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Best Scene Changes

SueBee06
Stand-by
joined:1/12/16
Stand-by
joined:
1/12/16
Best Scene Changes #51
Posted: 8/29/19 at 12:08pm

SouthernCakes said: Also at the National: at the end of Angels Part 1 when the entire stage floor moves back and an entirely new stage floor is brought into place is just a technical marvel that had me gasping!"

It really was extraordinary and is only possible in a rep space set up like theirs. As a side note, I highly recommend the backstage tour they offer. It was a really fantastic peek into how the complex is laid out and how they're able to do things like this.

SueBee06
Stand-by
joined:1/12/16
Stand-by
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1/12/16
Best Scene Changes #52
Posted: 8/29/19 at 12:16pm

The entire sequence starting from the beginning of The Angry Dance in Billy Elliott through to the end is one that stands out in my memory. That was one of the most effective uses of props, projections, lighting, and scenery with staging and choreography that I've seen.

Updated On: 8/29/19 at 12:16 PM
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Broadway Legend
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8/14/05
Best Scene Changes #53
Posted: 8/29/19 at 12:32pm

I remember watching a YouTube video on this. Basically on either end of the stage they had 2 stage decks that could slide on. So while one scene was happening another was being set up, etc. 

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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/5/09
Best Scene Changes #54
Posted: 8/29/19 at 1:18pm

I don't know how it looked, but I music directed "High School Musical 2" during its soft launch in 2009, and there's some extremely "dramatic" music for the scene change from the high school to the country club. It must have been designed to play up a grandiose transition, but nothing is noted in the script and it was just a blackout in this production.

That could almost be another thread: "things the music tells you that the licensed script does not even imply."

brian1973
Featured Actor
joined:2/1/14
Featured Actor
joined:
2/1/14
Best Scene Changes #55
Posted: 8/29/19 at 6:01pm

MollyJeanneMusic said: "How could I forget Higgins's house in the new My Fair Lady revival?"

What , a big lump of set lumbering downstage? No thanks.

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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
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Best Scene Changes #56
Posted: 8/29/19 at 6:31pm

brian1973 said: "MollyJeanneMusic said: "How could I forget Higgins's house in the new My Fair Lady revival?"

What , a big lump of set lumbering downstage? No thanks.
"

 

I can't speak for MollyJeanneMusic, but I thought they might have meant the part where we see Eliza moving through the house, and the revolve is used to allow us to follow her through the rooms. I thought that was a really brilliant use of the set, not just as a staging tool, but also as a means of emphasizing that the production was meant to be very focused on Eliza's journey. 

cambell22
Swing
joined:12/29/18
Swing
joined:
12/29/18
Best Scene Changes #57
Posted: 8/30/19 at 7:57pm

YERMA! the <10 second scene changes in Yerma were...."wait what....how'd they do that".

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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Best Scene Changes #58
Posted: 8/30/19 at 8:21pm

Broadway Bob* said: "It might seem cliché', but the first time the mansion silently floated from the rafters onto the Minskoff stage in SUNSET BLVD. was breathtaking and awe inspiring. That anything that huge could move so swiftly and quietly left me speechless."

Yeah? And the fact that "heavy" marble and terrazzo floated silently made you think/feel what, exactly?

That and the scene change where the Phantom and Christine exit into the floor and instantly appear on the highest catwalk are two of the worst scene changes in my life.

Destroying all theatrical illusion just to be "cinematic" is pretentious and self-defeating on stage.

Updated On: 8/30/19 at 08:21 PM
SouthernCakes
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/19
Broadway Star
joined:
7/29/19
Best Scene Changes #59
Posted: 8/30/19 at 8:37pm
Those are 2 great examples of theatrical illusions...
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IronMan
Stand-by
joined:2/6/13
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Best Scene Changes #60
Posted: 8/31/19 at 3:00am

I'm shocked that no one has mentioned CITY OF ANGELS, and the 'walk into the mansion.'  I think that was the first time I'd seen such a blend of projections and physical set pieces that worked so seamlessly that it seemed like a film. It's still one of my favorite theatrical memories. 

 

"What- and quit show business?" - the guy shoveling elephant shit at the circus.
MollyJeanneMusic
Leading Actor
joined:3/10/19
Leading Actor
joined:
3/10/19
Best Scene Changes #61
Posted: 8/31/19 at 8:35am

JBroadway said: "brian1973 said: "MollyJeanneMusic said: "How could I forget Higgins's house in the new My Fair Lady revival?"

What , a big lump of set lumbering downstage? No thanks.
"



I can't speak for MollyJeanneMusic, but I thought theymight have meant the part where we see Eliza moving through the house, and the revolve is used to allow us to follow her through the rooms. I thought that was a really brilliant use of the set, not just as a staging tool, but also as a means of emphasizing that the production was meant to be very focused on Eliza's journey.
"

Exactly!  I also really loved the staging of "Just You Wait," where Eliza walked through all different parts of the house as though she ruled it, then triumphantly walked back into Higgins's study on "And they'll march Henry Higgins through the wall..."  It was such a cool way to show how strong Eliza was, and how much she truly wanted this advancement in her language.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
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broadwaybabywannabe2
Broadway Star
joined:11/9/11
Broadway Star
joined:
11/9/11
Best Scene Changes #62
Posted: 8/31/19 at 2:02pm

The opening set piece for the recent revival at Lincoln center of The King & I with the ship coming into harbor...breathtaking...and the opening transition in An American In Paris, which went from one of the leading male performers along on stage to transitoning  into post war Paris with huge backdrops of the French flag and the city...also breathtaking and it won a Tony for sets as well that year!

evic
Broadway Star
joined:3/5/04
Broadway Star
joined:
3/5/04
Best Scene Changes #63
Posted: 9/2/19 at 12:22am

A similar scene change to Carrie occurred during the final scene change in another flop-Nefertiti.  The giant staircase unfolded from the rafters just as the one in Carrie did.  Very spectacular.  And like Carrie, it had some beautiful music.

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TotallyEffed
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/07
Broadway Legend
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3/29/07
Best Scene Changes #64
Posted: 9/2/19 at 12:38am
I can’t imagine anything topping Yerma. It was both breathtakingly cinematic and absolutely perplexing.
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
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Best Scene Changes #65
Posted: 9/13/19 at 11:21am

One that I just remembered, although it's the music that does the heavy lifting and not the scenery: the transition from Vegas back to New Jersey in the finale of "The Wedding Singer."

We get a quick blast of the show's main theme from "It's Your Wedding Day," and then the band transitions (for the only time in the show) to playing New Jersey-style rock and roll, glockenspiel and accordion and all, to signify we've made it back to Jersey. It's a subtle thing, you kind of have to know Jersey rock in the eighties to get it, but it's such a clever use of musical signifiers.

Pashacar
Featured Actor
joined:11/2/18
Featured Actor
joined:
11/2/18
Best Scene Changes #66
Posted: 9/13/19 at 3:28pm

1984 stunned me scenically. An hour in, sirens came on and government agents in something like gas masks appeared to dismantle the set we'd been living in for "months," piece by piece. What remained was a plain white box lit by fluorescents. It was harrowing and impressive.

ArtfulAmy17
Swing
joined:3/22/15
Swing
joined:
3/22/15
Best Scene Changes #67
Posted: 9/13/19 at 3:34pm

SueBee06 said: "The entire sequence starting from the beginning of The Angry Dance in Billy Elliott through to the end is one that stands out in my memory. That was one of the most effective uses of props, projections, lighting, and scenery with staging and choreography that I've seen."

YES! Especially that moment when the police shields slam down in unison to form a wall behind Billy, on cue with a bold blue lighting change, as Billy launches into pirouettes. I'm curious how the Goodspeed production is handling the staging (I'll find out next month!).

SouthernCakes
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/19
Broadway Star
joined:
7/29/19
Best Scene Changes #68
Posted: 9/13/19 at 5:46pm
ArtfulAmy love to hear your review! Have friends in the cast!
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ChgoTheatreGuy
Broadway Star
joined:5/14/12
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Best Scene Changes #69
Posted: 9/13/19 at 6:04pm

I don't know if this has anything to do with "Best Scene Changes", but I remember when I saw the original tour of "La Cage Aux Folles" in Cincinnati, there was tremendous applause for almost all of the scene changes, especially the one toward the end for the "Chez Jacqueline" scene where "The Best of Times" is sung...the only other time was when the late Keene Curtis sang, "I Am What I Am"...

ArtfulAmy17
Swing
joined:3/22/15
Swing
joined:
3/22/15
Best Scene Changes #70
Posted: 9/13/19 at 6:33pm

SouthernCakes said: "ArtfulAmy love to hear your review! Have friends in the cast!"

SouthernCakes, that is so awesome for your friends to be part of "Billy Elliot" at Goodspeed! I'm really looking forward to seeing it and I'll be sure to share my thoughts :) 

I'll also add to others' comments about the original staging of "Les Mis" and the indelible imagery of the hulking barricade halves tilting 90 degrees as they coming together then split apart, and the 360 degree revolving that occurs in between during and after the battles. It's a true shame that staging is now gone...

dadaguza
Chorus Member
joined:7/16/19
Chorus Member
joined:
7/16/19
Best Scene Changes #71
Posted: 9/13/19 at 8:02pm

In Beautiful, I love how they transition from the scenes that show Carole/Gerry and Cynthia/Barry writing the songs, into the scenes of the singers they wrote the songs for performing them.

(Examples: You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow)


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