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Buster Keaton's "Steamboat Bill, Jr." (with live musical accompaniment)

You've probably seen the famous scene from Steamboat Bill, Jr. many times: it's the one in which Buster Keaton stands in front of one wall of a house that is left standing after a storm. The audience watches in horror as the wall falls down over Keaton, but he remains unscathed thanks to a window without any glass left in it.

Keaton filmed this famous scene in one take. He relied on his own skills and the expertise of his film crew to place him in the exact spot where the windowless window would be. And it worked!

The Somerville Theater ( ) is presenting this Buster Keaton silent classic with original live music (by Jeff Rapsis), the way audiences would have seen it in 1928. Jeff Rapsis is a New Hampshire-based musician who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film screenings. We'll also see two Buster Keaton shorts: The High Sign (1921) and Cops (1922).

Please note that the admission for this combined movie/live music performance is $12.00.

I have already purchased my ticket. I'll wait in the theater lobby for 15 to 20 minutes, from about 6:20 to 6:40. Look for me and my bright red backpack. I'll head into the theater auditorium about 6:40. The presentation starts at 7:00 p.m. If you are late, look for me and the bright red backpack in the auditorium. After the presentation, I'll wait for everyone in the theater lobby.

****From the Somerville Theater's website:

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928). Buster's last independent silent feature finds him as the bumbling son of a rundown riverboat's rough captain. When a rival brings a newer boat to town, the family is forced to face competition, just as Buster is forced to face down a cyclone that blows through town. One of Buster's best. Shown with Keaton shorts: The High Sign (1921) and Cops (1922). Live music by Jeff Rapsis.*****

See you Sunday!


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  • Ramon

    It was good to see classical films (silent) with live music and with large attendance by the public.

    August 9, 2011

  • Katie

    This was the best nostaglic event of all times. Just to see something that was once "was" is so amazing.

    August 8, 2011

  • Marianne

    For anyone who wants more information about the musician, Jeff Rapsis, who accompanied Buster Keaton's films last night, you can go to I am planning to get on his mailing list myself!

    August 8, 2011

  • Marianne

    This performance was amazing. Buster Keaton is a genius of physical comedy. He reminded me every once in a while of Dick Van Dyke, another favorite of mine. But to hear the live music accompanying "Steamboat Bill, Jr." and the two shorts was a special treat. Many thanks to Jeff Rapsis for his music and his informative introduction. Thanks to all of you who came and found me, and to all of you who missed me and/or sent e-mails. I am so glad that all of you enjoyed it, especially the honorary member who asked me, "Are you The Nerd?" I guess that makes it official now!

    August 8, 2011

  • Angie

    Wow, this was so much fun! Thanks to Maryanne for organizing. My girls and I had an absolute blast! Good to meet some other friendly, nerdy folks too. :)

    August 7, 2011

  • Marianne

    Tickets are now available for this event at the theater box office. I have already purchased mine. Check the theater's website (the link appears above in the event description) for purchasing tickets online.

    August 5, 2011

  • Heather

    another good find.

    July 20, 2011

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