NEW YORK, MAY 30, 2013 – The best Broadway musicals transport audience members into the world of the show, making it as real to them as the neon lights and towering buildings of nearby Times Square. That’s why staff members working on the new Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella turned to DPA Microphones’ Miniature. Not only do the mics provide a transparent sound for the show’s cast and orchestra; their compact size keeps them hidden from the audience, allowing spectators to enjoy the show without being distracted by the sight of bulky equipment.
This latest production of Cinderella, now playing at the Broadway Theatre, is based on a new book, written by Douglas Carter Beane. It incorporates the music of the original show with a modern take on classic theatrical elements, such as impromptu costume changes directly on set. Maintaining this unique atmosphere is critical to the overall impression of the show, which is why Cinderella Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg chose to outfit the cast with 30 DPA 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature wireless microphones.
Having previously worked with DPA’s full line of mics on other theatrical productions, Steinberg felt the 4061s would help him create the intimate sound he sought for Cinderella, even in a large theatrical venue like the Broadway Theatre. Their discreet, unobtrusive packaging allows them to be hidden within the actors’ hair, wigs, or hats, , providing excellent sound reproduction without being seen.
“In live theater, you want the audience to feel immersed in the production and not have them focused on the quality of the audio or where the amplification is coming from,” explains Steinberg. “The DPA 4061s allow us to hide the mics within the costumes and hair, as close to the source as possible. While the mics often end up in a position that is unnaturally close to the performers, the DPA 4061’s excellent frequency response allows me plenty of flexibility to counteract any negative effects.”
In the production, the transformation of Cinderella, played by Laura Osnes, from servant to belle of the ball, is performed directly on stage. As audiences are regaled with the literal change of rags to riches, Steinberg is assured that Osnes’ 4061 microphone will remain firmly in place. “I have been using DPA’s microphones for a long time and I think they are very reassuring to work with,” he continues. “I can put them where they need to go, they remain in place and will sound the way I want them to sound.”
In addition to using the 4061s for the cast, Steinberg has equipped the orchestra with a variety of DPA’s 4021 Compact Cardioid, 4011 Cardioid and 4006 Omnidirectional microphones. As with the cast, Steinberg’s goal for the orchestra was to keep the amplification as transparent as possible, creating the illusion that the sound from the instruments is all encompassing.
“Like the 4061, the other DPA microphones are great in situations when you want close proximity miking, but not the distorted sound that comes along with a short distance,” concludes Steinberg. “All of the units come in handy when trying to hide the mics, and I know I will always get a true, natural sound.”
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella was originally written for television, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on the classic Cinderella fairytale, the plot follows the original “rags-to-riches” story. But this latest adaptation draws a parallel between the fairytale and modern political and social issues.
An avid fan of DPA Microphones, Steinberg has been in the audio industry for nearly 20 years, and has been nominated for six Tony Awards, including for his most recent work with Cinderella. He began his career as a front-of-house engineer, later founding a sound design company with colleagues. He is also a consultant for Carnegie Hall.
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