Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two Waring Films to be Screened at Arts Fest!

Two rare Fred Waring motion pictures, featuring the music and acting of Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, will be featured at 3 p.m. on July 13 and 14 at the State Theatre in State College, Pa., during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  An Arts Festival button will be required for entrance.

Syncopation (1929) was publicized as the “first mammoth all-talking screen extravaganza, featuring the world’s greatest band making their film debut in a spectacular musical drama." The film featured the band’s first female performer, Dorothy Lee along with actors Barbara Bennett and Morton Downey. Syncopation will be screened at 3 p.m. on July 13th.

Warner Brothers' Varsity Show (1937) will be shown at 3 p.m. on July 14th. Nominated for an Academy Award for best dance direction in 1937, the film starred Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians as themselves, along with a supporting cast that included Dick Powell, Ted Healy, and Rosemary and Priscilla Lane. With music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting, the dynamic selection of songs in this lively musical included "Old King Cole," sung by Johnnie Davis; "We're Working Our Way Through College," sung by Dick Powell; "I'm Dependable," sung by Priscilla Lane and Fred Waring and written by Tom Waring and Don Raye; "Love Is on the Air Tonight," sung by Buck and Bubbles; among others. The highlight of "Varsity Show" was a memorable college finale, orchestrated by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and choreographed by Busby Berkeley.

The films are from Fred Waring's America Collection, part of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library. For more visit the Waring Collection online at

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