Friday, May 29, 2009

Neil Innes live with The Seventh Python: On June 9th, the Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette, Illinois will be the center of the comedy universe

Neil Innes has landed in America and will launch his pre-summer concert tour tomorrow night in New Jersey. The Seventh Python's one-man, multimedia jaunt into the Heartland all leads up to a slambang finale at the historic, hip Wilmette Theatre outside Chicago, where the musical satirist and very funny genius will take questions, talk and perform around a screening of The Seventh Python, the acclaimed, award-winning Innesmovie produced by our pals at Frozen Pictures.

The Wilmette Theatre, as these photos show, is gearing up for an all-star comedy audience on Tuesday, June 9th. The Q&A following the screening will include director Burt Kearns, producer Brett Hudson, Monty Python historian Kim Howard Johnson and, as moderator, comedy legend (SNL, Police Academy, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and local hero Tim Kazurinsky.

Tuesday, June 9th, 7 pm.

(Later that week, Neil lands in Hollywood, where he'll be appearing live Thursday, June 11th and Friday, June 12th at Martin Lewis' Secret Policeman's Film Festival at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre.)

Watch this space...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

THESEVENTHPYTHONMANIA! Neil Innes invades America! Kicks off concert tour! Appears with film in Illinois! At Secret Policeman's Ballfest in Hollywood!

Musical treasure and legendary satirist Neil Innes lands in America tomorrow to kick off a pre-summer tour that will be capped off with live appearances alongside some very special films: in Wilmette, Illinois for a command performance of The Seventh Python, the nonfiction musical comedy about his life and work from our pals at Frozen Pictures, and alongside Martin Lewis as the Mods & Rockers film program kicks off a monumental bicoastal festival dedicated to the The Secret Policeman's Ball concert film series.

"Off to USA tomorow," Innes twittered hours ago. He'll be landing in New York and opening his acclaimed one-man multimedia concert tour in New Jersey, before touching down June 9th at the historic Wilmette Theatre outside Chicago, where he'll perform live before an audience that includes Chicago's comedy elite after a showing of The Seventh Python.

Two days later, he'll be onstage at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard (where The Seventh Python had its world premiere last summer), with impresario and producer Martin Lewis to launch the film festival that will be showing the entire series of Amnesty International benefit concert films that began 30 years ago (the shows started out as comedy galas featuring popular British comedic performers and later expanded to include top rock stars, inspiring musicians like Bob Geldof, Bono, Sting and Peter Gabriel and events like Live Aid and Live 8):

Thursday June 11, 2009 - 9:30 pm
The Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood

Opening Night Extravaganza!
Three World Premieres in one night!
Series star Neil Innes and series co-creator/co-producer Martin Lewis in-person

The Opening Night of the festival features no less than three premieres and an in-person appearance by Neil Innes (Monty Python and The Rutles) to share his memories of appearing in three of the first four Amnesty shows. There will be the World Theatrical Premiere of a superb documentary about the “Secret Policeman’s Ball” series – crammed full of vintage clips and contemporary recollections by the stars. This will be followed by the World Premiere of a new special celebrating 30 years of rock performances for Amnesty. And finally the World Premiere of some wacky outtakes and rarities from the Secret Policeman’s vaults. Given the wealth of Monty Python fans and Amnesty supporters in the entertainment community – the opening night audience is likely to be rather star-studded…

Friday June 12, 2009 - 7:30 pm
The Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood

Double-bill of the first two shows before they had the "Ball" title
Two US Premieres!
Series star Neil Innes and co-creator/co-producer Martin Lewis in-person

THE MERMAID FROLICS (1977, 52 min)
The “Secret Policeman’s Ball” title was first used for the 1979 Amnesty show – but the seeds of the series were planted in 1976 and 1977 with these two pioneering shows organized by John Cleese. These shows subsequently became regarded as part of the “Secret Policeman’s” canon. “Pleasure At Her Majesty’s” is the film of the 1976 show “A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)” which was to British comedy what George Harrison’s 1971 “Concert For Bangladesh” was to rock music. A gathering of the British comedic tribes. Never before screened uncut in the US. Includes the only-known documentary footage of the Monty Python troupe rehearsing. “The Mermaid Frolics” stage-directed by Monty Python’s Terry Jones has never been seen in the US in any form. Never on TV, VHS or DVD. This double-bill of rarities is a delight for fans of Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and British comedy. Followed by a quickie nightcap of outtake treasures from the vaults. Expect to see familiar faces among the many aficionados of British comedy in the audience…

Here's the Innes itinerary:

Neil Innes US Tour

Saturday 5/30/09
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Ave
Bordentown, NJ 08505

Sunday 5/31/09
Rams Head Tavern Annapolis
33 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 268-4545

Tuesday 6/2/09 8:00 PM
B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill
237 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036

Wednesday, 6/3/09
Sellersville Theater 1894
24 W. Temple Ave.
Sellersville, PA

Thursday 6/4/09
The Bop Shop Atrium
(formerly Bodhi's Cafe)
274 N. Goodman
Rochester, NY 14607
(585) 271-3354

Friday 6/5/09
The Winchester
12112 Madison Avenue
Lakewood/Cleveland OH 44107
(216) 226-5681

Saturday 6/6/09 7:00 PM
The Abbey
342 W. Grace
Chicago, IL 60618

Sun 6/7/09 8:00 PM
Magic Bag
22920 Woodward Avenue
Ferndale, MI 48220

Tues 6/9/09
Screening of Seventh Python
Mini-concert & Q&A with Neil
The Wilmette Theatre
1122 Central Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 251-7424

Thurs 6/11 9:30
Friday 6/12 7:30
Secret Policeman's Ball Film Festival
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

The festival is also showing in NYC. Click here for more information.

And watch this space for the latest!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

John Altman's Big Band swings into LA!

John Altman, the Emmy-winning composer, conductor, arranger, musician and "The George Martin of The Rutles" electrified a packed ballroom at the Four Points Sheraton at LAX this afternoon as he led a swinging, brassy big band through original and classic compositions to launch the Los Angeles Jazz Institute's 2009 Big Band Festival.

The John Altman Big Band, featuring Altman's saxophone and a shiny brass section opened the four-day fest, which in a nod to Frank Sinatra, is dubbed A Swingin' Affair.

Altman flew into Los Angeles from London last week in time to be special guest as The Seventh Python opened the Pacific Palisades Film Festival. Altman appears in Frozen Pictures' film about Neil Innes, is in fact the star musician in the band that backs Innes in much of the concert footage and joins Innes in one of the biggest laugh-inducing gags of the film.

Neil Innes & John Altman in The Seventh Python

Video: Brett Hudson on the TV show Extra, talking about Farrah Fawcett, cancer, alternative answers and The Klinik movie

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tabloid Baby pal Brett Hudson of Frozen Pictures will be featured on the syndicated infotainment show Extra on Wednesday to talk about his experience at alternative cancer treatment clinics in Germany, and to talk about his new nonfiction film project, The Klinik, which will reveal the story Farrah Fawcett wanted to tell in her ill-fated documentary that was turned into an exploitative imitation tabloid special produced by NBC News with all its GE conflicts of interest.

Hudson, former Seventies pop icon and producer of the current award-winning, acclaimed nonfiction musical film, The Seventh Python, beat throat cancer and through his blog on The Klinik website has become a leader in the alternative movement.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Seventh Python strikes again! Film about Neil Innes delivers a crowd-pleasing, laugh-filled opening to the Pacific Palisades Film Festival

The Seventh Python, the nonfiction musical comedy picture about Monty Python cohort, Rutles mastermind and Bonzo Dog Neil Innes opened the Pacific Palisades Film Festival in Pacific Palisades, California last night, once again leaving audiences wiping their eyes, cheering and thanking producers for introducing them to the everyman musical genius philosopher and joker.

Director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson with comedy acting star Stuart Pankin

This being Pacific Palisades, home to stars and movie industry heavyweights including Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck, Kate Hudson and Steve Guttenberg, the screening at the Pierson Playhouse just off Sunset Boulevard was not only filled to capacity ,but filled with celebrities; among them actors Stuart Pankin and Vernon Wells, Bloodline producer René Barnett, filmmaker Roger Nygard (whose latest documentary, The Nature of Existence, screens at the festival tonight), roller derby announcer Danny Wolf, Sam Peters, Hollywood private eye Danno Hanks and Seventh star John Altman, the film composer, conductor and "George Martin of The Rutles."

Bob Sharka introduces the Pacific Palisades Film Festival & The Seventh Python

Festival director Bob Sharka showed off his comedic skills as he introduced the film and later called out director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson. Sharka, founder of the Palisades Friends of Film group which sponsors the festival, spoke later of plans to raise awareness and support to expand the Friends of Film program through the year.

Kearns & Hudson at the Friends of Film party

After the screening, the group headed off to a Friends of Film party at a private home, where Kearns and Hudson received huzzahs from likes of Robert Loggia, Seymour Cassel and Stacy Keach, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award.

The view from the projection booth-- Chris Carter of Breakfast with The Beatles
interviews Neil Innes in a scene from The Seventh Python

Next stop for The Seventh Python: The Wilmette Theatre outside Chicago on June 9th, for a special comedy event that includes a screening and live performance by Neil Innes himself.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Seventh Python opens The Pacific Palisades Film Festival next Thursday, May 14th!

The excitement is building for the screening of the award-winning The Seventh Python at the Pacific Palisades Film Festival next Thursday night, May 14th. The nonfiction comedic musical biopic of legendary satirist Neil Innes was hailed last week by the local Palisadian-Post as "riotously entertaining."

This week, the paper focuses on the film's producers, our pals at Frozen Pictures. Some highlights from Michael Aushenker's article:

Monty Python's Innes Doc Opens Film Fest

Call Neil Innes the missing link of the legendary six-man British comedy troupe Monty Python. Or perhaps Shemp to their Three Stooges. You'll also call him funny, outrageous, even musically inclined. The enigmatic Innes is the subject of a documentary, 'The Seventh Python,' which opens the Sixth Annual Pacific Palisades Film Festival on May 14.

'Neil's a great songwriter, a great comedian, and a great philosopher,' says 'Seventh''s director/co-producer, Burt Kearns. 'And all this while rejecting the star-making machinery, which is quite relevant today.'

With the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band in 1968, Innes recorded 'I'm The Urban Spaceman,' the group's only hit, which was produced by Paul McCartney.

'Neil appeared in The Beatles film 'Magical Mystery Tour,'' Kearns continues. 'He appeared in the last season of Monty Python's 'Flying Circus.' They did a parody of the Beatles called The Rutles. It was brought to 'Saturday Night Live' by Eric Idle in the late 1970s. The Rutles took on a life of its own.' Indeed, when 'Spamalot' arrives in L.A. in July, the Python musical will contain Innes' ditties ('Brave Sir Robin').

'Our film is a crowd-pleaser, with lots of laughs and songs,' Kearns says.

'How it came together, that's a movie unto itself,' says 'Seventh' producer Brett Hudson.

Kearns has lived in Pacific Palisades since 2000... and the documentary has other local ties. Supervising producer Alison Holloway lives here (conveniently, Kearns' wife) and associate producer Joachim 'J.B.' Blunck, an Emmy-winning producer/director and former Palisadian, now resides in Malibu, where producer/musician Hudson (one of the original Hudson Brothers and an uncle of actress Kate Hudson) also lives. And, Kearns notes, 'My son Sam is a production assistant on the film.'

...Kearns met Hudson in the late '90s while working on Miramax's 'The Best Money Can Buy'...

Kearns and Hudson formed Frozen Pictures, producing documentary-style programming, including 'All the President's Movies' for Bravo, Showtime's 'My First Time,' and 'Adults Only: The Secret History of the Other Hollywood,' which, after Court TV tried to bury it with a Sunday-night airing, pulled in the highest ratings for original programming in the channel's history.

'What Burt and I like to do,' Hudson says, 'is not give our point of view. We lay the truth out and let viewers decide.'

In 2006, Frozen released the Burt Reynolds comedy 'Cloud Nine.'

Kearns got the idea for 'Seventh Python' while working on a doc called 'Death of a Beatle.'

'I went to London and traced John Lennon's life,' he says. 'The person I wanted to interview was the guy who played John Lennon in The Rutles.'

'As a musician, I listen to his melodies, his harmonics,' Hudson says. 'He's very clever. The guy had fame in front of him on a silver platter and he rejected it. Given my background, I find that unique.'

Kearns credits associate Bonnie Rose for playing a key role: 'Bonnie had brought him to Hollywood in 2002. We thought he'd be a good documentary subject.

'I don't like what tabloid television gave birth to, this whole culture of stalking celebrities. The film with Neil is an antidote to that, the way he could influence culture and not be a part of it.'

...'It's not archival-looking black-and-white footage,' Kearns says. 'You're seeing the Pythons today.'

Last summer, 'Seventh Python' debuted at American Cinematheque's Mods and Rockers festival, and has since screened in Chicago, New Jersey, and at the Las Vegas Film Festival, where it won a Golden Ace Award.

Up next for Frozen: documentaries on Latin rocker Chris Montez, and on John Lennon's seven-month 'lost weekend' (in Los Angeles) with mistress May Pang. Last year, Hudson conquered throat cancer, and this inspired 'The Klinik,' about his journey to Germany to get cured. This is also in development, as is the pair's scripted comedy, 'Live From The Gaza Strip.'

For now, all eyes are on 'Seventh''s Palisades premiere.

'This is literally a homecoming,' Kearns says. 'To be invited to the festival is in itself a great honor. And then to be opening it!'

'The Seventh Python' screens with Jennifer Clary's short, 'The Christmas Conspiracy,' at 7 p.m., Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Rd.


The producers of The Seventh Python have dedicated the evening to the late Dom DeLuise.

Every ticketholder gets a free The Seventh Python poster!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dom DeLuise

Dom DeLuise was not only a great comic actor and personality, he was a pal and neighbor. Dom was sought to do a cameo in Cloud 9, the Burt Reynolds comedy produced by our pals at Frozen Pictures (written and produced by Golden Ace Award winners Brett Hudson and Burt Kearns along with their pal, Academy Award winner (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby) Albert S. Ruddy, but previous commitments kept it from happening.
Dom & Burt with Bob Sharka of The Pacific Palisades Film Festival
Said Kearns this morning: "Our movie The Seventh Python opens the Pacific Palisades Film Festival on Thursday, May 14th. We'll be dedicating the evening to our pal, Dom DeLuise." Hudson added: "Dom was a big man in more ways than one."