Very few grannies look, act or move with as much vim and vigor as Cher.
By Cat Strom. Photos By Denise Truscello.
A trip to LDI was the perfect excuse to see Cher perform at her Park Theater residency, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The Park Theater is a fairly new venue boasting a huge stage and capacity ranging from 5,200 to 5,600 for the Cher engagement.
Cher opened the show singing Woman’s World in a glittery disco-goes-Egyptian gown, complete with a sky-high afro wig, whilst at the same time being lowered onto the stage in a gilt birdcage. This set the tone for 90 minutes of pure over the top campness including the leather hardly-there outfit for If I Could Turn Back Time and culminating in the show’s finale of Believe where Cher wore a dazzling bejeweled dress that weighs a whopping 34 kilos.
Unfortunately Cher had eleven full costume changes during the show so just as momentum got going, she’d disappear from stage. Each costume echoed outfits she had worn on stage in the past, in fact overall the show is a rehash of her prior three concert tours. But then it wasn’t called Classic Cher for nothing!
However the staging and lighting was all brand new and state of the art.
Design house Nimblist, headed by Spike Brant and Justin Collie, created the lighting design with Kille Knobel at the helm of a grandMA2 for each performance.
“The show features what fans would expect including a packed hit-list of singles, glamorous costume changes and archival footage spanning her career,” commented Spike. “We met up in Vegas with our strategic partner 4U2C providing the lighting design for both Vegas and National Harbor gigs.
“Numerous costume changes and set designs which had to fit in two different venues also provided opportunities for our highly skilled technical team to provide master drawings, technical drawings and renders ensuring nothing was missed.”
A dominant feature of the lighting was a fly-in circular ensemble housing seven Portman P1 retro lamps interspersed with Robe Spikies. It was a stunning decorative element as well as a light source.
“No one makes incandescent lights anymore so it’s nice to have that flavor in your rig,” said Kille. “Everyone is trying to approximate tungsten but there’s no real substitute.”
The backbone of the lighting rig were Claypaky Scenius Spots and Profiles as well as the house Vari-lite VL3000 Spots, VL3500 Spots and Wash FX.
“The Scenius do so much of the power lifting for the big eye candy looks in the show,” added Kille. “However they also do a fair amount of utilitarian work on the dancers too.”
Dotted through the rig were Solaris Flares and a few Martin Atomics, Elation ZCL 360i, Robe CycFX 8 and Altman UV Lamps. Fog was provided by MDG theOne Atmospheric Generators as well as the house’s DF-50 Hazers.
It was camp old nonsense from a legend who could have been on stage a bit longer but it was well executed and she sure can sing and move well for someone in her seventies.
This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine February 2018, pp.70-71. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search our archive www.cxnetwork.com.au
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