Project Spotlight – Riverside Chruch

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We have enjoyed a long history with The Riverside Church in New York City. One of the largest Neo-Gothic style cathedrals in the United States, it contains three performance spaces – all of which we have worked in. The first- The Riverside Theatre- hosts numerous dance and arts festivals and its stage is a traditional proscenium […]

Current Happenings

Current Broadway ShowsWith just days away from the close of the 2013 Tony Award deadline, iWeiss would like to ask–how many of these productions have YOU seen?

Time sure does fly and, after 30 years of iWeiss business, our bloggers took a look at the current Broadway productions in order to offer a few historical facts that you may find interesting the next time a cynical colleague tells you that theatre is a dying art form.

…Go ahead…iWeiss has your back!

The longest running musical on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera, opened in 1988 with an average ticket price of $38.55.  It has since gone on to win 7 Tony Awards and has clocked over 10,500 performances in its 25 year run while The Lion King, another NYC staple, has had over 20 major productions worldwide. Lion King’s NYC production, hitting over 6,400 performances, is the fifth longest-running musical and had a top ticket price of $80 in 1997!  Has that kind of inflation hit your personal wallet yet?  If so…do you need any drapes?

Still not a believer that audiences still crave the “jukebox musicals?”  Tell that to Rock of Ages still running at a minimal 90% house capacity each week, or to Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia, rounding out the three longest running jukebox shows in history.  Will this season’s Motown give them a run for their money?

And just when you thought that Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark was going to have its last laugh, the production continues to outlive and surpass our joke repertoire, even if it took them 182 preview performances–the longest in history.

Each season we always see a number of revivals, and it’s always refreshing to see the good ones come back.  Pippin was one of the first of what many academics call “concept musicals.”    What’s exciting is that this new production, 40 years after the original’s premier, still proves to be refreshing and new. And 65 Years after The Big Knife’s original production (1949), we still continue to find a connection with the characters on stage.

Is it possible that the trend of “dysfunctional family” plays are on their way out?  This year’s The Assembled Parties, which opened to great critical reviews across the board, shows there’s still a long way to go.  Will your family be next?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…movie-to-stage adaptations seem like they’re overdone and finished, right?  Not if you look at the most current theatre lineup!  Last year, we had Newsies and Once  face off as the two most probably Best Musical candidates.  Gossipers also say that the 2013 season’s best musical category will also include Kinky Boots, another film adaptation and Big Fish having opened in Chicago just last month, is bound for Broadway this Fall.

We also have two more exciting new productions on this season’s agenda, I’ll Eat You Last (Bette Midler’s return to Broadway, last seen in 1980) and Matilda which seems to be taking the Broadway naysayers by storm…check them out before they sell out!

And as if this season couldn’t be any more varied, we have Annie and Macbeth playing within one avenue of one another…let us know which one you think may be scarier.

Have a great time this season.  Remember, iWeiss was there, and we look forward to working alongside you in the next 30 years to come!

Written by our very own Chris Layton

Project Spotlight

ViaLiftYeshivah of Flatbush – Joel Braverman High School was built in 1962 and was lucky enough this year to receive a much needed facelift to their auditorium which doubles as their sanctuary.  Working with Dattner Architects and Fisher Dachs Associates, iWeiss was able to transform a small multipurpose space into a fully functional performance and worship venue.

The stage is now equipped with 4 hand crank winches to operate the 3 electrics and 1 general purpose batten along with brand new stage drapery to polish off the new theatrical look of the venue.  In the front of house light location an iWeiss ViaLift was installed to allow lights to come to a working height eliminating ladder climbing for students.

The auditorium also serves as the Sanctuary. Customized bi-parting curtains were installed on the upstage wall to allow for the Ark to be exposed during services without revealing the back wall. These curtains also act as a rear backdrop for theatrical performances.

The synergy of the space was taken into consideration with every choice; lighting positions and battens being able to move out of sight lines, and a drapery package that adds subtle masking to the architecture of the stage house.