'She Loves Me' becomes first Broadway show to stream live online

Laura Benanti on "She Loves Me"
Laura Benanti on "She Loves Me"

For the first time ever, a Broadway show will be live streamed online.

She Loves Me, the hit musical-comedy revival starring Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski, will be broadcast live on Thursday, June 30 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.

Directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, She Loves Me follows quarreling 1930s perfume-counter clerks who are unaware that they are each other's anonymous romantic pen pals. Nominated for eight Tony Awards — and taking home the award for David Rockwell's scenic design — the Roundabout Theatre Company's limited engagement runs through July 10 at Studio 54.

The livestream is presented by online theater streaming service BroadwayHD, and will be produced in association with Ellen M. Krass, who recently saw the show and made it her mission to film it. Though Roundabout's Todd Haimes never imagined the project would actualy materialize due to funding, "The fact that, 20 years from now, people can view this magnificent piece of work in HD quality is so profoundly important to me."

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To watch the show, viewers can reserve a live stream pass online for $9.99, or watch for free as part of an annual subscription to BroadwayHD's on-demand library, available on its Roku and Apple TV apps. After the live stream date, the broadcast will be added to the on-demand library, which currently boasts more than 150 titles.

In a moment of high Broadway ticket prices — which are already tough to buy, thanks to automated "ticket bots" — BroadwayHD's breakthrough livestream "allows people who can't afford to buy a full-price ticket to experience Broadway," co-founders Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley tell The Hollywood Reporter. "BroadwayHD is about providing access to those tickets, because not everyone is in New York. We want to expand the reach of the show outside the physical Broadway theatre."

Previously, the platform live streamed a behind-the-scenes show during Sunday's Tony Awards, as well as off-Broadway productions of the New Group's Buried Child and Signature Theatre's Old Hats. It aims to live stream more Broadway shows in the future, including a production's opening night.

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