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     Company Provides Dataton Show Control For Production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

March 12, 1998

Scharff Weisberg recently provided Dataton show control and equipment to the Off Broadway production of avant-garde rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The system was used to control a slide projector presentation that was integral to the show’s ambiance.

“We’ve put equipment and show control in a lot of ‘major’ Broadway productions,” commented Scharff Weisberg President Josh Weisberg, “but we’re finding that Dataton also offers some interesting opportunities for producers of smaller shows. The ease of programming and accessibility of the interface allows for easy set up and operation and the benefits of the precise control can give a production multi-media possibilities previously only available to the big guys.”

Billed as a “New-Glam, Post Punk Musical,” Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is a rock & roll musical written and performed by Obie Award-winning actor John Cameron Mitchell with original music and lyrics by Stephen Trask. In it, Mitchell plays Hedwig, an East German Cold War bride who is transplanted to the white-trash world of a Kansas trailer park. From German “girly boy” to an “internationally ignored” sound stylist with her band “the Angry Inch,” Hedwig achieves tabloid fame all the while headlining at New York’s Hotel Riverview Ballroom..

The slides presentation consist of computer graphic generated and hand drawn abstractions and are intended as backdrops, atmospheric images and visual titles. “This was a fun production to work on,” commented Scharff Weisberg programmer George Tucker. “I was programming just a couple days before Hedwig opened for previews—same time that the band was rehearsing. Although it was fun to listen to the band, I had to develop a Dataton sign language with the producers.”

Commented show director Peter Askin, “When something really works well you don’t notice it. That’s the sign of a good system. The slide projections have worked seamlessly every night.”

Hedwig and the Angry Inch was lauded by the New York Times as a thought-provoking musical with specific reference to the projections “making intelligent compromises in creating a funky rock dive in the confines of an inviting theater.”

Other theatrical shows worked on by Scharff Weisberg include, God’s Heart, Bring In ‘Da Noise Bring In ‘Da Funk, How To Succeed In Business Without Even Trying, How To Succeed Road Show, Jackie Mason: Love Thy Neighbor, Nixon’s Nixon, Swingin’ On a Star, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, The Who’s Tommy, The Who’s Tommy Road Show and Tommy in Germany.

The staging division of Scharff Weisberg Inc. specializes in videowall design, video projection, image magnification, computer data display and sound. Scharff/Weisberg is located at 599 Eleventh Avenue, New York, NY 10036. For more information about the company’s staging division, call 212-582-2345.

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