Vari-Lite once again provided lighting and volunteers for Concert Fantasy 2001, a evening of ballet, tap, jazz, and gymnastics presented by Las Vegas-based Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. The latter grants wishes to children under the age of 18 with life-threatening illnesses.

This is the eighth year that Vari-Lite has supported Concert Fantasy, which took place on August 25th and 26th. Todd Mertzel, general manager of Vari-Lite Las Vegas, and a team of volunteers, spent the week prior to the event setting up and programming nearly 80 Vari-Lite luminaires at the Samba Theatre, located in the Rio Hotel and Casino. To light the 1,500-seat venue, Vari-Lite provided 48 VL5™ wash luminaires and 30 VL6C™ spot luminaires. A Virtuoso™ DX control console was used to control these units, with another Virtuoso for the theatre’s permanent lighting package. Mertzel said that the console’s programming capabilities were especially useful, given the production’s short time frame: “We have worked several evenings in our shop pre-programming as much of the show as we can with the 3D visualization software on the Virtuoso DX. With the limited amount of programming time we have onsite, it makes a big difference walking into the venue with a good portion of our show already in the console.”

This year’s event featured more than 1,000 performers, according to Fern Adair, director of the conservatory. Since the event’s inception in 1989, the conservatory has donated over $145,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “Vari-Lite has been a real hero in providing the lighting for Concert Fantasy for the past several years,” she said. “Vari-Lite’s participation, as well as the participation from all involved, is truly a blessing.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, with 91 chapters in the US and its territories and 22 international affiliates on five continents. It operates through the generosity of private donors and more then 20,000 volunteers worldwide.