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re: Did Barbra fill the theatre with sound naturally or was there amplification in 1964? nm
Posted by: tmdonahue 08:27 am EDT 08/08/22
In reply to: Did Barbra fill the theatre with sound naturally or was there amplification in 1964? nm - young-walsingham 07:43 am EDT 08/08/22

To actually address your question. I didn't see the original FG. I was twelve. But my later partner/husband did. He told the anecdote several times that he got home from seeing it and told his roommate, "It's a radio show," meaning miked throughout. Jim was a theatergoer and to his knowledge, FG was the first show to use radio mikes. Before that, if shows were amplified at all they used ground row mikes, mikes on the front of the stage floor, that amplified the sound generally.

The early radio miked shows had problems of course: occasional feedback, sometime local signals such as from police seeping into the feed. And of course, the stardom of Ethel Merman and Mary Martin et al were based in part that they had voices that could carry to the balconies along with enunciation that could put across lyrics most audience members had never heard before. (There was more to their talents that just this.)
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