Final Rent performance to be sumulcast in movie theaters; the short-sited complain

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The final performance of the Pulitzer and Tony-winning musical Rent, scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Nederlander Theatre, will be filmed for future screenings in movie theatres around the country.

And some people are complaining. It dilutes live theater, or this isn't how it was meant to be done, or it'll kill off theatre's (already-dying) market, or whatever.

Why do people have a problem with the taping of all these things?

Am I the only one who came to love Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Sweeney Todd because of their recordings, and far far before I ever saw any of them onstage?

9 Comments

Nope Gil, you're not. I live on the wrong side of the country, and taped performances are as close as I have been able to come to seeing my favorite musicals (barring the occasional lucky touring cast). I am rather excited for RENT.Thanks for the update!-Wade
Not to mention Passion and now the taped versions of the Lincoln Center shows on public television...
Some people have complained because the movie version of "Rent" was so recent but I think this is a great idea. I wish more shows were filmed and screened. It doesn't seem to harm business at all and probably helps (Legally Blonde).I just stumbled upon your blog for the firs time tonight and spent more time than I should have reading it. I'll be back for more.
You are certainly not the only person to love ITW based on its video. It seems like every friend I made during high school and college loved and owned that video. Unfortunately, I have to say that the video made me kind of dislike the show - many of the performances were not toned down enough for the video, and the audience reacts weirdly to a lot of the stage business, which causes the actors to react oddly to the audience reaction.I did, however, fall in love with the Sunday video. Albeit only after compulsively reading and re-reading the script. It's surprising how many Sondheim shows I fell in love with upon reading the script before I heard any of the music. (Follies was another one.)
Sunday, ITW and Sweeney are three of my favorite shows, yet I have never seen Sunday or ITW onstage, and I really did not care for the 2005 revival of Sweeney that I saw. I live far enough away and I'm poor enough that I only see these shows through their tapings, so I love them. Legally Blonde would most likely be closing soon without MTV's support, first with the taping and now with the TV casting show. How else can theatre reach younger audiences? How can little girls know that South Pacific is outstanding if their parents don't know? Watch PBS and see LCT's concert version. Reaching the next generation requires new ideas, and tapings seem like a fine one.
Totally! That taping is a great idea, because probably 90% of the country can't afford to go to New York more than once in a blue moon, and we deserve great theatre too. The Into the Woods dvd is one of my favorites. Plus, I like comparing Sweeny recordings.
So then am I wrong in thinking that EVERYTHING should be taped and aired after the show closes?Maybe some people wouldn't want to see shows if that happened, but it seems that every time something is televised, it only helps...
I would love if everything was taped. The day I heard that Company was being taped was one of the happiest days of my life.
I would love to see things taped, because some things just plain don't run long enough for me to get around to seeing them. I clung to my Les Mis concert video for ages as a kid until I could get my mother to take me

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