A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

2009 Theater Season A Hit For Broadway, Off-Broadway and For Scharff Weisberg

Scharff Weisberg, Inc. (SWI) had a busy season on and off Broadway supplying three star-studded productions — “33 Variations,” “Impressionism” and “Distracted” — with comprehensive video system packages designed to be user-friendly and adaptable to the needs of very different shows.

Nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, Moises Kaufman’s “33 Variations” stars Jane Fonda as a Beethoven specialist newly-diagnosed with ALS. The play crosses continents and centuries — Beethoven himself makes an appearance — as the musicologist uses the composer’s Diabelli Variations as a springboard for what one critic called “rich but playful ideas.” The Projection Designer for “33 Variations” was Jeff Sugg.

“Impressionism,” starring Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, tells the story of an international photojournalist and a New York art gallery owner who help repair each other’s lives. The new play by Michael Jacobs ended its Broadway limited engagement run on May 10. Elaine McCarthy was the Projection Designer for “Impressionism”.

The Roundabout Theatre Company’s off-Broadway production of Lisa Loomer’s “Distracted” starred Cynthia Nixon. The fast and funny look at parenting in the age of the Internet and rampant ADD recently ended a successful limited engagement run. The Projection Designer for “Distracted” was Tal Yarden.

SWI supplied each of the shows with a diverse assortment of projection technologies, as well as SWI’s tried and true media playback package consisting of Dataton WATCHOUT Production and Display PC’s coupled with Medialon Manager PRO show control systems. Cueing of the entire video system was triggered by the main lighting console via Midi Show Control commands.

“The capabilities of contemporary video playback and display technology allow for very unique solutions to relatively complicated situations,” notes Scharff Weisberg’s Director of Technology Lars Pedersen. “The trend towards smaller and lighter projectors (without compromising luminosity), along with the inherent geometry correction and warping features found in nearly all of the current playback systems, permit the designer to place the projectors in somewhat atypical, nonconforming positions relative to the screen surface. Using a variety of projectors from various manufacturers including Christie Digital, Barco, and Panasonic, we were able to effortlessly overcome the placement, space, and noise concerns associated with each of the three shows. We then used the image correction capabilities within the playback system to compensate for the extreme off-axis projector/screen relationships.”

Project Managers Tom Donoghue and Patrick Denny handled the normally unheralded tasks and logistics of assembling, testing and installing the packages in the three theaters. SWI provided on-site training of the systems for all three shows as well as the customary 24/7 support.

Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, firms with extensive histories in the presentation and staging markets, recently announced a co-ownership agreement. While continuing to operate independently, the two companies work together strategically to provide clients with state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment and services. With a strong presence on both coasts, Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are able to deliver a large array of cost-effective services on a national level. For more information, call 212-582-2345 or visit our website at www.scharffweisberg.com. For more information on Video Applications, visit www.videoapps.com.

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