The Guthrie (who certainly doesn't need the press from us we know but still) is participating in a new, worldwide initiative by the UK's National Theatre "to broadcast high-definition performances of its plays to more than 230 movie theaters and performing arts centers worldwide."

What does that mean for you? On Wednesday, July 8 or Thursday, July 9, you can go down to the Big G at 7:30 and watch the National Theater's production of Phedre by Jean Racine. This new translation is by Ted Hughes (go read his translation of The Oresteia if you need to know why this is fantastic) and stars Helen Mirren.

This is a pilot program from the National Theater (though it is building on the idea implemented by New York's Metropolitan Opera House recently).

Will filmed versions of stage shows, made accessible through "high-definition screenings" increase the visibility, relevance of, and/or attendance at actual live performance?

I think that's the hope/bet. But who knows?

Regardless, Helen Mirren performing a Ted Hughes translation of Phedre just seems like something worth checking out. Tickets are $20. More information, of course, at the Guthrie website. And, if you're curious about what other venues are participating there's a list here.