I recently heard director Lonny Price talk in a podcast about the importance of capturing theatrical performances on video. He felt what’s great about that is the fact that audiences would be able to see what was so great about an actor/actress’ performance rather than just hearing about how great it was. The way I see it, there are two different ways of preserving a theatrical performance on video for the world to see; filming a performance of a play/musical to be shown on television or in movie theatres. The other would be having an actor/actress reprise their theatrical role(s) in a film/TV adaptation.
Of course, the usual way is having the New York Public Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive filming the performance of a Broadway show. Though you would have to visit that library located at Lincoln Center if you’re in the city.
Here is a list I’ve made of 10 legendary performances in musical theatre that were unfortunately never captured on video professionally.
So what do you think? What are some other legendary theatrical performances you can think of that have never been captured on video?
For what it’s worth, I have seen bootlegs of Channing in Hello, Dolly, Crawford in Phantom and Lansbury in Mame but I suspect you’re referring to not-illegal tapings.
Would love to see the original Follies – I’ve admittedly seen a bootleg of that one too but the quality was horrendous. And some of the big flops too, like Frankenstein and Moose Murders. I would pay top-dollar for MM.
OSCAR FLASHBACK: Best Original Song (2002) – The Academy Loses Itself
I did say never captured on video ‘professionally’, so yes I’m not counting illegal bootlegs.