Meet the Netflix of Broadway
There may be a lot of reasons you don’t see enough Broadway shows. Maybe you live nowhere near New York. Maybe you do, but lack the funds to pay upwards of $100 dollars on two hours of entertainment (and don’t want to spend your entire day in the lottery lines). Maybe every time you do get a chance to hit up Broadway, your friends always insist on seeing The Lion King again. Whatever the reason, they’re now invalid. Prepare yourselves to see as much high quality theatre as your heart can handle. Get ready to be cultured as f*ck.
Finally, theatre is getting in on the streaming business. Netflix, Hulu, VOD services and all the rest of their ilk have made it so easy to conveniently stream TV and movies to any device, wherever and whenever we want that it’s now hard to imagine life without those services. Now BroadwayHD will do the same for Broadway shows, with a monthly, annual, or per-show option (all reasonably priced) to stream all the plays you want to watch.
Right now the collection is fairly small, and heavy on older Shakespeare productions (plus the newer Orlando Bloom Romeo & Juliet), so put away your hopes of ducking out of work early to watch Hamilton today. But the current listings are just “the first layer,” as one of the producers behind the site, Bonnie Comely, says. “There’s more stuff to follow. It’s not a static library list.”
Eventually, the big goal is to stream opening nights of new shows. Comely and her co-founder, fellow Broadway producer Stewart F. Lane, say they’re not trying to steal IRL audiences, and they’re not worried about cannibalizing ticket sales. Their site, they say, can’t compete with the actual experience of going to the theatre. But opening night is such an exciting event, they want to share that with as many people as possible.
There’s only one opening night; it’s such a special experience. If you can get as many people [to be] part of that as possible… that first night you have this global experience of everyone watching this event at the same time. And we believe that then you can’t wait until you can see that show live because you were part of it in that way.