Broadway Near You has nabbed nearly all worldwide rights to the production, from theatrical to home entertainment, and is weighing how it will distribute the show.
The acquisition comes as the company is busy rolling out a filmed version of “Driving Miss Daisy” starring James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury. It debuts in 500 theaters on June 4.
Broadway Near You plans to distribute four to five filmed theatrical productions this year, eventually building up to between 15 to 20 releases, Ed Greenberg, a private equity investor and the company’s founder, said. The plays will be drawn from a combination of regional theaters, the West End and Broadway
“Live theater is the only form of mass entertainment where you have to be in a set venue to see it,” Greenberg said. “There are enormous geographical constraints.”
“To use a baseball metaphor, most theater lovers don’t get to see the Yankees play,” he added. “They get to see Scranton/Wilkes-Barre play. This lets everybody see the Yankees.”
The “Twelfth Night” production features Tony Award-winner Dennehy (“Death of a Salesman”) as Sir Toby Belch and was performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2011. Des McAnuff (“Jersey Boys,” “700 Sundays”) directed the show and contributed music.
A film version was released in Canada by Cineplex Entertainment in 2012, but Broadway Near You has purchased the rights to distribute the film in the rest of the world. The company plans to release the film later this year.