BroadwayHD Shines With Major Star Power In May As It Debuts New Productions

What does an archive considered to be "the crown jewels" of public and network television and Anton Chekhov have in common? They are all headed to BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, in May. This month, BroadwayHD will be adding a selection of premier titles from the Broadway Digital Archive, which brings together Broadway plays and great works of literature produced for television over the past five decades.

Additional titles from the archive will debut in June on the service. The collection includes films such as Alice at the Palace starring Meryl Streep and Debbie Allen and The Glass Menagerie starring Katherine Hepburn and Sam Waterston, in addition to the work of such renown authors and playwrights as Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neil, Samuel Beckett, and Tennessee Williams. In addition, this month the service will be adding two Popular Productions from the BBC celebrating the works of the great Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov. Chekhov: Comedy Shorts is a four-part series that first aired in 2010 in commemoration of the playwright's 150th birthday and Uncle Vanya, which stars Sir Anthony Hopkins, is a story of a bitter man obsessed with his wasted years and what might have been.

BroadwayHD co-founders, award-winning producers and filmmakers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley said, "It's been our goal to bring a diverse array of the most incredible productions to our viewers here in the U.S. and across the globe. The Broadway Digital Archive is one of the most celebrated collections in the world and now that it is part of BroadwayHD, our subscribers will be able to revisit with a myriad of amazing works or immerse themselves in these beautiful productions for the very first time."

The Broadway Digital Archive, which spans five decades, brings together over 30 titles based on Broadway plays and great works of literature. The New York Times has deemed this extraordinary collection "the crown jewels" of public and network television.

The Broadway Digital Archive arrives on the service on May 30th. Below you will find a few of the exciting movies you will see as part of the Broadway Digital Archive as well as other new arrivals you will find on BroadwayHD in May:

  • May 13th-Chekhov: Comedy Shorts-from BBC, it is a four-part series of Chekhov comedies and farces that aired in 2010 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Russian writer and dramatist. Steve Coogan plays Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin in the one-act play On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco, while other performances see Mackenzie Crook appearing alongside Johnny Vegas in A Reluctant Tragic Hero, and Mathew Horne taking the lead in The Proposal.
  • May 23rd-Uncle Vanya-a BBC production starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Astrov and Freddie Jones as Vanya. Vanya is a bitter, sarcastic man, obsessed with his wasted years and what might have been. He has spent his life toiling for the benefit of a scholar, Serabryakov, who has turned out to be a charlatan. To make matters worse, Vanya has fallen in love with Serabryakov's beautiful, young, new wife, who does not return his ardor.
  • May 30th-Broadway Digital Archive-Between May and June, a collection of more than 30 recordings based on great works of literature and Broadway plays will be coming to the service including:
    • Alice at The Palace: Oscar winner Meryl Streep stars in this delightful "music hall" adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Also starring Emmy winner Debbie Allen, and Betty Aberlin (Mister Rogers' Neighborhood), Alice at the Palace is an entertaining and shrewdly conceived retelling of the Lewis Carroll classics with all of the beloved characters-from the Mad Hatter and The Cheshire Cat to the Queen of Hearts. The play was adapted for television from Elizabeth Swados' New York Shakespeare Festival production entitled Alice in Concert. Swados also composed the score, adapted the book, and directed for the stage.
    • The Pirates of Penzance: The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan's classic musical comedy of mistaken identity, comes to film starring Kevin Kline with Linda Ronstadt, Angela Lansbury, Rex Smith, and George Rose.
    • The Glass Menagerie: Amanda Wingfield dominates her children with her faded gentility and exaggerated tales of her Southern belle past. Her son plans escape; her daughter withdraws into a dream world. When a "gentleman caller" appears, things move to crisis point. Starring Katherine Hepburn and Sam Waterston.
    • Death of a Salesman: Arthur Miller himself adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning modern tragedy for this 1966 television production, with Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock reprising their original Broadway roles as the Lomans. This classic production toys with time in its shattering telling of a middle-aged man at the end of his emotional rope.

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