NEW YORK, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With esteemed careers spanning 60 to 70 years long, actors Dame Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones will bring the magic of the stage to movie theaters across the country this June. Screenvision and Broadway Near You have partnered to make the stage production of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Driving Miss Daisy available in more than 500 movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada beginning June 4. The film stars five-time Tony Award winning and three-time Academy Award nominee Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote, Sweeney Todd and Blithe Spirit) as Daisy, two-time Tony Award winner and Academy Award winner Jones (Star Wars, The Great White Hope and Field of Dreams) as her driver, Hoke, and four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines (Gypsy, The Heidi Chronicles) as Daisy's son, Boolie. Tickets for Driving Miss Daisy will be available at www.broadwayonscreen.com.
From its infancy in its Off-Broadway production in 1987, Driving Miss Daisy has been performed thousands of times for theatregoers around the world. Now, people unable to get to Broadway will be able to see the acclaimed stage production captured for film in movie theaters near them. Of this Stagecast™, playwright Alfred Uhry said, "Every playwright dreams of having a perfect rendition of his play last forever. I am blessed to have it happen for me with this production of Driving Miss Daisy."
The elegant stage production, directed by the award-winning David Esbjornson, has received acclaimed-reviews around the world, including this from the Sydney Morning Herald: "Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones are brilliant, unmissable. If you care about theatre, rush to buy tickets before they're all gone."
The company behind the curtain, Broadway Near You, has a mission to bring great works of art to people all over the world by presenting in movie theaters an annual slate of the best in musicals and stage shows with a focus on Broadway, the West End and the best of Off-Broadway and regional theatre. Founder Ed Greenberg, former Wall Street investment banker, and CEO, Lee deBoer, veteran entertainment executive, recognized the opportunity to create a business model that would extend the lifetime of stage productions, making great theatrical productions more accessible to all.
"Broadway has mass market appeal; however, for the vast majority of shows, 80 to 90 percent of the country is unable to see them actually performed on stage," said Greenberg. "In fact, theatre is the only form of mass entertainment that is solely distributed locally. Our goal with Broadway Near You is to shift the historical limitations, and expand the reach through Stagecasts around the world."
"We are thrilled to work with Screenvision to bring Broadway Near You's first production to life on the big screen," said deBoer. "The Driving Miss Daisy Stagecast features two endearing and seasoned professionals in an emotionally-charged rendition that not only captures the essence of live theatre, but also allows the viewer to see the up close and personal emotions that are usually missed in live performances."
Broadway Near You and Screenvision have entered into a multi-show partnership that will provide a stream of Broadway content to movie theaters across the country. "The Stagecast of Driving Miss Daisy and performances by these popular and storied actors is truly riveting," said Darryl Schaffer, Executive Vice President, Operations and Exhibitor Relations for Screenvision. "We're especially proud to offer this Stagecast, brought to us by Broadway Near You, to our exhibitor partners, and look forward to future productions that we can memorialize through film."
The award-winning play centers around the relationship between Daisy Werthan, a widowed, 72-year-old Southern Jewish woman living in midcentury Atlanta, and her African American chauffeur Hoke Colburn. What begins as a hostile relationship, transforms into a life-altering friendship that has warmed the hearts of millions. The sold-out tour of Driving Miss Daisy was captured for cinema in Australia at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre by film-producers, Richard Moore and Jill Bilcock. The theatrical production was produced by Jed Bernstein, Adam Zotovich and John Frost.
Headquartered in New York, N.Y., Screenvision is a national leader in cinema advertising, offering on-screen advertising, in-lobby promotions and integrated marketing programs to national, regional and local advertisers and providing comprehensive cinema advertising representation services to top tier theatrical exhibitors presenting the highest quality moviegoing experience. The Screenvision cinema advertising network is comprised of over 14,200 screens in 2,200+ theater locations across all 50 states and 94% of DMAs nationwide; delivering through more than 150 theatrical circuits, including 6 of the top 10 exhibitor companies. For more information: http://www.screenvision.com
ABOUT BROADWAY NEAR YOU
Broadway Near You brings unique long-term vision, content alliances and capitalization to the growing category of alternative content for cinemas. BNY will capture compelling stage productions from numerous sources—Broadway, Off-Broadway, London's West End and around the globe—and offer them worldwide as an annual series, first in cinemas and eventually via broadcast and digital home platforms.