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Thursday
Aug032006

Gypsy preparation in full swing

One full day.

That's all the time Ravinia Master Carpenter Mike Robinson and his stage technicians have to transform Ravinia's pavilion stage from a relatively empty symphony-friendly space into a glitzy 1930's vaudeville theater.

The pavilion stage is in use daily for either shows or rehearsals, and so time to actually erect the set is limited. The crew is doing as much as possible ahead of time. They have been building the set for a month and the electric system has already been hung. Monday is the only full day the crew has the stage entirely to themselves, and according to Robinson it will be a 14-hour work day.

"This is the most complicated scenery we have ever done," Robinson says. "It is also the best." And that's saying something because Robinson has plenty of shows to his credit. If Tony-winner Patti LuPone and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were not enough to entice to come to Gypsy, you should consider coming just to see the miracle our stage technicians will perform in one day. But to quote Mama Rose, "That's show business..."

Catch Gypsy on Friday, August 11, Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13. All three shows start at 7:30 p.m., and the August 11 show will be preceded by a talk with Stephen Sondheim and Welz Kauffman at 6:45 in the Martin Theatre.

-Shannon Rego, Communications Intern

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