Monday, August 19, 2013

WIFV DC to Honor Penny Marshall at DC's Avalon August 29th

Women in Film and Video DC will honor famed filmmaker Penny Marshall on Thursday, August 29th at the historic Avalon Theatre. Ms. Marshall will attend a special screening of her 1992 classic A League of Their Own at 8:00 PM, followed by a Q&A and book signing (in conjunction with Politics and Prose.) Tickets for the screening are $20 and are available through the Avalon (click here.)

A League of Their Own was Marshall's follow-up to her Academy Award-nominated Awakenings, starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. The sports comedy-drama was a huge hit, earning over $132 million worldwide: It tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and stars Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell.

Tom Hanks and Geena Davis (r) in A League of Their Own

From Rotten Tomatoes: The All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League was founded in 1943, when most of the men of baseball-playing age were far away in Europe and Asia fighting World War II. The league flourished until after World War II, when, with the men's return, the league was consigned to oblivion. Director Penny Marshall and screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel re-create the wartime era when women's baseball looked to stand a good chance of sweeping the country. The story begins as a candy-bar tycoon enlists agents to scour the country to find women who could play ball. In the backwoods of Oregon, two sisters -- Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit (Lori Petty) -- are discovered. Dottie can hit and catch, while Kit can throw a mean fastball. The girls come to Chicago to try out for the team with other prospects that include their soon-to-be-teammates Mae Mordabito (Madonna), Doris Murphy (Rosie O'Donnell), and Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh). The team's owner, Walter Harvey (Gary Marshall) needs someone to coach his team and he picks one-time home-run champion Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), who is now a broken-down alcoholic. After a few weeks of training, as Dugan sobers up, the team begins to show some promise. By the end of the season, the team has improved to the point where they are competing in the World Series.

The film celebrated its 20th anniversary in New York last year with a reunion of former AAGPBL players, who later collectively visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (a la the film's closing scene.) Last December, the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Next week's screening was originally scheduled for July 30, but was pushed back to August 29th. All tickets for the July date will be accepted on the 29th. Sports columnist and best-selling author Christine Brennan will moderate a Q&A with Marshall immediately following the screening. After the Q&A, you'll have an opportunity to get a copy of Ms. Marshall's new autobiography My Mother Was Nuts signed by the author. Politics and Prose will handle all book sales.