It’s hard enough to get live singing down pat while a camera is rolling, but how about a four-plus minute number without a single cut? Emmy and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth nailed it on the first take (and as legend has it, director Barry Sonnenfeld went with that very take), and thus “Tribulation” was born.
The “Schmigadoon!” stunner — a “Music Man”-inspired patter song written by co-creator Cinco Paul for the show’s main villain — is one of the standouts in the musical comedy series about a bickering couple (Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key) who unexpectedly find themselves in an alternate universe in which wokeness is not yet a thing, and you have to sing your way through everyday life.
Re-recording mixer Joe Barnett walks us through the clip (seen in full just below), and gives us some background on the separated audio showcasing the intricacies of putting the number together. (Singing along is, of course, optional.)
And here’s to hoping they can top themselves for the just-announced second season, which will take place in a place called…”Schmicago”.
“We took a lot of care to really make the transitions from the speaking voice to the singing voice seamless in ‘Schmigadoon!'” Barnett explained. “The singing voice is a composite of Kristin’s production singing from the day of filming, pre-recordsand overdubs.”
In addition, Barnett’s team also did some noise reduction work “to remove set noise from the cart moving and other surrounding noises. They then took our pre-mix of her production singing and incorporated it into their music mix down session and prepared it for the dub stage.”
Barnett’s team worked hard to balance the song performance with the atmospherics. “The sound effects, background ambiances, and foley serve to give the show its life so that it doesn’t just sound like a record,” Barnett said. “There is a very delicate balance struck to fill out just enough of the words without distracting from the main emphasis, which are the musical numbers.”
“The instrumental music track is really where the show shines,” Barnett said. “The impeccable composition and orchestration of the backing track is absolutely majestic in its power and subtlety as it deftly careens between the conspiratorial bass notes while Mildred (Chenoweth) sets up her plot to discredit Mayor Menlove (Alan Cumming) all the way to the flat-out brassy jubilee as she struts through the town square with her supporters in tow.”
“Schmigadoon!” is now streaming on AppleTV+