Music To My Ears  -  Home Page

(Pages best viewed with 1280x1024 screen resolution)



A new backstage movie musical!


Programmed as the concluding title

wrapping up the 2006 FORX FILM FEST

Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks ND


WINNER: 3rd Place “Family Features”

The Cleveland Indie Gathering

Cleveland OH, Summer 2006




was February 16-19, 2006 at the

Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks ND



Sunday March 26  and  Sunday April 2, 2006

Forx Film Fest screening Sunday November 5, 2006
Friday through Sunday August 17-18-19, 2007

Sunday December 2, 2007

Saturday November 8, 2008



The city’s oldest movie house will soon be a parking ramp

unless somebody does something quick!

But nobody is prepared for what happens next!




Paul Kelly, Lori Barrett, Jenny Morris,

Karly Anderson, Chris Hargreaves, Marjorie Morris,

Gordon Dexheimer, Betty Gard,

Royce Blackburn, Louise Pinkerton,

and special guest star Lee Barnum



An all-digital independent movie

shot primarily at

the historic Empire Arts Center

in downtown Grand Forks, ND.


A co-production of the Empire Arts Center and Akbar Productions

with the cooperation of the UND Theatre Dept., the UND Music Dept.,

the Red River High School Drama Dept., Fire Hall Theatre,

and Crimson Creek Collegiate Players


Written and Produced by Christopher P. Jacobs, Mark Landa, and Jenny Morris

Directed by Christopher P. Jacobs

Choreographed by Jenny Morris


Featuring over a dozen popular hit songs and showtunes from the early 20th century

by Irving Berlin, W. C. Handy, Pete Wendling, James Monaco and many others

in newly recorded renditions. Songs include such classic standards as

“The St. Louis Blues,” “You Made Me Love You,” “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,”

“For Me and My Gal,” “Take Your Girlie to the Movies,” and many more!


A percentage of the profits from the DVD and soundtrack CD will benefit the Empire Arts Center


SYNOPSIS:  Times are tough in modern middle America, and traditions are dying out. The city’s oldest movie house will soon be a parking ramp unless somebody can do something quick! Supporters think they have the perfect solution—they’ll put on a benefit stage show to save the theatre. But nobody is prepared for what happens next. Not the aging theatre owners, the ambitious manager, the scheming banker, the mercenary real estate agent, the Broadway producer, the greedy ex-wife, the caustic choreographer, the old-movie nut, the pesky cute kid, or anyone else!


PITCH: Think Babes in Arms and 42nd Street meet The Purple Rose of Cairo !



A backstage musical comedy-drama!


When a local landmark is threatened,

the town comes together,

puts its best foot forward,

and magic happens -- on and off the stage!


But there is also drama, backstage intrigue, budding romance…

as well as complications and one setback after another!


Can they overcome everything and save the theatre?

They'll certainly do their best to try!



Music to My Ears

at the Internet Movie DataBase (imdb)

Including a clip and a trailer!


Post-production History


REVISED CUT 4 encoded to mpeg in July 5, 2009 and remastered to DVD August, 2009

          (close to a minute shorter than cut 3, with bits edited from two musical numbers to improve pacing)

          DVDs now include selected outtakes and optional English captions (great for sing-alongs),

          as well as a trailer reel highlighting regional movies, an extra 2-minute trailer

          for Music to My Ears, audio commentary by the writers-producers, and brief cast bios



Music to My Ears won Third Place in the “Family Features” category at the 2006 Indie Gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. As a special non-competitive title, it closed out the screenings at the  5th annual Forx Film Fest in Grand Forks on November 5, 2006, was a bonus feature after the 6th annual Forx Film Fest on December 2, 2007 and closed the 7th Forx Film Fest on November 8, 2008.


FINE CUT 3.5 encoded to mpeg on March 11 and remastered to DVD March 12, 2006

          (slightly revised from the version shown at the World Premiere)

          DVDs include motion menus with 39 chapter stops, an 11-minute trailer reel highlighting six regional movies,

          an extra 2-minute trailer for Music to My Ears, audio commentary by the writers-producers, and brief cast bios


SOUNDTRACK CD final revised master completed February 10, 2006

          CDs include 27 different tracks with 18 different songs

          (CLICK HERE for CD cover art and current song list!)



A half-hour segment (roughly the second quarter) from the work-in-progress screened before an appreciative crowd Saturday afternoon November 19th at the 2005 Forx Film Fest.


A DVCAM copy of version 2.2 of the completed roughcut (115 minutes, still missing a few scenes not yet shot) was screened for the cast and crew and invited guests on December 28 at the Empire, resulting in overwhelmingly positive viewer comment sheets along with valuable constructive criticism.


The finished movie’s theatrical gala World Premiere (finecut version 3.2) was 7:15 pm Thursday, February 16, 2006 at the historic Empire Theatre including a live stage prologue of several songs from the movie, followed by a theatrical run Friday-Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 17-18-19, 2006. Despite subzero temperatures on the coldest weekend of the year, nearly 250 people braved the weather to enjoy Music to My Ears and found it well worth the effort! Some even came back to see it again!


On Sundays March 26 and April 2, a slightly revised cut (version 3.5) was presented for the encore screenings at the Empire.



First virtually complete but still very rough cut of the movie (missing a few scenes)

            December 5, 2005 - Cut 1 approx. 130 minutes

Second Roughcut (still not including scenes 30 and 40C)

            December 28, 2005 - Cut 2.2 approx. 115 minutes -- Additional scenes shot in January

Third Cut (Finecut)

            February 5, 2006 cut 3.2 – 119 minutes and 30 seconds

            March 12, 2006 cut 3.5 – 119 minutes and 29 seconds

Fourth Cut (Revised)

            July 5, 2009 cut 4.0 – 118 minutes and 47 seconds



Deleted scenes and alternate or full-length versions of musical numbers that were deleted or heavily edited will be included as bonus items on a planned special 2-disc collectors’ DVD, as well as some behind-the-scenes footage, selected auditions, and orchestra recording session footage.




      One-sheet A  -    72dpi (102k)     300dpi (964k)






Mini-Bios of Producers and Main Cast


Full Cast and Production Credits


Characters and Cast


Dancers and Musicians

       - including featured numbers and instruments


Song List

       - titles, composers, and performers (some with direct links to media files)


Production Chronology





Cast Portrait Gallery



Production stills and frame grabs

       (scenes 1, 7, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29A,

       31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, and 40)


Selected dance number photos

       (Oceana Roll, For Me and My Gal, St. Louis Blues,

       Take Your Girlie to the Movies)


Behind the scenes photos

       (shooting scenes 1, 21, 33, 35, 38)





Audio clips


            "The St. Louis Blues" first half (1.4 MB)

                  sung by Lori Barrett with the MTME Ad Hoc Studio Orchestra

            "You Made Me Love You" duet excerpt (520 KB)

                  sung by Paul Kelly and Lori Barrett with the MTME Ad Hoc Studio Orchestra

            "You Made Me Love You" in dream sequence (750KB .wmv movie file)

                  sung by Paul Kelly and Lori Barrett with Edward Morris on guitar

            "For Me and My Gal" duet excerpt (283 KB)

                  sung by Paul Kelly and Lori Barrett with the MTME Ad Hoc Studio Orchestra

            "Ma! He's Making Eyes At Me" (803 KB) verse & two choruses as used in movie

                  sung by Jenny Morris and Karly Anderson, Kathy Fielder on piano

            "Take Your Girlie to the Movies" original version (1.2 MB)

                  historic 1919 recording


Trailers and film clips

(well, okay, not real film clips, actually, since we couldn’t afford film and shot everything on digital video,

editing with Final Cut Pro 5 and converting to RealPlayer/WindowsMedia formats with Adobe Premiere)

      - TV spot 1 (:30) no narration yet (to be added soon)

                     Windows Media 378 KB (fair quality)

                     Windows Media 114 KB (low quality)

      - Trailer 1 (teaser) (1:11)

              featuring “The St. Louis Blues” as a music bed, as played by

              the MTME Ad Hoc Studio Orchestra and sung by Lori Barrett

                     High-speed connections (medium quality):

                                  Quicktime     4.5 MB

                                  RealPlayer    4.0 MB

                     Medium-speed connections (fair quality):

                                  RealPlayer    1.9 MB

                                  Windows Media    859 KB

                     Really slow dialup connections (low quality):

                                  Windows Media           270 KB


      - Trailer 2 (2:03)

              expanded from teaser trailer 1, featuring clips from

              several dance numbers, all shown over the music to

              “Take Your Girlie to the Movies” and “The St. Louis Blues”

                     High-speed connection (medium quality)

                                  Quicktime  9 MB

                                  RealPlayer 3.3 MB

                     Medium-speed connection (fair quality)

                                  Quicktime         1.6 MB (stereo)

                                  Windows Media 1.5 MB (mono)

                     Dialup connections (very low quality, mono)

                                  Quicktime  655 KB


      - Trailer 3 (2:33)

              featuring some different clips, with cast credits over character closeups,

              and a quick medley of segments from several musical numbers,

              mainly “Take Me to the Land of Jazz” and “The St. Louis Blues,”

              with snippets from “Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me,” “Take Your Girlie

              to the Movies,” “On the 5:15,” and “Maybe That Is Why I’m Lonely”

                     High-speed connection (medium quality, stereo)

                                  Quicktime 11.1 MB

                                  RealPlayer  4.1 MB

                     Medium-speed connection (fair quality, mono)

                                  Windows Media 1.9 MB

                     Dialup connection (very low quality, mono)

                                  Windows Media 580 KB (NOTE: text often unreadable)



- Early roughcut excerpt from scene 1 song & dance: conclusion of

            "I Wouldn't Give 'That' For a Man Who Couldn't Dance" (1:20)

                     performed by Karly Anderson and Jenny Morris, with Kathy Fiedler on piano

                     Quicktime movie format only:

                           MEDIUM QUALITY - stereo (5.8 MB)

                           LOW QUALITY - mono (430 KB, but requires latest Quicktime version)


- First cut of "dream scene" featuring "You Made Me Love You" (4:53)

              sung by Paul Kelly and Lori Barrett, with Edward Morris on guitar

              and Suellen Palya on music box keyboard

                     Medium quality - stereo RealPlayer (8 MB)

                     Fair quality - mono Windows Media (3.6 MB)

                     Low quality - mono Windows Media (750 KB) (3:19 without dance montage)





Websites for other regionally-made digital movies

      -some of them also featuring actors in Music to My Ears:

Paul Kelly (Bill) co-stars in The Threat of the Mummy and Working Nights and has major cameo roles in both Dangers from Within and Dark Highways; Lori Barrett (Brenda) appears in The Threat of the Mummy and Vengeance of the Sorceress; Lee Barnum (Bessie) stars in Miss Mystic; CeAnne Reese (Kayci) co-stars in Dark Highways and has a bit part in Working Nights; Jenny Morris (Peggy) and Marjorie Morris (Melanie) both have bit parts in Dark Highways; Mark Landa (bartender) plays a ruthless henchman in Dangers from Within and appears in both Dark Highways and Working Nights in the same bit role he plays in Music to My Ears! Michael Harvey (Hubert Sorensen) has a bit part at the end of Dangers from Within. David Henry, who has a bit part in Music to My Ears and narrates the trailer to Miss Mystic, has the leading male role in Dangers from Within. Christopher P. Jacobs (theatre critic) also has a cameo in The Threat of the Mummy and plays supporting roles in Vengeance of the Sorceress, Dark Highways, and Working Nights.


Dangers from Within (also on the IMdB HERE)


Miss Mystic          Dark Highways           Working Nights


Vengeance of the Sorceress            The Threat of the Mummy