Both grandMA and Chroma-Q™ Color Blocks have gone to sea onboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships where they will play a key role in the line’s entertainment shows.

“The grandMA system is an important component for technical operations in the main showroom on six of our ships,” says Preston Bircher, entertainment technical projects manager for Carnival. “Carnival shows are very fast-paced, 55-minute shows with lots of glitz and constant movement. No two seconds are the same. Most ships have between two and seven production shows and although they’re completely different, they utilize the same basic rig and light plot. The difference is in the programming with all the moving lights and color changers.”

“The flexibility of the grandMA system is fantastic,” he continues. “The desk typically controls VARI*LITE VL2500 spots and washes, Cyberlight Cls, standard dimmers and Wybron color changers plus haze, smoke and fog effects, and confetti canons. Our latest show uses multiple LED scenic elements, and grandMA’s ability to control them is amazing. The versatility of its effects and chases is also quite impressive.”

Chroma-Q™ Color Blocks are being used to provide the ‘scenic uplighting’ for two new Las Vegas-style shows onboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ SuperLiner “Sensation,” which operates year-round three- and four-day Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral, FL.

The two latest shows, Curves and Far From Over, the 80s, opened earlier this year and, typical of Carnival’s shipboard revues, are expected to run for the next six to eight years. As each show features very rapid set piece changes due to their fast-paced nature, the production team decided to utilize one title piece scenic element as a permanent visual anchor for each show.

For Curves, which is based on the curvaceous female shape, the title set piece consists of a transparent performance screen podium utilized frequently by the cast, while for Far From Over, the 80s, an homage to popular 80s music and culture, the title piece is an abstract Rubiks Cube, the iconic puzzle of the decade.

The main technical challenge was to achieve the Rubiks Cube’s various colored sides using color-mixing, while providing enough light output to be seen through the lighting rig’s 18 Cyberlights, 26 VL2500S and 150 ETC Source Four ellipsoidals and Pars fitted with color changers.

The fixture also needed to be compact enough to fit into a recessed arc in the rolling deck and have a low operating temperature as dancers would effectively be rolling over them during the performance.

Color Block was specified for the job after a subsequent meeting at LDI between Preston Bircher, Set Designer Michael Barone and Jack Doyle of Scenery First, Inc. and exclusive product distributor A.C. Lighting Inc., where all technical requirements for the fixture were discussed and reviewed.