The music of the night doesn’t have to end when you leave the theater anymore thanks to a new on-demand streaming service. The game-changing BroadwayHD is like Netflix for your favorite musicals, and is literally music to the ears of thespians everywhere. With content from well over 100 different theater productions, you no longer have to live in the Big Apple (or pay big bucks) to see your favorite Broadway shows. So just sit back, relax, and either rent a play or musical for two nights for $8, or pay for a monthly or yearly subscription.
The brain child of Tony-winning producers Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, BroadwayHD is actually built on top of Direct from Broadway, a service that has been showing theater performances in movie theaters for the last two years. Much like the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD attempts to bring its stage performances to a wider audience, Direct from Broadway and now BroadwayHD are looking to expand the theater district’s fan base.
“Any effort to expand the audience for live theatricals should be applauded,” Broadway producer Robert Strickstein told the Daily Dot, and he added that “existing live theatre fans” are “a market that is currently underserved.”
Still, there’s some skepticism about how well live performances can be translated on screens and in recordings. As Variety notes, “On Broadway, there remain significant challenges in convincing stage producers that digital distribution is a good thing for individual shows and for live theater overall.” And Stickstein notes, “The obstacles are formidable — from competing producers on Broadway who cherish their independence, fear of cannibalizing a show’s ticket-buying audience, restrictive theatrical performance union agreements, etc.” But the founders of BroadwayHD remain optimistic.
“It’s up to the whole industry. It has to be an industry movement,” Comley said. “We’re trying to make the digital capture of a Broadway show more like an original cast recording — something that’s done for every show as a matter of course.”
So get ready, musical lovers. If you’re looking for a way to watch “Memphis” or “Jekyll and Hyde” from the comfort of your home, look no further than BroadwayHD.