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Posted on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 8:20 a.m.

Helen Mirren adds another jewel to her crown with 'The Audience,' broadcast live to Michigan Theater

By Roger LeLievre

The University Musical Society is known for bringing some big names to town. Next week it’s Queen Elizabeth II - or at least the next best thing.


Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II in a scene from "The Queen."

publicity photo

Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award-winning role as the reigning monarch in “The Audience,” which will be broadcast live from London’s Gielgud Theatre as part of National Theatre Live and showing in high definition at the Michigan Theater Sunday and next Tuesday.

Here’s the story behind the story.

For 60 years Elizabeth II has met privately with each of her 12 Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. “The Audience” breaks this contract of silence, and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen.

From young mother to grandmother, these private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age. Politicians come and go through the revolving door of electoral politics, while she remains constant, waiting to welcome her next Prime Minister.

It’s bound to be as close as most of us will get to a real audience with Her Majesty.

The University Musical Society presents “The Audience” at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Sunday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22. Details: or 734-764-2538.



Sat, Sep 7, 2013 : 3:57 a.m.

If the shows are to be broadcast "live" from London with showtimes at the Michigan Theater being 7 PM on Sunday and Tuesday evening, then the performance must be scheduled for Midnight in London on each day because of the five hour time difference. I doubt the London performances will start at the witching hour and that broadcasts to be seen at the Michigan Theater will actually be pre-recorded. To me it does not matter that the performance will not be "live" since I expect Ms. Mirren's performance to be incredible and not diminished at all by being recorded.