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Oklahoma Hugh Jackman Friday 3/27 to Sunday 3/29 Free (1 Viewer)

Garysb

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In addition per Playbill:

Audiences will have another way to enjoy the theatre from home while theatres remain dark, with the April 2 launch of National Theatre at Home, which will stream National Theatre Live productions for free on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel.

The inaugural broadcast will be Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors, for which star James Corden took home a Tony Award upon its transfer to Broadway. Each production will screen every Thursday at 7 PM GMT/2 PM Eastern, then remain available for seven days. Additionally, the series will include Q&As with cast and creative teams, post-screening talkbacks, and more.

Already announced productions include Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Jane Eyre (April 9), Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Treasure Island (April 16), and Tamsin Greig in Twelfth Night (April 23). Additional titles will be announced at a later date.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Hi Guys!

I am here after (of course) being the last person to hear about Broadway HD.

For years, we have been talking about Broadway shows being made available for home viewing. After all, it is my understanding that most all Broadway performances are filmed and archived.

Is Broadway HD a good service to have? Do any of you subscribe to it?

Does it have current Broadway shows, and if not, those that have closed over the past few years? I realize that in order to protect live performance revenue there would be a reluctance to broadcast current shows.
 

Jake Lipson

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After all, it is my understanding that most all Broadway performances are filmed and archived.

You are referring to the Lincoln Center library, where shows are archived for educational and professional purposes only. They are not meant for public exhibition and the contracts allowing that to happen do not provide for it. If, for example, you are writing a book about a show and would like to see the video for research, you can do that. But people can't just walk in off the street and say, "I want to watch this show just for fun." Those tapes are never going to get released publicly.

The shows that are available on Broadway HD were filmed separately from the shows in the archive because the producers wanted to do it and were able to negotiate for that to happen. But it does not happen regularly. Broadway HD is not the archive itself. Many of the shows have ended up on PBS in the last few years too.

Broadway HD funded the livestream recording of She Loves Me, which has aired on PBS a couple times over the last couple of years. A lot of their other titles are actually from London because apparently it's easier to make deals with unions over there for recording. An American in Paris and The King and I are the Broadway productions which transferred over to London with the same principal actors, and they got filmed over there instead of here for logistical reasons. Kinky Boots and Billy Elliot are other examples of shows that were filmed in London; the productions are more or less the same as what was seen on Broadway, but it was cheaper to do it over there.

I had a free trial of it but didn't keep it long term because many of their offerings are also on Blu-ray or DVD which I own. For example, they've got the 25th anniversary shows for The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables in London, which are both great, but I own them. So I don't really see the point in paying a streaming subscription that (largely) includes content I already have. I'll drop in on it every now and again if there is something specific that they get that I want to watch (like the She Loves Me livestream) which isn't available on disc.

However, if you have a less extensive collection of professionally filmed theatre than I do and don't want to buy these discs, then there's some good stuff on there.

If you are interested, I would recommend signing up for a month and seeing how you like it, rather than doing the yearly subscription rate. The content on there is all pretty good, but I own so much of it that paying a continuous subscription fee doesn't make sense, even though they have a few nice exclusives.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Jake, really want to thank you for taking the time to explain all of that.

Now I realize the difference between the Lincoln Center archive and what is negotiated for public performance.

I may look into signing up for Broadway HD just to see what they have to offer.
 

Matt Hough

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Jake did a fantastic job in summarizing the differences between the Archives and recording for commercial distribution. We have been very lucky to get commercially what we have, but how I long for certain shows in the Archives which we laymen will never see. Have to rely on memory to relive shows like Dreamgirls, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and on and on.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Excuse me for asking a question that has probably been asked countless times before...

Why can't these shows be made available to the public for a fee?

I can just imagine the historic shows that are contained in the Lincoln Center Library.
 

Josh Steinberg

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In short, licensing is a nightmare. Because they were recorded for historical/educational/nonprofit purposes, there’s been no work on securing any of the permissions that would be needed, including (but not limited to) the rights to the text of the play, songs from musicals, releases from the performers, releases from the financial backers of the performance, etc, etc. Some of those things will just never be granted no matter what, and some would be so expensive that it would never even make it to a discussion phase. And that doesn’t even get into an existential fear that some of the involved parties have that if you made the shows publicly available, that it would negatively impact audience interest in future productions.

The production quality of the filming for these archival recordings is also below what would be done for a show being recorded to be shown on TV or in movie theaters, since it’s more about capturing the production for historical posterity and not for the sake of creating a new work.

If it seems impossible to clear a song for home video from an existing movie in a lot of cases, this would be far more difficult.

With all that being said, it would certainly be a fascinating collection to be able to browse.
 

Jake Lipson

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I think everything filmed for the archive is off limits for commercial release.

However, I suspect that there might be more tapings for commercial use after Broadway resumes performances. No one ever thought that a pandemic could bring that industry to its knees, but it has happened.

If there were more tapings of shows available, there would be an additional revenue stream for Broadway shows which is mostly not currently available. They could be rolled out one at a time right now and everybody involved would be getting a residuals check.

Instead, nobody in that industry is getting a check right now because nobody can work. They never thought they would need a second revenue stream.

The producers of Hamilton had the money to film their show and lock it away for a few years until they needed it. Now, the success of it on Disney+ has helped keep it in the public conversation while the live version literally cannot be performed. Of course, they were able to afford to do this because it is Hamilton, and most shows wouldn't be able to make that kind of investment.

I know a friend who never really had much interest in Hamilton before watching it because it was included with the Disney+ subscription he already pays for. Now, he likes it and wants to see it live when theatre is able to resume. Although I understand why people might think otherwise, the existence of the taping is actually the best advertisement for the live experience they could ever have.

Hopefully there will be discussions about how to make thais viable for more shows once the pandemic ends and Broadway gets back on its feet.
 

B-ROLL

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Excuse me for asking a question that has probably been asked countless times before...

Why can't these shows be made available to the public for a fee?

I can just imagine the historic shows that are contained in the Lincoln Center Library.
There's always this ...
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Matt Hough

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This is a fine production, but it does have one weak link: Josefina Gabrielle. She got a lot of press about being the first Laurey who could dance her part in the dream ballet, but her singing voice is merely adequate, and for me, Oklahoma! needs both a Curly and a Laurey with glorious voices.
 

Roger Grodsky

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Actually, I have wandered in off the street and have been able to watch things at the Lincoln Center Library. Normally you need to make a reservation, but if they're not busy you can search the catalog and fill out a form offering a reason that you need to see the performance (I think I said that I was going to conduct "Rags"). The staff was surprisingly friendly and helpful. As I recall, you do need to get a library card (easy). If you're nice, they'll let you stay and give you suggestions. But even if you need to make a reservation, it's not onerous. There are a couple of holdings that seem to be very difficult to view and require permission from the estates. "Dreamgirls" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" come to mind. I imagine that they're not open now, though.
 

Matt Hough

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Actually, I have wandered in off the street and have been able to watch things at the Lincoln Center Library. Normally you need to make a reservation, but if they're not busy you can search the catalog and fill out a form offering a reason that you need to see the performance (I think I said that I was going to conduct "Rags"). The staff was surprisingly friendly and helpful. As I recall, you do need to get a library card (easy). If you're nice, they'll let you stay and give you suggestions. But even if you need to make a reservation, it's not onerous. There are a couple of holdings that seem to be very difficult to view and require permission from the estates. "Dreamgirls" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" come to mind. I imagine that they're not open now, though.
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
 

John Gilmore

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There are a couple of holdings that seem to be very difficult to view and require permission from the estates. "Dreamgirls" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" come to mind.

Yup, I got into a email bitch-fight with John Breglio (the executor of Michael Bennett's estate) several years ago over being able to view Dreamgirls. He initially approved it, then reneged with no explanation. But I did get to view the tape of Company. Pretty amazing!
 

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