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Masque Sound Packs Its Stilettos And Heads North Of The Border For Canadian Premiere Of Tony Award®-Winning Musical, Kinky Boots - Mixonline

Masque Sound Packs Its Stilettos And Heads North Of The Border For Canadian Premiere Of Tony Award®-Winning Musical, Kinky Boots

Custom Audio Equipment Package Keeps Toronto Audiences Dancing in their Seats
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TORONTO, JULY 13, 2015 — When the six-time Tony Award®-winning smash hit Kinky Boots recently made its Canadian premiere at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, danced its way into audiences’ hearts with a custom audio equipment package for the fabulously fun musical.

This marks the third time Masque Sound worked on a production of Kinky Boots with Sound Designer John Shivers and Associate Sound Designer David Patridge. The two first worked together for the original Broadway show, for which Shivers won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Sound Design of a Musical. Having built a strong working relationship with the sound design team, Masque Sound also collaborated with Shivers and Patridge on the national tour in 2014.

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Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots follows Charlie Price, an aspiring young businessman forced to give up his dreams of living in London in order to save his late father's shoe factory in Northern England. Charlie finds inspiration in Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of sturdy stilettos. As the unlikely pair works to turn the factory around, they find they have more in common than they thought. Their story, directed and choreographed by the Tony Award-winning Jerry Mitchell, is brought to life with a sassy rock, funk and classic Broadway-inspired score by Grammy Award®-winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein.

“With the great success we experienced in working with Masque Sound on the previous two productions of Kinky Boots, they were naturally our vendor of choice for the Toronto production,” says Patridge. “It’s very reassuring to know that with Masque Sound we can bring an audio system to an international location, in this case Canada, and the equipment is going to be well thought out and arrive in full and in excellent working condition. As usual, Masque Sound provided us with the raw materials and support to be successful.”

For Kinky Boots in Toronto, Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD7T live digital console, the same desk that the sound designers used for the Broadway production and the U.S. tour. The continuity with the console was a decision made by the sound designers to match the programming across all Kinky Boots productions. However, new to the Toronto production is the fact that the sound designers are running the show at 96 kHz sampling rate in the SD7T, which is different from the Broadway sampling rate of 48 kHz.

“To our ears, there are audible improvements at the 96 kHz sampling rate,” says Patridge. “It feels like a cleaner sound and a better resolution on the sound stage on the high end. The interfacing between some of the equipment proved challenging, but Gary Stocker at Masque Sound came up with a few creative solutions to get around those potential obstacles, and it works extremely well.”

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Also new to the Toronto production is the addition of Waves audio signal processing. “Coordinating the DiGiCo theatre software with Waves is very effective and allows us to use plug-ins for analog pre-amps that we use on vocals,” he adds. “With Waves, we have a lot of tools at our disposal and the technology has really improved, so we never have to worry about reliability.”

One challenge faced by the designers on this production was the layout of the theatre. Though the theatre seats approximately 1,500, the architectural challenges required a more in-depth, elaborate PA sound system. Working with three levels, they used three independent sets of main speakers, along with more surround and delays for each level, in order to ensure complete coverage. 

The custom speaker system provided by Masque Sound included L-Acoustics® dv-DOSC™ line arrays for the upper and lower balcony, as well as center cluster. An assortment of d&b audiotechnik speakers were used for delays, fills and subs. In addition, a pair of KV2 Audio’s ESR215 speakers were supplied directly from the manufacturer to the sound designers for evaluation. The speakers were used as part the main left/right system at the orchestra level. Masque Sound also provided a custom microphone package featuring a selection of DPA microphones and Sennheiser MKE1s for back up, as well as a Sennheiser wireless package and frequency coordination package for the more than 36 channels of wireless for the show.

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“We are thrilled to be able to work again with Masque Sound in bringing Kinky Boots to Toronto,” says Patridge. “The collaboration with Masque Sound and our wonderful team, including Kevin Kennedy, production engineer, allowed us to once again create a wonderful audio package that sounds amazing. It’s a great show in a great theater, and Toronto is a great theatre town.”

Kinky Boots is now on sale through Nov 8, 2016. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.mirvish.com/kinkyboots.

About Kinky Boots

With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Sons. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony® Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), Kinky Boots is the winner of 6 Broadway Tony® Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography. The design team for Kinky Boots includes Tony® Award nominee David Rockwell(Scenic Design), Tony® Award-winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design), Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), Tony® Award-winner John Shivers(Sound Design), Josh Marquette (Hair Design),Stephanie Gorin and Telsey + Company/Justin Huff, CSA (Casting), with Musical Supervision and Arrangements and Orchestrations by Tony and Grammy Award-winner Stephen Oremus.

Kinky Boots is produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergere, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom and Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp and Jujamcyn Theaters in association with David Mirvish.

About Masque Sound

Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is led by President Stephanie Hansen and the firm’s third generation owner, Geoff Shearing. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.