What is your favorite Helen Mirren film? It is difficult to choose, because they are all so good, but for me, it probably has to be “Woman in Gold.” When I watched that film I completely forgot she was Helen Mirren and thought I was watching Maria Altmann, a Jewish refugee, trying to get artwork back that belonged to her family in Austria. And Dame Helen Mirren seems to do that effortlessly in so many of her roles, like when she played Queen Elizabeth I in “Elizabeth I” and when she took on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen,” as well as when she starred in National Theatre Live’s production of “The Audience,” which we will be bringing to the Dietrich’s screen this February.
For 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her 12 prime ministers in a private weekly meeting known as “The Audience.” No one knows what they discuss, not even their spouses. From old warrior Winston Churchill to Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair right up to today’s meetings with the current incumbent David Cameron, the Queen advises her prime ministers on both official and personal matters. Through these private audiences, we see glimpses of the woman behind the crown and witness the moments that shaped a monarch.
“The Audience” will be shown at 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 at the Dietrich. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for members and seniors and $10 for students and children. Tickets can be reserved by calling 570-996-1500 or can be purchased online and at the door while they last.
In February the Dietrich will also premier its first-ever Winter Fest. Sponsored by the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau and PS Bank, we invite you to join us for 14 acclaimed foreign, independent and art films in 14 days. Our film booker, Ronnie Harvey, and film buyer, Jeffrey Jacobs have picked some great ones for us. The festival lineup includes “99 Homes,” “Grandma,” “Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words,” “Labyrinth of Lies,” “Learning to Drive,” “Meet the Patels,” “Room,” “The Second Mother,” “Suffragette,” “Taxi,” “Truth,” “Vermeer and Music,” “The Winter’s Tale” and “The Wonders.” What a great selection!
We will open the two-week festival on Feb. 12 with an opening night celebration, featuring the films “Grandma” and “Meet the Patels,” with popcorn, wine, beer, cheese and crackers and a brownie a la mode dessert — Yum! I am so looking forward to seeing “Grandma,” with the ever hilarious Lily Tomlin. I fell in love with her as an actress when I first saw her in “9 to 5” and still enjoy her work to this day in her role on the Netflix series “Frankie and Grace.” Tickets to opening night are $25 each. What a great night out with friends or a date night for Valentine’s Day. Call the Dietrich at 570-996-1500 to reserve your tickets.
Oh, and don’t forget to join us at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 for a free presentation, “Hiking through the Natural Beauty of Pennsylvania” with Jeff Mitchell. During his talk, audience members will be able to explore beautiful vistas, isolated wild areas, spectacular waterfalls and more. He will add several new pictures he has taken from recent hikes and will focus much of his talk on natural areas right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Mitchell’s book ,”Hiking the Endless Mountains,” will be offered for sale at the presentation and proceeds will benefit the Dietrich Theater. Margie Young, the Dietrich’s Program Coordinator, and I recently had the opportunity to go on a hike that Mitchell led in State Game Lands 57. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. So come out to this talk to learn about all the hiking opportunities and beautiful spots that are right here in our backyard. Free tickets will be available at our ticket booth while they last or can be reserved ahead of time by calling the theater.
As you can see the Dietrich is so much more than the movies!
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