Lincoln Center Archives

BETTY22
#1Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/19/24 at 10:49am

What is the criteria for Lincoln Center to record Broadway shows?

I know they pass on the popular 'entertainment' focused works with juke box scores or based on big commercial films.

 

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BrodyFosse123
#2Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/19/24 at 12:19pm

Well, they filmed JERSEY BOYS, MAMMA MIA!, and PRETTY WOMAN: The Musical so your assessment is wrong about what they pass on.  


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Huss417
#3Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/19/24 at 1:32pm

BrodyFosse123 said: "Well, they filmed JERSEY BOYS, MAMMA MIA!, and PRETTY WOMAN: The Musical so your assessment is wrong about what they pass on."



I believe Pretty Woman had original music The Roy Orbison song was added after the show opened.

Sometimes "assessments" can be wrong. Lincoln Center Archives


"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
Updated On: 1/19/24 at 01:32 PM

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dramamama611
#4Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/19/24 at 2:42pm

The op also suggested they "skip on" shows that were based on big commercial films.

 

I thought the only time they skipped on original shows (first time on bway) was if the show closed so quickly that they couldn't get it scheduled. 


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#5Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/19/24 at 2:51pm

They have a budget, and it does not cover every Broadway show (let alone some of the Off-B shows they opt to record).

The choice to record a show for the archives is just that –– a choice. So sometimes the decision will seem a little arbitrary, and there can be a level of pitching and wining & dining involved. Was it "necessary" for them to record the short-lived revival Frankie & Johnny with Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon, perhaps at the expense of a short-lived musical or original play? Not necessarily. But is someone going to find value in viewing it at some point? Yes!

Sometimes, if there's significant reluctance, the NYPL will invite the production to make a donation to fund the archival filming.

There are also some directors/actors/writers who do not want their work filmed, and want it to live on only in the memories of those who saw it live.

Updated On: 1/19/24 at 02:51 PM

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TaffyDavenport
#6Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/19/24 at 2:57pm

Huss417 said: "BrodyFosse123 said: "Well, they filmed JERSEY BOYS, MAMMA MIA!, and PRETTY WOMAN: The Musical so your assessment is wrong about what they pass on."

I believe Pretty Woman had original music The Roy Orbison song was added after the show opened.

Sometimes "assessments" can be wrong. Lincoln Center Archives
"

It wasn't a jukebox musical, but it was based on a big commercial film, which is the other criteria that the OP mentioned.

 

cmorrow
#7Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/20/24 at 10:13am

I work at the Performing Arts Library, with the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT). It’s not correct to say the archive “passes” on jukebox musicals, or any other kind of stage show. All sorts of shows are considered for archival tapings (musicals, dramas, avant-garde pieces, puppet shows, etc.) However, as others have suggested, other factors are involved in what does and does not get recorded. First, there are specific criteria: if a stage work was created by a notable playwright, composer, or director; if it’s historically or socially relevant or worthy; if it’s an award winner (whether a Pulitzer, a Tony, a Lortel Award winner, or whatever else), etc., then it will be considered for the archive.

But it’s also worth pointing out that the money is a huge factor. Funding isn’t always available to tape a desired show. Musicals are especially expensive. When TOFT lacks a famous title, it’s not because “they passed on it.” It’s usually because the archive didn’t have the money. And in some instances, producers or creatives don’t want their show taped. Bob Fosse always turned TOFT down because he didn’t feel any one video could capture the essence of a show. That’s why TOFT lacks videos of the shows he created during his lifetime. Another example: the creative team behind Hamilton chose to finance their own video (the one shown on Disney+), which is why TOFT lacks its own, unique videorecording of Hamilton.

One other, fairly minor point: the archive is called the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive. Most people call it “Lincoln Center Video Archive,” or something like that, but Lincoln Center is not part of the name. It’s easier to google when you use the correct term. There’s a good Wikipedia entry under Theatre on Film and Tape Archive.

BETTY22
#8Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/20/24 at 10:37am

Do producers cover costs or Lincoln Center? 

cmorrow
#9Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/20/24 at 10:54am

BETTY22 said: "Do producers cover costs or Lincoln Center?"

Producers occasionally pay for tapings, but most often they don't.

To follow up on what I said earlier about the archive's name: TOFT is part of the New York Public Library system. Technically, our library is called The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. But that's a mouthful, so those of us who work there usually call it the LPA, or the Performing Arts Library. We are located at Lincoln Center, but not otherwise affiliated with the Lincoln Center organization. Lincoln Center Theater sometimes pays for tapings at the Vivian Beaumont or the Mitzi Newhouse, but beyond that, "Lincoln Center" does not contribute any money towards TOFT tapings at any other theater.

 

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Kad
#10Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/20/24 at 11:47am

Thanks so much for sharing detailed info about the Library - it’s an invaluable but also poorly understood institution. And thanks so much to you and the rest of the people there who help preserve so much of this history! 


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#11Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/20/24 at 12:15pm

As implied here and based on conversations with those who work on the Lincoln Center campus:

I gather there's a great deal of tiptoeing between Lincoln Center the landlord and its constituent organizations, as well as a general public misunderstanding of how each individual nonprofit operates as part of the larger Lincoln Center campus. (Don't ever let Andre B hear you say "Lincoln Center's production of Camelot" when you actually mean "Lincoln Center Theater's production of Camelot", for example.)

I understand relations are better now during the Henry Timms regime than they were under past LC leadership, but it's still a very delicate balance.

cmorrow
#12Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/20/24 at 12:25pm

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "As implied here and based on conversations with those who work on the Lincoln Center campus:

I gather there's a great deal of tiptoeing between Lincoln Center the landlord and its constituent organizations, as well as a general public misunderstanding of how each individual nonprofit operates as part of the larger Lincoln Center campus. (Don't ever let Andre B hear you say "Lincoln Center's production of Camelot" when you actually mean "Lincoln Center Theater's production of Camelot", for example.)

I understand relations are better now during the Henry Timms regime than they were under past LC leadership, but it's still a very delicate balance.
"

Very true. When the complex was built in the 1960s, there was conflict between the Lincoln Center organization and the NYPL, over space. (We share our building with LCT.) From what I gather, the library lost every battle over who gets more room, which is why our space is so cramped. That was a long time ago, but it set a pattern for a rather strained relationship.

On a related note: although members of the public usually call us the "Lincoln Center Library," no one who works there uses that phrase. I've been there for decades, and we never say that.

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Dancingthrulife2
#13Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 1/21/24 at 7:19am

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Was it "necessary" for them to record the short-lived revival Frankie & Johnny with Audra McDonald & Michael Shannon, perhaps at the expense of a short-lived musical or original play?"

 

Yes.

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GiantsInTheSky2
cmorrow
#15Lincoln Center Archives
Posted: 7/8/24 at 9:38pm

I can add, for those who might be interested, that the memorial gathering for Stephen Sondheim, taped at the Sondheim Theatre in November 2022, is now available to view in the TOFT screening room. This is an officially sanctioned video, created in cooperation with the coordinators of the event. For rather complicated reasons, it was not available to the public until just a couple of weeks ago.


Videos