Opera House Cinema Series to screen ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series will present “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” a documentary on the bawdy Broadway legend, on Saturday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Now in her late 80s, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch remains as ferociously funny as ever. Whether dominating the stage, tormenting Alec Baldwin on the set of 30 Rock, or sharing her struggles with aging, diabetes and alcoholism, this bold, hilarious, poignant documentary reaches beyond the Tony and Emmy Award-winning icon’s brassy exterior and reveals an inspiring portrait of a complex and inspirational woman and artist.

Candid reflections about her life are punctuated with words from friends including the late James Gandolfini, Tina Fey, John Turturro, Hal Prince, George C. Wolfe, Nathan Lane and Cherry Jones, as well as archival footage that showcases some of the great moments from her career.

Stritch is what used to be known as one of the truly “great old broads” – in other words, she’s hilariously candid, displays her vulnerability, talent and bravado equally, and is adored just about everywhere she goes. And why not? As she admits, “it’s wonderful to be 87. You can get away with murder!” – for example, when she runs in to an old friend and says: “Your hair looks good for a change.”

Jake Coyle, with Associated Press, calls the film an “irresistibly entertaining documentary that captures Stritch during what she unsentimentally calls ‘almost post-time’.”

Bill Zwecker, in the Chicago Sun-Times, calls it “a must-see for anyone who loves theater, acting and especially individuals like Elaine Stritch, unafraid to bare their souls.”

Peter Travers, in Rolling Stone, says “cheers to a movie as gloriously entertaining and bluntly honest as the lady herself. Everybody rise.”

Rex Reed, in the New York Observer, says “Stritch is sharp, funny, brittle, caustic, demanding, exaggerated, critical (especially of herself) and infuriating. She is also elaborately unique and awesomely brilliant.”

Unrated, “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” runs 80 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening.

A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org.

For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The Series continues with “Le Week-End” a magically buoyant and bittersweet comedy starring Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum, on May 3 & 6; and Director Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” starring Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham and Adrien Brody on May 10 & 13.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia.

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.