Appearing on EBS Originals
PERFECT PICTURE'S STUDIO CAST "PARTY"
AT THE DRAMA LEAGUE IN NEW YORK CITY
A great time was had by all when six of Broadway's "brightest" stars met downtown at the Drama League's Tribeca headquarters and celebrated their new studio cast recording of PERFECT PICTURE. Tony Winners Ron Holgate, Debbie Gravitte, and Lillias White joined Tony Nominees Mark Jacoby, Andrea McArdle, and Randy Skinner in the evening's fun. As you might imagine, the music soared! Here's a sample!
A HIGHLIGHT OF THE 4 FREEDOMS FESTIVAL
PERFECT PICTURE makes its way to Southern Vermont this July under the direction of 4-time Tony Award Nominee, Randy Skinner. Full Broadway cast and creative team to be announced this spring.
I was so honored to present a special concert presentation of Gail Bluestone and Eileen Bluestone Sherman’s musical, PERFECT PICTURE, as part of my 2016-17 Broadway’s Future Series at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium. This is a very dynamic new musical that focuses on the life and career of Norman Rockwell - the renowned American author, painter and illustrator. This is a musical that deserves to be heard! Its wonderful music and lyrics, along with its terrific libretto, combine to make this a real treasure. Norman Rockwell is someone we all know thru his art, but we get to know every facet of his life in PERFECT PICTURE!
Broadway’s Future Songbook
Playing the role of Mary Rockwell, (the artist's second wife), Tony Award Nominee, Andrea McArdle, "wows the crowd" with the heart-wrenching ballad, "A Husband Is.
In the role of PERFECT PICTURE'S chanteuse, Tony Award Winner, Lillias White, "rocks the house" with the show's title song, "Perfect Picture."
(A Musical based on the Life of Norman Rockwell)
Years ago I read a remarkable life history called MY ADVENTURES AS AN ILLUSTRATOR, the story of the legendary Norman Rockwell as told by the artist to his son, Tom. The writing was lyrical, and the book captured my imagination. While the celebrated illustrator had fans believe his life was just like one of his “light-hearted, feel-good SATURDAY EVENING POST covers,” in truth the man was a tortured soul. He wanted to be Picasso, but had to be Rockwell, an illustrator of “kids and folksy old men,” as he told it, but certainly never respected among the art elite.
In fact, even the American public didn’t take his work seriously. In 1941, Norman, too old to enlist, wanted to serve his country during World War II. He pitched an idea to the War Department for a set of four war posters. Although he was an authentic “super star” of the day, the men in charge flatly rejected him.
“In the last war, we used illustrators, like you,” they told him, “but this time we want fine arts men. You know, REAL ARTISTS!”
I reread that sentence in disbelief. As the story unfolded, I became convinced that Norman Rockwell’s life was the basis for an exciting musical!! EBS
STORY IN BRIEF:
In 1904, a gawky kid meandered into a two-bit Carnival Side Show and learned a lesson that stuck forever. "Don't show life as it really is, but how folks want it to be." That creed made NORMAN ROCKWELL iconic. He inspired a nation to believe in the perfect family….but he knew better.
A high school drop-out at 15, only his art instructors nurtured him. His dismissive mother insisted he would end up penniless and alone. To prove her wrong, at 22, he married a girl who didn't love him…or his art. All his success and money couldn't prevent Irene from running away with another man. His second marriage was even more heartbreaking. Mary Barstow, his greatest champion, adored him, but Norman began to suffer from bouts of depression. As he became anxious and unsure about his art, he withdrew from Mary. Only when Mary turned to alcohol for comfort and he seemed to be losing her, did Norman realize what makes a family picture perfect. Indeed, the artist was "down for the count," but as he proved over and over again in his lifetime, no one should ever "count him out."
Produced by JOSHUA A. SHERMAN and EILEEN BLUESTONE SHERMAN at MSR Studios IN New York City, PERFECT PICTURE offers both Rockwell enthusiasts and Broadway lovers a unique insight into the life of an American legend. With a combination of poignant love songs, driving musical theatre numbers, hot jazz, comical ditties, and even a new Christmas song for the holidays, PERFECT PICTURE (as the Carnival Barker told Norman long ago)……."has something for everyone."
A LINCOLN CENTER CONCERT: OCT. 2016
Recently, Eileen and Gail decided to "revisit" the project and created an exciting variation of their original work, which lends itself to both a museum setting or a traditional theater venue. Last October (Halloween night) the Bluestone Sisters were the featured songwriters of New York's popular "Broadway's Future Songbook Series," hosted by John Znidarsic and produced by Erica Ruff, at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at LINCOLN CENTER, sponsored by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The Sister Team discussed the fascinating journey of their Rockwell musical, followed by selections from the new concert format, performed by an all-star Broadway ensemble.