“Here we go! And a 5, 6, 7, 8!”
The days go by both slowly and quickly; it feels like both October and March, and most of us are straight-up losing our minds—therefore, it is truly the perfect time to face the music. No, not “face the music” as in “fix your whole life”—“face the music” as in, “watch some damn musicals on your television!” These 10 musicals are available to stream right from your television and are sure to bring you some much needed, mood-lifting relief—if only for a few hours.
Top Picks for You
The Producers boasts some of the best, funniest, and generally, most amusing music Broadway has to offer. The show tells the tale of a washed-up Broadway producer who learns from his new accountant that he could make a fortune off a bad musical. He sets out to make the world’s biggest flop of a musical by writing the worst play ever written and hiring the worst director and actors in town. Once it flops, they take the money and run. The 2005 theatrical movie version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick is streaming on Netflix now.
Victor Hugo’s story of pursuit and revenge of Jean Valjean, imprisoned for stealing bread, has many adaptations. Sure, this show might not be the most uplifting as far as the plot goes, but the music is so gorgeous it is sure to brighten your day. And, great news: There are multiple ways (and multiple versions) for you to watch, right from your home. Netflix features the 2012 movie version of the show, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway. Broadway HD, the all-Broadway streaming service, has a 2010 stage concert performance from the O2 Theater, and Amazon Prime features the 1978 version…although that one is sans music.
Hamilton began streaming on July 3, 2020, making it everyone’s mom’s favorite idea of something to do for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. “Let’s watch Hamilton this weekend,” literally every mom in the existence of the current planet said to their families who happened to be quarantined at home with them. This performance was filmed on the stage of the Richard Rogers Theater in June of 2016 and features most of the original cast, including creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odam, Jr. This filmed version of Hamilton was supposed to be released in regular movie theaters—but COVID-19 made them have to pivot to Disney+.
Ah, one of the last hilarious big events that friends did together in 2019, not knowing what was coming for them in 2020: go see Cats together in movie theaters after a few drinks (Just me? That’s fine). This movie was roasted by the internet while also being something that absolutely everyone was looking forward to—the December 2019 release truly couldn’t come soon enough. We just couldn’t wait to see the train wreck, and boy oh boy, did it deliver. Cats plays like a fever dream that you should absolutely see completely sober because if you see it any other way you will feel like you have died. Just my opinion. It’s streaming on HBO Max and, well, worth the watch—honestly the music is good.
Although there is a movie version of Rent, and it’s usually available on Netflix for free, and that movie features most of the original cast (incredible!), there is truly nothing like watching the stage version of the show. And you can do just that on Amazon (for a small price, of course). Jonathan Larson’s Rent has been popular for decades—it was the first musical that people could buy rush tickets for back in the mid-90s as well as the first musical that fans camped outside for, in order to get those rush tickets. This particular performance is from 2008 and you have a front-row seat, right in front of your television.
"Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
The movie version of Sweeny Todd stars Johnny Depp as the demon barber of Fleet Street himself and follows him as he enacts revenge on the town for his wrongful imprisonment as well as the horrible fate endured by his wife and daughter. Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman also star in this Tim Burton flick, and, you know what? The music is good, the theatrics are fun, and the movie itself is beautiful to look at. It is available to watch on both Amazon Prime and Tubi TV (it’s free!).
Kinky Boots is the story of a shoe factory owner trying to save his business—he must come up with new shoes to sell, or risk having to close up shop for good. Enter Lola, an enchanting entertainer and absolute fashionista—the two of them together must overcome stereotypes and prejudice (mostly the shoe factory owner who is, honestly, kind of a jerk) and come together to make the perfect pair of high heels. The show is available to watch on Broadway HD (which offers a free seven-day trial!).
"Into the Woods"
Who doesn’t love a musical that starts out with all of the main characters just screaming about what they want? Stephen Sondheim’s classic show is about a baker and his wife who are sent on a quest by a forest witch, who says she will grant them their wish if they do what she says (their wish being they want to have a child). Of course, everyone in the show has their own wishes, as well, and, we do hear about all of them, just constantly. The theatrical movie version starring Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick is available to rent on Amazon, as is a stage version from 1991. Additionally, a newer version of the stage version of the show from 2011 is available to stream via the Broadway HD app (and it’s, ahem, seven-day free trial).
"Fiddler on the Roof"
Clear your schedule, because this three-hour masterpiece is available to watch on Netflix. This is the film version of the award-winning Broadway show, which revolves around the story of Tevye the milkman, a Jewish peasant in pre-revolutionary Russia. We follow him as he tries to protect and support his family and honor his Jewish traditions. The music is gorgeous, the story is timeless, and the show, overall, is one of the best to ever hit the stage. Again, it’s three hours long—kick back those feet and enjoy the music.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘“Love Never Dies’”
OK, now this is a whole thing. While you can also stream the original Phantom of the Opera stage production via Amazon or movie version via HBO Max, fans might want to take a look at this sequel from 2012 entitled Love Never Dies, where the maniacal phantom, who escaped from the police after the events of the original musical and, apparently, fled Paris for New York, where he lives in (get this) Coney Island. He, naturally, is still obsessed with Christine, his unrequited love from the original show, and will, once again, stop at nothing to make her love him, despite that never being on the table, not even once. Christine is not into you, man. Can you just go ahead and read the room for once? It’s time for you to move on, friend! You’ve got a whole new life ahead of you in New York, where you feel like you fit in—you don’t need Christine! You don’t…okay you’re not going to listen to me, are you? Sigh. Fine. Go find Christine. Good luck with that. Love Never Dies is available to stream on Broadway HD.