Something for Everyone: Live, HD, Encore, or Online

I am thrilled to live in the digital age. One reason is directly related to live theater. Thanks to the innovations of the Metropolitan Opera, there are now film-quality high-def broadcasts of certain live theater, music, opera, and ballet performances.

Live is always best. Right? Nothing can replace the thrill of actually being there when magic is made onstage.curtain

But what about the cost of seeing a Broadway show  or world-class opera? And what if your seat is too far away, or there’s a stage light in your way (as happened to me recently in the balcony for The Glass Menagerie)? The HD broadcast is directed with the best possible views, with close-ups…oh, and with special interviews and features during intermission!

Had to work late or go to your cousin’s dance recital the day of the HD broadcast? Never mind: now there are encore rebroadcasts, too. They even cost slightly less.

Want to know what’s available? I suggest starting at Fathom Events.

Maybe you’re the type who’d rather not be bothered to go to a movie screen. You’re a true blue digital maven, and you expect cinema to come to you. Well, here’s a start: Download or stream British theater HD broadcasts from a wonderful site called Digital Theatre.

There are all kinds of options at all different prices, and absolutely no excuse not to support the art live performance.

The birth of my theater blog

Busker Alley was a show by Sherman & Sherman (most famous for writing the music and lyrics to Mary Poppins). It was designed as a vehicle to showcase Broadway legend Tommy Tune. Tune toured it for several months in 1995, and it had an opening scheduled at the St. James Theater on Broadway. But at the end of the last performance of the tour, Tune landed wrong and broke his foot.  The backers skedaddled, and that was that. 

Busker poster

I’ve named this blog Busker Alley for several reasons. First, I’m a devoted Tommy Tune fan. Second, I’ve heard audio of this whole show (can you say “booooootleg”?), and I genuinely like a lot of it and wish it had made it to Broadway for all of us to enjoy.

But maybe the most important reason is what Busker Alley represents in theater history: It’s a capricious industry, but a joyous art form. The two don’t always go together well.

Welcome to Busker Alley.