Casablanca: Here's looking at you in Denver this week
Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without at least one showing of Casablanca, one of the greatest love stories of all time. But Bogart and Bergman will meet up several times over the next week on screens across the city, at evenings featuring everything from the movie and a martini to a full Casablanca immersion complete with a live score. Here's looking at you -- and where to do it.
See also: A love letter to an obsession: Casablanca, I love you.
Guest conductor Scott Terrell leads the Colorado Symphony through this visceral interpretation of the classic film, as the orchestra plays the entire Max Steiner score live.
There's quite a bit of process, production and rehearsal that goes into a performance like this, because the orchestra has to play along with the film in perfect time. "Scott's task is to make sure the orchestra stays with the movie, in the right place," says Tony Pierce, vice president of artistic administration for the Colorado Symphony. "The film is on autopilot -- once they hit play, it's running. Scott has to coordinate the orchestra to be with the film in the right moments, making sure it is properly timed with the music."
Tickets to Symphony at the Movies are $25 to $88; for more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Colorado Symphony's website.
The Wildlife Experience's Movie and a Martini gatherings are special for many reasons, but seeing your favorite films on a 40-by-60 foot HD screen may be the most best part. Add to that a menu of love-themed adult beverages and the grand setting of the museum, and you've got a sweetheart of an evening. Included in the ticket price is a Moroccan-inspired sampling of lamb tangine, fig duck empanadas, chocolate mousse and more.
Tickets for Movie and a Martini are $15 to $28; food and drink service begins at 5:30 p.m. and the screening starts at 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets (21 and up only), go to the Wildlife Experience website.
As part of a month-long celebration of love, the Alamo is bringing Casablanca -- in 35 millimeter, no less -- to the dinner-and-a-movie house just for Valentine's Day. The kitchen will be serving up a special Moroccan-themed, four-course meal that includes tabouli, spiced carrot and parsnip salad, chicken tangine and more, all with wine pairings for each course.
"We programmed this month around Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and when I talk to people about Casablanca, especially if they've never seen it, I like to trap them a little bit," says Keith Garcia, creative manager for the Alamo. "I ask them if they like Eternal Sunshine, and if they say yes, I say, well, you know how that movie is about longing and memory -- Casablanca is that, only without the wild, sci-fi premise. It's the anti-that. But the reason Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind hits you in the gut is because Casablanca hit everyone in the gut years before."
Garcia knows that in a modern, color-driven and digital world, a classic film may seem unattractive to the Casablanca-uninitiated. But he says it's definitely a film worth seeing, especially on Valentine's Day.
Tickets for the Alamo's screening of Casablanca and the four-course feast are $65 (18 and up only). For more information, a full look at the menu or to reserve a seat, visit the Alamo Littleton's website.
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