Lil’ Rhody Lights Up Oscars

oscars…And I don’t mean Viola Davis and Richard Jenkins.

You may have heard of architect David Rockwell, America’s leading choreographer of visual imagery in public places.  His passion is the one-night transformative power of theatre—so what better venue than the 81st Academy Awards?

According to the New York Times, Mr. Rockwell aims to recapture the show’s “nightclubby, champagne-popping, convivial, communal roots.”  He’ll introduce a theatrical flair to this year’s awards, from scene changes unfolding before the audience to flying LED screens.  He confides:

“It’s about celebration. We want to make it less a big, pre-taped package and more a live show. In a way the Oscars are like community theater on amazing steroids.”

And if community theatre on amazing steroids  is what the Academy Awards want, then Rhode Island will deliver.  For the second time, Swarovski, the world’s leader in fashion crystals and gemstones and even optical equipment, is teaming up with local company Orion RED (not affiliated with Bono, it stands for retail/exhibit/display) on a dazzling crystal curtain that will backdrop every laugh, tear and note of the Oscars.

In 2007, the 79th Academy Awards Swarovski Crystal Curtain, inspired by a paperweight on the Academy Awards designer’s desk, contained more than 50,000 sparking crystals, hung 20’ wide by 34’ long, and weighed over a ton.  Orion designed and fabricated a system to suspend all those crystals, and the resulting curtain garnered national attention and a display on Oprah Winfrey’s show.

Now the 2009 Academy Award Swarovski Curtain is generating even more buzz.  Its appearance is top-secret, but with 92,000 crystals, it just might outshine the stars.  If you plan on watching the show, consider having some shades handy, or maybe one of those pin-hole eclipse boxes.

Austrian-based Swarovski’s North American corporate headquarters are located in Cranston.  Orion’s design, production and warehouse facilities are in Smithfield.  David Rockwell is based in Manhattan but has designed semi-local stuff like the Mohegan Sun shops.  And the 81st Academy Awards will air this Sunday, February 22nd at 8 p.m.

3 thoughts on “Lil’ Rhody Lights Up Oscars”

  1. I thought the set was absolutely beautiful and I usually wouldn’t notice it that much. (The best director guy took time out of his acceptance speech to mention it!). Our crystal curtain was lovely.

  2. I wasn’t so into thge flying screens during the People Who Died montage, but mainly because I couldn’t see who most of the people were…

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