Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company provided Sound Designer Ken Travis with a custom audio equipment package for A Christmas Story, The Musical. This is the third straight year that Masque Sound worked with Travis on the hilarious, holiday favorite. The show opened in New York City at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on December 11, following performances at Hartford's Bushnell Theatre and the Wang Theatre in Boston.
Directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, A Christmas Story, The Musical is a hilarious account of Ralphie Parker’s desperate quest to ensure that the one thing he wants for Christmas, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle, ends up under his tree. The musical, based on the classic 1983 film, which itself was derived from stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd and a book by Joseph Robinette, features funny and heartfelt songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
After a successful holiday run on Broadway last year, the show returned to the Big Apple once again and, for Travis and his team, the unique layout and large size of the 5,000-seat theater at Madison Square Garden (MSG) presented some interesting challenges.
“We are limited with what we can do from a sound design point of view due to The Theater at MSG’s low ceilings,” says Travis. “We cannot hang a center cluster like we do in many Broadway houses, because there is simply no room for it. In addition, The Theater at MSG is three times as wide and three times as deep as a typical Broadway house, and seats about two and half times more people. There is also no orchestra pit, so the orchestra is seated in boxes on house right. Add all of that up and you can see why designing the sound had its obstacles. We are basically trying to cover the house as best we can, so we are supplementing the in-house system with the gear that Masque Sound provided us.”
Another challenge Travis faced was the limited run of the show – a month and a half during the holidays. “We had to build [a sound system] based on whatever the shop had on the shelf,” adds Travis. “You can’t ask the shop to hold a system that is going to be out for only six weeks of the year. Fortunately, Masque Sound knows the gear I like to use and has an excellent inventory for us to work with.”
In order to provide complete coverage with great sound, Masque Sound provided Travis with a Studer Vista 5, his preferred console and the same one that he used for last year’s production. “The Studer console is very flexible, solid, sounds great, is fast and definitely easy to program,” adds Travis.
To complement the existing house speaker system, Masque Sound provided Travis with an array of
L-Acoustics dV-DOSC speakers for the main left and right and Meyer Sound UPA-2Ps for the fill system. In addition, Masque Sound also provided 30 Sennheiser SK 5012 Transmitters and matching 1046 Receivers, as well as RF frequency coordination for the show.
“My associates, Zach Williamson and Justin Stasiw, along with Mixer Mike Wojchik and the rest of my crew did an amazing job,” concludes Travis. “My team and I always enjoy working with Masque Sound, and their rental gear and support helped make this year’s show another success. The audio package looks good and sounds great.”
A Christmas Story, The Musical returns to the New York for the 2013 holiday season at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, December 11-29. The story takes place in 1940's Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas-a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple dog dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. Co-produced by the film's original Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story, The Musical is musical comedy entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold. A Christmas Story, The Musical features a bright holiday score by the Tony nominated composer/lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a witty book by Tony Award nominated Joseph Robinette based on the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and the 1983 holiday film favorite. Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown) directs the production with Warren Carlyle (After Midnight, Chaplin) choreographing; scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Howell Binkley; sound design by Ken Travis; wig design by Tom Watson; animal training by Tony Honor R recipient for Excellence in Theatre William Berloni; orchestrations by Larry Blank; music supervision by Ian Eisendrath; associate choreographer is James Gray; dance music arrangements by Glen Kelly; vocal arrangements by Justin Paul; music direction by Ben Whiteley; and casting by Stephanie Klapper CSA. A Christmas Story, The Musical is produced by Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas, and Bradford W. Smith. A Christmas Story, The Musical is based upon the motion picture A Christmas Story C 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash written by Jean Shepherd. A Christmas Story, The Musical is produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. and Dalfie Entertainment, Inc. Masterworks Broadway released the World Premiere Recording of A Christmas Story, The Musical both digitally and on CD. Tickets are on sale now. For tickets and information, visit www.theateratmsg.com/achristmasstory, www.AChristmasStoryTheMusical.com, or call 866-858-0008.
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 lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. 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.