Above: Cast and producers of Mr. Birthday on the red carpet.
A mix of Rhode Island and Hollywood share the red carpet
Chad and Michelle Verdi of East Greenwich has been producing movies for a decade now – including Bleed for This (about Vinnie Pazienza) and Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman (nominated for Best Picture). Now their son, Chad Jr. – who has worked on many of Verdi films, picking up tips along the way – is out with his first feature, Mr. Birthday, which premiered Thursday night at the Showcase Cinema on Division Street.
The young producer was busy greeting everyone Thursday, including the stars of the movie, Eric Roberts, Jason London and Anna Marie Dobbins, along with Trinity Rep mainstay Fred Sullivan. Also at the theater were some of the child actors, including Joshua Johnson, 12, from Hamden, Conn., and Gabriella Spinney, 8.
“It’s my first premiere and I like doing this stuff,” said Spinney. “It makes me happy.”
Several people from Yolani’s, a Greek restaurant on Westminister Street, were also at the premiere. The movie was shot entirely in Rhode Island, primarily Providence, including at Yolani’s. “It was an exciting experience and it was fun,” said Yolani’s John Philippides.
“I’m just excited we’re doing this in Rhode Island,” said Verdi.
The movie was directed by Dan Hunter, from a script by Matthew Luke Tucci; Tom DeNucci also produced.
“It’s the holy grail of independent filmmaking,” said Chad Verdi, Sr., of his son’s achievement. “It will be in 11 different states theatrically and it will reach 150 million homes on video on demand on Dec. 17. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
He added, “He did this all on his own – this is a big deal. It’s time to let him run the show and me to relax.”
Find out more about Mr. Birthday HERE.