts center!”

The title sponsor of this special event is Marion Herrman, one of the founders of the film festival and lifetime board members. The lodging host sponsor is L’Auberge de Sedona Resort. Additional support is provided by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Sedona and the Sedona Community Foundation.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” will be shown at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 each or $9 for Film Sedona members. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 928.282.1177.

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