When two Joanne’s meet: Patti and Stritchie (plus, a poll!)


Check out this wonderful 20-second vid of the legendary Elaine Stritch dropping in for a surprise visit with the incomparable Patti LuPone backstage at the New York Philharmonic’s concert production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company:

Stritch, as I’m sure we all know, originated the role of Joanne — the acerbic, urban housewife who’ll readily “drink to that.” LuPone played the role in a recent concert production, which starred Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Martha Plimpton, and others.

That concert was filmed, and is being shown in HD at select movie theaters around the country mid-June. I’m seeing it June 19 at the Muvico in Rosemont. (If you’ve never been to Muvico, you’re missing out: $16 VIP tickets get you a comfy reserved seat, valet and popcorn with free refills.)

The NY Phil’s Company joins a handful of live musical productions that have been filmed and released in movie theaters. Others, top-of-mind, include Memphis and Rent.This will be my first exposure to seeing a filming of a live Broadway musical in a movie theatre, and I’m really intrigued by the experience.

So: how do you feel about this relatively new trend of filmed live musicals shown in movie theaters? Take the poll below:

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3 Comments

  1. I saw the final performance of Rent (actually probably a couple performances edited together) and Frankenstein, from Britain’s National Theatre, and I enjoyed them both. There are differences – in the theatre, you decide where your eye goes. On the screen, a lot of times it’s the director who decides for you – with extreme close-ups. And you don’t get the adrenaline rush of a live performance. But since I can’t get to New York that often, never mind London, it’s a great option for seeing theatre that I wouldn’t get to see otherwise. And I have my ticket for Company, too!

  2. I loved Rent and had gone into Memphis without knowing anything about the show (and that’s after listening to the cast recording and reading the liner notes) and loved it. It’s a great that they film these because they really go for the close ups and the wide shots when needed. I could only dream what the LuPone “Gypsy” would have looked like or something like Everyday Rapture would have looked like if it was filmed. I think Spamalot would have been a money maker if they had done that.

  3. I think it’s a great opportunity for limited engagement performances, like Company, but I do wonder what the effect will be for shows like Memphis that are still on Broadway. I know it wouldn’t deter me, personally, from seeing the same show live, but it could replace the live experience for some people.


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