It's as close to being in the London theater as you can get without actually being in Britain.
Visitors to London know that a ticket to a play – any play – at the National Theatre is a must. But if that's not in the cards, the Downtown Independent (251 S. Main St., Los Angeles), the James Bridges Theater at UCLA and others (check for venues here) have begun tuning their satellite dishes to NT Live, an innovation that allows plays to be streamed across the world and the recordings replayed several times in the coming weeks.
As you take your seats, the feed shows that evening’s arriving audience – hence the show time of 11 a.m. or noon for live relays (later for rebroadcasts). Then there is a short featurette about the play, movie-style trailers for upcoming ones and a presenter setting the scene, before the curtain goes up 5,500 miles away.
The crisp, digital multi-camera coverage follows the action/reaction like a sitcom, which is why NT Live tends to focus on “talking heads” plays rather than epic stagecraft affairs.