Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:
The Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County has announced the movies that will be featured for the return of its outdoor film series at the Warren Community Amphitheatre.
Six films will be offered for "Friday Night Flicks at the Amp" with the free movies starting about 9 p.m. each week.
The series will open June 21 with one of the greatest baseball movies of all time with 1984's "The Natural," starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger and Robert Duvall. The Barry Levinson film treats the national pastime as if it was the stuff of Greek mythology, and Randy Newman's epic score still is used at ballparks nearly 30 years later (they played it at Texas Rangers' stadium after one of the home runs hit off of Tribe pitching earlier this week).
Another baseball movie is planned for June 28 with "A League of Their Own," which is inspired by the true story of a women's professional baseball league that started during World War II. Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell star in the 1992 film directed by Penny Marshall.
Champion native Chris Columbus has been involved with his share of blockbusters, directing the first two "Home Alone" and "Harry Potter" films, producing Oscar nominee "The Help." But one of his most enduring films may be "The Goonies," the 1985 film for which he wrote the screenplay. It's one of the most beloved films of children of the '80s and will be shown on July 12.
Another family feature, 1993's "Free Willy" will be shown on July 19. It's the story of a young boy who tries to free a killer whale from a marina.
Whenever someone asks me what my all-time favorite movie is, my default answer is "Casablanca." The Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1942 will be shown on July 26.
And as thoughts turn to high school football in the last month of summer break, the series will conclude with "Remember the Titans" on Aug. 2. Denzel Washington stars in the true story of a black football coach in the early '70s trying to assemble a winning team and deal with racial tension at a newly integrated Virginia high school.
It's nice to see the Fine Arts Council, with the sponsorship of Sunrise Inn, bringing movies back to the Amp for the first time since 2009.
FACT's Thursday Night Specials series gets under way this evening with Youngstown's Total Package Band. Greg Johnson's group will play R&B, soul, top 40 and dance music, and the evening also will feature the winners from last weekend' African American Festival talent show.
The show starts at 7 p.m., and admission is free.
Warren native Mark Rozzano alerted me to the news that long-time Kenley Players director Leslie B. Cutler died last month in New York City at age 93.
Cutler started working with Kenley in 1947 in Deer Lake, Pa., as an actor and stage manager, and he eventually became the primary director for the Kenley Players summer stock seasons in Warren, Dayton, Columbus and Akron.
Cutler directed more than 300 productions and worked with such stars as Ann Miller, Gene Kelly, Vincent Price, Betty White, Robert Goulet, Cloris Leachman, Stefanie Powers, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Paul Lynde.
Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org