Breaking new ground with Bliss and Rayzor
Friday, 24 April 2020
blissgizel-jime-conor-ryan-mario-cantonephoto-credit-tracy-martinBliss in Seattle (photo: Tracy Martin)
USA - Created at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Bliss is a new musical fantasy full of emotion and humour that shatters assumptions about what a fairytale princess should be. The empowering tale had its world premiere run 7-23 February and was enthusiastically received for its catchy music and non-traditional storyline, plus its scenic and lighting design.
The unorthodox ethos carried into the lighting rig as well where lighting designer Yael Lubetzky incorporated Elation Rayzor 760 luminaires in her design, an LED moving head fixture you more typically find in a concert rig, which is exactly where the LD first discovered it. “I saw a Rob Thomas concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York and saw the Rayzor 760 and thought these are exactly what we want in the show,” Yael shares. “When I saw the units sparkle effect, I was so surprised. I had never seen anything like it before. It was fantastic.”
The Rayzor 760 is a wash effects fixture with seven large RGBW LEDs, wide zoom and continuous rotation, but it was the luminaire’s unique SparkLED background illumination system that really caught her attention. “[Elation national sales manager] John Dunn did a great demo for us and showed us everything it could do,” the lighting designer says. “When I saw the SparkLED I knew how perfect it was for our show. Not only for the music and concert effects, but also as a reflection of this character who lives in the Castle of Mirrors. It was specifically because of it that I chose the fixture.”
SparkLED is a sparkle effect created by 28x 2W white LEDs inside the fixture’s oversized lenses. The high-brightness pixels allow for distinctive lens illumination and eye-candy twinkle looks and are controllable via the lighting console or driven by a multitude of internal FX patterns. “We had them hung on two vertical trusses facing straight forward on a scenic unit that flew in far downstage. The Rayzor unit for us was a scenic element with movement so it could transform into a concert.
“They provided a great visual look for the audience,” Yael explains, noting that the fixtures were used for scenes featuring a particular character in the play called Prince Devin, who has a rock star image and is usually surrounded by an entourage of jester dancers. “I wanted to bolster this rock 'n' roll look with something special. The quality of the SparkLED within the unit was something I had not seen in the theatre before and knew it would play a big part in these production numbers
“With much of the concert lighting design inspired around the idea that we would get these lights, when we did, I was thrilled. The Rayzor were just perfect and like nothing else we had in the show. We were able to deliver an exciting mini rock concert lighting rig on this flying unit that appears in a forest of layered trees.”
Yael reports that audiences response to the new take on a princess story every night was thrilling but also from a production perspective, the show was quite special. “I feel so lucky to have worked with this creative team,” she concludes. “The relationship between lighting and scenery was such an incredible collaboration and really depended on one another in a way I haven’t experienced on a project before.”
The Rayzor 760 fixtures were supplied for Bliss by lighting vendor Christie Lites.

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