Wayne Zimmerman, accompanist for “The Sheik.”
East Lynne Theater Company, in partnership with the Cape May Film Society, presents “The Sheik,” (1921) starring Rudolph Valentino with live organ accompaniment by Wayne Zimmerman, on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May.
In this silent classic, Sheik Ahmed, played by Valentino, rents a casino where only Arabs are allowed to gamble. Thinking that crashing the casino will be fun, Lady Diana Mayo, from England, dresses appropriately, attempting to blend in. Discovering she’s not an Arab, Ahmed sends her away, not knowing that another sheik will do anything to claim her. The film was a box office sensation.
When Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) arrived in NYC from Italy in 1913, he first worked as a gardener in Central Park, often sleeping on park benches at night. It was while he was washing dishes in nightclubs that he noticed women paying men to dance with them. This sent him to dance classes, which helped him find work on stage and eventually in Hollywood.
Silent films were always accompanied by an organ, piano and sometimes a full orchestra.
Wayne Zimmerman has played in a variety of venues throughout the country, regaling audiences with his silent-film accompaniment and concerts. He has accompanied films presented by ELTC and the Cape May Film Society since 2011.
For information, call (609) 884-5898 or visit eastlynnetheater.org. Tickets are $15, and ages 12 and under are free. A “Weekend Pass” for the Cape May Film Festival includes admission to “The Sheik.”