Monroe Arts Center to screen the documentary ‘Syncopated City’ April 8

James Beaudry
James Beaudry

Online Staff Report

MONROE, Wis. — At 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, at the Monroe Public Library, 925 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis., the 2004 Michael Kantor documentary film Syncopated City from the series “Broadway: The American Musical” will be presented. This is the fifth in a series of seven film screenings being presented as a partnership between the Monroe Arts Center (MAC) and the Monroe Public Library.

Each of the film screenings focuses on a different genre of American music, with each genre represented in an upcoming MAC 2013-2014 performance.

The series uses documentary film and a brief post-film discussion, led by a music authority, to engage the public in a study of some of America’s most enduring popular music.

Films will be shown approximately one week prior to a corresponding MAC performance. Syncopated City precedes the 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 12, MAC performance of Two on Tap: A Tribute to Song and Dance.

Narrated by Julie Andrews, Syncopated City focuses on the 1920s, Broadway’s most prolific era. It’s the age of “Whoopee” and the “Charleston,” Runnin’ Wild and the George White Scandals. The Gershwin brothers, the minstrels of the Jazz Age, bring a “Fascinating Rhythm” to an entire nation. The episode features interviews and on-camera commentary by historians, performers, writers, musicians and critics, including actress Carol Channing, Gershwin sister Frances Gershwin Godowsky, critic Margo Jefferson, musician and composer Stephen Sondheim, writer Miles Krueger, New Yorker theater critic John Lahr, and many more. Highlights include rare performance footage of composer Eubie Blake and a specially animated sequence of Rodgers and Hart’s 1927 hit “Thou Swell” from A Connecticut Yankee. Running time of the film is approximately 60 minutes.

Following the film screening, a half-hour discussion, led by James Beaudry, will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Beaudry serves as executive director, producer and choreographer at Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, Ill. In addition to more than 50 productions for Timber Lake, he has appeared on stage in numerous productions across the U.S. He has served as a peer reviewer for Oxford University Press, Music and Dance Division, and has been featured in Dance magazine, Dance Spirit magazine and Backstage. He holds a master of fine arts from Mills College and a bachelor of arts from The College of Wooster.

All film screenings and discussions are free and opening to the public. Anyone attending the film screening and discussion is eligible to win tickets to the MAC performance of Two on Tap: A Tribute to Song and Dance. For information, contact the MAC at (608) 325-5700, 888-596-1249, or online at

Posted April 2, 2014

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