New Jersey Stage

Friday, August 5, 2011

State Theatre and Alex Dawson / The Raconteur present Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- State Theatre and Alex Dawson / The Raconteur present Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 8pm. In addition to a screening of the film, there will be a special guest appearance by Director Eric Zala and Actor Chris Strompolo. Eric and Chris will introduce the film—plus participate in a post-screening interview/conversation with The Raconteur's Alex Dawson, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Tickets are $20.

An homage to the glory days of Saturday matinee serials and back-lot B-movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark celebrated old-school adventure, making it palatable to an increasingly jaded contemporary audience and turning otherwise stodgy film critics into gleeful children and, in one case, gleeful children into filmmakers. After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, three 12-year-old friends, Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb, began filming their own shot-by-shot adaptation in the backyards of their Mississippi homes. Vigilant, resourceful, and a little bit insane, these Mississippi tweens gained access to sacks of gunpowder, gallons of gasoline, a retired WWII battleship, and a functioning Navy submarine. They broke bones, got grounded, burned down a garage, and got grounded again. Eric had to be hospitalized twice, once for having his hair set aflame, and once because shards of plaster from an exploding head "effect" had to be surgically removed from his scalp. Seven years later their film was in the can.

In 2003 (22 years from the project's inception), Steven Spielberg and George Lucas watched the tribute and gave it their stamp of approval, calling it "hugely imaginative," "impressive," and "lovingly detailed." In 2004, Vanity Fair did an expansive 10,000 word feature on the boys' experiences making the movie, Quentin Tarantino became a fan, Wes Craven called the film "phenomenal," and Paramount producer Scott Rudin purchased the life rights to their story. A book about their incredible adventure is due out this spring from St. Martin's Press and Oscar® nominated author/cartoonist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) is currently working on a screenplay about them.

For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday 10am to 5pm; and at least two hours prior to curtain on performance dates. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517.

State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people's lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre's programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. Magic 98. 3 is the official radio station of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre. United is the official airline of the State Theatre.