Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Grand Finale celebrates 'The Princess Bride'

| May 13, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — “As you wish …”

The Festival at Sandpoint is granting that wish at its annual Grand Finale with "The Princess Bride in Concert," led by Conductor Morihiko Nakahara. Tickets for the concert are on sale now.

The beloved classic film features fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles … and much more. Through the Grand Finale concert, residents can experience the film with the power of a full symphony orchestra performing the entire musical score live to picture.

Directed by Rob Reiner, "The Princess Bride" features an all-star cast including Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Christopher Guest, Fred Savage and André the Giant.

The great Peter Falk narrates this romantic tale of the beautiful maiden, Buttercup, and her one true love, a young farmhand named Westley. After he’s captured by a ruthless pirate and presumed dead, Buttercup’s unhappy marriage to the horrible Prince Humperdinck seems inevitable. But before the wedding can take place, she’s kidnapped by three outlaws, and it’s up to a mysterious Man in Black to come to her rescue.

Now, composer Mark Knopfler’s unforgettable score has been specially arranged for a symphony orchestra.

However, the Spokane Symphony is no longer able to support presenting the Grand Finale performance during its off-season and will not be a part of the program, Festival and Spokane Symphony officials said.

"After researching every conceivable option, we are just unable to make it work," Jeff Vom Saal, Spokane Symphony’s executive director, said.

Although one door has closed for the Festival’s traditioned past, this will create growth opportunities for the Festival, as it was originally founded as a symphony and conductor institute.

“As we approach our 40th Annual Summer Series, we are excited to honor the symphonic origins of the Festival at Sandpoint,” said Production and Education Manager Paul Gunter. “We are excited to highlight a diverse range of talent from the Inland Northwest with our Festival at Sandpoint Orchestra at this year’s Grand Finale.”

The 2023 Grand Finale will be the Festival at Sandpoint Orchestra’s inaugural performance with over 60 musicians. The FAS Orchestra will feature many talented instrumentalists from the Inland Northwest, many of whom have been featured as part of the Spokane Symphony. The Festival is proud to offer additional performance opportunities to these individuals as the traditional performing arts season winds down for the year.

Conducting this performance is Morihiko Nakahara, who spent 16 years as resident conductor of the Spokane Symphony. He is also the music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic and the director of orchestra studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is well-known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium, his innovative and audience-friendly programming skills, and his thoughtful interpretations of both standard and contemporary repertoire.

The Grand Finale will also include a performance from the Festival at Sandpoint’s 2023 Instrumental Scholarship Winner as well as fireworks to conclude the night and the 2023 Summer Series.

The Sunday, Aug. 6 concert will be a seated show, meaning that the area in front of the stage is general admission short chair and blanket seating only, and dancing areas can be found to the left and right sides of the stage.

The general admission tickets are $44.95, with youth tickets are $12.95. Tickets purchased the day of the concert are $49.95 and youth tickets are $14.95. All prices are before taxes and fees.

Tickets do no include admission to the "Taste of the Stars" wine and beer tasting event. Admission to the event costs $9.95 and participants must be 21 years and older to attend.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m.

Information: festivalatsandpoint.com