CIRCUS, WANDERING CITY | BAM HARVEY THEATER
"ETHEL Captures the Spirit of Circus Through Soaring Strings at BAM Harvey Theater”
”…The performers are clad in vaudevillian, slightly steampunk-inspired garb (costume design by Beth Goldenberg) mirroring both the vagabond, gypsy lifestyle of the traveling entertainer and matching the decrepit charm of BAM’s Harvey Theater which lent a hefty atmospheric hand. The video and images projected (design by John Narun) onto the blank canvas are obscured, quite cleverly and poetically, by ropes (thanks to set designer Jason Ardizzone-West) — creating a textured abstraction and evoking the various “rope acts” in a circus - tightropes, aerial acrobatics and even pulling up the tents… but the real spectacle was the music and the musicians behind this masterful work… Never have four performers been so compelling and commanded the stage in such a way… this brilliant and beautiful exploration of “Circus: Wandering City” by ETHEL strips it all down to its most simple, sincere and human qualities (even when involving animals), perhaps asking audiences to view circus as something else that their initial perceptions — but to regard it as a place where the denizens of society not only gathered but were welcomed, accepted and made to feel useful (many years before the theater industry implemented color or gender-blind casting or inclusion was taken seriously by employers).
Broadway World (Cindy Sibilsky)
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE Jason Ardizzone-West wins the Emmy for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special
GOOD GRIEF | THE VINEYARD THEATRE
"…with theatrical agility and emotional intelligence, it’s exploring not what grief actually looks like but what it feels like form the inside, the weird internal labyrinth that we’re forced to navigate in the wake of a great loss… Nkechi’s story takes place in Bensalem, Pennsylvania… but Jason Ardizzone-West’s scenic design doesn’t give us the suburbs of Bucks County. Instead, the set is a kind of mind palace, where sliding panels that create the simple shape of a house, as a child might draw one, move back and forth in a split-level space of platforms and stairs… Timpo and her team have created a living space, in which neurons fire and boundaries shift and memories coalesce and disperse like smoke. It’s Nkechi’s psyche that we’re inside of…”
New York Magazine (Sara Holdren)
“There’s a surprising depth to what first appeared as a fairly two-dimensional stage design by Jason Ardizzone-West, but with a blinding white light shining in the dark, the geometrical sliding walls of memory and time refocus our mind’s eye to lean in and “just listen”… That layering is beautifully crafted and stylistically poetic in Anyanwu’s profound and touching new play, Good Grief. She takes us on a journey from here to there and back, through the complex maze of memories filled to the brim with pain and loss of a young and beautiful man who helped such love and devotion for a young lady in need. It’s adventurous and jumbled, yet even when it doesn’t exactly shed light on the subject, we are reminded throughout that grief is convoluted and messy, but needed to find the good.”
Times Square Chronicles (Ross)
“Awoye TImpo’s direction tackles the disjointed timeline easily, with pacing and staging that makes perfect sense, allowing the audience to follow the story without any confusion. The scenic design (Jason Ardizzone-West) fits with the setting, which is to say it’s not naturalistic but rather a bit cosmic, and is the exact right fit for the story, complimented by Oona Curley’s gorgeous lighting design.”
Theater is Easy (Sarah Moore)
NEXT TO NORMAL | TANTRUM THEATER
"Under the direction of Robert Barry Fleming, Tantrum Theater's impeccable, wrenching production of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's musical locates the beauty, as well as the hardwon laughter, that coexist with the pain of this story... Jason Ardizzone-West's intricately designed set plays a major role in the effect of the musical. Constructed primarily of wood, it creates the effect of a maze in which the characters are trapped, with boxes within boxes sometimes framing characters and other times emphasizing the space between them. It also allows for the play of color and shadow in Michael Lincoln's appropriately disorienting and constantly changing lighting scheme..."
The Columbus Dispatch (Margaret Quamme)
"That house (and the limited appearances of hospitals, doctor's offices, school rehearsal rooms) is a dazzling multi-tiered set designed by Jason Ardizzone-West. The set pulls starts as a parody of '60s high-modernism with the white walls of an art gallery and opens into boxes-withing-boxes. It nails the tricky dance of functionality - a vast, eye-catching canvas for Fleming and the actors' wildest flights of dancing and drama, holding characters and the band - and feeling appropriately suffocating..."
Columbus Underground (Richard Sanford)
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE nominated for 13 Emmys, including outstanding production design
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE | NBC
VIDEO: Jason Ardizzone-West Interview: "Jesus Christ Superstar" production designer
Gold Derby (Daniel Montgomery)
"I must've seen over 300 performances over the years, but what was absolutely thrilling about this for me was it was really, really live. It brought the whole thing back to the energy I always hoped it would be... For me, it was kind of like Superstar as I had always hoped it would be."
Andrew Lloyd Webber (ew.com)
"Production designer Jason Ardizzone-West - who outdid himself with the massive decrepit-chapel-meets-industrial-warehouse set - together with lighting designer Al Gurdon (and, of course, with the vision of Leveaux and Rudzinski), devised an epic final image for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. John Legend as Jesus on the cross was lifted into the sky as the wall behind him separated to form a giant cross out of negative space. As golden lights swelled from behind, Jesus disappeared. Together with Lloyd Webber's score for the scene, it made for an emotional and powerful ending to the broadcast."
Playbill (Logan Culwell-Block, Ruthie Fierberg)
"A conceptual and artistic triumph, NBC's live telecast of "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Easter Sunday may have finally justified the recent live musical fad on network TV..."
"The set design and costuming were effectively minimalist, with a vaguely post-apocalyptic "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" feel. Exposed scaffolding, freshly painted graffiti and a teeming horde of shabby-looking extras added to the overall vibe of controlled chaos. That mayhem occasionally gave way to moments of startling clarity... and a miraculous bit of stagecraft during the crucifixion, in which Mr. Legend's Jesus seemed to disappear into another dimension.
"...from the multicultural cast to it's deconstruction of religious iconography, this "Jesus Christ Superstar" was as thoughtful and challenging as the show has ever been."
New York Times (Noel Murray)
"Jesus' ascension goes on a short list of the most visually astonishing final images I've seen in anything..."
"Minute for minute, NBC's Easter spectacle was one of the most impressive things I've seen in the 20-plus years I've been writing about TV... This Superstar was the closest that live television has come to creating a hybrid new form, combining elements of epic cinema, the stage musical, and the concert film. It's a minor miracle."
Vulture (Matt Zoller Seitz)
"...But that simplistic description drastically undersells what Leveaux, Rudzinski, and the production and lighting designers accomplished with this live production. Not only did the cross look as though it were levitating in the sky, but as the entire wall opened up behind Legend to reveal another enormous cross shape, the framing provided a terrible reminder of the moment's magnitude. It's not exactly subtle, but neither is "Jesus Christ Superstar". So it makes a perfect fit for what became a truly astonishing moment - one that's truly unlike any other live TV has attempted before. For all the NBC production's screaming grandiosity, this version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" was worth staging for this breathtaking moment alone."
Vox (Caroline Framke)
"Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert met the press, took photo's and talked about the highly anticipated live television event, which airs on Easter Sunday. Starting off the morning Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment introduced, moderator Dave Karger, Turner Classic Movies to interview Marc Platt, Executive Producer; Nigel Wright, Musical Director; Neil Meron, Executive Producer; Harvey Mason Jr.; Music Producer; Jason Ardizzone-West, Production Designer; Camille A. Brown, Choreographer; Paul Tazewell, Costume Designer; David Leveaux, Director, Alex Rudzinski, EP/Live Television Director."
VIDEO: Times Square Chronicles
photos: Theater Mania
"Production Design For Jesus Christ Superstar Live" - Gallery & Interview Feature
Live Design (Ellen Lampert-Greaux)
"Former Worcester Resident Designs Production for Live 'Jesus Christ Superstar' TV Broadcast" - Feature
THE ROYALE | CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE
"We know know it's over before it begins and still, we lean in, pulled by the gravitational force of this gripping, pulse-pounding production, staged thrillingly - and well - in the round. It's one of the smartest uses of the adaptable Outcalt Theatre, designed to change shape depending on the needs of a show, since it opened in 2010... Robert Barry Fleming, his superb team of designers and as perfect a cast as anyone could hope for capture the intensity of the sport without anyone landing a punch... Instead, actors stalk the edge of the ring, often with their backs to each other and facing the audience, a brilliant use of the always challenging arena theater model... Fleming matches the strength of the playwright's language in every facet of his flawless production. Everything is lean, no fat anywhere. The set by Jason Ardizzone-West is empty of everything but bodies and light. The dreamlike quality of his ring is a physical expression of the "body percussion" that is the music of "The Royale." Actors snap, clap, slap their thighs and stomp, human rhythms that echo the rhythmic hits Jay delivers to a heavy bag... "The Royale" is magnificent, the final moments as startling as the taste of blood in the mouth"
Cleveland.com (Andrea Simakis, The Plain Dealer)
"The production, itself, filled with foot-stomps, handclaps, and fist bumps, is outstanding, exceeding the material, itself. The cast, the effective directing by Robert Barry Fleming, CPH's Associate Artistic Director, and the technical aspects, are all of high quality... Jason Ardizzone-West's set design, Alan C. Edwards' lighting, Jane Shaw's sound design and Toni-Leslie James' costume designs all enhance Fleming's script interpretation..."
Broadway World (Roy Berko)
"The spare and effective scenic design by Jason Ardizzone-West evoked George Bellow's 1909 painting, "Stag at Sharkey's"... The final scene of this short play was unexpected, a dramatic surprise, and one that brought a telling finale..."
Cool Cleveland (Laura Kennelly)
"The storytelling is comparatively sparse and intimate, stripped down to one act, five actors and a boxing ring. And it is given an expressionistic theatricality that doesn't so much serve to display the state of racism in this country as subtly remind us just how deeply ingrained it is in the American psyche. The show is spartanly staged in the round, where performers roam about and around the circular ring in dramatic silhouette as if frozen in time and space, courtesy of lighting designer Alan C. Edwards and scenic designer Jason Ardizzone-West's vision and craftsmanship."
The News Herald (Bob Abelman)
THREE WISE GUYS | TACT
"The ingenious set design deserves a curtain call of its own. Designer Jason Ardizzone-West uses everything from set pieces to video projections [Dan Scully} to silhouettes and puppetry [Andy Gaukel] to bring the scenes to life. Ardizzone-West fills the stage without crowding it, almost reveling in the limitations of working with a small space..."
New York Theatre Guide
"Playing this story out on a surprisingly humorous set, with a pop-out charm designed with an inventive eye for theatricality by Jason Ardizzone-West..."
Times Square Chronicles
"...his physical production is very nicely realized, combining an abstract set (Jason Ardizzone-West) with period-style projections (Dan Scully), gangster movie-esque lighting (Mary Louise Geiger) and costumes (David Toser), and evocative shadow puppetry (Andy Gaukel) to create a unique milieu that's at once reminiscent of Runyon's vision of Broadway and yet entirely original."
UNCLE VANYA | OLD GLOBE THEATER
"These effects are not casual but the result of a designer team distinguished enough for any part of the 21st Century American theatre: Jason Ardizzone-West for sets, Susan Hilferty and Mark Koss for costumes and Jennifer Tipton for lighting."
San Diego Story
"This Old Globe production, a reason to brave the long drive to San Diego, modernizes Chekhov's play without updating it. The period, treated with consistency of theatrical ton rather than precise historical markers, is more or less Russia at the turn of the 20th century. (The design, which includes Jason Ardizzone-West's sets, Susan Hilferty and Mark Koss' costumes and Jennifer Tipton's lighting, finds an ideal palette that is at once discreet and sharply defined.)"
Los Angeles Times
ETHEL | CIRCUS, WANDERING CITY | ASOLO THEATER
""Circus: Wandering City" is an incredibly imaginative creation owing to the vision and talents of an entire team of collaborators. In addition to the members of ETHEL, director Grant McDonald pulled together all elements of design: projection (John Narun), scenic (Jason Ardizzone-West), costume (Beth Goldenberg), lighting (Oona Curley), and sound (Stowe Nelson)...."
The Herald Tribune
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE | THE TANTRUM THEATER
"...Michael Lincoln's mercurial lighting blends with Jason Ardizzone-West's magical-realistic scenic design to illuminate diverse locales, from the floating Moon to Noah's upstairs bed. Vivid but nuanced, "Caroline, Or Change" isn't for every taste but a must-see for sophisticated theatergoers and opera fans. Those who believe in the power of art to open hearts might end up wondering how much better off Columbus - and America - might be if everyone could get to know Caroline."
-The Columbus Dispatch
WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE | THE PUBLIC THEATER
"...That Chekhovian sense of time fading even as we inhabit it thrums through both the talk and the silences. This is all the truer because the team of designers here - Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West (set), Jennifer Tipton (lighting) and Scott Lehrer and Will Pickens (sound) - have made the Gabriels' kitchen into what feels like a warm corner of never-ending security. And yet we're abidingly aware that this house may well be demolished within the year."
-New York Times
"Again, in contrast to all the election racket outside, watching this group move around the cozy space - designed with unfussy authenticity by Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West - making shepherd's pie, pouring a beer or glazing cookies, is quite therapeutic."
-The Hollywood Reporter
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? | THE PUBLIC THEATER
"Designed by Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West, with lighting by Jennifer Tipton and sound by Scott Lehrer and Will Pickens, the kitchen set is first seen as an anonymous space. Then the cast members arrive, bearing plates of food and boxes of papers and photographs. In a twinkling, the kitchen assumes a richly detailed personality, the kind a room acquires over many years. And yet it has all materialized so fast. Which suggests it could disappear just as quickly."
-New York Times
HUNGRY | THE PUBLIC THEATER
"As befits a work with the title “Hungry,” food is prepared — ardently and aromatically — in the wonderful new play written and directed by Richard Nelson, which opened on Friday night at the Public Theater. Yet it is unlikely that the ratatouille and apple crumble on offer will satisfy the appetites of the five women and one man assembled in a snug kitchen in Rhinebeck, N.Y...."
-New York Times
"The design team — Susan Hilferty (sets and costume), Jason Ardizzone-West (sets), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), and Scott Lehrer and Will Pickens (sound) — creates a recognizable kitchen atmosphere in a middle-class family home. There are no walls, but we know exactly what everything looks like...."
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY | NATIONAL TOUR
"Lovingly and beautifully designed - could the fashions of the 1920s have been more alluringly eye-popping than those created by William Ivey Long for Bullets Over Broadway? - with superb sets by Jason Ardizzone-West, lighting design by Donald Holder (recreated on tour by Carolyn Wong) and close to impeccable sound design by Shannon Slaton, Bullets Over Broadway has the luxe feel of a top-flight tour..."
"The tour boasts the Broadway production's spectacular costumes by William Ivey Long, as well as Jason Ardizzone-West's ingenious new production design spanning the show's many locales, swank or seedy."
"The show still sparkles with William Ivey Long's magnificent period costumes, with lush sets and dazzling lighting by Jason Ardizzone-West and Carolyn Wong..."
-Chicago Theatre Review
SINGLE WIDE | NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
"The trailer park is a dysfunctional family and it is unlikely anyone would be able to escape their 'Microwave Life.' This setting (brilliant design by Jason Ardizzone-West) is a trope (here an extended metaphor) for all life's situations where people feel stuck, disenfranchised, betrayed, cheated, ignored, discounted, discouraged, or marginalized in any way..."
TIGERS BE STILL | PARTLY CLOUDY PEOPLE
"A special note should go to set designer Jason Ardizzone-West. In a tight space, he came up with some clever solutions to showing multiple locations with the simple use of Venetian blinds and adorable props..."
-New York Theater Review