Actors revel in Winnipeggers reverence for De Palma film


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IT was almost 32 years ago when Archie Hahn's voice was heard inside the Garrick Cinema, singing, "We'll remember you forever, Eddie," during the opening credits of the movie Phantom of the Paradise.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/04/2006 (6178 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IT was almost 32 years ago when Archie Hahn’s voice was heard inside the Garrick Cinema, singing, “We’ll remember you forever, Eddie,” during the opening credits of the movie Phantom of the Paradise.

Hahn, Peter Elbling (a.k.a. Harold Oblong) and Jeffrey Comanor played a group called the Juicy Fruits, and yesterday at the Ramada Entertainment Centre — formerly the Garrick — Hahn’s real live voice bounced off the walls of Cinema 2 while Elbling and Comanor rehearsed the elaborate hand-jive dance moves that were all part and parcel of the Juicy Fruits experience.

The performance is in preparation for Phantompalooza II, today’s sequel to last year’s local celebration of the 1974 Brian De Palma movie. By late last night, the most significant members of the film’s cast had flown into town, including Jessica Harper, William Finley and Paul Williams. (Gerrit Graham, a.k.a. Beef, was in yesterday to participate in a riotous press conference with the erstwhile Fruits.)

The members of the band may look like grandpas. But by the time Elbling authoritatively takes centre stage to practise his signature song Somebody Super Like You, P-palooza committee member Gloria Dignazio spontaneously stands and waves her arms like one of the legions of Beef fans did in the 1974 movie.

“I’m getting chills down my spine,” says event organizer Doug Carlson as he watches the impromptu show.

The trio is clearly fascinated by the movie’s singular success here in Winnipeg, but the actors aren’t inclined to mythologize the film, or their work in it.

“It was a nice gig,” says Elbling. “It went on for a month or so, which was longer than most TV shows or movies.

“And when the movie came out, I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is really cool.'”

But the film’s North American box office receipts were “a little disappointing.

“We were hoping maybe we could go on the road and do something,” Elbling says. “Archie and I had been in a comedy group together before and we had done a lot of things together so we had lots of material that could have made it into a really wonderful show.”

But it’s better late than never as the trio’s members prepare for their concert for their biggest fans — Winnipeggers.

“It’s hard to imagine this group of people that made this movie part of the soundtrack of their lives,” says Comanor.

Tickets for the evening edition of Phantompalooza II and the Paul Williams concert are sold out. But Carlson says more than 100 tickets should be available at the door of the Ramada Entertainment Centre for the afternoon edition of Phantompalooza II for $19.74.

The afternoon show includes a screening of the original film, a screening of a new Phantom documentary, and a panel and autograph session including the Juicy Fruits, Williams, Finley, Harper and Graham.

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