August 7th, 2020 by JoAnn Vara. Video: Chase Helzer

Main Photo
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami... Season 3...We’re definitely not in New York! Set Decorator Ellen Christiansen SDSA laughs, “I so enjoyed working with Miami Set Decorator Barbara Peterson SDSA and her top notch crew, who worked uncomplainingly in the hot, humid Florida June weather...” Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Set Decorator Ellen Christiansen SDSA

Production Designer Bill Groom

Amazon Prime Video

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL Season 3 is the continued joy ride back in time to the early 1960s, masterfully executed by the dream team of Production Designer Bill Groom and Set Decorator Ellen Christiansen SDSA and their cohorts.*

Written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the newest season of Amazon’s runaway hit series begins with a bang, thrusting Midge Maisel [Rachel Brosnahan] and her manager Susie [Alex Borstein] onto a whirlwind cross-country tour, starting with a massive USO show and opening for singing sensation Shy Baldwin [Leroy McClain].

The tour continues, featuring iconic 1960’s Las Vegas strip hotels and casinos, such as the Phoenician, with an epic attention to period detail reminiscent of the “Rat Pack” era in full swing. 

Jewel tones and gold lamé transitions to candy colors, ocean breezes and palm trees bringing the viewers back in time to the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami.
It’s here that Midge discovers the “staircase-to-nowhere” where ladies showcase their latest fabulous vacation fashions.

This season offers a consistent enviable array of pristine hotel lounges, stages, lobbies, corridors and poolside spaces, which is each distinctive and a visual feast for the eyes.
One of the later stops on the tour finds Midge on the stage of the famed Apollo theatre in New York City performing in the company of the iconic and beloved comedian Moms Mabley [Wanda Sykes]. After the tour has an abrupt break, Midge and Susie make ends meet when Midge starts working as a voiceover artist in midtown.

Newel Props

Meanwhile, her parents, Rose and Abe [Marin Hinkle, Tony Shalhoub] reluctantly leave their coveted Upper West Side apartment, moving to the dreaded suburbs and settling in Moishe and Shirley’s [Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron] new house in Forest Hills, Queens. The visual storytelling moves effortlessly from a sophisticated well-appointed Manhattan interior of refined objects and décor to a bold visually contrasted checkerboard foyer welcoming them to their new, yet temporary accommodations. Bright marigold walls in the kitchen, layered with knickknacks and cookbooks, as well as the constant presence of loud dueling radio and television, create a casual middle-class aesthetic of the time. These brilliant visual cues beautifully support the boisterous nature of Rose and Abe’s ex-in laws which is seemingly grating to their delicate nerves.
Midge’s ex-husband Joel’s [Michael Zegen] entrepreneurial spirit is in full force when he takes ownership of a space previously owned by a button company in the heart of Chinatown to create his own nightclub. Aptly named The Button Club, the charming interior architecture, color scheme, tin tiles and stage have a distinctive Chinese flavor enmeshed with the grit of downtown Manhattan. It’s in Chinatown, where Joel meets Mei [Stephanie Hsu] his new love interest, and discovers a hidden side to the club! 

At the last moment, Midge steps up and saves his club's opening night...which opens myriad possibilities for Season 4! Editor’s note: 
Thanks go to JoAnn Vara, SDSA Board Member and fan of the series, for this marvelous recap of Season 3, plus the on-camera interview with Set Decorator Ellen Christiansen SDSA as part of our video series, Inside the Set with SET DECOR.
Click through the fabulous photos above, watch the fascinating video...
and, if you missed Seasons 1 and 2, check the list below for the original article with more fabulous photos and behind-the-scenes details! 
Enjoy! We know you will!
Karen Burg

*Set Decorator Ellen Christiansen SDSA would like to acknowledge her team on THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, Season 3:
Assistant Set Decorator Imogen Lee
Assistant Set Decorator Susan Kaufman SDSA
Assistant Set Decorator Colleen Rushton
Buyer Tyler Dawkins
Lead Dick Tice
Art Department Coordinator for Set Dec Kho Wong
Co Set Decorator Barbara Peterson
Assistant Set Decorator Jane Johnson
Assistant Set Decorator Nancy Sivitz
Lead Mark Dane
Ellen would also like to acknowledge some of the exceptional resources she relies on for this series, especially florist Christopher Bassett, 1st Dibs, the following SDSA Business members:
Bridge Furniture & Props
City Knickerbocker
Cooper Lace
Eclectic/Encore Props
Fennick NYC
History for Hire
Kravet Inc NYC
Lennie Marvin’s Prop Heaven
Newel Props
Omega|Cinema Props
Universal Studios Property
Warner Bros. Studios
Zarin Fabrics


Photo 3
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami... “Barbara was very generous sharing her sources. Local umbrella vendor Schnupps made these custom umbrellas from our fabric, as well as the seat cushions and changing tents...” Rachel Brosnahan. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 4
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami... Ellen and team returned the existing hotel to the “fabulous fun” of 1960s Miami!. See video for more! Rachel Brosnahan. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 5
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami... Even in a rather tight two-shot, the furnishings in the background give us the experience of time and place. Note all of the details...especially the lamp... Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 6
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami... “Finding a lamp that matches research is always a win! I found this at Greenwich Living in Stamford, Connecticut...” Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s father. Photo by Nicole Rivelli courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 7
Fontainebleau Hotel, bar... “Graphic designer extraordinaire Mark Pollard designed the wallpaper. Shopper Tyler Dawkins sourced the period appropriate liquor bottles and worked with Assistant Graphic Designer George DuPont to research and create labels. We have an amazing collection! Floral designer Christopher Basset constantly amazed me with his creations...” Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel, Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce, Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 8
Miami party house... “The ‘TV show party house’ was based on a real show, MIAMI AT NIGHT, that was filmed at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy penthouse. Location Manager Amanda Foley and her team found this New Jersey location, which was designed by an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright and ideal for our ‘Miami party’ where Lenny Bruce brings Midge and appears on the show...” Rachel Brosnahan, Luke Kirby. Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 9
Miami party house... “The location house owner had quite a bit of the original furniture which had been recovered over the years. Using photos of the house when it was originally designed, I sourced fabrics in similar colors to refresh everything...” Luke Kirby. Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 10
Cuban Club... Lenny continues to show Midge the town at this sultry club... See video below for a whole sequence about this set! Luke Kirby. Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 11
Shy Baldwin on stage at the Fountainbleau... One of the many stages the crooner and the comedienne performed on throughout the season, from USO to Las Vegas to Miami to the Apollo in Harlem, all created by Bill and Ellen and company! Leroy McClain. Photo by Nicole Rivelli courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 12
Shy Baldwin’s dressing room... Before their opening night at the Apollo! Leroy McClain, Rachel Brosnahan. Photo by Philippe Antonello courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 13
Shy Baldwin’s Brownstone... Chairs and sideboards from Newel, Opera posters and desk from John Koch Antiques, African chairs and art from Hemingway Gallery. Photo by Jan Jericho courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

Photo 14
Las Vegas casino... “Midge performs in a variety of venues and large multiples of chairs are often called, she was early on her tour with Shy Baldwin. The Chair Factory sourced 250 of these and had them covered in our color. Flowers by Christopher Basset...” Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen. Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.