Radio City Music Hall
In the late 70's, I was fortunate enough to
be hired by Joe Stephen, who was the head of the Millinery and Special Effects Dept; at
Radio City Music Hall, to help facilitate the puppets for the live adaptation of the Walt
Disney Classic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Although most of the puppets and masks
were already in development there, it was a wonderful place for me to hone my skills and
learn some new ones.
As part of a crew of seven, I got to refine
those skills on many of the elaborate specialty hats needed for each new production. All
of the hats and masks including the Rockette headdresses were produced in-house at that
time. Averaging six hats per person, production lines were set up to produce the new
designs for each show and to refurbish the old ones.
Here is one of the two Rockette headdresses
I designed for the Ziegfeld Follies number in Manhattan Showboat. The prototype was
first produced as a wire-frame armature. Once approved, the armature was sent to the
welding shop and reproduced to specifications. When the frames were competed, they were
mounted and secured to buckram caps. Each design was then wrapped in yards of sequin and
decorated with Plexiglas mirror.
design I produced for RCMH was a prototype created for promotional purposes of a Rockette
marionette. This marionette later became the basis for my celebrity doll collection.
Here the marionette is wearing a recreation of an
original costume designed by