Here's Big Ben in the midst of his plaza-in-the-making. Looks pretty bare, doesn't he? He's 38 feet tall, about as big as the Eiffel Tower from the "Springtime in Paris" show in 2011. He has no face, and won't get one till the show opens and Klip Collective's video images - they did "the orchid wave" last year - are projected onto him. So the structure looks a little strange at the moment.
The clock faces, such as they are, are 12 feet square. We're told that the video show will be done every hour on the hour for about three minutes. It's multi-media with cultural images, pop art, light and, in set designer Gary Radin's words, "an 80s mash-up of music stuff." Sometimes the images will travel around the clock. The clock face and the plantings, terraced levels and pools around the plaza, will "come to life." Sounds positively Dali-esque!
The decision was made early on to skip live entertainment this year, so this is it for 2013. We're eager to see. The issue has been an interesting one for visitors. All the live shows, whether Aran Island dancers, Parisian cabaret singers or Hawaiian hula dancers, have been well attended. Just try and find a spot up front. Even people in wheelchairs were blocked last year.
But there are always nay-sayers. (I should save my voice mails for those who doubt.) These folks see the entertainment as evidence of the Disney-fication of the show, which, of course, they do not like. As if there isn't anything else for them to see ...