Hugh Jackman’s description of the staging of this year’s Oscar broadcast:
The look of the theater is very different. It’s more like the nightclub of your dreams. It’s very intimate. … It’s got to be a lot closer. It’s been a little austere in the past. You know, there’s that stage, the host being up above the stalls, looking down at everybody. … But this is a lot more intimate. It’s still spectacular, being in the Kodak Theatre. But it’s a real difference in the way things are laid out.
Reminds me of Sam Mendes Studio 54 incarnation of Cabaret with the sort of clubby ambiance the Oscars had in the early ’40’s when the venue was The Cocoanut Grove (recreated by Dante Ferretti in The Aviator). As long as we’re letting our imaginations run wild, how cool would be it be to have table seating in the front rows? Kit Kat Girls and Kit Kat Boys spilling offstage and cavorting with the audience? Further details after te cut:
From the NYTimes (thanks to AcademyAwardGuru):
Although the specific plans are heavily under wraps, the physical relationships of the audience to the stage, and the stars to one another, are being radically altered. The biggest change involves reimagining some of the seating arrangements in concert with redesigning the landscape of the stage, including a new, curvaceous thrust. The novel new topography will allow more interesting camera work and more varied and streamlined entrances and exits. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the nominees‚Äô and performers‚Äô night, and David has physicalized that idea,‚Äù Mr. Condon said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not putting people in a traditional theater, where you‚Äôre looking at the back of someone‚Äôs head.‚Äù