DaVinci Fusion provided lighting, sound, and AV services to help Extraordinary Events create an "Evening of Hot Cuisine & Cool Comedy" to benefit Scleroderma Research at San Francisco’s Sheraton Palace Hotel. The dinner was followed by a live auction; comedy by Tom Arnold, Dana Carvey, and Bob Saget; plus a special musical performance by Pat Monahan and Brandon Bush of Train.

DaVinci Fusion illuminated The Sheraton Palace’s Garden Court, a gilded greenhouse environment, with a red-hot lighting palette to match the evening’s spicy cuisine. Then the company switched gears to bathe the room in blue light for the cool comedy and music that followed. "We were challenged to turn a very special room into an even greater space for the benefit dinner then change it into something quite different again before the night was over," says DaVinci Fusion president Solomon Rosenzweig.

Rosenzweig and production manager Ernie Ernstrom had just three hours to set up on the afternoon of the event. They hung drapes; installed two rear-projection screens flanking the stage in the middle of the room’s beautiful colonnade; brought in video cameras for image magnification of the evening’s speeches, auction, comedy, and music; installed the sound system for Train and The Dick Bright Orchestra; and rolled in the entire lighting system which had been pre-rigged in DaVinci Fusion’s shop.

"We built rolling towers so the lighting appliances could come out of the truck fully loaded," explains Rosenzweig. A combination of 24 Martin MAC 600, 500, and 2000 automated fixtures facilitated the evening’s hot and cool looks with their color- and pattern-changing capabilities.

"Modern automated lighting made this kind of efficiency possible," Rosenzweig notes. "The power of one instrument to change colors and store many patterns and effects meant we could reduce the number of fixtures, hardware, cable, time, and space that would have been needed had we gone with non-automated fixtures. Automated fixtures are flexible, powerful, and increase your creative potential."

The Martin MAC lights washed the room’s glass ceiling with flame effects during the dinner. Then, at the announcement from the stage that diners were now going to be treated to some Cool Comedy, the lights turned blue and dotted the ceiling with shimmering polka dots to everyone’s amazement.

"Every time we work with DaVinci Fusion they never cease to amaze us," says Tom Bercu, account executive with Extraordinary Events. "The creativity and fun they bring to an event is phenomenal. We had a very tight budget and tight load-in for the evening. The way Solomon and Ernie orchestrated the staff was like magic."