Friday, August 30, 2013

Penny Marshall Charms Avalon Audience

Penny Marshall at last night's post-screening Q&A

Famed filmmaker Penny Marshall attended a sold-out screening of her 1992 hit A League of Their Own last night at the historic Avalon Theatre. Marshall was in town to receive a Women of Vision Award from Women in Film and Video of Washington, DC prior to participating in a post-show Q&A panel with former Negro League player Mamie "Peanut" Johnson and ex-AAGPBLer Helen "Gig" Smith. Award-winning sports columnist (and former Washington Post reporter) Christine Brennan moderated.

On a personal note, I've loved Marshall ever since her eight-season turn on ABC's Laverne & Shirley. She went on to direct seven feature films, including Awakenings, Big and The Preacher's Wife in addition to A League of Their Own. The former was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Big became the first female-directed film to gross over $100 million in the United States. It was a huge treat to finally see her in person.

Christine Brennan, Mamie Johnson, Helen Smith and Marshall (r)

Take a look at the following video, provided by Evansville, Indiana's NBC affiliate WFIE on YouTube. It contains rare, behind the scenes footage from A League of Their Own (shot in Evansville, home of Don Mattingly, as pointed out by Ms. Marshall during the Q&A.)