I was intrigued to read about the National Theatre’s planned broadcast of the Broadway show, “Fela!” next week. It’s a show I’ve heard mixed things about so not one I’d make a priority on any trip to NYC. So the prospect of seeing it in a movie theater for a fraction of the Broadway price was appealing. But then I went to the National Theatre website to look for venues and found that there isn’t a single one in Richmond. The closest is in Charlottesville, or you could go up to DC.
At first I thought this was kind of appalling but then wondered, has any theater-aware person approached folks at any of the local movie “palaces” and let them know about this ongoing “stage on screen” program? So, when I get the chance at lunchtime today, I’m going to call over to Bowtie on Boulevard and ask. Can’t hurt, right? And if enough people call and ask, perhaps some movie theater will do something about it, right? Anyone want to volunteer to call the Byrd, the Westhampton and/or the Ridge?
I know there are live-theater purists out there who don’t think too highly of the transfer of stage to screen. Personally, I think it’s great, particularly on a movie screen where, while it may not be the same as live, it’s at least as big or bigger than live. What do you think? Does broadcasting live theater diminish the art form? I’d be very curious to hear that rationale debated.