The folks back home are going to be SO jealous when I tell them what I've seen.
Last night my sister treated me to drinks and hors d'oeuvres at Wolfgang Puck and then we all went to see Kà!...
And then... K's friend E met us afterward and her husband B--who is a carpenter for the show--gave us a backstage tour!!!
You may have seen clips of Kà on CSI in which some girl is found crushed under part of the stage (www.youtube.com/watch
). The real crew calls that episode "the death that could never happen"--not because you can't get crushed under the stage... you can... they even have "crush zones" taped out on the stage floor--but because the episode had the girl and her boyfriend having a fight on a balcony on one side of the theater, falling off and bouncing on another stage feature somewhere on the other side and then falling on the basement floor somewhere in the middle and getting crushed by moving parts.
Anywho... 'nuf 'bout CSI....
I got to see the costume workshop and costumes and wigs up close.... of course, you guys realize that those actors aren't just wearing a thong on their naked, spray painted bodies, but full-body skin-hugging leotards painted with six-pack-abs and nipples as needed. They have to be hand washed, spun out, then hung to dry. Behind a large shelving unit full of all the hair we'd just seen flipping around (and hanging upside down, etc) on stage, was perched one of the hairdresser/makeup folks styling a wig. She was happy to tell us all about the methods they use to keep wigs on active heads and show us various hairpieces that particular characters wear.
While we were there, the guitar player from the on-stage band was giving a little tour for some friends of his and talked a bit about their makeup process--layer, powder, fixative, layer, powder, fixative, and so one. Each character learns how to apply their own makeup, with the assistance of the shop professionals, and the wall is plastered with the pictures of how the finished product should looked. E added that, if a character has two makeup changes they have to put the second character on first, fix the dickens out of it, then put the first character on top of that, with no fixative, so that when the first character's scenes are done, the acrobat [or gymnast] basically hoses off the top layer/first character, revealing the bottom layer/second character. It makes for a much quicker change.
We got to visit at least three of, I think, seven floors of the stage, see backstage storage of the bigger animal "costumes" as well as the major stage features like the pyrotechnics base, the rocking boat, and the "wheel of death" as well as the huge gantry upon which most of the action takes place. It swivels, tilts, rotates, and tips up to a perpendicular and allows for a number of surface types. And it's HUGE!!
Of course, you'll have to take my word for all of this, as we were strictly forbidden to take pictures. ;-)
I'm in the middle of a week of vacation in Las Vegas with my sister CK, her partner K, her partner's friend, and my friend. We are having a wonderful time, the weather has been lovely, and the food excellent (tho $$$).