Paris and Pyle on Film

As part of its Read a Movie series, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present “The Last Time I Saw Paris” on Jan. 9 at the Rehoboth Beach Public Library. The 1954 classic stars Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson and Donna Reed in a tale inspired by the F. Scott Fitzgerald story “Babylon Revisited.” The story’s protagonist returns to the city long after the jazz era has ended and tries to prove to his in-laws that he is fit to reclaim his daughter. The story reflects the real-life highs and lows of Fitzgerald’s ill-fated marriage to Zelda Sayre. Timeless. New is the society’s three-part Delmarva Roots series, which begins Jan. 11 with a screening of “Howard Pyle & The Illustrated Story” at the fire hall in Milton. Presented with the Milton Historical Society, the film explains how one of the country’s top illustrators influenced generations of artists. The film was written, directed and produced by Wilmington native Paul Mento of Silver Hand Productions, whose studio is three blocks from Pyle’s former studio. Mento will be on hand to discuss the film. 645-9095,

The String’s the Thing

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A Fiddler’s Feast at The Grand Opera House on Jan. 13 features five renowned artists in a lush celebration of American roots music: fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas, who have recently released the acclaimed “Highlander’s Farewell”; genre-bending Dirk Powell, whose modern interpretations of rural American music have won the attention of artists from Joan Baez to Loretta Lynn; and fiddle duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, favorites of “A Prairie Home Companion.” See why host Garrison Keillor calls them, “simple and overwhelming, joyful and full of feeling.” 652-5577,

A Royal Beauty

If you can’t get to Russia to see The Royal Ballet’s “The Sleeping Beauty,” perhaps you can find your way to Wilmington, where Theatre N presents Ballet in Cinema on Jan. 13, featuring a film of the famous performance. Considered the height of classical ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty” combines Marius Petipa’s choreography and Tchaikovsky’s music to create a glorious challenge for every dancer. It is also The Royal Ballet’s signature work. First staged in St Petersburg in 1890, the 1946 performance became a landmark production that was revitalized with additional choreography and design to celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary in 2006. The film captures the mood of the original while showing that “The Sleeping Beauty” is a living work for The Royal Ballet, growing and changing with the company while celebrating its past. 571-4699,

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Mackie’s Back in Town

Who is the bigger criminal: the man who robs a bank or the man who founds one? It’s a question for the times and the central theme of “The Threepenny Opera.” See it presented by UD’s Resident Ensemble Players Jan. 17-Feb. 2. “Brecht and Weill’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’ is of one of the high-water marks of 20th century writing for the theater,” says producing artistic director Sandy Robbins. Meet the unforgettable Mack the Knife—lover, murderer, and criminal mastermind—whose life takes a dangerous turn when he marries Polly Peachum, whose disapproving father wants him hanged. You’ll recognize tunes such as “Pirate Jenny” and “Mack the Knife,” and you’ll get a chance to see the work of director Matthew Earnest, whose talent has recently earned high praise from The New York Times. 831-2204,

The Father of Illustraion

“Before Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth rose to the height of their profession as illustrators, there was Felix Octavius Carr Darley, whose skill in book and magazine illustration made him one of the most popular artists of his time and earned him a reputation as the Father of American Illustration,” says Audrey Lewis, an associate curator at the Brandywine River Museum. Go there to see his work in “The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley,” which opens Jan. 19. The self-taught Darley, active till his death in 1888, drew for works by such literary giants as James Fenimore Cooper and Nathanial Hawthorne. He settled in Claymont at a time when his work was so popular, books were advertised as “illustrated by Darley.” Take a look through March 10. (610) 338-2700,

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Offering more than 100 performances a year makes The Music School of Delaware one of the biggest presenters in the region. Here’s one: the Music Masters concert by faculty members and friends at the Milford branch on Jan. 23. The performance features chamber music and solo performances of classical and non-classical music in a fine display of the school’s diversity, says president and CEO Kate Ransom. The concert includes Christopher Braddock, mandolin, dobro & oud; Lotus Cheng, piano; Eliezer Gutman, violin; Jessica Hoffman, violin; Oleg Maslov, piano; Julianne Murphy, violin and Douglas Seth, guitar. “Each and every one of them is a special person, a special performer and a special instructor,” Ransom says—which is reason enough for us to see them. 422-2043,

Mark Your Calendar

The year 2012 might have been Delaware Art Museum’s 100th anniversary year, but the celebration continues with “State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle” Feb. 9-June 1. The exhibition features more than 60 works from eight of the most important contemporary illustrators. In 2011, the museum launched its centennial celebration with a major retrospective dedicated to illustrator Howard Pyle. “State of the Art” marks the celebration’s end and reflects on Pyle’s legacy. In the century since his death in 1911, American illustration has diversified into a wide range of art forms, including animated films, computer-generated images to graphic novels and conceptual art. Guest Curator David Apatoff highlights story illustrator Bernie Fuchs; graphic designer Milton Glaser, MAD caricaturist and comic artist Mort Drucker, The New Yorker cover artist and character designer for animated films, Peter de Sève, editorial artist John Cuneo, painter and book artist Phil Hale, painter and magazine illustrator Sterling Hundley, and Pixar production designer Ralph Eggleston. “No single exhibition could possibly do justice to the noisy, rambunctious history of illustration over the past century,” says Apatoff. “I’ve chosen instead to feature eight individuals whose diverse talents demonstrate that illustration is no longer the singular profession it was in Pyle’s day. It pervades our culture, reaching out to us from billboards, television, store windows, and computer screens.” See more about the artists here next week. Till then, mark your calendar. 571-9590,

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