Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Old costumes never die, they just fray away

Five hundred Heidelberg student uniforms? Reading this in our recent newsletter made me wonder, well, where are they now? Where do all these old costumes end up?

Many of them, sadly, in dumpsters, but many more in private collections, and costume rental houses. Light Opera Works used some original costumes for My Fair Lady, and had vintage Broadway ones for Gigi. Others land in museums, including the Smithsonian. The National Museum of American History has costumes from The Lion King, Hello, Dolly!, Cats, Rent, and The King and I in the museum’s permanent entertainment collections.

Chicago designers have recently come into their own, with amazing award-winning costumes from Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare and other innovative houses; these have not found their way into collections or museums yet, but you may be sure they will. Our own designers strive to recreate the authentic look of classic productions, both by using actual vintage costumes from famous productions, and by recreating the look by building new costumes.

Some memorable Light Opera Works costumes include A Little Night Music in 2009 and The Merry Widow from 2005. We built (theater parlance for "made") a lot of the costumes for Carousel.

All of the student's costumes for the current production of The Student Prince were made for us. See what we've done to add to those 500 student uniforms in The Student Prince, opening this week, by purchasing tickets here!

What were your favorite Light Opera Works costumes?

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