An Evening With Paul Williams + "Phantom of the Paradise" tribute concert!


NOTE: current Cinefamily members are eligible for half-off ($10) general admission for this event. Unfortunately, we cannot offer member discounts to couch seating to this event.

An Evening With Paul Williams – 6:00pm
Why are there so few songs about rainbows? Because Paul Williams wrote the absolute definitive one for all-time with “The Rainbow Connection”, and no one else since has dared to go near the rainbow zone. This one feat alone doesn’t make a career — but the theme song to “The Love Boat” and huge chart hits for The Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, Helen Reddy and Three Dog Night sure do, as well as the smash soundtracks for Phantom of the Paradise, Bugsy Malone, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas and A Star Is Born, all in conjunction with an incredible acting career in which he’s played boy geniuses (The Loved One), sleazy businessmen (Smokey And The Bandit) and monkey dudes (Battle For The Planet of the Apes). WHEW! Short in stature but towering in talent and charisma, Paul Williams was one of the faces of 1970s American pop culture — you couldn’t tune into late-night TV without seeing his joyful, bespectacled grin. Deserving of every accolade every bestowed to him, Paul is a national treasure, one fully deserving of rediscovery. Join us as we sit down with this living legend for a juicy career-spanning convo, moderated by Steven Kessler (director of the brand-new doc Paul Wiliams: Still Alive) and peppered with rare archival footage of Paul at his best!

Phantom of the Paradise Tribute Concert – 7:45pm
One of the most intense, baroque and satirical films of Brian De Palma’s filmography deserved an equally shimmering, catchy and reference-laden rock score — and that’s exactly what Paul Williams bestowed upon De Palma’s 1974 movie musical masterpiece Phantom of the Paradise. Starring in the film as well as singing several of its cult-hit earworms, Paul cemented an unforgettable legacy as “Swan”, the Svengali-like evil spirit chairman of Death Records — in addition to penning other soulful, memorable numbers for his co-stars, tunes that giddily run the gamut from glam rock sleaze to doo-wop parody, singer-songwriter sensitivity and beyond. The Phantom songbook is instantly hummable and forever meaningful to lovers of pop pastiche — and after our live Q&A session with Paui, it’s time for a full-on live tribute show to this epic showstopping soundtrack! The evening’s vocalists include Tim Heidecker, Charlie Wadhams, Eryn Young, Django and Sam Stewart, Ferraby Lionheart, Rain Phoenix, Sierra Swan, Tim Young and Heather Porcaro — and the band is manned by Tim Young, Kaveh, Aaron Sterling and legendary Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro. Thrill to this ace team’s renditions of “Faust”, “Old Souls”, “The Hell of It” and more!

Ishtar – 9:00pm-ish
Stick around for a bonus screening of the legendary 1987 film directed by Elaine May, starring Dustin Hoffman & Warren Beatty, and featuring some of the most incredibly funny tunes Paul Williams has ever written! This unfairly maligned comedy concoction is possibly the Eighties’ most worthy title of cinematic re-discovery — it’s been having a serious effect on all of us here in the Cinefamily office, with repeated viewings as part of our daily routine, and an endless amount of its quotable lines and song lyrics becoming staples in our in-joke arsenal. Ishtar has a flawless sense of comedic timing, fantastic on-screen chemistry between its two leads and co-star Charles Grodin(!), and an entire soundtrack album’s worth of memorably unmemorable songs by Paul Williams written in the lead characters’ doofus-y, sub-Simon & Garfunkel shtick. Now that the sandstorm has settled on the unjustly-generated controversy surrounding the film’s trouble production, we can now look upon this Reagan-era gem with fresh eyes, so get ready to be pleasantly surprised! Sure to turn the head of even the most hardened filmic cynic, Ishtar is simply a great time out at the movies.
Dir. Elaine May, 1987, 35mm, 107 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “An Evening With Paul Williams”!

Watch the trailer for “Ishtar”!
YouTube Preview Image