Cadac J-Type live sound production consoles are featuring on two new Broadway musicals, both designed by Dan Moses Schreier. The iconic musical, Gypsy, which opened at the St James' Theatre in late March and stars Patti LuPone together with Boyd Gaines, Laura Benanti, and directed by the show's book writer Arthur Laurents. Dan Moses Schreier then moved straight onto A Catered Affair, which premièred at the Walter Kerr Theatre on April 17th, following an initial run at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Sound equipment for both shows is supplied by PRG Audio of Mount Vernon, NY.
Dan has worked with Patti LuPone previously, on both Sweeney Todd and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, commenting:
"Patti is a very exciting talent to work with, and Gypsy provides the perfect counterfoil to her voice, especially with regard to the show's signature arias. Our task was to make Patti as comfortable as possible, while also taking into account Arthur's very specific vision for the show. Working with Arthur is so refreshing, particularly because of his new insights into his own book—he will be 91 this July. He knew exactly what he wanted to get across, working with his iconic musical to give it a completely new take. One of the big challenges for us was having the orchestra on stage, playing for 80% of the time behind a blackout curtain so thick that it would hide music stand lights, while still keeping an acoustically natural sound!"
With Dan's sound design for Gypsy focused on achieving as natural a result as possible, he used the J-Type alongside a Meyer Sound rig, with the Galileo Sound Management System for EQ and delays, complemented by XTAs - all with minimal processing. For Dan, the J-Type is his natural console of choice, commenting: "The sound is crystal clear coming out of the J-Type. It just sounds so neutral in a totally beautiful way." Gypsy opened to rave reviews and is possibly scheduled to head to the West End during 2009.
Sharing a degree of understatement with Gypsy, A Catered Affair also represents a departure from the spectacular entertainments that have become the norm on Broadway in recent years. The musical features a quiet and emotional plot, and is conceived more in the form of a drama. This required an extremely intimate treatment for the sound reinforcement, as Dan explains:
"The musical structure is absolutely seamless from songs ending to the continuing drama, and we wanted to create an ambience where the audience are leaning into the stage to hear what is going on. Director John Doyle's approach to the sound was very precise, and after the run in San Diego, a lot of work went into getting it absolutely right. We used mainly Meyer cabinets alongside d&b loudspeakers for the PA, and perhaps the smallest J-Type frame I have ever used! With only 10 actors and 10 musicians, the requirement wasn't for inputs but for quality and clarity - exactly what you get from the J-Type. Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein are perfect leads, and a real draw for what is a lovely, heartfelt and pretty unusual show."