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"Filmed for the Screen" Musicals and Plays
Posted by: VancouverRyan 01:46 pm EST 12/06/18

I've had the opportunity to see a few of these lately and wanted to share a few thoughts. I've seen An American in Paris, Funny Girl, The King and I and Everybody's Talking About Jamie. I've seen others in the past (the NPH Company, Memphis and the 10th Rent Anniversary). Plus obviously I've seen a slew of them on PBS (incl. Imelda's Gypsy).

The complaints (as I've read lately) seem to be that you can't capture the excitement of the stage on screen and that if they film and show these it might detract people from going to see the shows live.

I live in Canada, and I rarely get to travel to NYC and once in a while get to London. I often end up in Toronto where a lot of big tours go through.

I have to say I totally disagree with the complaints. I saw The King and I the other night. It's not my favourite show, but I'll admit the music is thrilling, and sitting in my seat as the orchestra started up I had chills. I've been humming the songs over the last two days. Is it AS exciting as seeing it live? Of course not, but is it an adequate substitution for those who don't have the opportunity? Absolutely. I laughed HARD during Funny Girl and I was giddy during Everybody's Talking about Jamie.

As for the second complaint, I'm in London in January and February and even having seen Jamie on the big screen I'm absolutely going to see it again. I wanna see it in person. I wanna experience it live. Funny Girl has closed obviously but it would be the same for that for me. I really didn't care for An American in Paris, and if I had a limited number of spaces I probably wouldn't see it anyways. I'm glad I saw it, but I didn't care for it - and I likely wouldn't have paid exorbitant prices for something I was unsure if I'd like anyways. I felt the same about Memphis a few years back when I saw it. I wouldn't rush to see it, but for $20 at the movie theatre, why not take a chance?

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I just wanted to share my thoughts. I'm jealous of people who live in theatrical hubs who get to see these shows, but it's a big world out there and a lot of theatre geeks who will never get the thrill of seeing original stars in productions. I am grateful for the "filmed for the screen" versions we're getting in the theatres and if anything it's making me ache to get back to one of the theatrical meccas even sooner.

Ryan
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