... but not in this particular instance. I'm unwinding before bedtime, thus I have a chance to essay this, on behalf of my wife who recently played in a production of YAGMCB. First, this was a .... semi-pro production and admission was charged ($10 per person). The actors were all from a local performing arts school. I'd say that the oldest was about 15 and the leads were much younger. They did better than your average school group and some did an extremely good job, particularly the "Lucy" character. Now, the orchestration for the play can be done very minimally, but it's supposed to have a plethora of instruments and musicians, if you want "full-on Broadway". My wife, an alto sax player, was hired to do the reed book. * Before the first rehearsal, my wife realized two things: her alto needs repair and she doesn't play clarinet as well as she used to and/or the clarinets she has need repair. Fine. We rented her a soprano sax, instead, and she attempted some of the flute part. (That was soon discarded as she didn't feel comfortable enough to do the flute part.) * There was a bass, keyboard and drum set. OK, so we're going with minimal instrumentation. As I said, you can do this for this play. Hey, it's a small auditorium. Unfortunately, the producer thought it sounded "too thin" and decided to have both live musicians and the full instrumental track playing. Well, the first problem with that is the interesting echo effect from having the track coming from the front speakers and the live group playing in the back of the auditorium. Two things were also painfully obvious: the track wasn't exactly timed right, thus there was some instrumental and/or singing confusion and the singers and/or group had some a lot of intonation issues. The other thing, in my wife's case, is that she was using a "substitute" instrument, the soprano sax, for the reed parts and the track was playing the full orchestration. That made the blend a bit badly off. The track also wasn't the best, as it substituted synthesized instruments on many occasions. Hey, I like electronic instruments, but a synth sax patch doesn't sound like a sax. My opinion, regarding "pit" orchestras, is that you really shouldn't notice them coming in or going out: they're there to complement what's going on on stage. They're "support" 90% of the time. In this case, there were some really glaring entrances and exits. I'm just really, really glad that the live band did stop when the tracks did. Seriously, and my wife agrees, it would have sounded an awful lot better and would have been a lot easier for the kids on-stage if they had used either JUST the track or JUST the pit band. Interestingly, even though there were some "train wreck" moments with the band vs. the track, the kids did remarkably well: a couple intonation problems, as mentioned, and that's it. Not bad. G'night.