Pop Dies in Vegas, sprung from the mind (yes, Zeus-style, as we imagine it to have happened) of playwright W.M. Akers, is a never-ending cycle of hijinks revolving around the desperation of two men fallen from the spotlight. Grappling hooks, spray paint, zip lines, blood and a bevy of weapons litter the crime scene, set in a posh Las Vegas hotel. Set designer Brandon Pietras, shares his thoughts on the show:
Squeaky Bicycle: What was the first thought that came to mind after reading Pop Dies in Vegas?
Brandon Pietras: “Oh man, not another show with blood!”
SB: What did you find the most challenging about the project?
BP: So far, it's been finding an affordable way to spray-paint and blood-proof the set. The vision for the design came very quickly initially, but it's taken a lot of tweaking and fine tuning. Also, citing everything we need efficiently in the venue, which is quite small!
SB: What kind of research happened for this show?
BP: I looked through a ton of 1970's interior design pictures and furniture pictures to get an idea for the aesthetic, then we narrowed it down to a few images we liked the best. From there, I picked out color swatches to inform the design, and used them to create the digital sketches for the set.
SB: Favorite teen heartthrob (current or from your teen years)?
BP: Oof, teen heartthrob? I don't know if I was ever the "heartthrob" type but waaay back in the day I remember thinking Lindsay Lohan was cute in the Parent Trap, but I wasn't a teen then. I always listened to really old music from the 60's and 70's so I wasn't really paying attention to the Mistys of my day :)
SB: Did you have a super pop playlist to listen to for inspiration?
BP: (laughs)No, I didn't. It's hard enough to escape from Justin Bieber and One Direction on my commute - I didn't have to go out of my way to make a playlist!
Brandon Pietras graduated from Fordham University in 2012 with a degree in Pre-Architecture. While at Fordham, he set designed for Bridget Carpenter's The Death of the Father of Psycoanalysis (& Anna), and a student written piece Front Porch Play by Sean-Patrick Monahan. Pop Dies in Vegas is his first project with Squeaky Bicycle Productions.