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Without an orchestra? 
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Young Hoofer
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:04 pm
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Post Without an orchestra?
My high school might be doing Sweeney for our end of the year musical, but we would be doing it in our little theater and there probably isn't going to be enough room for an orchestra. What are your thoughts? Can it be done with just minus tracks?


Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:13 am
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Post Re: Without an orchestra?
I think the standard vocal score has it for two pianos. Maybe you could use a regular keyboard and a synthesizer?


Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Without an orchestra?
It certainly wouldn't have the same impact as it does when done by a full orchestra, but no one can help that.

I think it is certainly do-able

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Past roles: Michael (Billy Elliot); Benjamin (JATATDC); Simon (JCS); Gavroche (Les Miz); Tobias (Sweeney Todd); Mark/Roger (Rent)


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Upcoming: Auditioning for Les Miz


Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Without an orchestra?
I was in a production last year where the orchestra brought in during tech week just didn't have it together. I personally tend to lay that at the feet of the pit conductor, but for whatever reason, it was clear going into opening weekend that the orchestra and cast were in no way in sync to a degree to have a successful performance. The producers fired the pit the night before opening, and we went with just our rehearsal pianist playing the piano score.

It's not as powerful as the orchestra, but in this case, it was a far, far better option, and it was fine. If you can't fit an orchestra, piano accompaniment is an option.

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Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:52 am
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Post Re: Without an orchestra?
I would almost never want to see Sweeney without at least a decently-sized orchestra, but the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia, put on a successful production with just two pianos. It's definitely doable.

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Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:09 pm
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Post Re: Without an orchestra?
I saw a tiny, teeny Sweeney this summer. Twice. It was mounted in a small café/antiquary. It had two key boards and a flute (occationally played by people in the cast). It was very, very cool.

Of course it couldn't do everything that a full production can (it played up the comedy too much, among other things), but it was nevertheless super. It proved that the text/score is strong wnough to survive the simplest conditions. The material is so strong that one does not really need much more (although it is usually preferable).

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Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:27 am
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