Bethlehem Press

Saturday, May 26, 2018
Just before screening “Getting Grace,” a $7,500 donation check was presented to the Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Arts. From left, Daniel Roebuck, his wife and producer Tam my Roebuck, actress Madelyn Dundon, Charter Arts Executive Director & CEO Diane LaBelle, producers Samantha Edwards and Mike Molewski. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Just before screening “Getting Grace,” a $7,500 donation check was presented to the Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Arts. From left, Daniel Roebuck, his wife and producer Tam my Roebuck, actress Madelyn Dundon, Charter Arts Executive Director & CEO Diane LaBelle, producers Samantha Edwards and Mike Molewski. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Daniel Roebuck gets interviewed by Sara Viteri from UbiFire for a video promotion of “Getting Grace” at the end of the evening’s screening in the Charter Arts’ theater. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Daniel Roebuck gets interviewed by Sara Viteri from UbiFire for a video promotion of “Getting Grace” at the end of the evening’s screening in the Charter Arts’ theater. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Bethlehem-based Switchback Mountain with, from left, Damian Righi on bass, Joe Bolesky on drums, lead singer Joe “Bosco” Oliver, and Aedan Merrill on keyboard, performing at the Charter Arts premier. Three of their songs, “Jack Kehoe,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Ali K” were chosen for the “Getting Grace” soundtrack. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Bethlehem-based Switchback Mountain with, from left, Damian Righi on bass, Joe Bolesky on drums, lead singer Joe “Bosco” Oliver, and Aedan Merrill on keyboard, performing at the Charter Arts premier. Three of their songs, “Jack Kehoe,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Ali K” were chosen for the “Getting Grace” soundtrack. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIER“Getting Grace” stars and producers gather inside the school’s art gallery for photo ops. Front row, from left, Preston Edwards (Dylan), Alexa McFillin (Audrey), Wyatt Root (Vincent), Vipul Shah (executive producer), Daniel Roebuck (Bill Jankowski), Benita Shah (Vipul’s wife), Madelyn Dundon (Grace), Marsha Dietlein Bennett (Grace’s mom Venus), Diane Wagner (Mary Copyright - © Ed Courrier PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIER“Getting Grace” stars and producers gather inside the school’s art gallery for photo ops. Front row, from left, Preston Edwards (Dylan), Alexa McFillin (Audrey), Wyatt Root (Vincent), Vipul Shah (executive producer), Daniel Roebuck (Bill Jankowski), Benita Shah (Vipul’s wife), Madelyn Dundon (Grace), Marsha Dietlein Bennett (Grace’s mom Venus), Diane Wagner (Mary Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Earlier in the day at the Roxy premier, singer-songwriter Heidi Ott, backed by guitarist Joel Zingone, performed “Linger” from the movie soundtrack. Bethlehem-based Ott wrote the music and lyrics for this song and a few other pieces used in the film. In tribute to Roebuck’s mentor Andy Griffith, Zingone strummed the prototype for the Martin flattop Andy Griffith Signature Model D-18. He was Copyright - © Ed Courrier Earlier in the day at the Roxy premier, singer-songwriter Heidi Ott, backed by guitarist Joel Zingone, performed “Linger” from the movie soundtrack. Bethlehem-based Ott wrote the music and lyrics for this song and a few other pieces used in the film. In tribute to Roebuck’s mentor Andy Griffith, Zingone strummed the prototype for the Martin flattop Andy Griffith Signature Model D-18. He was Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Jacob Williams and actress Marsha Dietlein Bennett remind Daniel Roebuck of his upcoming birthday by singing “Happy Birthday to You,” as the cast and audience joined in. Roebuck was born in Bethlehem on March 4, 1963. Jacob Williams, a Charter Arts student, played “Doug” in the film. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Jacob Williams and actress Marsha Dietlein Bennett remind Daniel Roebuck of his upcoming birthday by singing “Happy Birthday to You,” as the cast and audience joined in. Roebuck was born in Bethlehem on March 4, 1963. Jacob Williams, a Charter Arts student, played “Doug” in the film. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Charter Arts Executive Director & CEO Diane LaBelle is flanked by Buster Roebuck and his dad Daniel Roebuck. Buster played his father’s character, “Bill Jankowski” in “Getting Grace,” flashback scenes. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Charter Arts Executive Director & CEO Diane LaBelle is flanked by Buster Roebuck and his dad Daniel Roebuck. Buster played his father’s character, “Bill Jankowski” in “Getting Grace,” flashback scenes. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Bethlehem-based co-producer Jeff Hartney with LA-based actor Duane Whitaker. Hartney had a role in the film as “Dr. Mark” while Whitaker played “Rev. Osburn.” Copyright - © Ed Courrier Bethlehem-based co-producer Jeff Hartney with LA-based actor Duane Whitaker. Hartney had a role in the film as “Dr. Mark” while Whitaker played “Rev. Osburn.” Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Allentown-based artist Ana Hamilton with her “Minerva Triptych” (Acrylic on canvas). Both Hamilton and her artwork were “extras” in the “Getting Grace” art festival scene filmed at Burnside Plantation. With Hamilton at the Charter Arts premier are her grandchildren, from left, 16-year-old John Fenstermacher, his 14-year-old sister Sarah, and his twin sister Hanna. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Allentown-based artist Ana Hamilton with her “Minerva Triptych” (Acrylic on canvas). Both Hamilton and her artwork were “extras” in the “Getting Grace” art festival scene filmed at Burnside Plantation. With Hamilton at the Charter Arts premier are her grandchildren, from left, 16-year-old John Fenstermacher, his 14-year-old sister Sarah, and his twin sister Hanna. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Kay Frederick and her untitled acrylic on canvas were both “extras” in a “Getting Grace” art festival scene filmed at Burnside Plantation. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Kay Frederick and her untitled acrylic on canvas were both “extras” in a “Getting Grace” art festival scene filmed at Burnside Plantation. Copyright - © Ed Courrier

Amazed by ‘Grace’

Monday, April 2, 2018 by Ed Courrier Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

The Lehigh Valley Charter HS of the Arts hosted a March 3 evening charity premier of “Getting Grace,” a comedy/drama about a teenage girl losing her battle with cancer.

This was the finale of a full-day event where the film was shown consecutively at three Lehigh Valley venues. There was a morning screening at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas at Arts Quest followed by a matinee premier at the Roxy Theatre in Northampton.

Produced, co-written and directed by Bethlehem Catholic HS graduate Daniel Roebuck, the indie movie was filmed entirely in the Lehigh Valley. Roebuck also stars as the socially awkward and depressed funeral director, Bill Jankowski, who learns how to finally live from spunky Grace, as she seeks to find out about what happens after death. The film introduces Bethlehem native Madelyn Dundon as the title character.

At $22 per ticket, moviegoers enjoyed full red carpet treatment. The stars and producers arrived by tour bus and gathered inside the school for autographs and photo ops. All proceeds from ticket sales benefited the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley (PCFLV), the Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Playhouse, Civic Theatre and MunOpCo Music Theatre.

Roebuck praised the nonprofits for providing the input and support that has made his project a success. He was also grateful for assistance he received from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Actress Madelyn Dundon, like Roebuck was a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School. When asked if she was nervous about shaving her head for the role, Dundon replied, “No. I was excited. It was something that had to happen.”

She related that her fondest memory of the experience was a PCFLV luncheon she and others from the cast and crew attended halfway through filming. “That was a very humbling, exciting afternoon. We got to meet with families of children who have survived cancer and families of those who have lost their battle with cancer.”

Dundon is currently a sophomore at West Virginia University.

Charter Arts CEO Diane LaBelle took pride in the role the school played in providing a place for auditions, as well as providing actors and artists who contributed to the film.

Director of Theatre Diane Wagner landed a substantial role as Mary Jankowski, Bill’s sister and co-owner of the fictional funeral home.

Jacob Williams, a senior at the charter school landed the role of “Doug,” Grace’s cancer warrior boyfriend.

Charter Arts alumnae Ana Raiola portrayed “Bethany,” Jankowski’s love interest in flashback scenes. She painted the “Sunrise/Sunset” landscape that is a touchstone prop in the movie. Raiola also provided other artwork featured in the movie, including the illustrations on Audrey’s casket.

Art students Arial Posh and Bria Pickel from Charter Arts and several community artists and their artwork were featured in an art festival scene filmed at Burnside Plantation. The works were on display in the school’s Corpora Gallery.

Easton-based Neal Fehnel, a.k.a. “Balloons the Clown,” who has been a friend of Roebuck’s for 42 years, appeared as his alter-ego in the movie. “We started as clowns together in the Lions All-Star Circus,” said Fehnel.

Roebuck also sought out area musicians for the film’s soundtrack, some of whom entertained audiences at the three premiers. These include Alyssa Garcia, Switchback Mountain, and Heidi Ott, backed by guitarist Joel Zingone.

Buster Roebuck played his father’s character, “Bill Jankowski” in the film’s flashback scenes. “It was a really great experience for me,” said the younger Roebuck about his role. “It’s not really the career path that I’ve chosen for myself,” explained Roebuck, a sophomore and fire technology major at Glendale Community College in California.

Daniel Roebuck announced March 23 will be opening day for “Getting Grace.” He urged the audience who “love it” to give it high scores at Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. “If you didn’t like it, keep your opinions to yourselves,” he quipped.

Information: gettinggracethemovie.com; charterarts.org