The Broadway revival of the 1928 classic play about a Chicago newspaper, The Front Page, is currently making headlines at the Broadhurst Theatre, with sets by Douglas W. Schmidt, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, costumes by Ann Roth, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
In order to effectively recreate a bustling 1920s newsroom, Schmidt incorporated authentic telephones from the era into the set, working with prop master Pete Sarafin, who traveled across the US to acquire the ringer boxes. Since the telephones introduce dramatic plot developments, Lehrer sought to create the classic telephone rings and add them to his sound cue list, which required ringing six telephones in close succession. He wanted production sound engineer David Stollings to be able to cue the rings via a Figure 53 QLab system.
Lehrer and associate sound designer Hidenori Nakajo worked with Masque Sound's Gary Stocker to spec the show with a custom audio equipment package. Stocker created a one of a kind "ringer box" that can send the MIDI output of QLab into a MIDI Solutions R8 box, which takes in the MIDI and puts a relay closure out. “We took those eight relay closures from the R8 and went into Gary’s magic black box, which opened up a 90-volt ringer voltage that went to XLR’s on the output," explains Lehrer. "We ran a multi-cable from the stage to Gary’s magic box and broke it out to the six ringers. It took us a while to get the ringers to all work properly but now we have the actors with real 1920’s era telephones with 1920’s era ringer boxes ringing on stage as well. While this may seem like a small part of the bigger picture in terms of the overall sound design, the authentic telephone sounds were the basis for the entire show.”
The PA system features d&b audiotechnik E-series speakers, with E12s at front of house as well as E8s, E3s, and E0s, with Q7s and Q1s at center position. On stage are EAW cabinets with JF200s and JF80s. Lehrer chose DPA Microphones 4021s for his foot mics, and included a selection of DPA d:screet 4061s all over the stage for local micing. Instead of analog com, Lehrer spec'd Clear-Com's HelixNet digital network Partyline intercom and FreeSpeak wireless digital intercom. A Yamaha CL1 mixer handles the show's dozen mics, 20 channels of QLab, and a few utility mics with few channels.
"I generally use area mics for the stage, which is a challenging job for David [Stollings] as he is very busy mixing area mics," says Lehrer. "There is a lot of dialogue to deliver in this show, and it’s important the audience hears it all. David does a great job moving around from mic to mic, and we have every one delayed to every speaker position. We really try to keep the sense of where the actors are talking from in the sound system and use as few mics as possible in mixing.”
The Broadway revival of the 1928 classic play about a Chicago newspaper, The Front Page, at the Broadhurst Theatre, features sets by Douglas W. Schmidt, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, costumes by Ann Roth, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×