When the curtain raises this evening on Jimmy Fallon‘s version of The Tonight Show, viewers will be greeted out of the 30 Rock gate by a new musical theme, an opening title-sequence directed by Spike Lee and, of course, a brand new set.
Doing it right included bringing in Eugene Lee, the renowned theatrical set designer, to create a new look for the studio, dominated by a wood-carved skyline of Manhattan. “I think it’s Eugene Lee’s masterpiece,” said Lorne Michaels, the show’s executive producer, who has made use of Mr. Lee’s services in the past on Saturday Night Live.
On Broadway, Lee has won Tony awards for his work on Sweeney Todd, Wicked and Candide. Even though this interview is dated, there’s still some good info about the evolution of his responsibilities as SNL production designer.
Update (February 19):
Second-show guest Bradley Cooper took advantage of the striking Lee skyline to bring Fallon a very special rectangular gift. Watch the segment here.