Now celebrating its sixth anniversary season, the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Jonestown is Colorado’s largest, most elegant, and professional dinner theater, presenting theatrical productions and special concert events by national celebrity artists in its Broadway-sized proscenium theater.
For both theatrical and concert style performances, the playhouse employs numerous B3 Omnidirectional Lavalier microphones from Countryman Associates.
Sound designer/engineer Neal Johnson at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse designs the five musical theater shows presented over the course of each year, and is also in charge of all the special events that come through the theater. He’s the technician and, frequently, mix engineer for all programs. regularly deploying the venue’s 18 Countryman B3 mics.
“Whether it’s a theatrical presentation or a concert-style performance for artists such as Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Debby Boone, or Maureen McGovern and Lee Greenwood, we keep a busy schedule,” says Johnson. “I currently have eighteen Countryman B3s and, while I use all three of the available caps for the microphones, I find I get excellent results with the +4 dB ‘bright’ model for a wide range of applications.
“I do, however, have one actor that I always outfit with the +8 dB ‘very bright’ cap due the timbre of his voice,” he adds. “Microphone placement varies considerably—depending upon the nature of the event and the artist—but for theatrical talent, I’ve placed these mics both on the actors’ foreheads and cheeks and have obtained excellent results.
“The B3s yield excellent results and are remarkably consistent in their sound quality. Because of this, I know exactly what to do to make them sound great, and that is generally very little. They deliver very clear, natural sound and they can take a great amount of sound pressure. This is not the case with other competing lavalier microphones I’ve experimented with.”
Johnson’s experience with the Countryman microphones goes back several years at this point. “My first design at the Candlelight was Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein’s The King and I,” he recalls. “I walked into an already established theater and, in turn, had to use whatever equipment they had. Their current lavalier selection needed help.
“I got the approval to get some new mics for use on the show, so I bought a pair of B3s and never turned back. They were so easy to implement and make sound great, I was sold. Since then, I have phased out all other mics and only use Countryman B3s. The B3s do everything I ask of them. I mate them with Shure ULX wireless systems and, together, they make a great setup.”
“I’ve also been very impressed with the B3’s ruggedness,” Johnson continued. “Doing between four and seven shows a week, the mics are extremely durable considering all that I put them through. At the end of the day, that translates to great value. They really deliver excellent bang for the buck and I’ve never had to contact Countryman for service or support. For my types of applications, the B3s have become my plug and play, go to mics.”
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse