NEW YORK (AP) — A special audience will get to see Helen Mirren onstage next month in London in the play "The Audience" — some retired show business veterans in a New Jersey nursing home.
The live cinema event company BY Experience said Friday it will show a live performance of Peter Morgan's play with residents of the The Lillian Booth Actors Home in New Jersey.
BY Experience has donated the high-tech digital projector equipment needed for the broadcast and is permanently installing it in one of the home's community space. Residents will now be able to catch all subsequent broadcasts by National Theatre Live.
The play will be broadcast live across the world from London's Gielgud Theatre using multiple cameras on June 13. Some movie theaters will show it live while others will show it at different times throughout the summer. The Actors Home will get a copy of it June 14.
The play stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, and focuses on the queen's relationship with the 12 prime ministers of her 60-year reign. Its title denotes the weekly meetings the two hold at Buckingham Palace.
"We thought this would be a great way to extend the performance arts-going life of people who could no longer get out and do that," said Julie Borchard-Young, who runs BY Experience with her husband, Robert. "It's a great service to be able to offer to the residents. We just knew it was the right thing to do."
Mirren won an Oliver Award in April for the role. The actress also won an Academy Award in 2007 for her performance as the British monarch in "The Queen," a drama about the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana.
The Lillian Booth Actors Home is a 124-person assisted living and nursing care facility for entertainment professionals in in Englewood, N.J. It is owned and operated by The Actors Fund.
Current residents include veterans the world of stage and screen, including actors, vaudevillians, Ziegfeld Follies dancers, comedians, band leaders and set designers.
"This is a community made up of talented artists who've contributed their professional lives to performing arts and entertainment, so they're the perfect audience for Dame Helen Mirren," said Joseph P. Benincasa, president and CEO of the Actors Fund.
Following "The Audience," residents of the nursing home — and National Theatre Live fans — will next get to see Nicholas Hytner's production of "Othello" in September.
BY Experience originated the concept of bringing live arts, cultural and music events to cinemas audiences worldwide. It now distributes to over 60 countries.
Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits