Best London Theater Practically Down the Street From Your House - 2012
National Theatre Live at Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Dr
Irvine, CA 92612
In a coup of programming, every month or so, Irvine Barclay Theatre and ARTS Orange County host performances filmed on London's National Theatre stages, in front of a live audience, and broadcasts them for a mere $20 per ticket. Top-quality British talent from Oscar winner Helen Mirren to Julie Walters and Rory Kinnear, with directors as diverse as Danny Boyle or the National's artistic director, Nicholas Hytner, make regular appearances. Much as with the broadcasts of the New York Metropolitan Opera that periodically screen in local movie theaters, the plays are seamlessly directed and skillfully shot, losing not an iota of immediacy—in part because of the quality of the productions, but also because you're surrounded by audience members in a darkened, comfortable theater, all watching on a giant screen centrally located in Irvine, near the UC Irvine campus.