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Top Hat

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Few things thrill us half as much as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing cheek to cheek. That's why Top Hat, the dashing couple's fourth pairing, has lasted the test of time, influencing film, dance and music, from its creation in Depression-era 1935 to the present. Irving Berlin provided the music, introducing classics like "Cheek to Cheek," "Isn't This a Lovely Day," and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails," into the American songbook. While sticklers complain that the plot is too similar to their 1934 hit, The Gay Divorcee, its mistaken-identity romance is still a winner when the undeniably charming and talented Fred Astaire blends the dialogue so smoothly with what Rogers calls his "dancing affliction." The film's Sunday screening is the first of 12 in the 2000-2001 season for The Cinema, Inc., a nonprofit film society that tracks down original 35 mm prints of classics, new and old, and shows them on the Rialto Theatre's big screen. In order to see Top Hat and other films of the series, which include All the King's Men, Time of the Gypsies and Touch of Evil, you need to sign up for the $21 season tickets soon. Call 787-7611 for ticket info or visit www.cinema-inc.org. See "Special Showings" for details.

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