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UK: d3 Brings Broadway’s “On Your Feet” To Life

The aptly named Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” gets audiences in the mood to dance with infectious Latin rhythms that tell the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan and their rise to fame.

The hit show at the Marquis Theatre has been acclaimed for its stunning production values, which include video and projection design by Darrel Maloney. He selected d3 Technologies’ media servers to projection map moving scenery with retro views of Miami and other locations key to the Estefans’ history.

“I began using d3 media servers in 2011 on the tour of ‘American Idiot,’ and they’ve been my main server ever since,” including on his last Broadway musical, “Allegiance,” says Maloney.

For “On Your Feet!” he deploys four d3 4U v2.5 systems from Sound Associates – two display, one master and one understudy – for a total of nine outputs.

“One of the things director Jerry Mitchell wanted for this show was to move quickly from one location to another, like a movie does,” Maloney explains.

“Projection allowed us to do that, to propel the story forward in a really fluid way,” as displays depict Gloria and Emilio’s roots in Cuba, their childhood memories in Miami, Gloria’s father’s service in Vietnam and the Estefans’ first world tour.

d3’s previs capabilities played an important part in the design process. “The set design features big panels of shutters that move, track and turn,” says Maloney. “With d3’s previs function we were able to show the director and set designer David Rockwell the scenic moves and how they worked with projections. It used to be that you couldn’t see that type of thing in context until you got to the theater.”

The d3 systems feed four Panasonic 21K projectors tracking three sets of shutter-style sliders moving and turning through the downstage, midstage and rearstage areas. Another five Panasonic 21Ks handle a rear projection screen.

“Sound Associates provided the external coders for the tracking, and d3 wrote a custom interface for us,” Maloney reports.

He found d3’s QuickCal projector calibration feature extremely useful especially as the musical charts up more performances.

“It’s great for the maintenance of the show,” says Maloney. “It makes touch ups much easier.”

Maloney also cites d3’s flexibility as a key reason he likes using the system. “We went from four rear projectors at try outs in Chicago to five in New York, and the content didn’t have to be reworked.”

Maloney has established a “really close relationship” with d3, which often provides on-site tech support for his shows. “They’ve been just great,” he says.