Yesiree, I’m livestreaming Daddy Long Legs . . . for free. (UPDATED)

Normally Monday blogs are reserved for my latest podcast.

But we had some breaking news last night, as reported by the New York Times, so I’m breaking my OCD ways and pushing the podcast ’til tomorrow.  Also, I’m just so excited about this latest endeavor that I can’t keep my mouth shut/fingers off the keyboard any longer.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, then you know I’ve been championing the cause for distributing our theatrical content in new and internet-y ways.

And now, I’m putting my money where my mouthy blog is.

On December 10th at 8 PM ET, Daddy Long Legsthe gorgeous new musical by Les Misérables Director John Caird and Jane Eyre Composer Paul Gordon and now starring the husband and wife team of Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin, will be streamed live, to anyone and everyone in the world . . . for free.

Audiences e-tuning-in will see the performance as it happens from the Davenport Theatre on 45th Street.  And, to accommodate the rest of the theatrical world, replays will occur at 8 PM Los Angeles time, 8 PM London time and 8 PM Tokyo time.  You can also expect some unique “Making of Daddy Long Legs” content, and some fun intermission chatter with the cast, and a talk back as well.

It’s the first time this has been done for a Broadway or Off Broadway show and I’m pretty stoked (mostly because I love the show so much, and I just want more and more people to get a chance to see it and hear it).

Like many things I’ve done throughout my career, a lot of people told me NOT to do this.  But, like many things I’ve done throughout my career, I’m doing it anyway.

Because if we’re going to keep up with all of the new and mobile ways people have to consume entertainment these days, then I believe we’re going to need to push the electronic boundaries of how our content is distributed.  And we have to remember that exposing our content to the world, doesn’t mean people won’t come see it live.  In fact, it is my belief that livestreaming content, showing currently-running musicals in movie theaters, will put more butts in seats, than take them away.  And certainly it has to help our industry as a whole.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a Broadway show for years, and have run numbers on it at least a dozen times.  At the moment, the Broadway model is too inflexible for it to make sense (never mind make “cents”).  Off Broadway isn’t that much easier (some unions get it more than others), but since I run the theater and since Daddy is a smaller scale show, it’s worth the experiment.

And if you don’t experiment in this business, and if you don’t experiment in life, then you’re failing to live up to your potential.  And I hate unrealized potential.

If you are excited about the possibility of livestreaming Broadway and Off Broadway shows, then I hope you’ll tune in to our experiment on December 10th at 8 PM ET (or for any of the replays).  The more viewers we have, the more there’s a chance of more shows streaming in the future.

Plus, you’re going to just love the show.

And then, wait until you see it live!


– – – – –

MISS THIS LIVESTREAM?  See Daddy Long Legs on BroadwayHD today. Click here.



  • Randi says:

    Does that mean that the London stream will be 8pm on December *11th*?

  • Jared W says:

    Good for you for putting your money where your mouth is!

    I’ll never understand why the industry remains so reluctant to put out film versions of currently running shows. Both “Chicago” and “Phantom” show no signs of closing despite film versions having come out over a decade ago. Hell, “The Lion King” is consistently one of the top 5 grossing shows on Broadway, and that is based on a film that had been released before the musical even existed.

    Yes, a movie version isn’t *quite* the same thing as a broadcast of the theatrical version, but if the logic of “I’ve seen it before, I’ll spend my money elsewhere” was true none of the above shows should be doing anywhere near as well as they are. And even if a live broadcast doesn’t have immediate effect on the box office, it can only be good for a show’s long-term viability. (I doubt “Legally Blonde” would be anywhere near as popular as it is regionally without the MTV broadcast, which gave a bunch of skeptics like myself the chance to check and realize that it’s actually a really entertaining show.)

  • Greg Morris says:

    “Daddy Long Longs” is the adult film version of this story. “Daddy Long Legs” is the musical that will be livestreamed.

  • Melissa Bell says:

    Thanks so much for doing this Ken! I agree with you and I think there is a future for “live” theater on the internet. I think it can be a revenue stream long after a show has closed–and while it’s open those who can’t get to NYC.
    By the way, NPR First Look offered the cast album of HAMILTON free for a week before it was released and it didn’t hurt sales at all! In fact it shot up to #1 on the Billboard charts after it was released.
    People all over the world will enjoy Daddy Long Legs. I know I will. Thanks/

  • Alicia E says:

    THANK YOU, KEN!! You have always been generous with your knowledge, time and now production. I am a frequent attendee at all NTLive broadcasts and have enjoyed them very much. I’m looking forward to your live stream as well and plan to schedule a viewing party with my students who do not have access to theatre close by, needless to say Off Broadway. Can’t thank you enough.

    Oh! Is it appropriate for middle school students age 12 & 13?

  • Larry Webb says:

    I love it! Kudos to you Ken!

  • Trevor Chenery says:

    Great initiative Mr Davenport
    There is huge potential for Broadway & Off-Broadway shows – especially plays – to be live-streamed into the UK on a paid-or basis.
    All those shows that deserve a wider audience, and also give critics the chance to see and review shows across continents.
    Could be a great closing week initiative.

    After a very poor (technically) live-streaming of Kenneth Branagh’s “The Winters Tale” last week please take note of the key requirements.

    * The Cast should ALWAYS be miked – otherwise the resultant sound in cinemas in very poor and sometimes inaudible
    * The broadcast show should be lit for “cinema/television as opposed to the theatre
    * Hire a really good visuals Director for the live-stream.
    (This was the one saving grace for “The Winters Tale”)

    Looking forward to #DaddyLIve


    Trevor Chenery

  • larry little says:

    Ken – Great idea! I want to learn more about it. Maybe do a podcast of how you did it. How much did it cost? What were the concerns of the actor’s unions, etc. How did you handle their concerns? Will the actors get royalties? How do you expect to make money off of this – will this help to license the show better? Those details would be very helpful to us – “other producers”. Thanks….

  • Janie Downey Maxwell says:

    Love this!! Thank you. You rock.

  • Joe Marino says:

    Thanks so much Ken for taking a risk. I hope it pays you back in spades.

    Break a … url????

  • HOW did you get AEA on board with this??

  • Steven Conners says:

    Glad you are doing this. You know back in the 50’s and 60’s Ely Landau did a similar thing. He filmed Broadway shows and then sold them on a subscription basis to theaters across the country. His series is available on Amazon: The American Film Theater. Keep up the good work. —sjc

  • Marshall says:

    Is there any way you might blog on the number of cameras, who’s directing the video shoot, will there be a camera for reaction shot close ups, whether you’re going for that “film look” shooting at 24 fps, having rehearsals, etc?

    Have spent the past seven years with my head buried in scripts figuring out these details and it’s a whole new discipline that I’m sure you’re gobbling up with a serving spoon. 😉

  • Jason Heil says:

    Love this idea. I wish there were more times. I’m in rehearsal all afternoon and evening that day.

  • Martha says:

    I’m so excited about this because I live in New Mexico. You’re a Visionary. Thank you.

  • Roseann says:

    This is the start of something big! Thanks to all who were involved. I love this musical!

  • Taletha says:

    Thank you so much for doing this! I LOVE musicals and grew up on them. I live in San Diego, Ca and have never been to New York … and don’t know if I will ever get the chance to make it out there. Right now I am a Stay At Home Mom and thanks to this I was able to take care of my girls AND have them see their very first Off Broadway show! My 21 month old was actually singing along (to the song Charity…well the word Charity) and my 4 month old giggled whenever they sang. As a mom, it was a joy for me to experience their reaction. As a theatre-lover it was simply an excitement and joy all around. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *