Sunday, May 19, 2013

Destination  . . . Chorale Bel Canto

            By Linda de Vries

Is Pasadena a city too far?


Come for Movies, a Mutt, and Music.

On June 1, 2013 Chorale Bel Canto is singing an All Beethoven concert at First United Methodist Church Pasadena.

In this post we offer a third day trip to Pasadena, with the Chorale concert as the center of the experience. This time it’s the Beethoven film series and The Beethoven House.
Beethoven is a 1992 family comedy written by John Hughes, directed by Brian Levant, and starring Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt. A group of dogs are stolen from a pet store. A St. Bernard escapes from the thieves and sneaks into the home of George Newton and his family. While the family is trying to name their new pet, daughter Emily plays part of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and the family names the dog Beethoven! A series of threatening adventures ensues, with George eventually coming to love and accept the new pet.
The film was followed by six sequels, Beethoven’s 2nd, released in 1993, Beethoven’s 3rd  in 2000, Beethoven’s 4th in 2001, Beethoven’s 5th in 2003, Beethoven’s Big Break in 2008, and Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure in 2011. Dean Jones also starred in an animated TV series based on the films. All films are available on DVD, both individually and as part of collections of films.
The house, known as the Beethoven House, is an actual home used for filming the exteriors in the film. It is located at 1405 Milan Avenue in South Pasadena. Word is that it looks today exactly as it did when the film was shot in 1992, except the trees are taller!

On your driving tour you can also view the filming locations of other feature films:

Liar, Liar (1987), 1004 Highland Street

Back to the Future (1985), 1711, 1727, 1800 and 1809 Bushnell Avenue

Teen Wolf (1985), 1711 Bushnell Avenue, and at So. Pas Middle School, Mission Street

Halloween (1978), So. Pas High School, Mission Street and Orange Grove Avenue

If you take the driving tour to these locations, remember that these are private homes and businesses. It is OK to drive or walk past and photograph from the public street, but in no instance should you photograph individuals, trespass on the property, or speak to the residents.

You can find an online source——where you may purchase a South Pasadena CD audio driving tour of 31 film locations. Playing time is about 24 minutes and driving time is about two hours.

After your tour, join Chorale Bel Canto for our concert:

All Beethoven

Choral Fantasy for piano, soloists, chorus, and orchestra
Mass in C for soloists, chorus and orchestra


Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

First United Methodist Church Pasadena
500 E. Colorado Blvd. (at Oakland Ave.)
Pasadena, CA 91101 u 626-796-0157
Chorale Bel Canto 888-460-9222 u

Following the concert you might wish to participate in other FREE musical events in Make Music Pasadena, celebrating World Music Weekend.

Or, in keeping with Beethoven’s Germano-Austrian heritage, you might want to have dinner at either the Dog Haus Biergarten, 93 E. Green Street, Pasadena, 626-683-0808. In April the Dog Haus honored John Galardi, the founder of the Wienerschnizel chain, after his death from cancer. Galardi started his career working with Taco Bell founder Glen Bell in Pasadena before founding his first Wienerschnizel in Wilmington.

Another choice for dinner might be Congregation Ale House, 300 S Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-578-0166. Also a gastropub in the German tradition, its religious theme and Happy Hour “Mass” provide a new twist on the musical experience of our Beethoven concert.

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