Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sweet Smell of Success

This weekend will be the final performances for the final show of our 2014-2015 "Love, Lust, and Greed" season -- Sweet Smell of Success.
This show was a huge undertaking from a sound design perspective, both technically and artistically.  With 16 instrumentalists and 7 singers in the pit, and 18 cast members on stage, there was no shortage of energy coming from the stage.  It was a pleasure as sound designer to get to help create and shape this music, in a way that only sound design really can, and I was very proud of my work.

The musical follows JJ Hunsecker (a dramatization of Walter Winchell - WW) and Sidney Falcone on a journey of political and social corruption.  In bringing the show to life, I had the pleasure of meeting Wes Dooley, the owner of Audio Engineering Association, Inc. (AEA), a local company that makes ribbon microphones by hand, to the exact specification of the old RCA ribbon microphones.  The microphone that Mr. Dooley and AEA so generously allowed us to borrow for the show was their museum-quality reproduction of the RCA 44 - the same mic that sat on WW's desk.  It has a captivating sound that brought a different character to the "broadcasted" moments.  A huge thank you to AEA and Mr. Dooley for your generosity and support.

In addition to live mics on stage, the show came with a significant playback undertaking.  With such a vast stage and gestural set pieces, a lot of the responsibility for establishing period, location, and time of day landed with lighting and sound.  There were some wonderful moments that the lighting designer Darrin and I had an opportunity to track Sidney's journey, which made for some uniquely well-integrated moments in the show.

It was such a pleasure to design this show with such a wonderful team.  If you haven't gotten to see the show, it's running until June 6.  Tickets are available from the Arts Box Office.

"Today's gossip is tomorrow's headline."