Thursday, November 20, 2008

Events this week at the Fredonia Opera House

Here are a couple of press releases I received from the Fredonia Opera House

Opera House Cinema Series to Feature “Flash of Genius”

FREDONIA – The David vs. Goliath true story, “Flash of Genius,” is the next featured film in the Cinema Series at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. It will be screened Sat., Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. and Tues., Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns’ long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, “Flash of Genius” tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced; and he took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win.

The Kearns were a typical 1960s Detroit family trying to live their version of the American Dream. Local university professor Bob (Greg Kinnear) married teacher Phyllis (Lauren Graham) and by their mid-30s had six kids who brought them a hectic but satisfying Midwestern existence. When Bob invents a device that would eventually be used by every car in the world, the Kearns think they have struck gold. But their aspirations are dashed after the auto giants who embraced Bob’s creation unceremoniously shunned the man who invented it.

Ignored, threatened and then buried in years of litigation, Bob is haunted by what was done to his family and their future. He becomes a man obsessed with justice and the conviction that his life’s work – or for that matter, anyone’s work – be acknowledged by those who stand to benefit. And while paying the toll for refusing to compromise his dignity, this everyday David tries the unthinkable – to bring Goliath to his knees.

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle calls the film “an enjoyable way to start the Oscar season.” Claudia Puig of USA Today notes “the film’s strength lies in its fact-based story of a wronged man turned crusader.” Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says “Kinnear takes the star spot in ‘Flash of Genius’ and rides it to glory.” Steven Rea of the Philadelphia Inquirer says “Kinnear does what he’s done in the past: you underestimate the guy’s acting chops, and suddenly, strikingly, he floors you.” Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, “Flash of Genius” runs 119 minutes.

Tickets for the Opera House Cinema Series are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students & children) the night of each showing. For more information, call the Opera House box office at 716-679-1891. This is the last film in the Opera House Cinema Series until January.

Chautauqua County’s only year-round performing arts center, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit

Master Funnymen Circo Comedia to Appear at the Opera House

FREDONIA – Unpredictable thrills, side-splitting comedy and daredevil stunts will be the order of the evening when the 1891 Fredonia Opera House presents master funnymen and circus arts duo Circo Comedia on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Circo Comedia is comprised of Jean Saucier and Patrick Côté from Montréal. The duo presents their own distinctive style of humor, acrobatic tricks, daring feats, magic and eccentricity in a manner reminiscent of the Quebec Circus. Saucier – master equilibrist, juggler, trick cyclist, acrobat and magician – performs his feats from dizzying heights, while Côté – burlesque clown, expert roller skater and drummer – innocently tries his best to be the (imperfect) assistant. “This is family entertainment at its finest – deliriously funny and filled with unforgettable moments!”

A unicycle launched Saucier’s career. At age 11, he cut a curious figure in his native Montréal when he delivered newspapers atop the one-wheeler. Mostly self-taught until the age of 18, Saucier attended the École National du Cirque de Montréal. Cirque du Soleil noticed his talent and hired him. In 1987, he was awarded the Bronze Medal at the Festival du Cirque de Demain in Paris, France, for his bicycle routine together with his performing ensemble.

From 1999 to 2006, Saucier performed with his first Circo Comedia partner, Lawrence Smythe, touring extensively throughout the United States at performing art centers, festivals and fairs, thrilling and entertaining audiences everywhere. Touring highlights included The Philadelphia Festival Theater for Children, Alaska Junior Theatre in Anchorage, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, FL, the Smithsonian Institute, Carpenter Center in Long Beach, Calif., The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival and Flint Hills International Children’s Festival in St. Paul, Minn. International touring included performances in Japan, France, Honk Kong, Italy, Mexico and Hungary.

In 2004, Smythe left Circo Comedia and Saucier began performing with Patrick Côté in Québec theaters, festivals, schools and special events. In 2005, the duo won the First Prize (Public Choice) at the Mondial des Amuseurs of Trois-Rivières Festival.

Côté is a comic stuntman, an expert on roller skates and a formidable drummer. While training as a gymnast and acrobat at Montréal’s National Circus School (École Nationale de Cirque) in 1989, Côté discovered a passion for burlesque stunts and created his own lexicon of unique, humorous and spectacular moves, becoming a true artist in the genre of physical comedy. Also in the late 1980s, he created his well known alter-ego/comic characters “PatPatinFou” for La Maison Hantée (The Haunted House) and “Le Baron Fou,” which he incorporated into 2,500 performances over a 10-year period. He continued to create several new characters for projects such as the Super Cirque, Cirque Comik, Cirque National des Clowns, Cirque du Soleil and the Fabuleux Cirque Estival tour. Together, Saucier and Côté are taking the acrobatics, clowning and theatrics of Circo Comedia that audiences world-wide, have grown to know and love, to new “heights”!

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asks “How small can a circus be? No smaller than the Circo Comedia, surely – two partners who mix legitimate physical dexterity and bad boy clowning for 60 some minutes of one-ring entertainment.” The Anchorage News notes “Don’t be surprised if your kid says: ‘Wow, I want to be a clown’.”

Tickets to this night of family entertainment are $10 general admission, $8 for seniors & students and $5 for children 12 & under. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716/679-1891 Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. and Saturday, 2-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online any time at

This performance is part of the Opera House Carousel Family Series and is made possible, in part, with public funds from NYSCA, a state agency, and the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County.

Chautauqua County’s only year-round performing arts center, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of events is available at

Contact: Rick Davis, APR
Executive Director

No comments: