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May 23, 2005

"Gunner Palace" and "Turtles Can Fly" give civilians a glimpse into war-torn Iraq

Through May and June at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre, several feature films examine the war in Iraq from the view of insiders. “Gunner Palace” gives U.S. soldiers stationed at the bombed-out home of Uday Hussein, the late son of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, an opportunity to tell their firsthand experiences. “Turtles Can Fly” illustrates the war through the eyes of children in post-Saddam Iraq.

Other performances range from down under in the Playwrights Premiere Theatre live stage production of “The Waiting Room” by Australian writer Simon Brook to live Colonial Williamsburg programs fresh from 18th-century Virginia.

Step back in time with these special stage performances that include:

  • “Founding Fathers,” 2 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday through May 27 and 2 and 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday May 31-June 30. Meet Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry. Admission is free with Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor pass. Reservations are required.
  • “Martha Washington Speaks with the Children,” 2 p.m., May 22, June 11, June 25 and June 26. General admission is $5, and senior and student admission is $4. Reservations are required.
  • “Martha Washington: Her Life and Times,” 3:30 p.m., May 22, June 11, June 25 and June 26. General admission is $5, and senior and student admission is $4. Reservations are required.
  • “Fiddleworks!” 10:30 a.m. and noon, May 27, June 7, June 14, June 21 and June 28. This is a foot-stomping review of American fiddle music from the 18th century through modern day. General admission is $5 and senior and student admission is $4.
  • “Crystal Concert,” 10:30 a.m. and noon, May 23, May 25, May 30, June 1, June 3, June 8, June 10, June 13, June 17, June 22, June 24 and June 27. Dean Shostak performs an exciting concert featuring music and stories of Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica. General admission is $5, and senior and student admission is $4.
  • “Grand Medley of Entertainment,” 7:30 p.m., May 18, May 25, June 1, June 8, June 15, June 20, June 22, June 27 and June 29. This program re-creates an 18th-century traveling show Colonial performance ticket is $12.
  • 18th-century Play Series, 8 p.m. Colonial performance ticket is $12.
    “A Way to Keep Him,” May 12, May 26, June 6, June 17 and June 30. Join Mr. Lovemore, Sir Brilliant Fashion and Sir Bashful Constant as they struggle to be fashionable and their wives and lovers are schooled in The Way to Keep Him.
    “A Miss in Her Teens,” May 21 and June 13. Miss Biddy Bellair puts down the challenge for her beaus to prove their love.
    “The Guardian,” June 23. This play is a fast paced comedy of arranged marriages, mistaken love interests and a meddling servant that helps things go from bad to worse.

    Live performances throughout May and June feature a variety of musical and comedic performances. Playwrights Premiere Theater presents “The Waiting Room” by Australia’s funniest new playwright, Simon Brook. The preview can be seen 7:30 p.m. June 2. Opening night will be held 7:30 p.m. June 3. Additional performances have been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 4, June 9, June 10 and June 11. Matinee performances can be seen 2:30 p.m. June 5 and June 12. Tickets are $9 for the preview only; general admission is $15 for adults and $8 for students. The Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble will salute band music during the concert, “American Marches Past and Present,” 2:30 p.m. June 19. General admission is $10 and $7 for seniors and students. Rock and roll to the “Hard Days Night the Band in Concert” when they return to the Kimball Theatre with a tribute to the Beatles 7:30 p.m. June 24. General admission is $12 and $8 for seniors and students.

    Movies from the American and foreign cinema include:

  • Gunner Palace, 7 and 9 p.m., May 8-14. This documentary portrays a sometimes surreal modern war set in a volatile section of Baghdad. Rated: PG-13.
  • Nobody Knows, 6:30 and 9:10 p.m., May 13-17. A 12-year-old boy, Akira, tries to raise his three younger siblings as his pop star mother disappears for longer and longer periods of time in this tender and often shattering film. The story is inspired by a real event--four young children lived alone for six months in cramped rooms without attracting any notice. Japanese with subtitles. Rated: PG-13.
  • Off the Map, 7 and 9 p.m., May 15-20. One watershed summer, hapless IRS agent Gibbs stumbles on a freethinking New Mexico family in the midst of its lyrical path to self-discovery. Enchanted by the peculiar place and people, he abandons his tax investigation and discovers his own artistic expression. Rated: PG-13.
  • Rory O’Shea Was Here, 6:45 and 8:45 p.m., May 19-24. No one can understand cerebral palsy sufferer Michael’s speech until newcomer Rory, suffering from muscular dystrophy, arrives at Dublin’s Carrigmore Home of the Disabled. The friendship formed between these two inspires Michael to apply for a personal assistance grant. When he is awarded money, he and Rory move into their own flat. Rated: R.
  • Schultze Gets the Blues, 7 and 9:10 p.m., May 22-28. German salt miner Schultze and his accordion abandon the local music club’s polka format in favor of Cajun zydeco melodies. English and German with subtitles. Rated: PG.
  • The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, 6:45 and 8:45 p.m., May 27-31. A jobless, aging hippie in San Francisco bonds with a flock of wild conures, parrots with green bodies and bright red heads. The unique relations between an unlikely celebrity and some scene stealing parrots (Mingus, Olive, Pushkin and Tupelo). This film features incredible close-ups, amusing animal habits and a surprise ending. Flock to it! Rated: G.
  • Academy Award Nominated Shorts, 7 and 9 p.m., May 29-June 4. Here is rare chance to see a number of quality, entertaining short films that are all under 30 minutes and generally fail to find distributors. They include “Ryan” (Canada), “Birthday Boy” (Australia; in Korean with subtitles), “Gopher Broke” (USA) and “Wasp” (United Kingdom). Not rated, but probably PG-13 level.
  • Bride and Prejudice, 7 and 9 p.m., June 5-9. A fresh spin on the Jane Austen novel, the film opens in a small Indian village with a mother’s despair over her daughter Lalita’s declaration that she will marry only for love. Rated: PG-13.
  • Don’t Move, 6:45 and 9:10 p.m., June 10-14. Penelope Cruz’s raw portrayal of innocent Italia, first raped and then romanced by successful physician Timoteo, is an astonishing and unforgettable performance. Italian with subtitles. Not rated.
  • Melinda and Melinda, 7 and 9 p.m., June 14-18. Woody Allen creates parallel universes as he offers up two versions of the same story: an eccentric woman crashes a New York City dinner party and causes different versions of havoc, be it the creation of a somber romantic comedy or a comic urban tragedy. Rated: PG-13.
  • Turtles Can Fly, 6:45 and 8:45 p.m., June 18-21. A hard-hitting portrait of war seen through the eyes of victimized children, in “Turtles Can Fly” earthy lyricism and perpetual motion provide a shallow respite from wartime realities in this first feature film to come out of post-Saddam Iraq. Kurdish with subtitles. Not rated.
  • Millions, 7 and 9 p.m., June 21-26. A heart-warming, fantastical family film about two young British brothers who unexpectedly have one week to spend a surprise 265,000 British pounds, courtesy of a suitcase fallen from the sky. Rated: PG.
  • The Ballad of Jack and Rose, 6:45 and 8:45 p.m., June 25-30. Jack Slavin (Daniel Day-Lewis) lives on the site of an abandoned island commune with his 16-year-old daughter Rose (Camilla Belle). An environmentalist who shuns modernities such as television, Jack and his daughter are a devoted couple in this poignant drama. Rated: R.

    Movie admission is $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for seniors, students and children.

    For more information, contact the Kimball Theatre box office at (757) 565-8588 or visit Advance tickets for all performances are available by calling toll-free (800) HISTORY or by visiting any Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlet.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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