The RockTellz & CockTails series at Planet Hollywood isn’t just a concert. It’s more of an intimate show with legendary artists who share personal stories, sing their biggest hits and take audiences on a journey through their illustrious careers. And careers don’t get more illustrious than that of the first family of music, The Jacksons. The four brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, took their Unity tour on the road in 2012, but performed a 40 show mini residency at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The show was specially made for the theater and because the show didn’t have to pick up and go, a lot of unique things were created for this one-of-a -kind residency. The Hall of Fame inductees and one of the most beloved music families of all time have hits you know and love, including Can You Feel It (one of Jackie’s personal favorites), ABC, I’ll Be There and I Want You Back. Hearing these songs live and listening to the stories behind them gave guests an up-close-and-personal look into The Jackson’s history, which of course included stories of their late brother Michael.
Illusion Projects worked with SPI Entertainment and creative director Doug Leferovich on the stairs set and cloud automation effect for the show. The stairs were used through the show, but particularly at the opening to introduce the group. A large frame with a screen graphic of some of the Jacksons images in black and white descended from above, landing on the top of the steps. The frame spun around, mechanical locking once in place. Jackets lowered in behind the screen casting a shadow. The light went out and the screen lifted revealing the 4 stars of the show wearing the jackets. The stairs included ACL lights in each step that were individually controlled and a hidden entrance for the performers to make their appearance.
The cloud effect was a tracking hydraulic lift to raise the performers from the top of the stairs then track them down stage while dancing on a smoking cloud platform. The custom scissor lift was mounted on v groove tracks on the stage and manually moved. Illusion Projects worked with Advanced Entertainment, who installed the low fog system on the prop.