The AFI Silver Theater’s screening of The Legend of Merv Conn sold out last week, and the crowd that showed up in the middle of Sunday’s snowstorm for an added screening did a fair job of filling the Silver’s glorious 400-seat main room. Which suggests that Washingtonians can’t get enough accordion music.
Jeff Krulik‘s latest documentary profiles 86-year-young Silver Spring strolling accordion player Merv Conn, who, true to his title, strolled (and sat) around the theater serenading ticket buyers before and after the show.
A show of hands revealed that many in attendance were themselves squeezeboxers, including a contingent representing the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society. (The group’s next meeting is Sunday, March 18, at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, in Falls Church, for those who are squeeze-curious.)
The members of ’80s cover band the Spectacles were on hand, though just as spectators, as Conn waxed nostalgic about the accordion craze of the ’40s and ’50s. Listen to 30 seconds of audio of Merv serenading ticket buyers in the Silver’s lobby before the show.