Arts once removed

The British TV channel Sky Arts will be broadcasting English National Opera’s production of “La Boheme.” Nothing new there.

The twist is that it will, simultaniously, broadcast a live, behind-the-scenes, view. See story here.

If both were offered here, I’d guess that the backstage view would attract a larger audience. At least, that’s the one I’d be most likely to watch.

I’m not proud about this, but in books and on TV, I’m increasingly drawn to the story-about rather than the story itself. I read more books about theater than I read plays themselves. I don’t read many magazines, but I just finished a book about the history of the groundbreaking publication “Spy.” I haven’t seen a Red Skelton film in a long time, but I just read Wes D. Gehring’s “Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask.”

I can’t help but wonder if my experience is typical of others. With more “reality” programming on TV and more pull-back-the-curtain offerings from arts organizations, are we becoming a once-removed culture? Or does this obsession with process increase our appreciation of the art itself?

Your thoughts?

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