Big Lebowski Fans Flock To See "The Dude"

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- There were bowling pins, bathrobes, white Russians, and even The Dude himself.

Jeff Bridges and his band performed Friday at Lebowski Fest, but Joel and Ethan Coen's 1998 campy crime comedy "The Big Lebowski" was still the night's biggest star.

Fans of the Raymond Chandler-flavored film filled the Wiltern Theater in midtown Los Angeles to capacity for the annual celebration of the cult classic, which has been staged around the country since 2002. The two-day festival continues Saturday with a costumed bowling party.

The Wiltern Theater was decorated with inflatable bowling pins and the drink menu featured white Russians - renamed Wiltern Caucasians, perhaps in political protest - "made with Ralphs half-and -half." The film opens with the Dude writing a check for 69 cents to buy half-and-half from a Ralphs supermarket to make his favorite cocktail.

Minor stars from the film signed autographs in the lobby before appearing onstage. Among them was Luis Colina, a film editor who said he was working on the Coen brothers' 1994 film "The Hudsucker Proxy" when they decided to write him into "Lebowski." Colina plays the angry Corvette owner who threatens to "kill" the Dude's car.

Bridges and his band performed a 30-minute set that included songs from "Crazy Heart," the 2009 film for which he won the best actor Oscar. Kyle Gass, the other half of Jack Black's band, Tenacious D, opened the evening by singing tunes from "The Big Lebowski".


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