London theater expands U.S. cinema reach

London’s National Theater has pacted with alternative content distributor NCM Fathom to expand the reach of NT Live, the U.K. theater’s series of cinema broadcasts of legit performances.

About 200 more venues in the U.S. will screen the offerings of NT Live, broadening the program’s American reach to cities including Vegas, Orlando and Detroit.

Programming will also continue to be seen at the performing arts centers and local screens where NT Live previously had about 90 Stateside berths.

The 2011-12 NT Live slate kicks off with “One Man, Two Guvnors” Oct. 20, following by “The Kitchen” (Nov. 3), “Collaborators” (Dec. 1) and “The Comedy of Errors” (March 1). All four shows are produced onstage by the National.

The additional “One Man” screenings could provide a U.S. profile boost for the play itself, a strong-selling hit in London that’s poised to make the move to Gotham.

Live performances have increasingly been moving to the bigscreen, spurred in part the Metropolitan Opera’s cinemacasts. Most initiatives are paired with troupes that, like the Met, have a high profile among arts avids. The Royal Opera House, La Scala and the Bolshoi Ballet also are among the orgs whose works are disseminated to bigscreens.

Presented by NT Live, BY Experience and Fathom, the NT Live screenings will be distrubted via NCM’s Digital Broadcast Network in theater chains including AMC, Cinemark and Regal, among others.

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