New York's Walden Company recently held a special one-night-only performance of the new dance musical All Is Full of Love to benefit Dancers Responding To AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The event, presented by Eva Price, was held at The Theatre at St. Clements in New York’s Broadway district and hosted by Tony Award-winner Gary Beach.
All Is Full of Love, choreographed and directed by Josh Walden, is a contemporary dance musical based on the narrative of On the Town set to the music of Björk. The story tells the journey of three women adjusting to life in New York City. By combining traditional musical theatre with a distinct modern sound, All Is Full of Love presents a unique look at the dreams and expectations of life in the big city.
Lighting design was provided by Herrick Goldman & Susan Nicholson, with equipment donations from Wybron, Inc. and Altman Rentals. Wybron NexeraTM CDM fixtures provided dramatic side and backlighting, and Altman SpectraPARsTM were used to light the cyc. Good choices for Goldman, who knows the challenges of lighting for a benefit. “Time and money are tight. Conventional lighting isn’t always possible. This makes CDM fixtures the obvious choice,” he explains, “The plug-n-play CDM Nexeras immediately flooded the space with color. Plus, the units saved us seven dimmers, and with 150W lamps, all the fixtures could fit on one circuit.”
The other benefit Goldman found with the Nexeras was their flexibility. “They are wonderfully quiet and the color mixing is really great,” he says, “I was able to blend the Nexeras with saturated Rosco colors and even LED fixtures. The Optics allowed us to cover a wide area with the excellent zoom feature. Their flexibility greatly added to what I was able to achieve on a limited budget.”
The design team took full advantage of color, using it to create specific moods for each scene, so precise control was a priority. Nicholson says, “I really valued the ability to change colors rapidly without having to shift through other secondary colors.” Goldman adds, “We also discovered that with careful planning we can use the Nexeras to shift through specific colors on their way to the desired looks. Thus avoiding any unwanted colors and highlighting the subtler shifts that inform the mood.”
The cyc was lit by 24 Altman SpectraPARs with MFL lenses. “We purposefully chose the MFL lenses knowing they would give a scalloped edge on the top and bottom. At times this added to the sense of being in a city with buildings rising from top and bottom,” Goldman explains, “On occasion they felt more like teeth as the women experienced turmoil in their lives in the big city. Having the Spectras on top and bottom allowed a blending in the center that gave us a broader palette and an excellent horizon line.”
Working under tight budgets and with limited time are not new concepts to theatre. But those challenges usually bring out the greatest creativity. This production is one of those examples where the right products and a talented creative vision produced dramatic and exciting results. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $100 million for critically needed services for people with HIV/AIDS, thanks to events like this. According to Eva Price, “The audience was mesmerized thanks to the talented individuals that staged the production. Everyone from the stage crew to the designers to the companies that donated equipment played an important role in furthering a very good cause. Now that’s success!”