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Behind the Scenes of Newsies at The Muny
The last show of the Muny's 99th season opens tonight. Newsies is going to impress audiences as will the work of the man you're about to meet.
Heidi Glaus, KSDK 10:55 AM. CDT August 07, 2017
At a place that's been putting on shows for 99 years Greg Emetaz's role is rather new.
"It's like part scenery, part lighting, part special effects and part drive-in movie theater," he explains.
He's the Video Designer for Newsies which means he's the guy filling up that big LED screen that stretches 31 and a half feet wide and 20 feet high.
"So it's big, but The Muny stage is huge," Emetaz adds.
His work, like most of the creative team, starts with the script.
"And just letting my imagination go wild and usually at that point there is some kind of set so I try to contain the ideas in those perameters."
That was back in March in New York, the real work gets underway when he gets to The Muny and pulls up a chair in the design loft.
Each show requires something different.
"In Newsies for instance we're doing a lot sort of painterly backgrounds that look like newsprint that we've created from old photographs and other materials so to me that sort of goes in a more graphic design direction," he points out.
It's quite a contrast from what he did for All Shook Up
"For All Shook Up we did do a shoot with the motorcycle stuff."
He also did this year's production of Jesus Christ Superstar, but each one starts the same way.
"I'll start with an initial storyboard that we show at the first meeting that's a rough idea like in this scene we're thinking we're going to have the top of Pulitzer's building," he explains.
In the flashy world of Broadway his goal is sort of odd he wants his work to blend in rather than stand out.
"I think the best kind of work this way is like it truly is background where you're not aware of it but you feel it."
The thing is at The Muny he doesn't have a lot of time to tweek it.
"These LED walls are very finicky and certain images we don't know what they're really going to look like until they're actually up there that night with the whole cast on stage, with scenery moving and everyone doing it for the first time," he explains.
So the final product is often a surprise even to him.
"Like your dreams are either shattered or things turn out better than you expected."
Newsies opens tonight at The Muny. It will be on stage through next Sunday, August 13th. Performances begin at 8:15 p.m. Tickets cost between $15 and $95 dollars and can be purchased at the box office in Forest Park or online at www.muny.org.
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