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Rockwell Art Comes To Life

September 18, 1987|STACY FINZ

Some of Norman Rockwell's most famous paintings will come to life this weekend. Thirty of the 20th-Century American artist's pictures will be re-created by live performers in the Del Cerro Baptist Church's free production of "America" at the Embarcadero Marina Park at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The show, presented by Seaport Village and featuring the Seaport Village Concert band, depicts America from the 1920s to the 1950s through Rockwell's eyes. The salute to America involves period costumes, dancing, music and singing by a 150-member cast, said choir director Don Howell.

"The theme is perfect," he said. "The coordinator chose people from our congregation that actually resembled the people in Norman Rockwell's paintings. Everyone studied the paintings from books and were responsible for their own costumes. There are many entire families involved in the production, which is special since a lot of Rockwell paintings were about the family."

"America," originally given by a different cast in Texas with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, was performed last year in San Diego and attracted 9,000 people.

"It's a real family event," said Lowell Taylor, marketing director for Seaport Village. "It's appropriate since Rockwell's paintings were whimsical celebrations of life. The show not only reproduces his paintings but re-creates the history of the time."

The show, which went into rehearsals six weeks ago, is broken into several themes, such as love and marriage, World Wars I and II, and the Depression. The hour-and-20-minute production is narrated by an actor portraying Rockwell. Popular tunes from the different periods are performed by the choir.

"It's a pretty incredible production," said George Wheeler, manager of the Seaport Village Concert Band. "Everything is just done so spectacular; even the sets were done by the church. We hope to attract even more people this year."

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