Welcome To The Skypit

In the national touring company of the Broadway smash The Producers, the orchestra is huge, by Broadway standards and that is creating a problem in many theaters outfitted with tiny, ancient orchestra pits. But rather than employ the controversial ‘virtual orchestra’ concept, The Producers hires a full 23-piece orchestra, and the players who don’t fit in the pit are placed in dressing rooms, backstage nooks, and wherever else they, their instruments, and a microphone can fit. In Boston, the harp, percussion, and cello sections are all located remotely, connected to the conductor only by a video screen and an audio monitor. It’s not ideal, but the musicians, knowing that the alternative would likely be their replacement by synthesizer, aren’t complaining.