Best Scene Changes

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Lot666
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Best Scene Changes #26
Posted: 8/28/19 at 8:22am

Near the beginning of the original London production of Love Never Dies, the transition from the derelict, black and white boardwalk into the fully illuminated and colorful amusement park was breathtaking. 

Also, in the recent Broadway production of 1984, the revelation that Winston and Julia had been under surveillance the entire time was heart-stopping. The small, simple box that comprised the entire set for 90% of the show suddenly exploded, with the ceiling and walls flying away to reveal the camera operators and then the vast and blindingly white interior of Room 101.

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bwayphreak234
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Best Scene Changes #27
Posted: 8/28/19 at 8:23am

Beowulf Boritt's work on Therese Raquin that Roundabout did back in 2015 was something else. An entire room (furniture and all) was lowered from the rafters.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
EvanstonDad
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Best Scene Changes #28
Posted: 8/28/19 at 9:24am

Love this thread, as I've always had a fascination with the mechanics of moving from one set to another in stage shows. 

Miss Saigon has some impressive ones for me, especially the transition into the Bangkok street scene and the entire dream sequence.

Also, a very simple but memorable one for me -- the transition into the sewers in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls.

Poconopanther
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Best Scene Changes #29
Posted: 8/28/19 at 9:41am

The set changes in  “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” were amazing! A technological marvel!

SouthernCakes
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Best Scene Changes #30
Posted: 8/28/19 at 11:22am
I know people didn’t care for the show. But that last scene in Paramour when this entire city floats from the back of the set and you think jeez how large is this stage??
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songanddanceman2
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Best Scene Changes #31
Posted: 8/28/19 at 11:27am
I found many of the scene transitions in American Psycho to be superb.
I loved the walls raising up during the middle of Killing Time turning it into a club worked superbly.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
SouthernCakes
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Best Scene Changes #32
Posted: 8/28/19 at 11:31am
Agreed! I felt that show kept surprising audiences and was beautifully directed and designed! I’ll be the one to say Walker deserved a Tony for that performance! Chilling!
NOLAguy
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Best Scene Changes #33
Posted: 8/28/19 at 11:43am

A few I loved: 

1) My Fair Lady, when the mansion appeared and moved forward.  Know it was just a scrim going up, but still got me

2) Memphis-From DJ booth to "Steal Your Rock and Roll"

3) Beetlejuice-revealing of house

4) Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime 

LxGstv
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Best Scene Changes #34
Posted: 8/28/19 at 12:02pm
I’ll agree with the Curse of the Starving Class at signature theater, I don’t think it’s a scene change really, but it was quite phenomenal. Same for the light transition in The Band’s Visit.

Roundabout’s Time and the Conways also had a pretty neat scene change, the whole play takes place in one room, but the second act is years in the future. So the original room moves back while the same room is lowered down, the furniture is worn out and old. The back of the “new” room is a scrim and the original room is still slightly visible in the back. It was amazing!

Which reminds me of Three Tall Women, which had the same room mirrored right behind it!
Alex Kulak2
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Best Scene Changes #35
Posted: 8/28/19 at 12:11pm

Not Broadway, but I saw a college production of Eurydice, and Eurydice's entrance to the Underworld made my jaw hit the floor.

It was a two level set, and on the upper level were these wooden meshed slats that would slide left and right to reveal the Father, the Nasty Interesting Man's apartment, etc. Then, when Eurydice enters, the slats unmeshed, and Eurydice walked through them as it rained.

 

Not sure if I'd call it costume or set, but when the company lets the sand fall out of their sleeves when they "return to the ashes" in Indecent, I cried.

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Best Scene Changes #36
Posted: 8/28/19 at 12:18pm

I've always been a sucker for the Ozdust Ballroom scene change in Wicked when the green lights pop on the proscenium- simple but effective. 

Updated On: 8/28/19 at 12:18 PM
Campbell5
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Best Scene Changes #37
Posted: 8/28/19 at 2:53pm

Here are a few that quickly come to mind:

Angles in America: When Prior is given another chance at life and returns from Heaven. The transition and the way he came though the ceiling of his hospital room and lands back in the bed. Breathtaking!

Hadestown: the set change during Wait for Me

Oklahoma: the blackouts and video projections, especially Judd and Curley scene

Fiddler on the Roof (current London revival) the final scene when the villagers are fleeing Anatevka, as the scene ends: blackout and the music stops mid note.

The Inheritance: end of part 1- the scene at the house

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime: the decent into the London Underground station

Harry Potter: the first-time travel sequence

Sunset Blvd: the decent of the mansion for the first time

Les Misérables: when the barricade slides in from both wings, meshing together and then begin to rotate. Also, Javier’s suicide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Scene Changes #38
Posted: 8/28/19 at 3:04pm
The transition to the “real” house on the Fun Home tour was pretty spectacular - so much of the show was mostly suggested with props and minor furniture, and then the wall comes up to reveal an intricately detailed mansion room with intense patterned wallpaper. The shift from abstract to almost painfully real was a little startling.

Also, kind of the opposite, but when I saw DEH I was sitting towards the back of the auditorium, and when the screen lifted up to reveal the sky a bunch of people lifted their arms up to shield their eyes because it was so bright, which was pretty funny.
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Best Scene Changes #39
Posted: 8/28/19 at 3:07pm

Are only shows we personally saw valid? Surely the emergence of Loveland in the original production of Follies was the greatest scene change, ever.

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Best Scene Changes #40
Posted: 8/28/19 at 3:09pm
Growltiger’s pirate ship dropping down and the curtains framing it to create a small opera house was interesting. After just being the junkyard it was good to see another scene. I was bummed they didn’t do it in London. It was on the first US tour but honestly can’t remember if it was done at the Winter Garden.

Though not a scene change per se I still think the curtain drop at the start of the Pippin revival was beautifully done, revealing the bright and colors actors doing their thing.

One other subtle touch was in the London production of Aspects of Love, Maria Bjornson simply jaggedly broke a stone wall horizontally to reference the alps. Such a simple effect but it’s remained with me almost three decades later.
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Best Scene Changes #41
Posted: 8/28/19 at 3:29pm

Grey Gardens, the end of act I, Big Edie finishes singing, Will You, standing in front of the exterior of the house. She's standing there in tears. Suddenly the house opens up and she's pulled backwards into the house which then closes back together like it's sucked her in and trapped her there. Act II opens years later with her still trapped there as an old woman.

Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
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Best Scene Changes #42
Posted: 8/28/19 at 3:48pm

Not exactly a scene change since nothing actually changes onstage, but one moment that will always stick with me is in The Pillowman, when it's first revealed that the 3 "walls" of the interrogation room are not actually walls but are scrims and the stories begin being played out behind them.

seriously13
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Best Scene Changes #43
Posted: 8/28/19 at 3:56pm
Scene changes that took my breath away:

Les Miz: the forming of the barricade

La Boheme (Franco Zeffirelli production): that scene before Musetta’s Waltz where a Parisian cafe rises from the beneath the stage

She Loves Me: when the shop twirls around

My Fair Lady: the introduction of Henry Higgins’ house

Three Tall Women: the transition between Act I and Act II

Hadestown: Wait for Me
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clearastheday
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Best Scene Changes #44
Posted: 8/28/19 at 11:48pm
I’m on mobile and don’t know how to add the spoiler button so I’m just going to say that there’s a POTENTIAL MOULIN ROUGE SPOILER in here. Hopefully the all caps got people’s attention!

The last part of Elephant Love Medley (when Christian, Satine, Zidler, and the Duke are standing on the passerelle while Zidler and the Duke are negotiating terms) took my breath away. When Christian and Satine start singing “Heroes”, the elephant set turns around to reveal a starry night sky, and the Eiffel Tower is rolled onto the stage. It’s just gorgeous.
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Best Scene Changes #45
Posted: 8/29/19 at 12:34am
I found that moment so cheesy with people dancing on Eiffel Towers. But was fun to see that piece turn around!
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Best Scene Changes #46
Posted: 8/29/19 at 3:58am

The first one that came to my mind was actually from the original production of "Carrie": After the destruction scene, Carrie is standing on a pedestal and slowly a ridiculously gigantic staircase gets lowered from above around her and her mother walks slowly down that staircase to her daughter.

Also (though technically not a scene change) the act 1 finale of "Sunday in the park with George" when all the characters sing "Sunday" and slowly move to their spot in the painting, which then comes down in front of them, framing the scene.

Campbell5
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Best Scene Changes #47
Posted: 8/29/19 at 7:43am

Also the final scene of Three Tall Women when the rear wall of the set goes up and reveals a mirror, which then tilts slowly and reflects the bedroom.  The effect was stunning.

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Best Scene Changes #48
Posted: 8/29/19 at 8:20am

Some transitions that stand out to me are scene changes that happen with shows at The Public Theater. Phylicia Rashad was in a play at The Public Theater called Head of Passes. Towards the end of the play, she has a monologue. During this monologue-actually, I can't remember if this was the end of the show or right before intermission-but during her monologue, the set slowly sinks down into water. By the end of her monologue, I think she is standing in water, and the house around her also sinks down. I couldn't figure out how they did it, but it was incredible to watch. 

 

Rachel Weisz was also in a production at The Public called Plenty, There was this incredible element to the final tableaux of the show where a wall was slowly lowered and two actors (Weisz and someone else, I can't remember who at the moment) were on a slanted platform that made the stage look enormous. I've been in that space before and it made it look..at least three times the size that the space actually is. It was beautiful. 

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Best Scene Changes #49
Posted: 8/29/19 at 10:18am
Scarlet posting about CARRIE reminded me about Ray of Light’s (San Francisco) production. The backdrop was a wall of wood planks resembling bleachers in a gym. After the gym destruction, Carrie is alone on a completely empty stage. Then the massive wall, hinged along the bottom, falls with a *whoosh* of air felt throughout the theater. Carrie stood so that an open window fell around her. The teenage actress had nerves of steel. She didn’t flinch a bit. And suddenly we’re in the White home. It was brilliant staging.
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Best Scene Changes #50
Posted: 8/29/19 at 12:02pm
The original Carrie’s transition to Don’t Waste The Moon was also pretty spectacular, with all those headlights coming out of the darkness.

Yerma definitely deserves mention here, mostly for the fact that the transitions were so quick in the darkness. I remember reading about how they did it, but I’ve forgotten - does anyone remember?