I attended the (relatively) new production of Carousel last week. I will say nothing about the production, which I "listened" to from the right side second row of the balcony. My issue is not exclusively with this theater, all Broadway suffers from varying degrees of over miking and over amplification.
The orchestra pit is buried below the stage with only a narrow opening to the audience. I doubt anyone on the main floor could even see the orchestra. As such, I suppose some miking and re-transmission of the orchestra is required if they are to be heard. But either mediocre microphones in the pit or mediocre speakers high above the stage produced the sound of a virtual orchestra above me that was a poor representation of the real sound of the acoustic instruments.
Of course, the singers were all miked and their voices loudly re-transmitted by speakers high above the stage.
I realize I am probably in a minority feeling that the "Broadway Sound" is too loud and artificial. And I repeat this problem is by no means unique to the Imperial Theater. Just once I'd love to hear one of these shows with the pure sound of instruments and voices with no intervening electronics.
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