Issue 93


Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.


KV2 Audio Powers Pretty Woman on Broadway


23 October 2018

Following a successful limited run world premiere at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago in March and April of 2018, Pretty Woman – The Musical made its expected move to Broadway in the summer of 2018 enhanced by a comprehensive Point Source audio system from KV2 Audio.

During four weeks of preview performances at the Nederlander Theatre, it became clear Broadway was in for a treat. Even before its official opening on August 16, 2018, the musical broke the Nederlander Theatre box office record for an eight-performance week.

Based on the 1990 film Pretty Woman, the book for the musical was written by the film’s director, the late Garry Marshall, and screenwriter J.F. Lawton. Pretty Woman – The Musical opened on Broadway in August 2018, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell and featuring an original score with music and lyrics by rock icon Bryan Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance. Orchestration was by Will Van Dyke with sound design by renowned Broadway sound designer, John Shivers, and long-time collaborator, sound designer and audio engineer, David Patridge.

Having used KV2 Audio gear for more than 10 Broadway musicals – including the audio refit of The Lion King – Shivers and Patridge once again chose KV2 because of the extraordinary high quality, definition, ease of deployment and economy. They specified a system based around KV2s powerful and dynamic SL412 point source speaker system for the centre and two actively driven, narrow footprint full range ESR215s at left and right and supplemented by a variety of application-defined loudspeakers from the KV2 portfolio, including the passive ESD Series and the active EX Series.

According to Patridge, “Working in Broadway theatre is always a challenge physically. Locations for speakers are often dictated by architecture such as box seats and sight lines. Fortunately, the narrow width of the ESR215 is a real asset. It has become our go-to loudspeaker for a main system at the proscenium.”

Shivers and Patridge also commented on the benefit of Point Source design:

According to Shivers it can be distilled to “Clarity, clarity, clarity. The challenge is always to make it sound good for everyone, from the on-stage performers, to the orchestra, to the audience. As is typical with every design for musicals, the devil is in the details.”  Patridge adds, “Clarity and detail of the soundstage is most noticeable. Point source also ends up being more economical and easier to deploy in a theatre environment. Another benefit is the rejection of feedback when forward of the PA as compared to a line array. On Pretty Woman this came in handy because much of the action is staged on a passerelle located where the railing of the orchestra pit would normally be – downstage of the speakers! We find KV2 loudspeakers are closer to working with something hi-fi.”

KV2’s superior audio has been received well by everyone involved with Pretty Woman – The Musical. “We got raves from everyone involved,” says Shivers. “Everyone from the producers to the director, choreographer, music supervisor, orchestrator/arranger and music contractor has commented on how amazing the system sounds. The smiles on the faces of the patrons and critics confirms it.”

Results from Pretty Woman – The Musical once again verify that point source technology, when executed well, is the superior approach to achieving transparent natural sound in the theatre environment.

The following KV2 equipment was used by Shivers and Patridge on Pretty Woman – The Musical:

  • 3 x ESD36 Loudspeakers (Balcony Delays)
  • 58 x ESD5 Loudspeakers (Front Fills, Orchestra Delay, Balcony Delay, Box Fills, Side & Rear Surround)
  • 9 x ESP4000 Amplifiers
  • 2 x ESR215 Loudspeakers (Orchestra Left and Right)
  • 2 x ESR3000 Amplifiers
  • 14 x EX6 Loudspeakers (Fill and Foldback)
  • 2 x EX10 Loudspeakers (Fill)
  • 2 x EX15 Loudspeakers (Balcony Left and Right)
  • 2 x SL412 Loudspeakers (Centre and Centre Delay)
  • 4 x VHD2.18J Subwoofers (Floor Subs and Truss Subs)
  • 2 x SL3000 Amplifiers
  • 3 x VHD3200 Amplifiers

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Issue 93


Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.