Green Thinking: grandMA2 meets “Wicked” at the Gershwin Theatre

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There’s a grandMA2 in the house for “Wicked”, the  Broadway musical about the untold story of the Witches of Oz. The long-running show at the Gershwin Theatre recently switched to a grandMA2 full-size console for lighting and special effects control.

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“It was time to replace our previous system due to its age, and it made sense to update to a grandMA2,” says Brendan Quigley, show electrician. “All of the ‘Wicked’ shows worldwide are on the grandMA platform, so it was our turn to move up. The grandMA2 is proving to be both agile and rock solid.”

Quigley notes that reliability is critical for a production that does eight shows a week and more than 400 performances a year, not counting rehearsals. “The previous control platforms were approaching 20 years old, so it was time to ensure that we had a stable system moving forward. We need a desk we can call on day after day to deliver the show our audience expects and wants to see.”

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In an understatement, Quigley notes that the grandMA2 controls “a lot of gear” for the show.  The lighting inventory boasts approximately 650 conventional fixtures; 78 Philips Vari*Lite, including 3000 Spots, 2000 Spots and 2000 Washes; and more than 250 scrollers of varying sizes. The console also controls a pair of Barco R6+ projectors using Catalyst software and Catalyst moving mirror heads, three SS6K dry ice machines, two Aquafog 3000 dry ice machines “and a smattering of other ancillary equipment,” says Quigley.

Even with all that gear, “we really aren’t pushing the limits of the grandMA2,” he reports.  “We’ve only replicated the original show that was programmed on other systems. The grandMA2 has far more power than we will ever need or want. We’re very happy with it and know it will be state-of-the-art for the remainder of the run of ‘Wicked.’ It’s a stable desk that will serve our needs for years to come.”

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About MA Lighting
MA Lighting International, based in Paderborn, Germany, is the dedicated sales, support and service entity for the renowned grandMA control systems, digital dimming systems, networking tools and media servers of MA Lighting Technology, based near Wuerzburg, Germany. The product range offers cutting-edge solutions for control and dimming, including the award-winning grandMA/grandMA2 consoles, the popular Lightcommander, the MA onPC command wing and reliable digital dimmer racks and packs. With its innovative MA VPU (Video Processing Unit) MA bridges the lighting and video worlds.

Today, MA Lighting is respected for its technical knowledge and has achieved a unique international reputation for its operational philosophy. The company offers more than 30 years experience and strictly follows a professional user-centric approach, getting as close as possible to the market via its own international offices and support centres in the UK, North America, Latin America, the Middle East/India, Asia Pacific and Scandinavia/Eastern Europe/Russia – supported by a world-wide distribution and service network.

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