Thursday, August 25, 2016

West Side Story rumbles into the Shakes.

West Side Story will be performed in the Margeson Theater at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL) from September 7th to October 9th. I Stopped into the scenic shop to see the New York City set under construction. Jeff Ferree explained that carpet had to be installed on the second tier of the set, to reduce noise as actors walked. Jeff used the lift to get a roll of carpet up and then three stage hands rolled it out. One corner hung precariously over ledge. If anyone stepped o this overhanging carpet they would fall to the stage floor. Jeff used a carpet knife to cut away the excess carpet. To try and smooth the carpet out, he leaped forward multiple times like a kangaroo to try and stretch the carpet flat. 

At the same time lights were being turned on and off from the lighting booth. Someone with a walkie talkie confirmed when the correct lights came on. A few were out of place and will likely be replaced. The large bridge like structure is part of the set that is lowered into place during the fight scenes. Jeff showed me the set rendering designed by Jim Hunter, and it will look gritty and gorgeous. Large sections of steal mesh fence need to be scavenged for stage right. There is a virtual walk through of the set which is apparently quite impressive. 

West Side Story is based on a concept of Jerome Robbins, a book by Arthur Laurents with Music by Leonard Bernstein and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Idealistic young lovers Maria and Tony find themselves caught between rival street gangs, the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time. West Side Story’‘s legendary jazz, Latin, and classical-inspired score features the treasured songs ““Something’‘s Coming,“” ““Tonight,” ““I Feel Pretty,” and ““America.“The movie came out the year I was born, and the story is still as fresh, vibrant and reliant as it was back then.” Tickets are between $18 and $33.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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