Scharff Weisberg Lighting supplied a high-end complement of VARI*LITE VL3000™ spots, Morpheus Technologies PanaBeam XR2s and Robert Juliat Ivanhoe follow spots to the Mohegan Sun Casino when it hosted the WNBA All Star Game on July 9. The lights supplemented the in-house inventory at the Connecticut-based casinos arena.
The lights enhanced the game’s TV lighting and added excitement and color to the in-arena experience, notes lighting designer Randy Nordstrom of Randy Nordstrom Lighting Design. Sixteen VARI*LITE VL3000 moving spots with patterned gobos and 16 PanaBeam XR2s for color wash effects were used during the player introductions and National Anthem. In addition, they were deployed for all the time outs, dance routines, promo giveaways and contests which were not televised. The lights also helped illuminate performers from ABBA: The Show during the half-time entertainment.
A pair of Robert Juliat Ivanhoe follow spots acted as center-court key lights, matching the high quality of the arenas own Robert Juliat Cyrano follow spots.
"We’re the only company offering VARI*LITE, Morpheus and Robert Juliat fixtures," says Chris McMeen, director of theater and special events at Scharff Weisberg Lighting. "It’s always important for us to be able to pull together so many high-quality lights. We’re one of the largest providers of VARI*LITE products in the Northeast and the only company on the East Coast carrying Morpheus PanaBeams. We had all the lighting needed for the game in stock and ready to go."
The day preceding the WNBA All Star Game the arena staged a Skills Challenge featuring the WNBA players, who individually raced against the clock to test their abilities. "Most of the Challenge featured the arenas sports lighting, but we used our automated rig to add strobe and other lighting effects as each player finished her round," explains Nordstrom. The Skills Challenge will be televised at a later date.
"The WNBA All Star Game was the third or fourth show I’ve done with Scharff Weisberg Lighting in last two months," Nordstrom reports. "They’re always very thorough and provide great support. I love the VL3000s–they’re the best moving spotlight out there."
Rodd McLaughlin was moving light programmer for the game with Larry Sedwick production manger, Pete Campbell gaffer, and Mike Smallman moving light technician. Frank Pavlich was event production supervisor at the Mohegan Sun Casino; Terry Jackson was inhouse project manager for Scharff Weisberg Lighting.