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Solawash A ‘Workhorse Light’ for Moulin Rouge! The Musical

PLSN Staff • News • November 19, 2019


NYC – Lighting Designer Justin Townsend specified 38 High End Systems SolaWash 2000 High CRI automated LED luminaires for Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Since its summer opening at New York City’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre, the show has received critical acclaim not only for the glam costumes and glitzy scenery, but also for its rich lighting.

More details from High End (

A review on Broadway World says it’s “sumptuously designed in more shades of red than you previously knew existed on the color spectrum.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes about “watching performers of this caliber bathed in the caressing colors of Justin Townsend’s lighting…”

New York Stage Review notes “the real stars …are the artists who don’t appear onstage. Lighting designer Justin Townsend can evoke anything from a pulse-pounding nightclub to the shadowy alleys of Argentina to a hallucinogenic electric-green drunken dream.”

Townsend, a two-time Tony Award nominee, says, “The SolaWash 2000 unit has been instrumental for my work on Moulin Rouge! The Musical.” He chose the High CRI version of the automated luminaire for requisite features such as its incredibly accurate color rendering and key light for face lighting.

“It is a silent, super bright light that can be Fresnel-soft and still sharpen razor-edge to its own shutters,” he says. “I was able to cut around the complex scenery in the show and really pop the costumes and faces with clarity.”

The silence refers to the fixture’s patented whisper quiet cooling system. “The fixtures do great work for me front-of-house where fan noise is essential to eliminate in modern musicals,” he adds.

The designer also enjoys using the color palette – using CMY color mixing and a color wheel – which plays a starring role in the production. “The color is rich and detailed, the whites clean and sharp,” he notes.

“I haven’t used a High End System lighting fixture before and was thrilled to find they absolutely perform reliably and solidly for our extreme needs on Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” Townsend affirms. “This is my new workhorse light.”

The show, based on the 2001 Twentieth Century Fox film by Baz Luhrmann, has dates booked through July 5, 2020.

Photos: Matthew Murphy

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