In the heart of New York City’s Times Square a 21st century theatrical and restaurant concept is set to debut on April 6, 2007. Spotlight Live will meld the excitement of live performing by patrons with food and drink.
Sister and brother team Jen Worthington and Paul Krug created the concept of Spotlight Live and selected the architecture firm of Haverson Architecture and Design of Greenwich, CT to design and execute the 22,000 square foot space into reality. Beginning with real estate already equipped with infrastructure to support a large restaurant and a theatrical component. Principals Jay Haverson and Carolyn Haverson and design partner, Dave Moore, set out to design all the elements together with the thrill and excitement of Broadway on their minds. They also wanted to accommodate their desire for the “spotlight”.
Jay Haverson adds, “Jen and Paul have dreamed a big dream in creating the first restaurant and bar in Times Square that gives everyone the opportunity to perform live on stage in front of an audience. Our approach to the design was to create a design vision built around the dream. Using lighting to create a theatrical focus for performers and allowing everyone to select their own lighting color from many of a changing color system, so that anyone has a chance in how to recreate the look of the room in which they perform.”
Amidst the lights and signs on Times Square, a 26’ x 40’ LED screen on the outside of the building on Broadway will show video of the performers inside Spotlight Live to transmit the thrill to everyone. The video images inside and out will be streamed online to Spotlight’s website and Ziddio, via a strategic partnership with cable and media company ComCast.
The décor is “industrial chic” with exposed pipes and structural elements, rendered in charcoal grey. A sleek curvaceous bar, covered in a lacquer-finished top with a tall liquor display is backlit with varied color tones. At the back bar is a flat video screen, displaying the performances on the main restaurant stage. The walls, covered in polished checkerplate aluminum panels generate an electric feeling and reflect the changing colors of the room. Video screens strategically placed broadcast the action and performances occurring on the main restaurant “theatre” space. The first of five recording “booths” will be on the ground level. These pod-like soundproof acoustic studios will include a video camera, microphone, sound dome, and touch screen, prompting the restaurant’s guest artist to “lay down track” and perform. Around half the perimeter of the ground floor will be a retail area for personalized retail, copies of guest performer’s DVDs and branded apparel. As the Spotlight Live guest moves along with the flow, ascending the spiral staircase to the second floor or taking the elevator, the interior painted with high gloss white paint and color varying light reflections, they reach the main attraction on the second floor.
All senses on the main level are directed to the 20 foot wide stage, equipped with theatrical lights and golden crushed velour back drapes, facing the 200-seat audience on the main floors. Framing the stage, the beaded gold wall covering surrounds the opening. The walls are 40 feet high and are covered in a wavy pattern plaster paneling. The lines of the wall have a melodic quality rising and falling like the notes on a musical staff. Stage right and above the stage is the DJ booth where the control of the music and entertainment is based. Above the stage and hanging from the 45-foot ceiling are 50 plusvarying size mirrored balls, five of which spin and reflect the colors from lights aimed at them.
Says Jay Haverson, “The color palette is natural, off-white, charcoal, ivory and buff tones to allow for the lighting contrast and the theatrical effects of the sparkling mirror balls that reinforce the performance.” Four large video screens hang above the stage and display images of the action on the stage as well as comments the diners input into their interactive screens at their dining tables on the restaurant floor. Each table will be equipped with interactive touch screens to comment, vote and otherwise be involved with the stage performance.
On a platform directly across from the stage is a large bar set with tables and stools for waiting and viewing the stage. The bar top glows as does the back of the bar. The effect is a sexy silhouetting of patrons. To the left of the bar area is the recessed producer’s booth where lights, sound and final cut of the video of the performance will be controlled. Around the elevator on this level are two more recording booths (one of which is handicap accessible). A ladies room with lipstick colored vanity top will have sound throughout and one wall of a black chalkboard to encourage expressions of all the emotions and excitement of the moment.
The third level is broken into two tiers; an additional bar area with a bubble wall effect of cutouts and lighting which has a view to the stage and banquettes along a wall that can function as a private or VIP area. The 110-seat space facing the main performance stage has high gloss laminate black tables with creamy colored molded upholstered chairs. All tables are outfitted with interactive panels to view and comment on the stage performers. The wall above the banquettes is covered with grey silk taffeta fabric panels angled above the black acoustic material. Located on this level is a chalk blackboard wall for comments, along with another recording booth.
The fourth floor is a combination of the “Green Room,” private or overflow patron dining room, and a lounge seating area next to an outdoor patio (overlooking Times Square) with a service bar. The Green Room is where a performer selects music, signs their “recording contract” giving rights to use their performance on cable and website, does their make-up, hair, and waits for the call to go to the stage. The prep room includes makeup mirrors with surrounding lights, a prop room, and lounge seating with video and audio of the stage happenings. On the other side of this level, an overflow or private room space designed with a stage in the far corner, surrounded with silver and grey taffeta drapes and a set of theatrical lights. Tables for the diners line the floor and at the back of the room is a patio with a view to uptown. A more intimate space than the main theatre, the private room has all the fun of Spotlight Live but in a lounge setting.