We followed up our long load-out in Boston with a short drive to Hartford, CT. It always nice to be able to get to the next city quickly and have some time to sleep and get organized before going to the next theater. We opened the trucks in Hartford to find that this short drive had been one of the roughest for the gear in the trailers. I attribute that to old East Coast roads.
Local 84 in Hartford is filled with a bunch of “been there done that” guys. Most of them have worked Broadway shows in New York and all of them have been putting road shows into Hartford for a long long time. It was a very easy week. The Bushnell has nearly twice as many seats as the Shubert in Boston. It was nice to hear a little more of the room again. I purposefully left the show sounding a little muddy during soundcheck. Once the house was full of people I was right on target and the show sounded great.
I was able to get in a day of golf (in Connecticut–in February) AND a quick trip back to NYC so I could sleep in my own bed for a night. It was good week.
We followed up with another good week in Durham, NC. The DPAC is a great new facility in downtown Durham, adjacent to the Durham Bulls stadium. They did so many things right in this facility but the really missed the mark in two places. One, there is a near 90 degree turn in the tube to get snakes from the stage to FOH. They have rigged up a pulley system to help out but it’s still a bit of a chore. The second problem is the size of the orchestra pit. There is no reason for it to be so small. Someone just wasn’t thinking clearly. We managed to jam everyone into the pit except our drummer. We put him down a level under the seats. We distributed some additional monitors throughout the pit with drums dialed in. The local musicians were not good in Durham. I don’t know how else to say it. They just weren’t good.
One of the things they got right at DPAC was the sound system. Sound Associates installed an enormous Meyer Sound rig in the room. I took advantage of the MICA center cluster and the delay system consisting of UPMs for under-balcony fill and small MINA arrays for the upper balcony. I used my UPQ towers and d&b E3 front fills. The show sounded great. I had forgotten how much people make a difference in that room, especially under the balcony. It almost feels like part of the system got turned off. In reality it’s just a very controlled room and, once you are used to it, very fun to mix in.
There are some great restaurants right around the theater. Tyler’s Tap Room has a great draught beer selection and some tasty food. There is also Cuban Revolution. It is more of a fusion menu than authentic Cuban, but still good. And, of course, Mellow Mushroom. Some very good pizza.
**This post gets me caught up to the present. We have just left Durham and are in Baltimore for two weeks. From this point on I’ll try to post as things happen. That may lead to more posts with less content. I’ll also try to fit in some topically specific posts about tuning or mixing for a Broadway show. Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to offer topic suggestions if there is something you want to know.