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Robe Spikies and Spiiders Shine through the Myst

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Myst is a colourful, full-throttle cabaret-style musical megamix encapsulating some of Mexico’s rich and vibrant musical culture and history as it rips through two hours – split into two acts – of fun-fuelled exhilarating live performance, staged at the Foro Totalplay in Mexico City.

At the centre of the show’s lighting since it has been at this venue are 60 x Robe Spikies and 30 x Spiider LED wash beam moving lights. These were specified by lighting designer Juan Ignacio Adriano who is also the technical director of música esencial at Foro Totalplay.

This story began back in 2017 when Myst needed a new resident venue after being forced to move from the previous one, Sala Corona, which was damaged in the devasting 2017 earthquake.

Foro Totalplay, inside the upscale Antara Mall in trendy the Polanco district of CDMX, was designed as a 400-capacity club rather than a theatre or even a cabaret venue, explained Juan Ignacio, but it was available, they needed somewhere quick, and the production moved there within 3 weeks.

“Obviously we needed to get the lighting sorted quickly,” explained Juan Ignacio. They required small, lightweight, and powerful fixtures to maximize the space and use the low ceiling to their advantage for a lighting design he created in collaboration with Paz Zavaleta.

He immediately thought of Robe’s Spikies and Spiiders! He contacted distributor ShowCo … and – listo gracias – they were in stock, dispatched and rigged in Foro Totalplay within days, and have been working hard ever since.

The fixtures are key to facilitating the multiple lighting looks and scenes needed to make the show flow and ensure guests receive the best possible visual experience.

With over 40 different segments in the show, a live band and up to 30 cast onstage at times, plus lightning-quick costume changes, it is a relentless pace and energy that just keeps pumping, so lighting needed to be hugely dynamic with lots of imaginative scope to follow all the twists and directions of the performance.

Juan Ignacio knew exactly the fixture he needed to make this happen.

“The Spikies and Spiiders have worked flawlessly with a bit of time off during the pandemic!” he declared, “they have proved a fantastic investment – creatively and economically.”

Most of the Spiiders and Spikies are rigged above and immediately around the stage and are used in every song.

Upstage is a large, fragmented LED video wall which plays custom content for each musical segment helping to set the scene and location, so lighting is also designed with this in mind.

“We also needed versatility and reliability in these core fixtures,” noted Juan Ignacio, and while there are other lights in the production – Lekos, PARs, pixel strips and some other moving lights – it is the Spiiders and the Spikies that are the show workhorses, which was programmed by Luciano Marco.

Juan Ignacio loves the quality of light, the colours and the colour mixing of the Spiiders and the punch and speed of the Spikies. “For this show in this venue, these two products are a perfect combination.”

He enjoys a good relationship with ShowCo. “The tech support is excellent, and I recommend the brand constantly because of all these factors,” he concludes.

The main challenge for lighting Myst was keeping up with the pace, vibrancy and changes demanded as the show races through multiple locations, genres, and eras, and having three people developing the lighting was a great asset.

“It was an invigorating way to work constantly bouncing ideas off one another,” explained Juan Ignacio, and the video visuals are also evolved collectively with input from several people as is the choreography for each piece. “It is a huge team effort, and that really makes the show rock!”

Myst’s artistic director is Felipe Fernandez del Paso, and the music director is Chacho Gaytan. The show has proved a massively popular and successful performance concept. In addition to the main residency playing in CDMX, there are Spanish and English versions and touring Myst troupes playing all around Mexico and at numerous private and corporate events.

Juan Ignacio originally hails from Argentina, and first encountered Robe products whilst working in the theatre there around 2006. A few years later he arrived – with hand luggage – for a vacation in Mexico and liked the vibes and atmos so much that he decided to stay and make it his home.

Photo Credit: Louise Stickland

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