Mike Morningstar movie coming to Gaslight Theater
SISTERSVILLE — The historic Gaslight Theater in Sistersville will screen the documentary film “Mike Morningstar: Here’s to the Workingman” at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Baltimore filmmaker Richard Anderson captures the life and music of West Virginia singer-songwriter Morningstar in the movie. Morningstar, a Parkersburg native now living in Gilmer County, retired several years ago due to neuropathy in his fingers, the result of Agent Orange exposure in the Vietnam War, according to a press release.
Morningstar was unable to hold a guitar pick. He has since resumed some performing featuring a finger-style technique. The film, co-produced by Rowland and Marcie Hill of Harrisville, depicts Morningstar and his wife, Donna, at their farm on Sinking Creek in Gilmer County. Mike tells of running away to New York City as a teenager to play music in Greenwich Village coffee houses, his time in Vietnam and the writing of many of his songs, including “Buffalo Creek,” “Nue Bai Den,” “Willow Island,” “Coal Country Blues,” “Brown Eyed Country Girl” and “Here’s to the Workingman.”
The film premiered at the Smoot Theatre in Parkersburg, attracted the largest audience at the West Virginia International Film Festival in Charleston, and played four weekends at the Lascaux Theater in Buckhannon. At the Workers Unite Film Festival in New York City in June, out of 80 films in the Documentary Feature category, this film won Honorable Mention.
Prior to the screening on Saturday, the Gold Derrick Gallery next door on Wells Street will host a reception and art exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring artwork by Mike’s brother Steven Morningstar, retired chairman of the Parkersburg High School Fine Arts Department. In addition to a Master’s of Art Education, Steve has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting from West Virginia University. Also present at the reception will be Anderson and the Hills of Laffin’ River Films. The cost of the 7 o’clock screening is $8. Watch the trailer or order DVD copies at www.herestotheworkingman.com.