‘Perfect Picture: The Musical’ Explores the Life of Norman Rockwell
‘Perfect Picture: The Musical,’ inspired by the life of Norman Rockwell and his quest to paint the ‘Four Freedoms,’ is the centerpiece of the month-long 4 Freedoms Festival taking place throughout the Northshire. A Broadway cast and production team will bring Rockwell’s story to the stage of the Arkell Pavilion at Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester on Friday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 21, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. In 1942, illustrators enjoyed celebrity status – and Norman Rockwell was a superstar. He was too old to enlist, but still wanted to do his part, so he volunteered his services to the War Department to paint a series of posters inspired by FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech. Despite his fame, Rockwell was flat-out rejected. They told him, “In the last war, we used illustrators like you. This time around, we want fine arts men. You know – real artists.” Using this episode as a framework, the musical explores Rockwell’s life, loves, insecurities and resilience. Four-time Tony Award nominee, Randy Skinner directs and choreographs ‘Perfect Picture,’ which juxtaposes the extraordinary story of Rockwell’s efforts to create his iconic Four Freedoms suite of paintings with a portrait of the artist and his life, which was anything but a perfect-picture. Tony and Emmy Award Winner Lillias White stars as Amy the Wild Woman, who taught Rockwell his creed: “Don’t show life the way it really is, but how folks want it to be.” The cast also includes Olivier Award Nominee Scarlett Strallen, Sara Esty, Danny Gardner, Jeremy Benton and Con O’Shea-Creal. The production is based on the book by Eileen Bluestone Sherman, with music and lyrics by the Emmy Award-winning Bluestone Sisters. It is a co-production between Joshua Sherman Productions and The Mill. For tickets, go to themillvt.com/4freedomsfestival.
The Mill is a nonprofit organization founded on the belief that connectivity, creativity, mentoring, and collaboration can lead to extraordinary achievement. Housed in Remember Baker’s 1764 gristmill 316 Old Mill Road in East Arlington, The Mill is a space for young and established creatives to collaborate and develop revolutionary ideas in the arts and humanities. For details, visit themillvt.com or call 802-430-7116.