Simulcasts at Storyteller offer more than opera

Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund Laszlo and Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in a scene from “Casablanca.” Enlarge photo

Turner Entertainment Co.

Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund Laszlo and Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in a scene from “Casablanca.”

Even for those who never developed a taste for opera, there’s an upside to Storyteller Theatres’ decision to simulcast The Met: Live in HD productions.

That’s because Fathom Events, the company that films and broadcasts from the stages and dressing rooms of the Metropolitan Opera every month, also shares other entertainment extravaganzas with a national audience. Two excellent examples will hit the big screen at the Durango Stadium 9 later this month.

On March 18, Fathom will simulcast a not-to-be-missed concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and joined by legendary jazz man Herbie Hancock for an evening of George Gershwin music.

“LA Phil LIVE: Gustavo Dudamel and Herbie Hancock Celebrate Gershwin” will be pre-recorded from the LA Phil’s season opening night concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The program includes some of Gershwin’s best including the “Cuban Overture,” “An American in Paris” and “Rhapsody in Blue,” as well as intimate improvisations by Hancock of “Embraceable You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” The simulcast also features exclusive footage of Hancock, the LA Phil’s creative chair for jazz, in his home, playing Gershwin and providing insights into his improvisational process.

In-theater audiences will also experience up-close and dramatic views of Dudamel and the orchestra in action, captured with multiple HD cameras. The broadcast will transport audiences behind the music for an exclusive “backstage pass” look at the LA Phil, including interviews with Dudamel, world-renowned guest soloists and the orchestra’s musicians.

Three days later, Fathom will show a one night-only screening of “Casablanca” in a Turner Classic Movies 70th anniversary special event.

Movie audiences will be able to experience the classic in a digital presentation with a TCM produced introduction by Robert Osborne, who will discuss the film’s enduring legacy and reveal some behind-the-scenes stories. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, it’s one of the most romantic films in the history of cinema and won three Academy Awards in 1944 including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Movie critic Leonard Maltin calls Casablanca “the best Hollywood movie of all time.” The American Film Institute voted it the screen’s greatest love story and the No. 3 film of all time.

“Casablanca” is the third recent classic anniversary event presented in theaters by Fathom Events, following the 70th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” and the 50th anniversary of “West Side Story.”

ted@durangoherald.com