In Oz again: grandMA2 follows the yellow brick road

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The North American premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz” was set for the new year at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre, where a pair of grandMA2s is now on hand to control lighting and video for the new musical.

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Developed from the timeless 1939 MGM screenplay, the new production opened in London’s West End earlier this year. It features all the beloved characters and songs from the classic film plus new compositions by Webber and Tim Rice – their first partnership in decades. A.C.T Lighting Canada, in Toronto, supplied the grandMA2s to programmer Joe Allegro of Artistic Illuminations. Hugh Vanstone is the show’s lighting designer.

“The show was originally on grandMA ‘series 1’, but we decided to move all the lighting and video to grandMA2 when the show was remounted in Toronto,” says Allegro. “The decision was based on the length of the show commitment: eight months in Toronto and then on tour. In terms of hardware, the grandMA2 is a new platform and very solid; 99 percent of the information from the original production has come across.”

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Allegro is particularly pleased with the grandMA2’s performance with the musical’s video content. “It’s a lot more flexible on the video side,” he says. “The biggest benefit is being able to manipulate video through Art-Net and being able to communicate between lighting and video so that multiple teams can work independently of one another.”

“We’re very pleased with the grandMA2s, which have been working great,” Allegro reports. “It’s been a fantastic experience for us.”

The lighting package for “The Wizard of Oz” was supplied by Christie Lights and the video package by Sound Associates. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

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MA Lighting International, based in Paderborn, Germany, is the dedicated sales, support and service entity for the renowned 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 grandMA2 consoles, the MA onPC command wing and MA onPC fader 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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