Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers!

(The Pontipee Family Brand, my own design.)
Well Readers, don't skim over this post- lots of eye candy! Another opin' another show! A word from our sponsors...

(Most of our Set Team, Friends: Russ, Terrace, Andrew, Bryson, and Matt!)
  Without a doubt this shows sets are the best that I, The Team, and everyone else involved have ever done.  As usual things were crazy, most of the set was built in a week, I had been collecting and scouting props and things for nearly three months to ensure the look and feel would be perfect. Larry, Bryson, and Matt the set construction KINGS worked endlessly to get this massive log cabin framed and built and outdid themselves! 

Our projects included:
The exterior of a General Store
The interior of a Cafe
The interior of the Pontipee Cabin
Set Dressing the barn
And, Finding Period Props.

(One last look at the Witch's Castle)
(Bixby's General Store)
 (A big thanks to friend Chloe for paint the Signage!)
This side of the stage needed to be three different places in two different Acts. As always I used paint to get the desired affect, in this case I wanted the exterior and interior of the buildings on stage to look like "16 inch wide Quarter sawn" planks of wood. We used Tan as the base color, a medium brown to dry brush over the tan, and finally a red-ish brown accent color for texture. After that I simply found a 16 inch wide board, and used a big gun permanent marker to make the groove lines in the wood.  As you can see it turned out beautifully and really does look like milled wood.
 (Sketch: The Pontipee Cabin)
(The Pontipee Cabin)
The Cabin is the "brain child" of the Director Christian Sanders, Larry Petersen, Dwayne Calhoune, Bryson Petersen and Myself.  Christian told us what he wanted and needed, Larry, Dwayne, and Bryson figured out how to accommodate and build the structure, 
 and I designed the over all look and feel of the cabin (ascetically of course).  Now usually around the theatre I hate it when I hear the phrase "Well in the Movie..." as we should strive to bring our own creations to life... However,  I am terribly biased when we do a show that is also a Movie Musical made during the "Golden Era 1941-1958" and will strive to incorporate details from these technicolor dreams. With this movie coming out in 1954...
(Pontipee Cabin interior of the 1954 set)
This show, my two "I will have these pieces or ain't NOBODY GONNA BE HAPPY"  were the Mission Style china hutch in the Background with the plates on the top shelves. I hunted and hunted and finally  found the PERFECT match (well in my mind anyways) on the 3rd floor of the theatre.
I also attempted to paint the dishes to match the ones in the movie.
Not quite the same pattern, and they are in a color I special made and named "Pontipee Green". My other "must have" piece on the set is the hanging lamp over the table.
I saw it in a booth at a downtown antique store, I knew I had to have it for the set.
Okay, Okay... I know its more "1960- does Bonanza" than it is 1850's Period.
With its frosted globes, and brass shades its perfect for the cabin. The owner was nice enough to lend it to us for the show, as the price tag on it is a staggering $100.00. Friend Russ (a technical whiz)  wired the lamp for us, and let us use one of his own fixtures on the second story of the set!
The cabin in a mess, before Milly comes. As it is over run by the Seven Pontipee Brothers.This is how the audience first sees the house when the curtain is opened, during a number called "One Man" Milly (the oldest brothers wife) sings and cleans the cabin transforming it from its current state to a well cared for home, all in about two minuets.
  Did I mention that the Petersen's built the Cabin two stories tall, with a working window shutter, staircase, and a full bedroom? Oh, well. They did, and it does.
(Bryson & Larry Hard at work)
We used the same painting technique on the interior of the cabin as we did on the exterior of the store. then we accented the structural planking, but "staining" the wood with the red-ish brown paint and a sponge. 
(Friend Matt, staining away!)
Last but CERTAINLY not least is the Pontipee Barn.
The weathered wood barn, was friend (and co-captain of the set dressing team) Joe's baby. He stripped wood planking off of old fence panels and created the barn as well as painted "new" wood to match. Friend Bryson helped by fitting the front of the barn with planking.
Larry let us borrow some period farming tools, along with a few family heirlooms borrowed from friends (and star of the show) Billy, and Utah lent us his grandmothers milk cans and vintage stove. Friend Andrew built the wagon that the Brothers whisk away the brides in. ( I didn't get a picture, I hate it when I do that!)
Put it all together and here's what you get-
 (I love this picture, as it creates the illusion your being transported from the theatre back in to 1850's Frontier Oregon.)
What All of the set team has been buzzing about, is the fact that although 98% of the stage is either panted wood, or weathered wood its not boring. with all the angles, and levels and hues of color it makes the whole thing very dynamic which works great with this high energy and fast paced show.It is our best work yet!

I will have to post a picture of the set team on this blog once one is taken. But I'd like to thank each and everyone of them now for all their hard work and dedication. Joe, Larry, Dwayne, Bryson, Matt, Lara, Spencer, Evelyn, Chloe, Terrace, Russ, Billy, Andrew, and im sure im forgetting someone but I truly could not pull these massive set projects off with out them.

The Show opened to rave reviews and as has become ritual the last couple of shows the sets were mentioned too! (That's always exciting to me!) next week I will try and post a "photo essay" of backstage like I did for Hairspray!

Another Success story.

*As Always if you've found these sets by a Google search looking for ideas for your production, I ask that you Please email me before using anything you see here. -Thanks*



JimTXMiller said...

Set looks fantastic! Looking forward to Saturday's matinee!!

Amber Von Felts said...

Wow, you practically made a whole town! It looks amazing!

JessicaLea Texas Kitsch said...

Good work! The sets really do just keep getting better & better!

JavaBeanRush said...

I love it when something from the movie makes it into a stage production. I look for little props like that!

"I will have these pieces or ain't NOBODY GONNA BE HAPPY" -- Mick

I ROFL'ed at that line!

I have lots of fun reading your blog.

Best wishes,