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Fabric performance: Setting the stage at Bally’s Las Vegas

Tents | June 16, 2014 | By:

With a bevy of showgirls all glammed up in glitzy costumes kicking it, singing and dancing, the iconic Jubilee is a classic Las Vegas extravaganza. The Bally’s Las Vegas show was created by producer Donn Arden in 1981. Recently, though, Bally’s decided the show needed a revamp. Frank Gatson Jr., a noted creative director and Grammy-nominated choreographer, was brought in to update the music, choreography and technology without losing Arden’s original vision.

The set design got an update, too, including new stage drapes. Sew What? Inc., a Rancho Dominguez, Calif., stage drapery manufacturer, was tasked with custom building the draperies to accommodate a large set and a lot of details. Among the drapery elements the company designed and built were the stage right and left lined revolve drapes. These draperies are on a rotating circular traveler track that reveals “peek-a-boo stages” on either side of the main stage. Each drape was black plush Prestige velour with a lining made of black sparkle boucle for a shimmering effect when open.

Sew What? used the same velour for the 35-foot high and nearly 100-foot wide stage masking panels. Sewn with 50 percent fullness, they provide dense light absorption for a solid black background when the drape is not the focal point. The company also installed a new mid-stage traveler drape set, made from a specialty lot of red IFR Prestige velour. These drapes are meant to add glamour, and are used to shorten the depth of the stage while an elaborate set change is going on behind them.

Most of the early stage show feel is still intact. The scenes still include the showgirls’ 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.


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