Endings and Beginnings – Wrapping Up 2018, Kicking Off 2019

by Debi Moen • in
  • Designer Watch
  • January 2019
• Created: January 14, 2019

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA. Dec. 04, 2018. LOVE ACTUALLY in Concert, Photo by Lawrence K. Ho

While the 15-year-old film, Love Actually, is a must-watch holiday favorite for many rom-com fans, LD Mike Berger had to watch it as a job requirement. Well, not actually, but it was helpful for him to catch it “probably three or four times” to prepare for his design of a new production of Love Actually Live,” the multimedia production by For the Record (fortherecordlive.com) based on the film, which also featured live performances of the soundtrack’s hit songs by a 15-piece orchestra and cast. The world-premiere ran Dec. 4-31 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA. Meanwhile, Berger also worked as lighting director on the Kennedy Center Honors, which was staged at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC on Dec. 2, and Survivor Season 37 Finale: David vs. Goliath, which aired on CBS Dec. 19. (One of the “Davids” won.)

Scott Cunningham lit Florida Georgia Line in Nevada. Photo by Nick Swift.

‡‡         First-Evers

LD Scott Cunningham recently wrapped up the first-ever residency for Florida Georgia Line at Zappos Theater in December at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, as the designer/programmer/LD. The band plans a new tour in 2019, but it’s still too early to talk about a design.

In another first, LD Travis Shirley is starting off the new year sending Old Dominion out on their first headlining arena run. Shirley says he’s “very excited about the growth of this band — we were in a bus and trailer when I first met them!” The country rock group hits the U.S. and Canada on their “Make It Sweet” tour with dates through September. Shirley has also got Maren Morris going out on her own headlining trek. The LD describes it as “a very left-of-center design, which follows suit to her upcoming album being released in the spring.”

‡‡         Herrick Forms New Collaborative

HG Lighting Design’s Herrick Goldman recently joined forces with a team of designers to create Evoke Collaborative. Based in offices at Times Square in New York, the new company includes Lisa Renkel (video design, interactive media), Brad Peterson (video design), Kara O’Grady Aves (architectural lighting design and project management), Jonathan Talley (lighting design) and Lois Catanzaro-Gordon (lighting design). As founder/principal designer, Goldman says, “Evoke offers a talented coterie of artists to support any project that requires lighting, media, or a vision that will move people and create memories that persist in the mind of the audience.”

‡‡         Quick Cues

Meagan Metcalf begins pre-production in Toronto for her new design for Canadian indie band Metric at the end of January. “Leading up to that,” she says, “I’ll be finalizing little odds and ends of the design, cleaning up the show file, working with the TBD content developer, and advancing the tour…And hopefully making the most of my time at home before things get busy again for the year.”

LD Graham Rolak is heading down to South America with Primus to finish up the Desaturated Seven album cycle in January. He then takes off with Incubus for the rest of 2019 through the U.S. and abroad with his new design…

Lauren Sego just finished up seven months touring with Janelle Monáe as designer, programmer and touring director for the artist’s Dirty Computer tour. Sego says, “Janelle is going out for most of 2019, but I am actually heading out with two different bands next year: Rebelution and Amanda Palmer. I will hopefully be sending Janelle out with a design and another female LD.” (hint hint)…

LD/Director Nico Riot wrapped up December’s end with Marilyn Manson…

Bruce Rodgers is so busy with his Tribe working on the upcoming Super Bowl Halftime Show on Feb. 3 that he forgot to tell us he designed the current tour for American rapper NF (a.k.a. Nathan John Feuerstein), which runs into 2019…

LD Dave Boots has been designing and directing the legendary Oak Ridge Boys for 24 years… and counting, as the band embarks on a new tour in 2019. But with all those years steeped in country, it may come as a surprise to discover which concert and which concert experience sparked his interest in his lighting career. (To find out, turn to “On the Road,” this issue, page 12)…

LD Troy Stubby keeps refilling his oxygen tanks as he goes into his seventh year with Air Supply, who are also marking 43 years of their singing soft rock classics around the world. “We’re still going strong at performing arts centers, top tier casinos and mid-sized venues. I still enjoy my job!” Coming up are dates in Australia/New Zealand and Israel with orchestral musicians in April/May.

‡‡         NAMM Panel Spotlights Rising LDs

Among the many panels that PLSN is presenting at NAMM in January (see page 27), a new session will focus on the next generation. Confirmed panelists for “Taking the Stage: The Rising Lighting Designers” are Bobby Gray, Nico Riot, Lauren Sego and Michael Smalley. The group will share their stories on how their career path got them to where they are today. The audience of current students and recent grads are sure to get advice, learn of resources and find out tips and tricks of forging a bright future in our industry. It’s set for Friday, Jan. 25 at 4-5 pm at the Hilton, lower level 4, A5, next to the Anaheim Convention Center. I’m moderating, and hope to see you there!

Send Debi your 2019 news (or just meet up with her at the NAMM Live session on rising LDs). Reach her via email at dmoen@plsn.com.

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