Hairston lights Rhett & Link with Chauvet
Monday, 25 November 2019
rhettlink3Their routines include ‘rap battles’ that feature unlikely antagonists
USA - Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III (Rhett & Link) have been blazing a trail with their mix of music and comic antics. Their routines include ‘rap battles’ that feature unlikely antagonists, such as the Wright Brothers vs the Mario Brothers and Leonardo Da Vinci against The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Lighting this pair of comedic musicians on tour requires a design that is powerful enough to accent punch lines and ballyhoo moments, while still serving up softer, subtle looks that create theatrical moments for sketches. This is precisely what the design team of Rebecca and Bryan Hairston delivered for Rhett & Link when they stopped at the iSaenger Theatre in New Orleans recently. Helping them were a group of Chauvet Professional Maverick, Rogue and Ovation fixtures supplied by See-Hear Productions.
“Everything came together for us at this stop on the tour,” said Bryan, who, along with Rebecca, owns Hairston Touring Productions. “We used the Mavericks to create some sculpted theatrical looks on stage one moment, while providing some really punchy looks the next.”
The Hairston’s rig featured 20 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures, 10 Rogue R2 Wash units, and six Ovation 910-FC ellipsoidals. They flew 12 of the Maverick units, along with the 10 Rogue fixtures and four of the Ovation ellipsoidals, on overhead truss. Drawing on the six position rotating gobo wheel of the Maverick MK2 Spot, they used the 440W LED moving fixture to create mood-setting patterns on stage. At other points in the show, they relied on its intense output to serve up concert-style looks.
Complimenting the intensity of the Maverick units was the smooth colour wash from the Rogue R2 fixtures. Also contributing colour to the stage, in addition to key lighting the artists, were the RGBA-Lime Ovation ellipsoidals. The remaining eight MK2 Spot fixtures and two Ovation 910-FC units were placed on deck, adding further depth to the middle of the stage.
“Having Rhett & Link on stage by themselves, with only a few instruments here or there, meant we had to focus the audience’s attention on the performances using positive and negative space,” said Hairston. “Most of the show is spent down centre so we approached those sections with a storyteller’s vibe, which created a more intimate environment in addition to being great for tight split screen camera shots. However, for the ‘rap off’ section of the show, we wanted the lighting to feel like a realistic hip hop performance, while still having a few funny moments.”
(Jim Evans)

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