For Alice Cooper's latest tour, the production team wanted a show that was part concert, broadway show and horror film.
For Alice Cooper's latest tour, the production team wanted a show that was part concert, broadway show and horror film. They turned to old friend and director Robert Jess Roth to create the "Theater of Death", where Alice would revisit some of his most gruesome antics and create new ones that would startle the imagination. The tour needed to be versatile enough to play anything from a proscenium theater, to an outdoor state fair and a casino showroom. Set designer Stan Meyer created a simple yet bold set around the letters in the singer's name along with a stylized backdrop of "The Coop". This, along with a main kabuki curtain, created the theatre in which guillotines, gallows, spikes, and giant syringes would make their horrific appearances.
Working with tour lighting director and co-designer Chad "Chopper" Lewis and production manager Ceasre Sabatini, Norm Schwab from Lightswitch created a system of moving lights, strobes and LEDs that could live amidst a 3-truss promotor rig of 140 PAR cans. Fixtures were distributed throughout the truss on tail-down pipes and around the set pieces, which gave the system a larger look than a standard truss system. Bandit Lights supplied the 26 Martin automated fixtures (MAC 2000 Profiles, Performances and Wash Lites) along with Atomic Strobes and ColorBlast units mounted within set pieces. In addition, custom gobos provided by Lightswitch gave the moving lights a unique look.
The 'Theater of Death" tour was able to present a dynamically creative show that was affordable given the current state of touring economics. In the United States, the entire rig was carried in a single truck, and the touring crew consisted of "Chopper" and one lighting tech. The concert was an integrated production due to the collaboration between the directors, designers and touring crew. The tour has been through the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and will continue throughout South America and back to the US in 2010. The show was captured for a live DVD shoot at Hammersmith Apollo in London, at which Lightswitch also provided additional lighting of the audience and theater.