Who else misses seeing live theater?
Whether it’s a musical or a one-man play, there’s always something magical about seeing a Broadway show.
When you can’t go to the theater, you can make the theater come to you by streaming these Broadway shows.
Let’s start with the biggest Broadway sensation in recent years — Hamilton: An American Musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical chronicle of the life of Alexander Hamilton aka “the ten-dollar founding father” is streaming on Disney+.
What’s left to be said that hasn’t already been said about this masterpiece. The story is captivating. The songs are so good you’re glad they’re not leaving your brain anytime soon.
Streaming provides the bonus of seeing the original Broadway cast perform.
Hamilton is as much must-see for TV fans as it is for theater fans. It’s the answer to many TV riddles such as why is Dr. Richard Webber a Hercules Mulligan fanboy (Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 Episode 2) and why did Stars Hollow create a rap musical about the Industrial Revolution (Gilmore Girls Season 8 Episode 3).
If Hamilton alone can’t satisfy your craving for musicals, you can also stream Newsies: The Broadway Musical on Disney+.
Newsies is about the newsboys who went on strike to take a stand against the publishing titans of the early 20th century. It’s a feel-good, David vs. Goliath tale with catchy songs like “Carrying the Banner” and “Seize the Day.” This musical can uplift you from any funk.
If you’re looking for a more classic Broadway hit, Amazon Prime has Live from Lincoln Center: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.
Although the title comes from an amusement park ride and features high energy songs, Carousel isn’t the most joyous of musicals. It’s about an ill-fated romance between the characters Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow.
The show’s depiction of domestic violence hasn’t aged well, but it’s message of not letting the past define you still resonants.
The Live from Lincoln Center version stars Kelli O’Hara as Julie and Nathan Gunn as Billy and features an introduction from Broadway superstar Audra McDonald. The singing is great, and ballet fans are in for a treat.
Now if you’re looking for an-all ages Broadway show, check out Shrek the Musical on Netflix.
Like the Dreamworks animated film it was based on, Shrek the Musical is about the titular ogre living alone because he’s tired of everyone coming after him with pitchforks. His peaceful existence is shattered when Lord Farquad banishes all the fairy tale creatures to his swamp.
To reclaim his solitude, Shrek agrees to go on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona, Farquad’s bride to be who has secrets of her own.
Shrek the Musical hits all the right adaptational notes. It stays true to the film’s story and characters, but it’s not a boring retread of the film. The added material enhances the show, and the changes make sense.
Plus it’s jammed packed with great songs: “I Know It’s Today,” “Who I’d Be,” and “Freak Flag.”
Perhaps most enticing to TV fans is the fact Princess Fiona is played by none other than Younger’s Sutton Foster.
Now Broadway isn’t only musicals. Back in late 2016 through early 2017, comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney starred in the non-musical (though there is some dancing) Oh, Hello on Broadway, which you can stream on Netflix.
Kroll and Mulaney play the geriatric Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, characters they created for the Kroll Show who then went to make appearances on talk shows and other sketch shows.
Oh, Hello On Broadway gives Kroll and Mulaney 142 minutes to delve into the past of these crazy characters, tell tuna fish jokes, and feature a couple of special guests.
Hanging over the show is the question of whether the humor lands if you’re not already familiar with the characters or a New Yorker. It might not, but this question is best answered after giving Oh, Hello on Broadway a try.
If Oh, Hello on Broadway is a little top screwball for your tastes, then you may be more interested in John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, also on Netflix.
Leguizamo’s one-man play is hilarious, but the hilarity is mixed in with the affecting tale of Leguizamo diving into Latin history to inspire his son, who is being bullied. The show credibly presents itself as very knowledgable on the subjects it tackles, but it never feels like a lecture.
Leguizamo has always been a charismatic actor, but here his oration skills shine through. You won’t believe how fast his history class flies by.
Now if you want something more rock and roll, Netflix has Springsteen on Broadway.
The genesis of Springsteen on Broadway came from rock legend Bruce Springsteen wanting to play smaller, more intimate shows. To achieve this goal, Springsteen created a show that was an autobiography, a concert, and a play.
Springsteen is an impressive performer. His soliloquies are as spellbinding as his songs. His comedic quips deserve more recognition. After watching Springsteen on Broadway, you’ll walk away with a portrait of both the artist and the man.
Over to you, TV Fanatics!
Are you missing live theater?
Have you been streaming any Broadway shows?
Hit the comments below.
Becca Newton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.