What Was the Best Design You Saw in 2005?

My vote goes to the designer that did the Christmas light show on his house set to a Siberian Orchestra tune [Carson Williams of Mason, OH]. It did the most with the least, it was creative, and fun to watch over and over.

Sure I'm in the sound business, but I sit at the FOH for most every show at Jones Beach Tommy Hilfiger Theater, Nassau Collaseum, and at my own theatre and watch every light show you Buzz heads put on, and this guy was the best for 2005.
Charles A. Trantum,
head of sound department North Fork Theatre at Westbury (NY)


The best live performance design I saw in 2005 was at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater NYC season: Ife/My Heart. Choreography by Ronald K. Brown; lighting design by Brenda Gray; costumes by Omatayo Wunmi Olaiya.
Robert E. Penn
Robert Penn productions

Video “Fingers” control software on the Bon Jovi Have a Nice Day Tour, with custom control software by video engineer Stuart White and performance environment design by Doug “Spike” Brant of Artfag. The elegance and the end product speak for itself, with millions of pictures!
Pete Farm,
freelance live performance
Minneapolis, MN

My picks for best design of 2005 are:

  1. Remember, Dreams Come True Fireworks Spectacular, Disneyland, CA Production Designer: Steve Davison

    This spectacular has gone light-years beyond the simple amusement park fireworks show. This show synchronizes multiple launch locations, automated lighting for exterior effects on park landmarks, lasers, large-scale digital projection, atmospherics, and my favorite effect featuring UV Syncrolites to track the Tinkerbell actress as she flies on multiple axes (also syncronized to the show timecode).

  2. The Drowsy Chaperone Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA Scenic design: David Gallo Lighting: Ken Billington, Brian Monahan

    By far one of the most inventive scenic designs I have seen in a long time, Gallo's use of a “unit” set combined with sophisticated automation allowed for seamless scene changes while providing an interesting process to watch. By allowing each of the scenes to somehow evolve from the simple apartment set, he was able to truly throw a curveball at an audience used to the plethora of scenic spectacle and automation found in most Broadway shows.
    Nick Van Houten,
    lighting/special effects designer
    Glendale, CA