Saturday, December 5, 2009

Playhouse Square: Wicked Young Professionals Night

So... the event overall was fantastic, but there are some nagging issues that really detracted from my positive vibe. The Playhouse Square Partners were amazing hosts and all in all, I hope this type of event with a few refinements will be repeated in the future.

My seat, Orchestra Row R, Seat 209 was fantastic... virtually dead center in the house and just in front of the balcony rail. Unfortunately the woman in seat 208 decided that text messaging during the show was a good thing; eventually she got the clue, but I was moments away from grabbing her phone.

The audio mix for the first half of the show was what I can best describe as distractingly awful*. Mic cues were late, levels were all over the place, during one scene Elphaba's mic was never unmuted and some radio frequency interference was thrown in early on for good measure. The brass emanating from orchestra pit was overpoweringly loud...but I don't think it was miced. Based on how distracted I was by the audio (and how unintelligible some of the dialog was as a result) I can't really comment on the 1st act. It's been a long time since I've heard audio that awful, let alone audio that awful from a professional production.

I'm not sure if the A1 finally showed up for the 2nd act, or if someone got replaced or whatnot, but the 2nd act was significantly tighter... it truly was like I was seeing a completely different show, and was very enjoyable. Audio was good, brass was under control, and generally levels were balanced.

After the performance the Wyndham hosted a party in the presidential suite which was fun... fantastic views of Playhouse Square, food, drinks, merriment. Got roped into a fun photo with some of the cast members and some basic conversation ensued... I hope that photo makes it way to daylight. The photographer did a great job of working the crowd.

*- Yeah, so I'm a reformed theater tech. Lighting is my preference, but I've done (and can do) audio, so perhaps this is why I was particularly sensitive.


  1. Lincoln,
    Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. We have passed along your audio notes to the company and it is noted about the text messaging. We agree about text messaging- it's extremely disturbing and we encourage guests to refrain until intermission. If you would like to discuss your experience further, our programming department would be more than happy to chat.
    Please let me know.


  2. Stephanie,

    Thanks for reading and the followup. The Text Messaging especially is something I realize Playhouse Square has no control over and can be the biggest distraction from even the most flawless performance.

    I'd be glad to chat with the programming department; feel free to email me at, or find me in the Allen Theatre before Friday Evening's performance (Orch/N/218) or during Intermission.