Butcher John Wildenborg has become a meat expert for Hollywood. He started with providing meats for Fargo and evolved into becoming an on-set butcher consultant. He now supplies meat and meat-related props to a number of Hollywood films and shows.
Speaking of butchers, two high school students were hospitalized after having their necks cut with razors during a performance of Sweeney Todd. As with most news stories of prop mishaps, the details are confused. It appears they were using real razors that were filed down and wrapped in duct tape. These stories are always presented the same way; a spokesperson gives all the reasons and excuses why this shouldn’t have happened. They list all the precautions they took and safety measures in place. But the simple fact that an accident did happen points to a problem somewhere. But no one ever reveals what those problems are.
Miss USITT this year? Stage Directions has a lengthy roundup of the conference, along with tons of videos. A lot of them have to do with lighting and sound, which is true of the conference in general. Hey, props may have the skills, but lights pay the bills.
Speaking of USITT, they released a statement on the surprise HB2 bill that recently passed here in North Carolina. They join SETC, who released their own statement last week. SETC is actually headquartered in North Carolina, just down the street from me, and will feel the effects of this horrendous piece of legislation. They did not go as far as Stephen Schwartz, who has banned productions of his musicals (such as Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell) in North Carolina while the bill is in place.
Speaking of bad musicals, Syracuse.com has a great piece on the chandelier in the touring production of Phantom of the Opera. It rocks, it crashes, it has pyro, and it sucks in silks. They have a great diagram of the massive prop, but the image is too low-res to make out the text. Luckily, you can head to the webpage of the diagram’s artist, Jeff Hinchee, to see a bigger version.