Friday, December 23, 2011

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

Well readers, We've done it!

This is the 10th show in a row and the final show for the year! It seems like only yesterday that I was hired for Cinderella and now here we are a YEAR later.

("We're Dreaming of a White Christmas, Here At Mick's)

I really didn't have a lot for this production, I had a few projects and all the props to take care of but the Team came together and made a nice finished product.
My projects included.

The Set of the 1954 "Ed Sullivan Show"
The guys dressing room
The girls dressing room
Two (period) Train Cars
The Lobby of the Columbia Inn
 And as always a slew of vintage props!

The Ed Sullivan Show-
 (A 1954 Dance Spectacular!)
The set of double doors that look like a giant pink and red present in the background (sporting a tag exclaiming "Merry Christmas from Ed Sullivan!"), is styled from this Firestone Christmas record album.

The Guys dressing room-
We just did basic paint of two tone green stripes.  The colors for the dressing room we stolen from the 1942 movie "Holiday Inn". In one of the early scenes in the movie, the dressing room Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire share sports the same stripes and color scheme and since White Christmas steals bits form lots of other shows and movies I thought it was a fitting touch.

The Girls dressing room
Pretty simple, in 1950's pastel pink. The new novelty at the theatre is working light fixtures on stage, the one I used in Seven Brides for Seven Brother made the Set!

The Train Cars-
  (Speeding towards "Pine Tree Vermont")
I lost my sketches somewhere at the theatre, but these cars originally started out with an all blue color scheme. It wasn't until I found out that in this version the show doesn't start in Florida,  it begins in New York. (TOTALLY DOESN'T FOLLOW THE MOVIE, I know.) So instead of blue for Sunny Florida, at the very last minuet we changed to all green for Vermont. Also the cozy "Snow" number in the movie shared between Crosby, Kaye, Ellen, and Clooney goes from a quartet to an ENTIRE ensemble number. So we expanded the cars and laden them down with Samsonite luggage, vintage magazines and happy Christmas travelers.

The Columbia Inn, Pine Tree Vermont-
 Looking back, I'm mad at myself for going such a "plain" route with the interior of the Inn (But hell in the movie everything was WHITE!)  A tiny touch of irony here, is that is when the get to Vermont expecting snow, its actually a toasty 79 degrees. So I placed a painting of a "barn in white snowy winter" behind the front desk.  My favorite prop of the show has to be the Switchboard that we put together for the hotel. 

 Using and old "secretary desk" gave me the right shape, and then I screwed a board over the desk top. after that friend Joe and I drilled 100+ holes to make the "connections" on the switch board.
I used four long bolts, four shoe strings and some making tape to make the "input connectors" and to finish it off I put my candle stick phone on top. When the Actress who used the prop genuinely looked like an old switchboard operator on her board.
It was hectic, it was crazy, and it all came together in the end. I'd like to thank all of the Set Team, and all the volunteers who got the show up and running.

It has been a crazy/fast/fun/frustrating/demanding/relationship defining/up setting/heartbreaking/faith renewing/awe inspiring/ friendship binding/ impossible things are happening every day/ LOVING/ year at the Wichita Theatre and I look forward to another season in 2012.
"And may ALL Your Christmases be White...."



Dana@Mid2Mod said...

Great job! I especially love the switchboard and the train. One of these days I'll have to load up a bunch of my friends and come to one of your shows. It's not that long a haul from Fort Worth.

Amber Von Felts said...

Smashing as usual! I love that you made a switch board! The sets really come alive with the lights on them. Merry Christmas y'all!

JavaBeanRush said...

Looks like everyone had fun! I saw the touring company of White Christmas. They had basically the same scenes.

They also had the shell of a barn for those rehearsal scenes with the 4 principles. What was the setting for your company's rehearsal scenes in the play?

Also, did they have the scene where Judy [or is it Betty?] sings "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me?" In a night club? In a baby spot with a side table and chair for her audience in the play? How did you do that scene?

I absolutely love the production choices and the inspiration for decor! I wish I lived in your neighborhood; I'd trot down to see these plays.

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