‘Tis the Season – Bring It!

by Nook Schoenfeld • in
  • December 2018
  • Editor's Note
• Created: December 9, 2018

Share This:

Nook Schoenfeld

As the World Series, Halloween and Midterm Elections were all coming to a close in late October and early November, Christmas holiday advertising returned in a big way to the airwaves of America. It was the big return for the most wonderful time of the year — and almost immediately overshadowed by folks calling “Foul!” on social media. I call “Humbug” to all those who complain about this early intrusion of holiday joy back into our lives.

With the country so divided these days, it seems only right that we can all use some good cheer. As I awaken this day after Thanksgiving to write this note, I see folks still arguing about the usual. Myself, I’d rather just be cheery and work towards change as we have done this last month. Folks need to realize that we voted in a certain president because a lot of Americans wanted change. Still do. I feel we still need a lot of change, but indeed we have woke up a sleeping bear. It’s time for us to get back on an even keel and address reality without everyone being so angry.

A Pricey New Year?

We may need some good cheer in our business soon. We will see where the future lies very shortly as Trump’s tariffs come into play. If your lights are manufactured in China, the price will go up in 2019. There’s a new popular light fixture out of China that is being sold in the U.S. with a certain listed MSRP amount for December, and an updated 15 percent increase scheduled for January. Another company that manufactures all of their own products in China has already emailed their clientele to inform them of increases in costs of fixtures, ones that may be going up quarterly. Merry Christmas, buy now.

The tariffs will not hurt everyone. With certain folks, such as those at Czech Republic-based Robe, the tariffs mean nothing, as they have no manufacturing ties to that part of the world and will continue to pay the same import duties they always have to bring their fixtures into America. Then there’s the huge decision that ETC and High End made to return all HES manufacturing to America. I did hear that this was decided long before the tariffs were ever an issue, and I commend the company for bringing the manufacturing back home. I do wonder at times how the increased cost of steel and aluminum will affect building the lights here, however. It’s reportedly not doing well for Ford plants already, or GM, for that matter.

A Cheer for the Holidays

It’s cold outside, but I’m smiling as I listen to “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” while in warm production rehearsals. John Legend is heading out to do a six-week tour based on some reworked old holiday standards along with some originals he has written. I’m just helping the creative director come up with some lighting looks. I’m happy to be listening to upbeat piano music that talks about giving joy and love back to the world. Each night a few thousand people will put their problems aside and just have a good time being entertained by this Christmas cheer. Isn’t that the job of all of us reading this note? To entertain people and let them forget about the tweets?

The end of the year brings along with it a bit of nostalgia every yuletide season. Besides the usual carols on the radio, I hear a lot of old fogey rock. I’m not one that normally listens to the Classic Rock genre, yet during this time of year, the radio stations, movie theaters, elevators and stores can be heard blasting these old standards. So this month PLSN is reporting on some of these acts still killing it on the road. On page 54, for example, there’s an interesting story on some of the people behind the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, about the British rock band Queen and its lead singer Freddie Mercury, including the band’s Live Aid show in London in 1985. I have yet to hear anyone say a bad word about this anthem-like movie.

Live music-wise, some old Rock gems have resurfaced. Phil Collins returns to the stage for the first time as a solo artist in about 20 years and still pulls it off (See “Designer Insights,” page 36). Fleetwood Mac has retooled their lineup and is playing old tunes from the 60’s that they would never cover with the old guitarist. In the meantime, they have changed direction on their production as well (See “Production Profile,” page 40). Journey and Def Leppard are just finishing up a massive tour playing standards as familiar as “Deck the Halls” is to most (See “Wide Focus,” page 46). We also pay tribute to TSO once again during this holiday season, which is still out there rocking (“Tour Production,” page 44).

For Nook’s video introduction to the Dec. 2018 issue of PLSN, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE1VqQ3OojA&feature=youtu.be


Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Check Out Some Past PLSN Issues