The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings

A CurtainUp Streaming Feature
Bringing a Touch of Live Theater to Your Streamed Outings

To paraphrase Henry Higgins' famous "I've become accustomed to her face," I've become accustomed to theatergoing as dictated by life during a pandemic. I'll admit that I like not having to worry about subway delays from my apartment to the theater, also never having some big, broad-shouldered guy sit down in front of me just as the curtain rises. But there's no denying watching a show on line will never be better than watching it in a theater surrounded by other people, some of them fellow critics.

However, if you differentiate how you watch TV from the way you watch a streamed play or musical, you can bring a touch of live theater to the streamed experience. Back in the early television, pre-internet and computers, families gathered around that set for weekly specials. But over time, television sets have tended to be kept on at all times, while people do other things around their homes. When day is done and It's time to relax and watch a show and a movie, viewers might get into pajamas, stretch out on the couch with a bowl of chips or popcorn at hand and the remote gadget ready to fast forward any slow moments.

Not being part of an audience is likely to be especially difficult if you live alone. But if your livng quarters are big enough for distanced visitors-- invite a nearby friend to join you. If you live with a partner, make this a special occasion.

Whether alone or with others, forget about getting into pajamas and slippers, forget about popcorn or chips and keep your remote gadget on the side. In short, make it a point to not do anything you wouldn't do if you were watching the show in a theater. If the show you are watching has an intermission, you can do your snacking then.

If there's no one living close enough for you to invite, get your theater loving friends to see the same performance (if it's a show that needs to be reserved-- email the information to them . You can then have a Zoomed discussion after the show.

If you enjoy the show, as I'm sure you will, extend that enjoyment by learning more about what you saw. For example, if you reserve the fresh production of Love, Noël: The Songs and Letters of Noël Coward, check out CurtainUp's review of the production when it played at the Irish Rep's home last year; also check out CurtainUp's review during its run at the Irish Rep last year to see if what you saw captured the charm of that production and it's performers. ( the review ). You might also want to check out our review of the book My Life With Noël Coward by Graham Payn with the cabaret show's creator Barry Day.

Finally, a star-studded Broadway revival of one of Coward's most popular plays, Present Laughter, is available to stream any time for THIRTEEN passport members. Having seen it live and online, I can vouch for the filmed version being just as good as it can get.

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