By: Danica Serena Stockton By: Danica Serena Stockton | July 12, 2022 | Food & Drink Entertainment
You may have seen The Mayfair Supper Club show before but you have not seen it like this. With the impact of the new cast, script and choreography from Dean Lee who is known for the Janet Jackson Tour and Nicole Scherzinger's numbers, Keo Motsepe known for Dancing with the Stars and Shannon Mather also known for Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dance Moms, the groundbreaking reimagined show is sensational. No Ceilings Entertainment sourced top talent from New York, N.Y., Los Angeles, Calif., England and more to assimilate the most skillfully trained and captivating cast for the entirely new reboot which premiered on July 9.
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With talent oozing from every angle including the writing, casting, set design, wardrobe, performers and show music, it is so difficult to take one's eyes away for even a second. Such innovation while incorporating classic elements from the early 1900's makes for a sophisticated yet tantalizing experience made even better with delicious American dishes. We caught up with co-founder of No Ceilings Entertainment and director of The Mayfair Supper Club show Dennis Jaunch on how the company was able to organize such an impressive reboot.
Q: What was the main inspiration or catalyst to redo the production?
A: We constantly refresh the show about once a quarter. Plus coming out of COVID now…as we started the show it was always going to be something very close and personal with the audience. We wanted to take the opportunity to not be confined to the stage.
Q: The previous show was so impressive and amazing and the new show is next level. For those who have watched previous shows who think they might have seen all there is to see, how would you explain the reboot and the differences from prior shows?
A: This is Mayfair 2.0; it’s an entirely different show—characters, storyline—it’s all new. We have a completely rewritten show and brought in a script writer from New York. We wanted to revamp the language as well.
Our script writer Adam North [is] fantastic; his language is so fresh, intelligent and witty. The comedic [aspects] in the show are so important as well. We would work the scenes for days to refine the timing down to seconds for the jokes to land.
Originally [during the opening in 2019] we were in the 1920’s vibe; our characters were Judy and Dean. Now we have Fred and Mae. Mae, [played by Claire Soulièr], is inspired by Mae West and Marilyn Monroe [while] Fred, [played by Jason Martinez], is inspired by Fred Astaire.
We started national and international auditions with over 250 submissions for those two characters; that is where it started for us. We wanted to create the show and [additional characters] around [Fred and Mae].
Q: Can you elaborate on the talent selection during auditions? What were you and your partner Kim Willecke looking for?
We pretty much have an all new cast now. We did a massive audition over in Europe and had over 450 people show up to audition for the show. We came in with that fresh energy. It was a great feeling to see the whole cast come together.
I always get inspired by talent. I see talent in lots of different kinds and shapes. [The] beautiful thing about our cast is the diversity. We want to embrace that; we do not want one type.
Q: Judging by the meticulous precision of the performers, rehearsals must have been intense. Can you share more about the training of the talent and rehearsals?
A: We did the entire refresh in two weeks. Obviously it was only possible because of the high level people that we have. We [had] the difficulty to revamp the show while the restaurant [was] still open. We would work throughout the day six or seven hours and at night we have another show to do.
Dean Lee, who was Janet Jackson's choreographer, came in and did seven new pieces for us. I have been trying to get him over to Vegas for the last seven years. Keo Motsepe from Dancing with the Stars and Shannon Mather who was a contemporary choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance [choreographed for us too]. To see these creators come together in one room with the cast was magical!
It's a collaborative creation process to get inspired by the cast and their talents and then create around that. Me and my partner [Willecke] are the directors of the show…we also used to be dancers. We have a pretty big understanding of the choreography aspect of things. We have a clear vision and can communicate clearly to choreographers.
Q: What a great set of music! It incorporates classics and modern day tunes seamlessly. How did you and the team develop it?
The musical director Jean-Francois Thibeault plays bass and trombone in the show. We would listen to music, slow the music down and bring it back up slowly and then faster and faster. It is really vibrant. It's always the most fun part to create something new.
Q: The costume design is riveting! Who is responsible for the costume pieces in the show?
A: Diego Montoya, a designer from New York, did some of the new pieces for Claire. Marco Marco from Los Angeles who works a lot with music artists did the costumes for our dancers and some for Claire too.
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We had to have Emil Gampe an, Austrian designer in L.A. The quick change from “Black and Gold” [he designed] was inspired [by] drag shows. He did that piece for us and the magenta bowl dress.
We have some really incredible folks that we work with. Our inspiration comes from the roaring 20’s a bit and [we] spice it up to bring it into the now. As the night progresses the costumes get a little shorter and more sexy like the rest of the show. We get a little more steamy as the night goes on [into the After Dark portion].
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Q: What is your favorite part of directing the show?
The most magical process is the creation process. That happened at the start of Mayfair in 2019 and it was beautiful. There are moments [when the cast members] would do things that were [off] script and it would land. The creation process and to be able to witness that really inspires us.
Q: How is it that you hope to influence your guests with the Mayfair Supper Club?
A: I like to inspire people generally with whatever it is I do or what we do as a company. I like to light a spark...to spark the imagination. That's what happens with Mayfair because it is such an unexpected place.
You might think, ‘Ok, I'm going for dinner and there is going to be a show there.’ You don't know what is going to happen. It is very different [from] a ticketed show. To be able to see what the show does to people is amazing.
Immersive moments are super important as well. We wanted to create those from the very start; to come back to that is great! Fun silly little things to do with the audience make very unique moments that not the entire crowd will see. That’s on purpose so you want to come back and experience it as well. It creates mystery around it all.
The show starts at 5 PM or 5:30 PM and continues to 10 PM or 10:30 PM [before going into the After Dark show]. There is a storyline that progresses through the night. We want people to come back at different times to watch different parts of the show.
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Q: Are there any other exciting projects for No Ceilings Entertainment that our readers should know about?
A: We are constantly working with music artists. DJ Khaled is one of our newest clients. We have three other productions that will be coming. We are working on another cabaret concept that will hopefully flourish in Vegas.
I’m just excited for people to come back to Mayfair and experience the new show and the After Dark portion, [which] we refreshed as well. We will be doing a slight refresh to that portion of the show by the end of July to some contemporary songs and visuals. That's something for the people to be excited about.
Photography by: Courtesy of MGM Resorts International; unsplash.com/David Hofmann; unsplash.com/Andrew; unsplash.com/Milad Mohammadi; unsplash.com/FotkAlp