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Robert Juliat Victor Followspots Come to the “Cabaret” at Studio 54

A pair of Robert Juliat Victor followspots with DMX dimming has been installed at Studio 54 in Manhattan where the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of “Cabaret” is packing the house. Tony Award-winner Alan Cumming reprises his role in “Cabaret,” which also stars multi-Oscar nominee Michelle Williams who is making her Broadway debut.

“I was very familiar with Juliat fixtures from working in Europe,” says Mike Baldassari, co-lighting designer for “Cabaret” with Peggy Eisenhauer. “The Victor followspot was in the exact neighborhood of what we needed at 1800 watts. We did a shoot out with some other followspots to test not only for brightness but also for noise level. The shoot out was facilitated by electrician John Wooding; Ron Fogel of Fogel Associates and Fred Lindauer of Robert Juliat provided the Victors for us to test.”

Baldassari points out that Studio 54 was originally built as the Gallo Opera House in 1927 so its acoustics reflect its heritage. “The way the dome is constructed projects all sounds like a microphone. The two followspots were off to the sides on custom-built platforms, exposed and in the house. So how much noise they made was a critical issue for us. Sound is not always a consideration, but in this case it was paramount.”

During the shoot out the Victor followspots scored points for their quiet operation and for having the smoothest field of the fixtures tested.

The use of the DMX douser control provided with the Victor followspots allowed the intensity of the fixtures to be controlled from the lighting console which was a “huge feature for us,” Baldassari says. “Because of the side spots being 45˚ off of center from each other, it was very difficult for the operators to judge their relative intensity against each other. By using the DMX dousers, we could set the level to exactly what we wanted, which would be 100% repeatable, and the operators only had to worry about finessing their pickups and irises.” After acquiring the Victors Baldassari and Eisenhauer added scrollers in front of the units which are also controlled from the lighting console.

The Victor followspots’ “set up is really perfect for what we need for ‘Cabaret,’” he declares. “They’re a really great light. We knew they would be spot on – no pun intended!”

Eric Yaple was the sales person at dealer PRG. Steve Beers is the technical director at Roundabout Theatre Company.

About Robert Juliat

Robert Juliat is a three-generation, family-run, company dedicated to the manufacture of quality lighting equipment for entertainment and architectural applications. Robert Juliat lights are installed worldwide in venues as diverse as The Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, Caesar’s Palace and other showrooms in Las Vegas, the Royal Opera House in London, the Los Angeles Music Center, and the Hong Kong Academy School. Robert Juliat lights are used on major tours and events such as Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, the South African Music Awards 2013 and the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

R&D, production, and company headquarters are based in the village of Fresnoy-en-Thelle, 50 km north of Paris. Robert Juliat USA is located in Wallingford, CT. For more information visit www.robertjuliat.com

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