NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

June 27, 2013

Play it again, Hamm

When a playwright called seeking advice for a drama set in an art house cinema, the Screening Room proprietor forwarded one question to “our musicologist.”

That’s a grossly inflated word for a most informal task, or “Much Andrew About Nothing,” as I call it.

The task fell to me because I am a musician — a street-musician for whom a “day job” is actually a night job, which is why I’m a projectionist in the first place.

Before films, we often feature the CDs of local musicians, engaging patrons in conversation, with liner notes available to show.

Meg Rayne has so many friends among Friday night regulars that the scene in the lobby can be mistaken for one anticipating her concert.

Best laugh was the look on Justin Quinn’s face when he finally realized he was hearing himself — quite surprising for someone introduced as “internationally famous from coast to coast” at Glenn’s Cool Bar on any given Sunday.

And I always raise an eyebrow while telling patrons the title of Cheryl Hoenemeyer’s “Crowded Bed.”

Classical music is also well represented in our modest, random, eclectic and pointedly eccentric collection because so many art-house films are period pieces.

This caused my panic attack when we opened “Wings of the Dove.”

Set a century ago, it ran with the lush Cimarosa Oboe Concerto. The music plays until the coming attractions start, so it was off well before the feature began.

Or so I thought. Hearing the oboe again, I bounded back up the steps into the booth looking for a malfunction.

Then I realized: Cimarosa was the soundtrack for the feature’s opening credits. Wish I could claim that great minds think alike here, but this “great mind” sprained a foot because he didn’t believe it himself.

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