Disney’s Hercules, a new musical inspired by the company’s 1997 animated feature, debuted at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey recently with more than 60 Ayrton Eurus S fixtures obtained from 4Wall New Jersey taking centre stage. Eurus S is a multi-function profile luminaire especially designed for stage applications.
Disney’s Hercules tells the tale of the Greek mythological hero in a dynamic new musical production featuring all the hit songs from the film as well as numbers written especially for the stage. It opened 16 February at the Paper Mill Playhouse, one of the oldest regional theatres in the country.
The production marks the third time that Lighting Designer, Jeff Croiter has chosen Eurus S for theatrical musicals, increasing the number of fixtures each time. Last year he selected eight for Bruce, a musical about the making of the movie Jaws, then he upped the count to more than 40 for The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation, featuring everyone’s favourite doomed holiday goers. Both productions are Broadway hopefuls.
With that experience behind him, Croiter thought of Eurus again for Disney’s Hercules. “A lot of factors went into selecting them,” he said. “This is not the most important reason but, weight was an issue for us and I’ve found them to be the brightest in their weight class so in using them we were able to fit more on a system pipe. Their LED engines deliver a real punch and, like all Ayrton fixtures, they mix colour incredibly well. Also, the ability to bump colour – going from one colour to another in zero count – is no problem for Eurus, while that’s not always the case for other manufacturers.”
According to Croiter, Eurus are “responsible for most of the light on stage: There’s not a cue that a Eurus somewhere is not turned on.” They provide backlight and high sidelights on overhead pipes and additional sidelights on ladders in the wings. Eurus are also mounted in FOH box booms (torms).
“They are really the workhorse light for the show,” he emphasised. “They could do backlight gobos on the floor or in the air, point down to pick out a dancer in a pool of light, provide realistic daylight through trees from the side, act as strobes flashing through smoke in battle scenes or add colour to some splashy numbers. Eurus really does everything!”
Croiter noted: “Often on theatrical shows like this, you have to mix and match all kinds of moving lights due to budget and availability. The first time I used Eurus that was the case and it enabled me to see how Eurus really cut through other lights, and they became the fixture I liked most.”
ACT helped 4Wall boost its already substantial Eurus complement for Disney’s Hercules, obtaining approximately 30 more fixtures from Ayrton on short notice at the end of 2022. Croiter plans to continue using the fixtures when the musical moves to Europe. “The show’s next stop is Germany where my great hope is that I can use Eurus again along with Ayrton Huracans and probably some Diablos – I’m aiming for an all-Ayrton rig,” he declared.
At 4Wall New Jersey, Al Ridella is the account executive for the show. ACT Entertainment is the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting in North America.