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'Prairie Home Companion' Live in Theaters in HD


"A Prairie Home Companion," the long-running Saturday night public radio fixture with its weekly news from Lake Wobegon, has already been made into a motion picture by the late director Robert Altman, in a film (only loosely based on the program) of the same name. Next Thursday night, Feb. 4, PHC returns to the big screen — only this time live and in HD — with a special broadcast from its home at the World Theater in St. Paul, Minn.

According to America Public Media, which produces the weekly show, the first-ever airing of the radio series on live HDTV will be offered in about 500 participating movie theaters and performing arts centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. (Tickets are $15 in most locations).

A handful of other stage productions (albeit not shows which are primarily produced for radio) — notably the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in Manhattan — have offered some of their content live and in HD in select movie houses for several years with much success.

PHC, with creator/host and bestselling novelist Garrison Keillor, has been a fixture of public radio for more than three decades. APM said its weekly American audience averages about 4 million people.