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Dressed to inspire, astonish & impress

Heritage Museums & Gardens unveils fabulous movie costume exhibit for 2016

Johnny Depp has played Jack Sparrow in several Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Movie still courtesy of Photofest

Love him or hate him—and most people love him—one of the most memorable movie characters of the 21st century is Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Brought to life by Johnny Depp, the charismatic Sparrow is a cross between an inebriated Keith Richards, cartoon character Pepe Le Pew and gentlemanly “Black” Sam Bellamy, the famous pirate captain who died in the Whydah Gally off the coast of Wellfleet in 1717.

While there is no doubt that it’s Depp’s deft dramatic touch that makes the roguish Sparrow such an endearing—and enduring—character, some might argue that the good captain’s wardrobe has infused Sparrow with as much life as the actor.

This year, fans of Depp, the Pirates movies, and the fascinating art of costume design can get an up-close look at one of the good captain’s costumes at “Cut! Costume Design and the Cinema,” a traveling exhibit on display at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, from April through October 10.

In addition to Sparrow’s costume from the first Pirates movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), “Cut!” will shine a klieg light on more than 40 stunning period costumes worn by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, Colin Farrell, Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightley, Angelica Huston, Ralph Fiennes, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Renée Zellweger, Daniel Craig and Vanessa Redgrave, among many others.

“When you think about it, the clothes we put on each morning are costumes for a role that we’re going to play that day,” says Ellen Spear, president of Heritage Museums and Gardens. “Clothes say so much about us and our culture, and these costumes on exhibit will provide our visitors with a window to other times and cultures.”

Organized primarily by theme—with the exception of a males-only corner that will be addressed shortly—the exhibit is designed to encourage and support family discussion and learning. A season-long series of events, lectures and family activities will support the “Cut!” exhibit as well.

Youngsters might recognize the man who wore the exhibit’s Sherlock Holmes costume because the actor, Robert Downey, Jr., also portrays billionaire, wise-cracking inventor Tony Stark in Marvel’s Iron Man and Avengers series. A costume worn by Vanessa Redgrave may encourage grandma to reminisce about her first date with grandpa, while the costumes of Depp and Kidman may quicken the pulses of the middle-aged set.

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