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‘Musicals! Summer World Tour’ Starts July 6

‘Musicals! Summer World Tour’ Starts July 6

Imagine paying $50 or less for a month-long trip around the world, with stops in countries like France, Japan, Egypt and India.

Sounds too good to be true, you say? The Wexner Center for the Arts says otherwise.

Chris Stults, curator of film and video at Wex, guarantees that you’ll see iconic sights, visit eateries and watering holes known only to locals, and have unforgettable encounters on this globetrotting adventure. All for $50. Or you can choose a single destination for $8. (No, that’s not a typo.)

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One warning: You won’t actually be leaving Columbus. You’ll be traveling to Wex to embark on the “Musicals! Summer World Tour” and experience a rainbow of world cultures through 12 films from Berlin to Bollywood, premiering July 6 through August 15.

“The series is a nice mix of established classics such as ‘The Umbrellas of Cherborg’ from France or ‘Black Orpheus’ from Brazil, together with more recent cult films such as ‘Om Shanti Om’ from India or ‘Neptune Frost’ from Rwanda,” says Stults.

The line-up for ‘Musicals! Summer World Tour’

Unless otherwise noted, all films are shown at 7pm, including:

  • Saturday July 6th: “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (France)
  • July 11: “Simeon” (Martinique)
  • July 13: “Black Orpheus” (Brazil)
  • July 18: “Om Shanti Om” (India)
  • July 19: Double show — “Fangs” (Egypt), 7:00 PM and “Wild Zero” (Japan), 9:00 PM
  • July 20: “A woman is a woman” (France)
  • July 25: “Lot” (Egypt)
  • 1 August: “The Ship of Monsters” (Mexico)
  • August the 8th: “City of Lost Souls” (Germany)
  • August 9th: “Latcho Drom” (France)
  • August 15: “Neptune Frost” (Rwanda)

The July 19 double screening is free, but tickets are still needed. Single tickets for all other films are $10 general admission, $8 for Wex members and seniors 55 and over, and $5 for students.

All-access series passes are $50 general admission, $40 for Wex members and seniors 55+, and $30 for students. A series pass comes with a passport to track your journey and earn prizes from Wex and Seventh Son Brewing Co.

Tickets and passes can be purchased at wexarts.org/explore/musicals-summer-world-tour.

The series from conception to establishment

Stults had been toying with the idea of ​​a series for years. He had kept a long list of potential titles, tracked them down, and watched a large number of films to narrow down his list.

“When programming the series, it was important to us that not only would each film be great and noteworthy, but that each film would also add something unique to the entire series,” he said.

“The hope is that people who see multiple films will discover a wide range of film traditions and possibilities of the musical form.

“It also felt important to not only show a wide range of film styles, from low-budget sci-fi to ornate historical epics, but also music styles. So there are films with very regional national music genres like zouk music from Martinique or bossa nova from Brazil, but also more recognizable global sounds like rock or disco.”

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The words “movie musical” often conjure up classics like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Sound of Music” or maybe “Grease” or “Chicago,” but unlike those titles, the films in “Musicals! Summer World Tour” aren’t familiar to most people, which excites Stults.

“The most exciting films for me are the ones that will be a discovery for the most people. That sense of discovery is what traveling or touring the world — through movies — should be about!” he said.

“So films that have been out of circulation for years, like ‘Latcho Drom,’ which was an arthouse hit in the 1990s but has not been available to stream since its VHS release and has also not been on home video, are a joy to bring back.”

Why exactly did Stults selects films that are far from the beaten track? Why are not Are there classic American musicals, Hollywood hits?

“Local independent theaters like the Ohio Theatre, Gateway, Drexel or Studio 35/Grandview — or channels like TCM — do a great job of adhering to the standards, so that feels like you’re pretty well covered unless you come up with a series with a new angle.

“This seemed like a way for us to bring the world to Columbus,” he said.

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Stults said he also wants viewers to see films that haven’t been seen much in the U.S., such as the magical realist film “Siméon,” which he described as “full of color, life, joy, magic and music” and “a real crowd pleaser for all ages.”

Stults’ list of musicals he’d like to show the public also includes “Ship of Monsters,” which he summarized as “a Mexican science fiction film with singing cowboys, robots and monsters in rubber suits that always goes down well.”

“City of Lost Souls” also got a mention. “(It) is now much more visibly a groundbreaking queer and trans film that plays like a John Waters musical filmed in grimy ’80s Berlin,” Stults said.

“After the screenings, audiences will wonder why these films are not better known!”

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