Friday, July 29, 2011

The Challenges In Making A Wheel Of Death

When Melanie told Fresco she wanted a wheel of death for one of the Big Top numbers, I was interested.  I figured it will be something people would remember.  After all, you don't see a singer singing while being spun on a wheel with knives being thrown at her every day.

But then the obvious question:  How does one go about building a "Wheel of Death?"

Rough Sketch Number 1.  Back To The Drawing Board.
I contacted Master Carpenter Mike Gilmore and gave him a simple challenge:  Build Fresco a Wheel of Death that will not fall apart and potentially kill the singer... and do it as cheap as possible.  At Fresco it isn't about the money, but let's face it:  We are a fine arts group, doing our thing during one of the worst economic times our country has seen in like a million years.  And we gotta eat too! 

Luckily, Mike is a pretty talented guy.  He did a nice job on our coffin, and built a lovely electric chair that didn't electrocute the singer for our Ding Dong The Divas Dead show.  The guy is pretty good with "death" construction that is "life" friendly.  Not to mention he believes in being green, which makes us feel a little better in that we aren't killing trees to build it.

So he did a little sketch, came up with the materials, and is in the process of creating what will no doubt be a memorable part of the show.  He will be the first to ride the wheel, ensuring no disasters during the show - particularly the matinee where we are going for a more family oriented crowd. 

This Is What We Are Talking About!
The last thing we want to do is put Caitlin Cisler in harms way.  She is one of our featured singers, and we need her to come out for the finale!  Plus we would rather not have Jonathan Ten Brink singing to a spinning wheel with the girl knocked out on stage.

I think we will have a winner here.... (fingers crossed)  I haven't talked with Caitlin too much about the wheel.  I hope she is up for a little topsy turvy while belting out Rigoletto.  Does Dramamine affect the vocal chords at all?  At least we have some spare clowns to clean up any unfortunate messes.  That is something you normally see at a circus, anyway.

Jeff Turk
Fresco Opera Theatre

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