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.
“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.
“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.
“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...”
“Midge performs in a variety of venues and large multiples of chairs are often called for...here, 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.
“Carpet Time found us the customizable carpet and worked to get it in our timeline, in our palette. The pattern is actually playing cards. Rollhaus Brothers made the banquettes for the Catskills breakfast room in Season 2, and have since reupholstered them for us at least 4 times for different sets!”
Photo by Jan Jericho courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.
After Midge’s father quits his professorship at Columbia, her parents have to move out of this elegant university-owned apartment they’ve had for years. Their ex-in-laws, Moishe & Shirley, pictured here, are offering to share their new home in Forest Hills...
Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.
The marvelous Midge Maisel...we’re ready for more!
Rachel Brosnahan. Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.
August 7th, 2020
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.
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 Editor
*Set Decorator Ellen Christiansen SDSA would like to acknowledge her team on THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, Season 3: NYC
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 Miami
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
History for Hire
Kravet Inc NYC
Lennie Marvin’s Prop Heaven
Universal Studios Property
Warner Bros. Studios