In this new weekly feature of the Entertainment Design website, we’ll offer up a quick rundown of some recent projects by designers and manufacturers. Our inaugural roundup has a decidedly sunny spin as we take a look at a veritable picnic’s worth of summer tours, festivals, a brand new ballpark, and one really cool figure skating show.
The Willamstown Festival (WTF) in Willamstown, MA, (below) began its season in mid-June. The festival will entertain an estimated 40,000 attendees with 10 theatrical performances in four venues. Theatrix is providing the sound reinforcement for the festival, providing 35 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeaker systems distributed throughout the four theatres. For the 530-seat proscenium Main Stage, supervising sound designer Kurt Kellenberger chose two HM-1S studio monitors, along with three UPM-1Ps for front fill in conjunction with two UPM-2Ps for downfill. For the lower proscenium, there are two UM-100Ps, as well as two UPA-1Ps for front-of-house and three UPM-1P full-range loudspeakers for center delay fill. Two 650-P subwoofers provide the low-frequency support. At the 99-seat-thrust Nikos Stage, Kellenberger used four UPM-Series full-range loudspeakers with a USW-1P subwoofer for the front-of-house design. For the 200-seat Cabaret theatre in Goodrich Hall, the front-of-house design includes four UPA-2Ps, along with two UPA-1Ps for balcony fill. For stage monitoring, two UM-100P stage monitors are used. In the Free Theatre, the sound reinforcement system is configured using two CQ-1s for the front-of-house, along with four full-range UPM-1Ps for delay fill. The festival will conclude on August 29.
Bandit Lites and LD Alan Adelman teamed up to light FOX television’s “Teenapalooza.” The show was taped at Virginia Beach, Viginia and aired last month. “Teenapalooza” features popular teen acts, including Sisqo, S Club 7, Dream, and Nelly. A moving lights package, featuring over 30 Martin MAC 2000s, along with ETC Source Fours, PAR 64s, and Mini Strips were used to light the performances.
The new ballpark at St. George in Staten Island, New York, has received a multimedia system that was installed and designed by Sports Media Systems. The system consists of five LED video boards manufactured by Lighthouse Technologies, a Philips iTV System, and a customized production suite. The single “A” New York Yankees affiliate ballpark is the first to include LED video technology in their outfield walls. Four video boards, with a pixel pitch of 25 mm, measuring 9’ x 16’ have been installed in the walls. The boards have a protective covering to safeguard the players and the video screen. The fifth LED video board, which is located on the main scoreboard, measures 15’ x 20’ and is framed with backlit and tri-vision advertising. On top of the scoreboard sits a three-dimensional model of the Verrazano Bridge. The ballpark also features the Philips Consumer Electronics “Smart Card” television system running throughout the ballpark and concourses. The “Smart Card” system allows all functions of every television in the ballpark to be controlled from a single source. The ballpark’s front-end system, which consists of three digital color production cameras complete with studio lens and tripod configurations, was also designed and installed by Sports Media Systems.
Vari-Lite, Inc. is providing lighting equipment for Aerosmith’s Just Push Play tour that will cover 50 US cities this summer, and the rest of the world later this year and into 2002. Lighting designer Jim Chapman is working with lighting operator and programmer Benny Kirkham on the show. The duo is using “a mixture of the old school type of lighting and the more current type” on the show, Chapman says. The show features the use of the Virtuoso™ console. Fixtures for the show include 84 Vari*Lite® luminaires, 16 VL2416™ wash luminaires, 14 VL2402™ wash luminaires, 26 VL5Arc™ wash luminaires, and 28 spot luminaires. This marks the second time in less than a year that Vari-Lite has taken part in lighting a major Aerosmith appearance, as the Dallas-based company handled the automated lighting for the MTV-produced E*Trade Super Bowl XXXV Halftime show in January. During that show, Aerosmith performed along with ‘NSync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. That production featured 180 Vari*Lite luminaires. Aerosmith’s Just Push Play tour started in Hartford, CT, on June 6. The tour lasts throughout the summer, finishing up in West Palm Beach, FL, on September 23.
The Sunday Times-sponsored Hay on Wye Festival in the UK recently played host to the likes of celebrities Kate Adie, Germaine Greer, Melvyn Bragg, and Louis de Bernieres, to name a few. The former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, also made an appearance to deliver his keynote address entitled “Conflict Resolution” (below). At the festival, 210 events are held in three venues over a period of 11 days. For the festival, Paul Elkington of Theatre Vision chose Zero 88’s new Fat Frog desk to control his rig of Martin Mac 250s, Par Cans, and theatre luminaires.
The annual Preston Figure Skating Show (below), held last spring, involved 170 amateur skaters, four shows, and 12 Giotto Spot 250s. Carl Lukings of Concord Production Services used the Giotto Spot 250s for both frontal and back lighting for each number, as well as to create an ice “wash” effect. The Prism and Gobo effects coupled with the Linear Zoom helped him to create static and moving projections on the ice surface. The Giotto Spot 250s were provided by Little Electric Inc. of Cambridge, Ontario.
The 40th anniversary of Amnesty International was celebrated in London last month at Wembley Arena in a show starring Eddie Izzard (below), Paul Whitehouse, Harry Enfield, Badly Drawn Boy, the Stereophonics, Tom Jones, and a satellite-linked slot from U2 in Toronto. London’s Capital Sound headed the audio production team, providing a Martin Audio Wavefront Compact PA system, in conjunction with Dimension Audio who supplied radios and nearfields. The PA was based around a main left and right stack, each combining 18 Crown-powered Martin Audio Wavefront W8C cabinets, with six WSX sub bass enclosures per side. A series of nine delay hangs was also included. All system management and delay time set-ups were handled by a laptop PC running XTA’s Audiocore software. This also controlled eight DP226 processors, each provides a two-in, six-out configuration.
Chicago’s Goodman Theatre recently installed four more of MacPherson, Inc.’s IS12 full-range loudspeakers in their new facility. The new IS12s are installed in the 856-seat proscenium stage Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre. Two are located in the lower mezzanine and two in the upper mezzanine. They will be used for rear-of-house sound effects and surround sound in conjunction with the existing system. Ten IS12s were also installed in the smaller Owen Bruner Goodman Theatre when the facility opened last fall. The full-range IS12 loudspeaker uses a 12” woofer and a 1” compression driver. Its profile features an enclosure less than 8” deep, and it is narrow enough to fit between wall studs. It also features multiple rigging points and connection flexibility.
“Could it be Magic: The Barry Manilow Songbook” recently made its world premiere at the Mercury Theatre in Chicago. The production featured High End Systems products. LD Seth Jackson, longtime touring designer for Manilow, is working with Manilow, who wrote and directs the show but does not star in it. For the production, Jackson says they have “shoe-horned” into the 300-seat house a rig of 12 High End Systems Studio Color® and 11 Studio Spot® 575 automated luminaires, along with 200 conventional fixtures. The moving lights are run by a Hog™ 500. All of the High End products were provided by Intelligent Lighting Creations of Stokie, Illinois. The show features a variety of Manilow’s hits—including his commercial jingles—performed by singers and enhanced by dancers. The show is booked at the Mercury Theatre until August 5.