Andy Walmsley has had equal success working with drag queens, mobsters, puppets and Aussie singers. He’s gained an Emmy for his set design of “American Idol,” and likewise developed the phases for the sport present “Who Needs to Be a Millionaire;” the Las Vegas manufacturing “Idaho! The Comedy Musical;” and “The Muppets Take The Bowl” musical on the Hollywood Bowl.
Although dwelling primarily in Manhattan lately, Walmsley is at it as soon as extra on the Las Vegas Strip. Most not too long ago, his mirror-plated headphones, tongue-designed Clap-O-Meter and colourful video bursts again “RuPaul’s Drag Race Stay!” at Flamingo Showroom.
With that present, Walmsley hit the Vegas-centric variety of 21 reveals within the metropolis the place he started his design work almost 15 years in the past.
This week, Walmsley listed his 5 favourite Vegas set designs.
5. “Headlights & Tailpipes”
From Jeff Kutash, producer of “Splash” at Riviera, the grownup revue that includes souped-up vehicles ran from April by means of September of 2006, closing simply earlier than the lodge itself shut down the next October. Says Walmsley:
“My first Vegas present and really the final of the old fashioned reveals design clever the place there the place many scene modifications every with a really distinctive theme/type much like a present, like, say ‘Jubilee,’ the place the visible look of the set needs to be utterly completely different for every themed section within the present. I used to be additionally delighted to work within the famed Stardust Showroom.”
four. “A Mob Story”
One other Kutash musical, the manufacturing featured real-life reformed Mafia “capo” Michael Franzese as onstage narrator. The present ran at Plaza Showroom from September to December 2018. Says Walmsley:
“This present had far more of a musical theater really feel, so I wished to bridge the hole between the visible type of a musical and the glitz of Vegas. Additionally much like the Terry Fator set, the stage is tiny in proportion to the room so I exploded the set out onto the aspect rooms of the theater and used a LOT of video projection mapping.”
three. Human Nature “Motown”
Walmsley was introduced in to retool the set for Adam Steck’s SPI Leisure manufacturing because it moved from the then-Imperial Palace to The Venetian’s Sands Showroom in 2013. Says Walmsley:
“I wished this set to have the texture of an enormous jukebox. Not actually, however subliminally, with the varied mild packing containers framing the boys as they carry these juke field songs to life actually bursting by means of the proscenium (or jukebox) into the viewers as every thing round them lights up in an explosion of coloration.”
2. Terry Fator
Fator has carried out within the venue since March 2008, when Walmsley designed the ventriloquists first Mirage stage. At present, Fator shares the venue with magician Shin Lim with Colin Cloud, and the rotating lineup of comics in Aces of Comedy. Says Walmsley:
“This present changed Danny Gans, who had beforehand been in that room. Further to the room embracing a ‘Cheesecake Manufacturing facility’ type, the stage was proportionately tiny in such an enormous room. In case your sat on the again, the stage is a postage stamp within the distance. So my trick was to blow up the surroundings out onto the sidewalls giving the phantasm that the stage is way wider than it truly is.”
1. “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Stay!”
The present opened Jan. 30 within the former Donny & Marie Showroom. The brand new set is a colourful, usually explosive complement to the energetic solid. The staging is also indicative of the manufacturing’s formidable inventive power, and likewise monetary funding.
“I channelled my inside drag queen and designed a really over-the-top, larger-than-life, glitzy-cartoonish, you-go-girl-design. The primary present I ever noticed in Vegas was ‘Metropolis Lights’ on the Flamingo, and I keep in mind precisely the place I used to be seated, so through the ‘RuPaul’ rehearsals I stored sitting on that chair and recalling the exhilaration I had felt that evening lastly seeing my first Vegas present.
“And now, right here is my set in the identical room and at this level I’ve designed 21 Vegas reveals … watch out what you want for.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs every day within the A bit. His PodKats podcast will be discovered at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.