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:
- 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.
- 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.