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Peter Spadaro and Chauvet Professional Connect Stage and Venue for Citizen Cope
USA – History echoes everywhere, more evocatively in some places than others. One such place is the Tampa Theatre, a nationally registered landmark in the heart of this booming Florida city. The transformative atmosphere of the almost-century-old venue was never lost on designer Peter L. Spadaro III when he lit shows there.
So, when Spadaro was called on recently to light a show for singer/songwriter Citizen Cope at the theatre, he was determined to weave its distinctive Renaissance revival style architecture, complete with statutes and gargoyles, into his design.
“I always believe in extending my design out into the environment rather than limiting myself to just the stage,” said Spadaro. “Tampa Theatre is a gorgeous historic site built in the 1920s. The architecture inside is truly stunning, and it definitely influenced my work. I was really trying to get the audience and the facade of the theatre fully engulfed in light when I could.”
Spadaro accomplished this in part by playing with different light angles from the Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spots he rented for the show. “Looking at this building, I wanted to make it part of the visual experience,” he said. “So, I got pretty creative with some positions that I never used before due to how the stage and room were set up. Light angles helped connect the audience to the beauty of the venue.”
Tampa-based ESI Production Services supplied Spadaro with his Maverick units as well as Strike 4 fixtures. Complementing the house rig, these lights were positioned on road cases as far upstage as possible, which presented a challenge given the dimensions of the theatre’s stage.
“I usually like to use a good amount of the stage when positioning my lights,” said Spadaro. “However, this evening at the Tampa Theatre, it just wasn't doable. The stage is very small, so I had to keep the design and layout of the lights pretty linear on the upstage edge.
“Even though my space to work in was tight, I wanted to bring in the Maverick and Strike fixtures to light up the theatre,” continued Spadaro. “The Mavericks also helped evoke feelings with their gobos. I really enjoyed using the Star Field and Ring of Rings gobos for some cool silhouette looks and wall looks. Adding these lights to the house rig was huge in terms of amping up what was already going to be quite an electric Citizen Cope show.”
Colour also contributed to the electricity in the air at the iconic theatre. Spadaro rolled through a variety of multi-coloured looks to reflect the diverse moods of his client’s music and the captivating stories it tells.
Citizen Cope, whose songs have played prominent roles in soundtracks for memorable movies like Lincoln Lawyer and Fracture, includes a distinctive storytelling element in many of his songs. On this night, those tales seemed to resonate with even greater power, thanks to a redolent lighting design and a grand old building that inspires the imagination.
21st April 2022
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