The lavish futuristic musical, We Will Rock You, set to 25 Queen hits has opened its latest production at Paris Las Vegas’ 1,450-seat Le Théâtre Des Arts with an L-ACOUSTICS front-of-house loudspeaker rig. The new system, furnished by Masque Sound of East Rutherford, NJ, features twin left and right hangs of ten V-DOSC® cabinets with two dV-DOSC™ elements for front-fill. Ten additional dV-DOSC are hung as a center array to complete the LCR FOH system, while four compact coaxial MTD108a systems are employed to provide supplementary coverage to the far edges of the audience seating area.
We Will Rock You tells the tale of a futuristic world where conformity rules and all musical instruments are outlawed. A group of underground radicals ultimately decides to rebel, the story of the battle of the individual against the system is played out in Ben Elton’s unique satirical style.
Sound design for We Will Rock You was provided by sound designer Bobby Aitken and associate sound designers David Patridge and Richard Sharratt. Aitken and Patridge, in particular, are no strangers to musical theatre: they’ve spent the past five years working together on eight separate productions of Mamma Mia!, based on the songs of ABBA.
In fact, it was on the 1999 world premier of Mamma Mia! that Aitken, along with co-sound designer Andrew Bruce, first specified L-ACOUSTICS loudspeakers upon the request of another notable duo. "Björn (Ulvaeus) and Benny (Andersson) from ABBA were the ones who originally turned us on to V-DOSC," says Aitken. "They had chosen it for a theatre they worked with in Stockholm and really wanted to push the British show of Mamma Mia! in the same direction, so Andrew and I went with their recommendation and were extremely pleased with the results."
Since then, Aitken has used many different L-ACOUSTICS products on various productions of the two musicals. For example, ARCS® were employed as the main PA speakers for the Madrid run of We Will Rock You and utilized on both touring productions of Mamma Mia!and the new version of London’s Mamma Mia! when the show moved to the Prince of Wales Theatre this past spring.
When the time came to design a rig for We Will Rock You’s Las Vegas production, Aitken, Patridge, and Sharratt chose to call upon a line array system with a truly respected rock- and-roll pedigree: V-DOSC and dV-DOSC.
"Bobby chose to use these speakers primarily for their sound; they really do sound great, especially on a rock musical like this," says Patridge, who also serves as the show’s production sound engineer.
At the same time that Masque Sound procured the L-ACOUSTICS system We Will Rock You, the company also made a serious investment in V-DOSC and dV-DOSC cabinets to supplement its own live division in New Jersey and Orlando shop.
"With this purchase, I believe that we have the largest arsenal of L-ACOUSTICS products in the world," says Masque Sound VP/Co-Owner Jim Shearing. "Our current inventory of L-ACOUSTICS products now includes over 100 V-DOSC systems and over 160 dV-DOSC systems. We like them because they sound really clean, provide great coverage and can handle a lot of power. We’re particularly fond of the dV-DOSCs for their compact size and lighter weight, and currently have them out on productions of Miss Saigon, The Lion King and 42nd Street in addition to Mamma Mia!and We Will Rock You."
The producers of the new Las Vegas run of We Will Rock You include Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Theatrical Productions, original UK producer Phil McIntyre, and Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, both of whom also appropriately serve as the show’s musical directors. Acclaimed UK comedian/writer Ben Elton again provided the script, while Mark Fisher (known for his work with Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, U2, and Janet Jackson) handled the production design and Willie Williams (U2, David Bowie, R.E.M.) created the lighting design.
A Moscow production is now also on the verge of its debut, with the German premier topping off the year on December 12 at Cologne’s Musikdome.