In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland hits the road in Erie, PA

3 Nov

Leaving my home in Portland, ME and landing in Erie, Pa I discovered there’s one surprising connection between the two cities. The restaurants feature seafood emblazoned in big letters across their marquees. Of course living on the coast of Maine it seemed a bit odd to fly 600 miles inland to see big seafood signs. But then as someone said travel broadens the mind.

Mercyhurst College is home to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center the first stop on my tour is about a 15 minute drive from the Sheraton Bayfront Hotel where I am staying. The D’Angelo Center is large, at least from a filmmaker’s perspective, 800 plus seats. Its director, Michael Fuhrman is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, a knowledgeable presenter, and affable host.

I did two screenings today at 2:30PM and 7:30PM. It was, for me, a good turnout, a combined audience of 170 I would guess. Many were the Center’s loyal following who show up to every film or event. They were very positive about In Good Time and stayed to ask questions after the film. I continued the discussion with individual audience members in the hall after that.

One woman told me how 25 years ago when Marian McPartland performed in Erie, she was then a teenager and went to the concert. She made sure she had a front row seat. Marian’s performance was a transformative experience for her. She decided to be a musician and she still performs today. Marian is not only a pioneering musician but also a pioneering educator. She started doing visiting artist presentations for youth in the 1950s. There is a scene in In Good Time of Marian in a master class working with a college student who musters up her courage and comes on stage to improvise with Marian in a two piano duet. It makes for a lovely moment in the film.

Marian McPartland and the filmmaker at a prior screening of the film.

The next screening is tomorrow night at Allentown Symphony Hall, Allentown, PA.

Post by Huey, OSIP touring filmmaker

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