The Playgoer: Roundup

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Thursday, June 02, 2011


-Today the Roundabout ventures into big-screen simulcasting with Importance of Being Earnest. Will others follow?

-Arena Stage's media man,  Chad Bauman, goes there in imagining a post-nonprofit theatre world.

-Riedel says Spider-Man may make it onto the Tony show after all--in the form of a U2 appearance.


Jonathan Shandell said...

Hey Garrett. Going to see Roundabout's EARNEST out here in the burbs of Philly. Will let you know what the experience is like...

Jonathan Shandell said...

All told, it was a bit of a strange experience. The screening helped me really see the difference between stage and film acting. On screen, the performances came off as too big and "stagey" - though I could imagine that in a Broadway-sized house the effect would have been different. Ditto for design: the detailsof this production's sets and costumes were very distracting from the up-close camera angle, and I could imagine that they would read very differently in the real space.

The benefit was: now I know what Brian Bedford did with Lady Bracknell, and I'm glad I got to "see" it, even in modified form. And given the time/space challenges, I'll be even more eager to see screenings from London productions that otherwise I have no access to. So there's a value in these cinematic screenings, but even in cinematic, big-screen HD, it's a mediated and modified experience.

Playgoer said...

Thanks for the on-the-ground report, Jonathan! What you say doesn't surprise me--partly because I suspect the people doing this may not be as experienced or adept as the NT Live team. The NT Live screenings I've seen somehow manage to avoid making anything look too "stagey." Hours and hours of preparation go into the filming to make sure everything on stage looks great. The camera movements and angles are never just straight-on closeups. In brief I'm a fan.

And you can catch this season's last NT Live screening--of The Cherry Orchard!--and see if I'm right later this month.