Bienvenido a Cuba! Our team recently designed a custom set at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove to simulate the famous Tropicana nightclub in Cuba for a very special reunion. The last graduating class of Ruston Academy (1960) enjoyed two lively Havana Nights-themed evenings full of live music and plenty of dancing on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6.
The set we built consisted of a wide range of LED pars and up-lighting to give the stage a very tropical, neon aesthetic. This was best complemented by the scenic palm trees and other various Cuban props that were placed all throughout the seating area.
Our widescreen was placed at an angle to the side of the stage, which had a thrust coming out for a live band to perform. This angular look allowed us to mimic the design of the inside of the Tropicana.
The band provided their own backline gear and plugged into our mixer, from which we controlled a full surround-style audio package to cover the entire ballroom. Flamenco dancers even came out at one point to liven things up even more!
A main highlight of the event was a 90-minute documentary featuring the history of Ruston Academy that was played during the opening reception on night one. We used 4K projection for this and then continued to display content loops and background videos as the party went on late into the next night. Many of the attendees hadn’t seen each other in decades, so it truly was an amazing opportunity to reconnect and dance the night away.
A big thanks to Marianne Schmidhofer for working with us on this show and for her creative input all throughout the months of planning!