A pair of grandMAs is helping lighting designer Daniel Boland dazzle audiences nationwide with Blue Man Group’s How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0. The innovative performers are playing arena-sized venues and select theatres coast to coast with the production in which they download a tongue-in-cheek ‘how-to-manual’ on becoming a rock star. Joined by an eight-piece band, Blue Man Group subsequently takes the audience through--step-by-step and song-by-song--every head-bobbing, fist-pumping moment of a real concert.
“The show is fairly unique compared to productions I’ve done before,” Boland notes. “It’s a cross between theatre and rock ’n roll and a pretty interesting blend.”
Boland uses two networked grandMAs to control all the lighting and video for the show. “We’ve got it down to one cue list. I just push ‘go,’” he explains. “We have the video program on one grandMA and the lighting program on the other. Lighting is saved into one cuestack and video into another. The lighting cuestack triggers the video cuestack.”
Scharff Weisberg, which programmed Blue Man Group’s last tour and served as design consultants and system engineers for the sit-down shows, furnished How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0 with three Green Hippo HD players, an iLite 6XP LED wall, Olite 510 LED strip displays, two Christie Roadster S+16 projectors, and a complement of Sony cameras.
The Green Hippo HD players run through Artnet boxes into an Ethernet system. The video switcher for IMAG as well as the iLite wall and Olite strip displays are also controlled by the grandMA.
“I love working with the grandMAs,” Boland reports. “The thing that attracts me the most is how user friendly it is. I’m able to set it up to accommodate my programming habits for a smooth transition from any other console."
"Dan is a real grandMA veteran and I know that the console has an effect on his design work due to the feature set that he is so used to. I can’t wait to see the show," commented A.C.T Lighting president and CEO Bob Gordon.
The artistic director for Blue Man Group is Caryl Glaab. The project manager for Scharff Weisberg was John Ackerman and Scharff Weisberg's programmer was Sean Cagney.
For additional Live Design coverage on Blue Man Group click here.