Say the words “all-child production,” and visions of a school play or band concert may come to mind. You know the type — where proud parents, grandparents and other loved ones endure wooden acting and wrong notes to show their love and support of their little ones.
A new movie made up entirely of child performers blows that concept out of the water. “Bernadette of Lourdes,” produced by Navis Pictures, stars more than 160 Catholic children, ages 3-17, telling the story of the young shepherd girl and her miraculous encounters with Our Lady.
Under the capable direction of Jim Morlino (also Navis Pictures’ president and founder), the young performers, none of whom are professional actors, convincingly play villagers, priests and police officers, not to mention Bernadette and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
While children, in particular, will likely be drawn seeing youngsters their age perform — and will benefit from learning about a young saint and her strength and resolve in staying true to Our Lady — this is not just a children’s movie. Adults, too, can enjoy the crisp storytelling and top-notch production values. And everyone can laugh along with the bloopers and outtakes that are part of the DVD (where else can you see children dressed up as 19th-century villagers doing fist-bumps?)
To learn more about the DVD or future screenings, visit www.navispictures.com.
Catholics with iPhones, iPod Touch or iPads can recite an ancient prayer of the Church in a thoroughly contemporary way, thanks to an application from the Daughters of St. Paul.
Based on the Daughters’ “Praying with the Rosary” CD, the app puts all of the prayers at their fingertips. Users can recite the prayer with the sisters, and for those not familiar with the devotion, they can also read along.
To enhance their prayer experience, users can choose from 18 sets of icons, stained-glass windows, religious art or photos on which they can meditate.
Marian hymns from the sisters can also be found on the app.
More information and a demonstration of the app are at www.pauline.org.
C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters,” in which the demon Screwtape instructs his nephew Wormwood in all manner of diabolical doings, has been beloved by readers since its publication in 1942.
Those fans who will be in New York the next six months have an opportunity to see “Screwtape Letters” come to life in an adaptation now being staged off-Broadway. The run ends Jan. 2.
A novel that’s composed of letters would seem difficult to bring to life, but play creators Max McLean (who plays Screwtape) and Jeff Fiske have found a novel solution to the challenge: As Screwtape pronounces his advice, a “creature-demon” named Toadpipe, who serves as his secretary, morphs into the vices he is describing.
“The Screwtape Letters,” which had successful runs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., before heading to the Westside Theatre, has been garnering positive notices, with The New York Times pointing out in its June 12 review that “[o]ne doesn’t have to be a Christian to benefit from or enjoy ‘The Screwtape Letters.’ Whatever a person’s faith may be, human failings and foibles are pretty much the same the world over.”
More information is at www.screwtapeonstage.com.