From The Pit

Podcast

This is "From The Pit," where we talk musical theatre. From overtures to exit music and everything in between. 

(1.07) Reducing The Pit - Clare Wyatt & Kevin Woo

What is the Broadway sound?

During the "Golden Age" of Broadway, it was easy to say:  Big and brassy, 18 to 25 players at least.  But now, money is tight, musical styles have changed, and shows now tour a lot. Money isbeing made by the rights companies like MTI, Tams Whitmark and Sam French renting out the rights to Broadway shows to high schools and local theatre companies. But how can you find the quality of player locally, and money to pay for the orchestra sizes of the past?

Most producers just simply don't budget enough and want to spend money on musicians.

I think as a music director I spend 50% of my time stressing about how to make the music maintain the original feel and intention by using less then half the allotted players, sometimes even less then that.

Some of the rights companies have reductions available for rent for some shows, but they are still too large for many producers to want to use?

So we reduce, and reduce and a music director becomes, pianist, arranger and orchestrator all in one, and that's what the public thinks we do now.

But..
Should we do it?
Are there better solutions?
When we do have to do it, how do we do it?
On today's episode my guests and I will discussthese questions and more.  So let's reduce the pit… from the pit.