“Saturday Afternoon at the Movies” was a first for the CHHS. The idea for this was prompted by the huge exhibit on Hungarian operettas in our Museum and how they affected both Broadway musicals and Hollywood films. This 1934 film version of the Merry Widow with Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier was an adaptation of Frank Lehár’s operetta by Hollywood legend Ernst Lubitsch. The Merry Widow is the most successful operetta written and has been performed since 1905 – that’s more than a century! Many of you have also seen performances of it when the CHHS has organized a bus tour to the Ohio Light Opera in Wooster, Ohio.
Ari Lazar gave an introduction of it which enhanced the viewing. She explained that “The film is considered the best example of the work of Hollywood’s legendary director Ernst Lubitsch and his famous “Lubitsch Touch” – the witty and sophisticated script hints at more than it ever shows as he expertly uses reaction shots or focuses on one detail to suggest ‘what’s really going on behind the closed doors.'”