Broadway's 'Romeo and Juliet' coming to screens


NEW YORK -- Content provider Screenvision and the new company BroadwayHD have teamed up to record the recent Orlando Bloom-led production of "Romeo and Juliet" and broadcast it to movie theaters across the country.

Before it closed in December, high definition cameras recorded the show on Nov. 27 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre under the direction of Emmy Award-winning Don Roy King. That recording will be available in more than 2,000 movie theaters in all 50 states from Feb. 13-19.

"It's so great to capture it because who knows when it will be on Broadway again," said Darryl Schaffer, an executive vice president at Screenvision. "It's just such a great production. We're excited to bring it to movie theaters."

Bloom made his Broadway debut as Romeo in director David Leveaux's revival of Shakespeare's classic tragedy opposite Condola Rashad, who has back-to-back Tony Award nominations for "Stick Fly" and "The Trip to Bountiful."

Screenvision, which began broadcasting stage works in 2008, recommends individual ticket prices at $20, though each exhibiter can set its own price. The average ticket price on Broadway was $78, with a top premium ticket fetching $223.


The move is just the latest to seize on technological improvements and a willingness to let live shows be recorded, following in the pioneering digital footsteps of The Metropolitan Opera and London National Theatre's NT Live series.

"New York's got the greatest pool of talent in the world and not everybody gets to see that," said producer Stewart F. Lane, who co-founded BroadwayHD with fellow theater producer Bonnie Comley. "I am a theater person at heart and this I'm hoping will help bring theater into the 21st century."

Nine cameras situated in front-row seats or tucked around the stage captured an up-close "Romeo and Juliet" over two performances in front of audiences. "It gives it a certain intimacy and urgency," Lane said. "What we've done here is create a whole new art form."


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