Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol

Byline: David Barbour

She’s been called a combination of Liberace, Amy Grant, and Shania Twain; she’s billed as America’s favorite female pianist; she is Lorie Line, and her 18 albums have sold five million copies. Based in Minneapolis, Line is a grassroots entertainment phenomenon and her annual holiday tour has become a Midwest tradition. This year’s show, It Came upon a Midnight Clear, is lit by Matt Tucker. Avoiding showy effects, Tucker uses saturated color washes and the occasional big sweep to provide simple yet dramatic effects that build along with the music.

Tucker notes that his design is closer to a Broadway show than a standard concert approach, with cues that are closely aligned with the actions of Line and her musicians onstage. “She wants to see each song build,” he says. “My main list has 600 cues.” Many of them are designed to highlight individual musicians during their solos. “The hardest part about this year’s show is that the set [designed by Line and Laura Hohanshelt] is very white,” he adds. “The floor is white and there’s a white piano that was custom-made by Yamaha. By the time you get the floor washed, you need gobos to keep it from becoming a sheet of color.”

Tucker’s rig is heavy on High End Systems gear, with 16 x.Spot [superscript][TM] HO, 16 Studio Spot [superscript][R] CYMs, 12 Studio Beams [superscript][TM] , 12 Studio Colors [superscript][R] , and four Color Pro [superscript][R] FX units. Also included are more than 50 ETC Source Fours, many with Wybron CXI color-mixing scrollers, Tomcat truss, Columbus McKinnon motors, and Leprecon dimmers. Control is by the Flying Pig Systems Wholehog [superscript][R] II. Also on the crew are crew chief Peter Franks and lighting techs Audra Breyer and Steve Finley. Equipment was supplied by Theatrical Media Services, in Omaha, NE. This year’s tour ended December 23. Look for Line to return for many more happy holidays.

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