Custom Stage Drapes by Sew What? Inc. Help Revamp Bally’s Las Vegas’ Iconic Jubilee Show

April 22nd, 2014
Contact: Lynda Vaughn (310) 639-6000

Rancho Dominguez, CA – Bally’s Las Vegas recently ushered in a whole new chapter for Jubilee — one of Las Vegas’ most iconic stage shows. Since Jubilee’s 1981 debut, visitors have flocked for nearly 32 years to producer Donn Arden’s signature showgirl production.

All good things must end, is how the saying goes – but in this case, thankfully management determined that only a revamp of the show was in order. Jubilee’s grand reopening happened mid-April. Stage drapery manufacturer Sew What? Inc, based in Rancho Dominguez, California,was honored to have had a small part the Jubilee’s new staging.

Frank Gatson Jr, a noted creative director for Beyonce and a Grammy Award nominee for his music videos, was the man now at the helm of Jubilee as the director and choreographer. Gatson was tasked with updating the choreography, music, technology and some of the costumes to appeal to a wider range of Vegas audiences. His plan was to take Donn Arden’s original vision of the classic and reinvigorate, re-energize, upgrade and modernize it.

Working along the lines of the Jubilee’s retrofitting were plans for a number of new stage drapes. Sew What? Inc. took on the assignment. Owner Megan Duckett describes three of the major drapery elements they designed and custom built stage drapes for the new show:

  1. Stage Right and Left Lined Revolve Drapes: On both sides of the stage are “peek-a-boo stages” which are revealed by draperies, rotating on a circular traveler track. Each drape was a black plush Prestige Velour on the front when the drapes were closed – or “hiding” the peek a boo stages. When the draperies were tracked, they reveal the small stage and the drapery lining. An old fashioned black sparkle boucle was selected for the lining. It’s a fabric that lights and shimmers beautifully without detracting from the colors and designs of the elaborate costumes used in the show.
  2. Stage Masking Panels: Black Prestige Velour was also selected for the main masking panels. Sewn with 50% fullness, it provides dense light absorption, which gives a solid black preferred by lighting designers where the drape is “not” to be the focal point. The drapes were 35 feet high and almost 100 feet wide when set in place.
  1. New Mid-Stage Traveler Drape Set:
    At 35’ high x 100’wide, this drapery set was constructed from a specialty lot of vibrant red IFR Prestige Velour. Traveler drapes are used during the performance to shorten the depth of the stage while an elaborate set change is going on behind them. After the specialty scene in front of the beautiful red drapes is finished, the drapes open to reveal the next dance scene. They are very glamorous drapes. The red velour shows off the performers and their costumes beautifully, making for an engaging stage scene.

Duckett says, “I attended the show in its second week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The costuming is spectacular, and the choreography presents the performers in a dynamic and moving portfolio of dance and coordinated positioning. We feel extremely privileged to have been selected as the supplier / provider of theatrical stage draperies for this production of Jubilee. What an honor!”

Most of the early stage show feel is still intact. Dancers still parade in feather headdresses and rhinestone costumes, and the show continues to sport all the glamour and glitz that is seen as synonymous with a classic Vegas revue. The scenes still include the showgirl’s entrance along a grand staircase, and the legendary sinking of the Titanic, all done on a massive stage half the size of a football field. While the excitement of new stage draperies may seem a bit pale when compared to all that– Sew What? Inc. hopes that they’ve also helped to add something special to the updated Jubilee spectacle — and that it will continue to entertain and thrill Las Vegas audiences for another 32 years.

About Sew What? Inc.
Sew What? Inc., located in Rancho Dominguez, California, is a well-known stage and theatrical drapery manufacturer known for its dramatic theatrical drapes and fabrics used in major rock concerts, top fashion shows and other artistic staged venues. Their drapes have dressed the stages of Sting, Elton John, Madonna, and Rod Stewart to name a few. The company has received numerous awards for innovation, including the Dell/NFIB Small Business Excellence Award, and was featured on the 1000th cover of Rolling Stone. For information, contact Sew What? Inc. at (310) 639-6000, or email