Tait Towers --the leader in innovative design and quality staging for the touring entertainment industry -- is responsible for the stage renovation and transformation in the 4100-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The 2008 music season kicks off February 20th with Bette Midler’s ‘The Showgirl Must Go On’ and will be followed by legendary hit maker Cher and Caesars Palace alum, Elton John.
The stage enhancements provided by Tait Towers to The Colosseum are the result of the unique relationship Tait enjoys with their A-List clients, including Bette Midler, Cher and Elton John. All three iconic performers expressed confidence in Tait Towers’ abilities when meeting with Caesars Palace executives. As a result, The Colosseum contacted Tait directly and formalized an agreement to design, fabricate and install staging to accommodate the new acts for 2008.
In this way, Tait Towers was able to act as a bridge between their current clients and Caesars.
Bob Sandon, Technical Director for The Colosseum said, “Tait was the natural choice for this project. Their long term relationships with artists combined with their technical expertise provided the synergy we required to make this new stage exactly what it needed to be. Their smart design makes better use of the space and has added much needed additional seating to the venue.”
Tait Towers world-class engineers worked with Bette Midler and her design team to transform The Colosseum to suit the singer/actress/comedienne’s desire to perform in a traditional, technologically subtle, theater setting.From start to finish, the process took just under 3 months; 60 days for the Design and Survey Phase, 14 days for Custom Fabrication at the Tait shop in Lititz, PA and a remarkably brief 12 hours to Load In and install on-site at The Colosseum in Las Vegas.
Tait Towers built the newly formatted generic stage floor with artist-specific thrusts designed so that the performance area is quickly interchangeable in order to accommodate the planned rotation of artists.
The updated design has the advantage of providing the artist a greater sense of intimacy with the audience as well as providing extra seating capacity and the subsequent increase to the venue revenue stream.
Specifically for Bette Midler ‘The Showgirl Must Go On’, Tait engineers designed and installed mechanical components including a striking 12’6” center revolve – atop the existing center-stage elevator – which doubles as a lift and is surrounded by a 20' rotating annulus. The annulus can travel an additional 12" up to give it a little extra height when needed and will serve to showcase not only Bette, but her world-class dance troupe as well.
Quoting the Divine Miss M from a recent USA Today feature: "I don't like to intimidate people with technology, because it intimidates me. This is a chance to have lots of gorgeous girls in skimpy costumes. I love feathers and rhinestones and high heels. If it glitters, I've got to have it."
Tait President, James (Winky) Fairorth says: “From the architectural side, the most challenging aspect of this particular project was the need to design a generic stage area that would have the flexibility to service three diverse acts, and any future productions the theater would choose to mount. From a musically creative perspective, we wanted to make certain the new stage would be sophisticated and magical with the technology subtle and understated. The extraordinary Vegas-style bells and whistles could not detract from the classic proscenium environment the artists were looking for.”
Tait engineers paid particular attention to the fact that all of the stage elements would need to be built to withstand extreme loading during their life. The Tait design calls for extra framing for additional support and stiffness. Every walkable surface is 1" thick plywood with a 1/4" thick phenolic sheet laminated to the top of it, allowing for much larger point loads on the decks as well as a significantly more durable surface.
Adam Davis, Tait Towers Vice-President, says: “With the departure of Celine Dion from The Colosseum stage, Caesars chose a three-artist rotation for their 2008 offering, a rotation that begins with Bette Midler and includes Cher and Elton John. That meant we had to develop artist-specific stage elements that could make a seamless and carefree transition from show to show.”
Bette Midler ‘The Showgirl Must Go On’ starts Feb 20, 2008 and will offer performances 5 nights a week for 2 years. The Tait Towers structure will ship from the Tait shop in Lititz, PA on January 21, 2008 and be trucked straight to The Colosseum.
About Tait Towers
Tait Towers is a world leader in innovative design and quality staging and scenery for the touring entertainment industry. The firm, started by lighting design pioneer Michael Tait, began in 1978, when Tait was working for the super-group Yes. In the early 70’s, Michael Tait developed one of the first self-erecting ground support lighting towers, his signature creation became known as Tait Towers. In February of 2006, Tait Towers announced it’s newly formed executive team with James J. “Winky” Fairorth and Adam D. Davis as equal partners with company founder Michael Tait.
Fairorth, having joined Tait Towers in 1984, serves as the company’s President.
“Tait’s competitive advantage stems from the philosophy ‘You are only as good as your last show.’ Our craftsmanship is at the top of our industry, we are known for having superior product – in both design and construction - with a lifespan greater than the client.”
Now Vice-President, Davis started working at the company in 1997 as a project manager. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in theatrical design. “It's an honor for me to be a part of such a creative and credible organization that works with cutting edge designers and clients who push the limits of the touring industry,” he says.
As a world-renowned stage manufacturer, working with popular cultures’ most influential artists, Tait offers inspired innovative design, flawless execution and common sense logistics to the biggest tours scaling the planet.
“We turn cocktail napkins into reality!” claims Fairorth.
It is this attitude that brings the stages to life that performers from The Police to the Spice Girls appear on. The company consistently demonstrates their ability to make hastily drawn napkin sketches a larger-than-life stage design reality.
Tait Towers specializes in Sets, Staging, Lifts, Tracking, Motion Control for touring shows and Live Multi Media Events. Skilled craftsmen work every level of a project to ensure the end result is superior to anything comparable. The company continues to experience an active production schedule which includes providing staging and scenery for The Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, The Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Tour, Martina McBride, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul McCartney, The Spice Girls, Super Bowl Halftime Shows, MTV VMA’s and many more.
Tait Towers 9 Wynfield Drive Lititz, PA 17543 Tel: 717.626.9571