We’re amping things up on the Norwegian Escape, literally. While some shows, such as Burn the Floor, are on multiple ships, it is rare for one show to be installed twice on the same ship. Beginning April 9th, For The Record: The Brat Pack moved out of the Supper Club and headed upstairs to its new home, the Escape Theater. After Midnight has been here since the Escape opened and For the Record is the newest face on the marquee.
Originally performed as an immersive three-course dinner in the Supper Club, For The Record is a rock-style musical combining scenes and songs from popular 1980’s Brat Pack movies, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, to name a few. The show is currently in install, a period during which the cast, musicians, creative team and production staff layer the show together into its final product. Simply installing a show on land is a large project, and doing so on a ship is just as huge an undertaking with some added logistical obstacles. We begin install with the technical elements of the show: scenery, lighting, video and sound equipment.
On day one of our install the technicians loaded in several pallets of scenery, lighting, video and sound equipment, costumes and props onto the ship. To do so took coordination with the Port Agent and the Bridge to confirm details such as the ship’s docking side and crane usage to lift the pallets onto the ship. The technical aspects of For The Record are overseen and coordinated by a Project Manager. She coordinates all of the orders, shipments and deliveries of the equipment and scenery in the show. Most of our items boarded the ship with the new cast of Brats in Miami, our home port.
But what happens if something goes missing or doesn’t make it onto the ship? It isn’t as simple as it is on land, when a lost package gets reordered, reshipped or redelivered to the theater the next day. Our theater travels from port to port on a set schedule, so the Project Manager must first locate the missing items and determine how we can most efficiently get them on board. She also checks with the designers and technicians to determine how the missing items impact the show’s install schedule. It’s just like being on a tour.
Next, the designers oversee the technicians loading the items into their places: scenic platforms placed among rows of audience seating, lighting fixtures and cables, speakers and monitors for sound. The Escape Theater is home to Broadway scale and quality production shows. However, unlike a Broadway theater, multiple shows live in the Escape Theater at the same time. We perform the shows on a rotating basis. This means the shows share both a schedule and space backstage, just like siblings sharing a bedroom. The Production Manager and Production Stage Manager on board create a plan for how After Midnight and For The Record will share space onstage and backstage. In their plan they must consider the secure storage of items with both smooth and stormy seas in mind. Should the ship encounter rocky weather, no person or structure of the ship should be damaged by insecure items.
In addition to a Production Manager, the technical aspects of For The Record are overseen by a team of designers and technicians, called contractors, who are hired specifically for the installation period. By combining the contractors and the ship’s technicians there is enough manpower to work around the clock for 24 hours a day until the contractors are finished programming and finessing For The Record.
By now we’re almost ready to bring the cast and musicians onstage and take them on a safety walk of backstage and begin rehearsals. Stay tuned for more behind the scenes information and fun facts as For The Record: The Brat Pack rapidly approaches Opening Night!