Me and “Carmen Jones” Got a Thing Going On at the Cedar Lee Theatre

Tue 2/13 @ 2PM

Sat 2/17 @11AM

Whether it’s the crossroads of Black History Month, Valentine’s Day week or the venue’s new series devoted the American musical, the Cedar Lee Theatre hits all the notes with a rare revival of 1954’s Carmen Jones.

Taking full advantage of full color and widescreen, maverick director Otto Preminger, a director fond of edge-pushing, taboo-breaking material, exposed moviegoers in racially segregated 1954 to the sultry, doomed Dorothy Dandridge (she would receive an Oscar nomination, though Marilyn Horne dubbed her voice) in a modernized, big-budget race-change take on the Bizet opera Carmen.

Here it’s a steamy melodrama of love, lust and murder in the black community surrounding a parachute factory in the American south, and Harry Belafonte and Pearl Bailey co-star (and Oscar Hammerstein III helped rewrite/update the lyrics, prompting a lawsuit by the Bizet estate). Maybe it’s tame by modern standards, and critics have never entirely warmed to it. But the cast is amazing, and Preminger showed why he was a lot more than just Mr. Freeze on the 1960s Batman TV show.

Admission is $6.

clevelandcinemas

[Written by Charles Cassady]

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