With the dreary weather and cold temperatures upon us, don’t let the gloom of winter get you down. BroadwayHD, the premiere streaming platform for all things theatre, has plenty to brighten up even the frostiest of days with new additions to their catalog and a specially curated list of offerings for Valentine’s Day. From the film classic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, to an all-female production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as well as the Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, there is a lot of escapist fun and transportive theatre to usher us closer to spring.
The 1954 MGM film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a classic, one of Hollywood’s most-beloved musicals written specifically for the screen. Featuring a score by the team of Gene de Paul (music) and Johnny Mercer (lyrics), the duo behind the Broadway musical Li’l Abner, and choreography by theatre legend Michael Kidd (Broadway’s original Guys & Dolls and Can-Can), the film is a romping good time set in the Oregon Territory c. 1950. Under the energetic direction of Stanley Donen, Howard Keel plays mountain man Adam Pontipee who strolls into town, bound and determined to find himself a bride. When a cook named Millie, played by Jane Powell, obliges, she is in for more than she bargained for. She soon discovers that her new husband has six rowdy brothers for whom she will have to cook and clean. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers features a supporting cast that includes Julie Newmar, Russ Tamblyn, Matt Mattox, Marc Platt, Jacques d’Amboise, Jeff Richards, and Tommy Rall. (February 1).
Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (the third and final of Donmar Warehouse’s series) brings to life one of the Bard’s most magical of plays. Traditionally set on a remote island, a shipwreck leads to a handful of new inhabitants joining the mystical folk who already reside there. This production features a unique twist, with the action taking place in a women’s prison, where “Lloyd’s intrepid “inmates” play the roles Shakespeare originally wrote for men. The Tempest proves a moving metaphor, conjuring Prospero’s magical island from the stark prison setting. Harriet Walter stars as the sorcerer Prospero.” (February 6).
Also on the bill for February are The Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty Ballet arriving on February 14, and David Hare’s compelling political drama Absence of War making its way to the platform on February 20.
The Sleeping Beauty Ballet – Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Royal Ballet Principal Marianela Nuñez delights as Princess Aurora, with Vadim Muntagirov as her Prince Florimund, in this performance of a timeless classic. Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory, with its vibrant sets and glittering costumes and featuring such iconic moments as the Rose Adage, the Vision pas de deux, the exuberant wedding celebration and the charming fairy-tale guests, all danced to Tchaikovsky’s richly layered music – one of the most beloved ballet scores of all time. This Sleeping Beauty captures all the magic and virtuosity that ballet has to offer.
Absence of War – John Thaw (Inspector Morse) stars in David Hare’s compelling political drama. As the battle for the soul of the Labour Party commences, the Right Honourable George Jones, MP, leader of the Party and honorable in every sense of the word, is subjected to intolerable behind-the-scenes pressures.
And, of course, February is the month for sweethearts brought together by Cupid’s arrow. For Valentine’s Day, BroadwayHD subscribers can pick from a host of romantic choices, including An American in Paris, Brigadoon, Bye Bye Birdie, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, Falsettos, From Here to Eternity, Indecent, King and I, Kinky Boots, Kiss Me, Kate, Memphis, Romeo and Juliet, She Loves Me, The Sound of Music Live, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, and Les Miserables.
BroadwayHD introduces award-winning theater from all across the globe with both classic and modern productions. Fans can expect to see the full works of Shakespeare, awe-inspiring performances from Cirque du Soleil and a selection of the world’s greatest musical including Kinky Boots, Cats, 42nd Street,She Loves Me, The Phantom of The Opera, The King and I, Sound of Music, and An American in Paris. All performances are adapted specifically for streaming audiences to maximize the entertainment experience.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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