Lady Gaga launched her Las Vegas residency Enigma show at MGM’s Park Theater on December 28th with Elation Professional DARTZ 360™ beam/spot effects playing an integral role in LeRoy Bennett’s lighting design. Lighting supply is by Solotech.
With an acclaimed performance in A Star is Born and recent Academy Award win for Best Original Song behind her, the multi-talented superstar is arguably today’s hottest performer. Renowned for her dynamic showmanship, showy costumes and staging, and powerhouse vocals, the pop superstar knows how to captivate an audience.
Headlining her own Vegas show, Enigma, and an accompanying jazz and piano show, the two-year residency will cover 74 shows and possibly more. The theatrical show relates the story of Gaga and her Enigma character and embraces a message of healing and discovery. Lady Gaga herself calls the show "a celebration of all that is unique and different within us."
What makes Enigma even more extraordinary is a visually stunning set and eye-popping lighting design. Although the Park Theater is a smaller venue, Bennett, who serves as production, lighting and set designer, says he designed the show to feel like an arena concert. To that end, a huge custom-built light pod fabricated by Unison and outfitted with over 230 DARTZ 360™ LED moving heads floats above the performer onstage and is the main lighting instrument on the show. The oval-shaped light pod measures 38’ in length and 28’ in width and comprises 33 pre-rig sections. It is articulated and angled by automated hoists and is used throughout the show, sometimes as one huge wash light, at other times for individual, super tight beams.
Bennett, who counts stars like Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson and Paul McCartney among his clientele, has worked with Lady Gaga since her Monster Ball tour in 2009. He is also using DARTZ on his current Paul McCartney and Kelly Clarkson tour designs and said of the narrow beam luminaire, "The DARTZ 360 is a bright, reliable, fast, and compact light source. It's proven itself to be the best when used in mass.”
Harry Forster, lighting director and programmer for the Gaga residency, noted, “We knew we needed a lot of smaller fixtures to get as many into the pod as possible so the fixture’s output to size ratio and low weight were important,” adding that they were also impressed at the quality of the fixture’s white light.
Solotech is providing lighting, video, rigging and personnel for the Vegas residency, as well as the house PA system for the Park Theater. “The low weight and low wattage of the DARTZ enabled us to handle the logistics of cabling and rigging the DARTZ fixtures with great ease,” Solotech’s Andy O’Toole commented. The entertainment technology supplier began working with Lady Gaga back in 2014 by supplying video on the Art Pop tour. Their commitment has grown over the years, having provided lighting, video and rigging for the 2017 Joanne world tour and now the Vegas residency.
How the six-time Grammy Award-winner, Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy Award-winner maintains such a high level of creativity and quality on such a busy schedule and across genres is impressive to say the least. Her Vegas residency shows are spectacular and reviews have been phenomenal. See it if you can.
Photos: Kevin Mazur