New York, NY (June 7, 2022)—Since April, Billy Crystal has been making a star turn nightly in the new Broadway musical, Mr. Saturday Night, and now the show, which he co-wrote based on the 1992 film that he co-wrote, directed and also starred in, is up for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Staged in the 1,232-seat Nederlander Theater, the show cracks up crowds nightly via a sound design from Tony-winner Kai Harada that he says is intended to create “a more natural-sounding musical.” Key to that is a new, custom-designed audio system based around 90 Meyer Sound loudspeakers.
“I basically started from scratch for this design,” said Harada. “They recently changed the orchestra audience rake, so I wanted to start from the beginning, not to mention we now have to deal with the HVAC fans running full-on at all times to comply with COVID airflow regulations. And I definitely wanted to take advantage of newer Meyer Sound models like Lina and Ultra-X40.”
The three front arrays are all current models with seven-each hangs of Leopard line array loudspeakers at stage left and right and a center cluster of five Lina line array loudspeakers to cover the front orchestra section. Meanwhile, eight Ultra-X40s are employed for downfill, orchestra source and balcony fill. “It is exceptionally good for both vocal and orchestral reinforcement,” he said. “One reason is the linearity; it requires less EQ than the UPA, for example. Also, the rotatable horn in the center is particularly useful on Broadway, as often I have to hang horizontally or vertically because of sightlines or aesthetics.”
Other models in the system include 14 M1D line array loudspeakers (mezzanine arrays), four UPQ‑1P loudspeakers (stalls left and right, orchestra source), 14 UPM-1P loudspeakers (box fill, foldback), eight UPJunior loudspeakers (stalls delay), and 13 MM-4 miniature loudspeakers (front fill, foldback). Deep bass registers are filled by four 500-HP and two 600-HP subwoofers. All audio systems for Mr. Saturday Night were supplied by Masque Sound. Harada credits the show’s entire audio crew for a successful effort, including associate sound designers Maggie Burke and Bella Curry, mixer John Kauble, production sound engineer Mike Wojchik, backstage tech Lukas Guilbeau, as well as the team at Masque Sound.