In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviewed by:
  • BroadwayHD.com
  • Megan Woller
BroadwayHD.com. BroadwayHD and THIRTEEN (2015-). https://www.broadwayhd.com/index.php/shows (accessed May 7, 2018). Requires a Web browser and Adobe Flash Player, a mobile or device app such as for Roku or Apple TV, and an Internet Connection. $8.99 per month for monthly access, $99.99 for a year's subscription, or $14.99 for individual rentals of select shows.

Since October 2015 BroadwayHD has purported to bring "the magic of theatre to you anywhere you can access internet streaming content."1 As such, this service delivers a streaming option dedicated solely to theatrical productions and related content.

The BroadwayHD exclusive options and live streaming present the most valuable aspect of this website and the one with the most potential for growth. During the time I spent exploring the website for this review in March 2017, two current productions, Geffen Playhouse's A Long Day's Journey into Night in Los Angeles and the Public Theater's The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, had live streaming events. The increasing possibilities to see current shows via movie theaters and streaming services excite theater scholars and fans living and working outside New York City. While filmed theater can and will never replace the live experience, a service like this one allows many viewers to stay more up- to-date without traveling. Similarly, select shows are labeled as "BroadwayHD Originals." These shows are sponsored by BroadwayHD in conjunction with the theater companies that produce them in order to be filmed and streamed for wider audiences. The website also includes productions that are billed as "BroadwayHD Exclusive," such as the 2015 West End production of Gypsy starring Imelda Staunton. While the original and exclusive shows remain a select portion of the current offerings, this trend affords the most exciting prospect of this service as it continues to grow because it can deliver increased access and documentation of modern theater.

For a website explicitly named after Broadway, the large number of BBC productions available seems striking, as they make up a significant percentage of the theater streaming service's offerings. Out of the 106 filmed productions listed under "plays" during my monthlong perusal in 2017, 79 were BBC televised productions. For viewers interested in Shakespeare, BroadwayHD contains myriad productions and even multiple versions of the Bard's works. If interested in comparing performances of some of the most beloved Shakespearean characters, one can view three productions of Hamlet, four of King Lear, and three of Othello. In fact, the range of the straight plays available through BroadwayHD is much broader and richer than the musical contributions in general.

Generally, BroadwayHD.com is quite easy to navigate, and the service provides several options for watching. It can be accessed from computers or available apps for other devices. Users are allowed only one stream at a time. However, be prepared for the types of hiccups sometimes experienced with any streaming service. One day of exploring the website included a few playing issues. While [End Page 244] several videos worked fine, others generated an error message ("not encoded for device"). However, the issue resolved itself by the next day, and no other problems occurred. Once you subscribe, the website asks a number of demographic questions in order to "find better content for you." These include gender, age range, income, and profession. Users can decline to state gender and income, for instance, but the option is not provided for all questions. While one can certainly ignore the survey, any question not answered will remain on every screen when looking through the site.

The categorization of the shows on the website encompasses "Most Popular," "Musicals," "Plays," "Drama," "Comedy," "Romance," "Shakespeare," "Foreign Theatre," "Concerts," "Education," and "Behind the Scenes." Some of these listings proved to be more helpful than others. On the face of it, the distinction between musicals and plays seems to be a useful one. However, it soon becomes clear that not all of the service's available plays are listed under "Plays." After exploring all of the selections in the various genres and other labels, I found that the sheer repetition of shows got...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-2349
Print ISSN
0734-4392
Pages
pp. 244-246
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-31
Open Access
No
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