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The nonprofit theater company will sell tickets to live-streamed performances of the play, which will also be happening in front of a live audience, from Jan. 31 through Feb. 12, 2023, the last two scheduled weeks of the play’s run. While rare in the industry, due to the costs involved and fear of cannibalizing the audience, this is the second time the theater company has simulcast a Broadway play from the Hayes Theater.
Last year, Second Stage launched the program by simulcasting 14 performances of Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s during the last two weeks of its run in January and in the thick of the Omicron variant. Eleven of the 14 simulcast performances sold out, with 78 percent of viewers coming from outside New York City. The program is intended to broaden accessibility and audience numbers for Broadway shows, and the simulcast comes as audience numbers on Broadway are typically lower in the first few months of the year.
“We are very pleased to once again offer a simulcast viewing option — in real-time — from our Broadway home, the Hayes Theater,” Second Stage executive director Khady Kamara said in the press release. “This unique program significantly broadened our audience with last year’s production of Clyde’s and we are excited to resume this program by simulcasting a live Broadway performance of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play into people’s homes this winter.”
To simulcast, Second Stage uses five to seven cameras to shoot the play, with footage edited live throughout the performance. The cameras will be remotely operated and placed discreetly throughout the theater.
Common will make his Broadway debut in Between Riverside and Crazy, starring as Junior, the recently paroled son of ex-cop Walter “Pops” Washington, played by Stephen McKinley Henderson. The pair fight to hold onto their apartment, one of the last rent-stabilized units on Riverside Drive, and in the process, bring up old wounds.
The play won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, after an Off-Broadway run at the Atlantic Theater Company and a second run produced by Second Stage at its Off-Broadway Tony Kiser Theater.
Common and Henderson, who also appeared in the Off-Broadway runs, will star alongside several other original castmembers, including Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Rosal Colón, Liza Colón-Zayas and Michael Rispoli.
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