History, Restaged

The Theatre at the Ace Hotel (formally The United Artists Theatre) in Los Angeles was looking to update its rigging system in a very fast turn around.

Richard Parks, iWeiss VP, traveled to Los Angeles with our draftsman to do a survey and drafting on site. The old j bar guide system did not have standard spacing and there were other challenges including the installation of a new projection screen.  H & H Specialties, located in California worked with the iWeiss drawings to produce the equipment while the sewing shop back East produced all of the new soft goods for the theatre.

All in all, from contract to survey to manufacturing and installation of new counterweight equipment, projection screen and drapery, the project was completed in under 3 months.

The LA Register recently ran a great article about the recent changes in Los Angeles’ downtown Broadway Theater District

Check it out here:  LA Register Article

 

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It’s Tony Season

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Congratulations to all the Tony nominees for this season.  iWeiss is thrilled to be part of yet another dynamic line-up on Broadway.  In keeping with the maintenance for 11 productions currently running, our involvement in 13 new shows, and a few in pre-production – we have been quite busy!

One of the things that we enjoy about our work best is its variety.  Stage shows are all very different and each requires its own special attention to detail – maybe not the same special attention that some stage creatives require…but you get the idea!

Helping create the atmosphere off-stage can sometimes be just as tricky as the on-stage details, and we are always up for the challenge.  This year we were able to help create the house environment for two highly anticipated revivals, Les Miserables and Cabaret.  Both these productions requested that the scene shops be an important part of ensuring the audiences feel the mood right from the beginning.  Wondering why you were feeling a looming sense of dread upon entering the theatre?  Welcome to the production industry…I mean…the production.

While all productions don’t require splashy drapery, sometimes they just need some framing around the stage and proscenium to complete the world of the play.  A few of these instances are Mothers & Sons, The Velocity of Autumn, The Glass Menagerie, and If/Then.  Often times these pieces will also mask lighting instruments, off-stage spaces, and various rigging hardware.  If you didn’t notice these draperies, then the goal was achieved.

A few other productions needed something a bit more than masking and required some of the more standard items one sees in local theatres and schools.  Among them were printed scrims like the ones used in The Bridges of Madison County or the Choir Curtain in Violet.  These items add punctuation, help set the scene, and tell the story without stealing focus.

No matter how big or small the job, iWeiss is ready.  It may be something as tiny as a last minute masking skirt in After Midnight or as grand and shiny as the drapery in Bullets Over Broadway, Casa Valentina, and Aladdin.  Of course, some shows simply have it all – like my personal favorite this year, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

We’ve also had the opportunity to become part of the rapidly growing Off-Broadway market in recent years and had the pleasure of working on a dozen or so this last year.  This is just another reason to contact iWeiss for your production today – we can help you with your budget, limited space, and lend local support at your theatre!  Keep your art alive – we are your ally.  We are iWeiss.

Written by:  Chris Layton

Spotlight on one of the Top Ten Longest (and still) Running Show on Broadway

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 iWeiss has had the pleasure of being involved with Mamma Mia beginning with its American premiere in San Francisco and its opening on Broadway 14 years ago.  After a complete renovation following the closing of long time running CATS, Mamma Mia – with iWeiss soft goods – opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in October, 2001 providing much relief from the tragedy of that September.

Since then, we have been involved in the Las Vegas, Mexican and American touring productions, the Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and the show’s return to Las Vegas, this time at the Tropicana.

We look forward to many more exciting moves to come; we could never let you go!

Production Designer:  Mark Thompson

Associate Scenic Designer:  Nancy Thun

Scenic Shop:  Hudson Scenic Studios

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia

For more of our work on this and other Broadway Shows check out our PORTFOLIO

Austrian Curtains

An Austrian Curtain is fabricated as one piece and consists of multiple rows of scallops or swag.  It is shirred along the top to provide a certain amount of horizontal fullness which determines the depth of each scallop.  The scallops in turn can be created by shirring the fabric vertically along each row.  Shirring provides small tight scallops.  This combinations of vertical and horizontal fullness creates a very rich and dramatic effect.

An Austrian is typically rigged  fly out in one piece or it may to gather up by means of cable running through rings sewn vertically to the back of the curtain along a predetermined number of lift lines.  This is useful when there is no fly space.

Our ViaWinch is a prefect example of a automation solutions for an Austrian Curtain.  You can incorporate a Standard (10) Lift Line Clew and easily operate a beautiful Austrian in your space.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to materials used for an Austrian Curtain.  We have made them out of standard Velour, sheers, and satins, but have also made them out of RIBBONS and SILICON TUBING!

Call us today for all your Austrian needs!

A Person Worth Knowing

Has anyone seen their Lighting & Sound America magazine yet?

Check out “People Worth Knowing” on the page 107.. our very own President is a “person worth knowing”.

Read the digital edition online today!

 

A Person Worth Knowing

Theatrical Solution meets Shoe Designer

Recently we worked with Set Designer Scott Pask on a fun project for O’Keeffe Shoes. We used Digitally Printed Flag Cloth Panels that attached to his “set” with flexible magnet strips.

The result was an easy to set up booth with an incredible feel and lots of character- a “perfect fit”.

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O’Keeffe Shoes