Romeo & Bernadette - Jon Berger

Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.

Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.
Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.
Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.
Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.
Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.

"Orchestrator Steve Orich (from Jersey Boys) wrote a fun drum book intended for all acoustic drums and percussion. Initially the Sound department was concerned about controlling the volume in our very small black box theater so we opted to have me play on Roland V-Drums. Steve, however, insisted we keep all the percussion effects on acoustic instruments including using an acoustic crash for any light cymbal rolls, and an acoustic snare drum for playing with brushes. I was happy to try this combination but voiced my concerns about the over head microphones amplifying the ambient V-Drum stick on pad 'ticking' sound. Fortunately, the band is set to the side of the stage and behind thick curtains. As we teched the show we soon found that my concerns would not be an issue at all.

I suggested we have a Roland SPD-SX Sampling Pad at the ready to load any or all the percussion sounds in case there were any imbalance issues. So far we are not needing to use it. The balance between these two opposing mediums seems to be blending very well in the house.

I am using a Roland V-Drum TD-50 drum kit. I did all the V-Drum programming myself by simply editing and combining internal factory kits and available internal cymbal sounds.

Because of limited time to learn the show and program I opted to find and use one kit for the entire show. The score combines small snippets of Medieval music, some Big Band Swing, 2-Beat, Classical, a bit of 60's Rock, and R&B.

It is a limited one month run with a determined push by our wonderful producers at AMAS Musical Theater to hopefully move us to an open ended run at a larger New York City Off-Broadway house.

The musical concerns the famed Romeo, who finds himself in 1960 Brooklyn, chasing a girl he believes is his beloved Juliet. The girl is not Juliet but rather a foul-mouthed daughter of a crime family in this spoof of Shakespeare’s timeless tale.

Book and lyrics by Mark Saltzman, with music adapted from classic Italian melodies.

Direction and Choreography by Justin Ross Cohen. Lighting Design by Ken Billington. Musical Direction by Aaron Gandy. Orchestrations and Arrangements by Steve Orich." 

Snare:

  • Ludwig 1970's 5"x14" Supraphonic Snare Drum

Percussion:

  • Remo Valencia Bongos with Mondo Heads
  • Gretsch 1945 Orchestra Bells
  • TreeWorks Tre35 Classic Chimes with Damper Bar
  • Steve Weiss Bell Tree
  • Meinl Signature Luis Conte Shaker
  • Pearl Clave Block Low
  • LP ES-2 Salsa Cha Cha Bell
  • LP Cyclops Tambourine with Brass Jingles
  • Miller Machine for Finger Cymbal
  • Ron Vaughn Ascend Wood Block Medium
  • Toca Castanet Machine
  • Chinese 10" Taiko Drum
  • Grover Pro Miller Machine
  • Grover Pro 6” Bronze Triangle
  • Zildjian Finger Cymbal

Cymbal:

  • Paiste 18" Masters Extra Thin Crash

Hardware:

  • DW 2000 Series Bass Drum Pedal
  • DW 6000 Series Snare Drum Stand
  • DW 9000 Series Cymbal Stands (2)
  • Stix Tube Stick Holder

Sticks/Mallets:

  • Vater V-CEM40MH Concert Medium Hard Mallets
  • Vater Fusion Hickory Drum Sticks
  • Vater VWTR Wire Tap Retractable Brushes
  • Malletech OR45R Bell Mallets
  • Miller Machine Triangle Beater
  • Steve Weiss Small Triangle Beater

Electronics:

  • Roland TD-50 V-Drums
  • Apple IPad 7 with forScore Sheet Music Software
  • Apple Pencil
  • K&M 19791 Universal iPad/Tablet Holder
  • Etymotic ER4PT In-Ear Monitors with Custom Fit Ear Buds
Jon is a proud endorser of Drum Workshop Drums and Hardware, Paiste Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Vater Percussion, Etymotic Research, and Drumtacs.

Romeo & Bernadette - Off Broadway - Jon Berger
January 2020

Jon Berger’s setup for the 2020 Off-Broadway Premier of Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City.

Eric Poland's drum set setup for the Broadway revival of Annie at the Palace Theatre.
  • 1 min read
Jeremy Lowe’s setup for the National Tour of Peter And The Starcatcher.
Mario DeCiutiis, Dave Roth, and Matt Beaumont’s percussion setup for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City.
"When I was preparing to conductNice Work if You Can Get It, I began by watching a video of the conductor and marking my score with any cues or beat patterns that were not obvious to me. I wanted to be completely comfortable with the Musical Directors choreography before watching the video of the stage and trying to put the music to the action of the actors and dancers."
"Once you get 'that call' to do a show, the first objective for every percussionist is to find out what instruments will be required. There are a number of different sources that might provide this."
  • 5 min read
"After a grueling four years at SUNY I still had one theory class left to finish. I was really depressed. A classmate of mine recommended me for a tour of a Broadway show. This completely changed the course of my life."
  • 7 min read
Robbie Ameen's drum solo from the track "Spring Fling".
Bill Stewart's drum solo from the title track of his album Snide Remarks.

Search