Cher at Caesar Palace, Las Vegas
Cher at Caesar Palace, Las Vegas
Lighting designer Baz Halpin
Lighting contractor Inner Circle Distribution
Coemar Wash XL Lights And Cher Rock Vegas-Style
David Steinberg May 28th, 2008
Coemar Infinity Wash XL lights will headline as Grammy award winning performer Cher graces Ceasars Palace for 110 performances starting this month. With a series of shows following that of Celine Dion, Cher will be complemented, yet not out-dazzled, by the premium lighting essentials that have become a stageshow industry standard.
With the aim of capturing a rock arena feel within the Vegas magic-land that is Ceasars, show lighting designer Baz Halpin (bazhalpin.com) had his hands full. Prior to the initial design Halpin worked with Peter Morse (lighting designer for Bette Midler’s show) to choose stock of lighting fixtures, which would work for all shows (with Halpin bringing some extras for Cher). The pair decided upon 98 Coemar Infinity Wash XL lights as part of a new system to be purchased as an upgrade for the theater, as lighting technology had advanced since the Celine Dion performances.
With concerns that the proscenium at 120 feet wide and 38 feet high would be too vertically constrictive, and the audience would be flush with the stage, the challenge was the trickiness of getting beams of light out in the house without flashing light in their faces all night long. “I wanted to keep it rock-y without causing any discomfort to the audience,” states Halpin. “I needed a high power system that wasn’t overly bulky but I also had to consider the mammoth 120’ wide LED wall and the volume of its intensity and presence. And, because there are three preeminent shows (Elton’s being the third) all from the same stock, with a myriad of one-offs, the turnaround time to get from each show’s rig to the next is minimal.”
With what was to be a configuration of 500 moving lights total manned by a crew of 50 or more, Halpin looked at Morse’s plot and, having drawn his own, worked with Greg Whittle, head electrician at Ceasars and decided upon Coemar’s Infinity Wash XL lights to be placed on the onstage 54 foot high towers. Set Designer Jeremy Railton built a 68 foot wide, 6 foot deep bridge, that moves up and down, with the underside forming a series of trusses. Tait Towers (Lititz, PA) built the towers and hanging brackets for the lights.
“The Coemar (Infinity Wash XL) lights are multi-purpose,” explains Halpin. “I positioned them in a variety of ways. At 90 feet high, they form the basis of the front wash. They also provide rock‘n’roll mid-air beamage for dynamic hits during the up-tempo rock songs, as well as cross-lighting on floors and sides.”
The Infinity Wash XL is a 1400w wash light that incorporates a CMY color mixing system, effects, 6-80 degree zoom, index-able beam shaping in 360 degrees, pan/tilt and full-range dimming.
“From a rock’n’roll point of view, they are one of the best wash lights out there,” continues Halpin. “They’re unparalleled in terms of color bumping speed and chasing. The color saturation is great, and the new lens gives more of a linear zoom with far less intensity drop off. For Cher, I’ve got 12 out front, 90 feet in the air, 70 feet from down stage edge. They a tremendous job of washing a space that’s 140 feet wide, competing with a very powerful video wall – and I’m still dialing them back because they’re too bright!”
Halpin notes that Coemar’s Infinity Wash XL lights are “slightly smaller, lighter and quicker than other manufacturers lights. They’re great. I love them!”