It’s a tough time for everyone. Schools are closed, public sports events are canceled. No one is exempt. No age group, no country. In the words of Tony Stark in Avengers: Infinity War, “Earth is closed today.”
While COVID-19’s threat on the world rose quickly and intensely, Broadway fans were hit hard when all shows went dark on March 12, 2020. And with an unclear end date to the Broadway shut down, BMH is here to provide what we call a Musical Theatre Lover’s Survival Guide to the current quarantine.
Of course, the biggest way to get your MT fix is streaming. If you want to go the straight-up onstage route, then popular streaming site Broadway HD is offering a special one-week free deal on their service, which includes professional stage recordings of shows like Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music, and Les Misérables.
Now’s also a great time to stream those cast recordings that you’ve always wanted to listen to but never have. With the film adaptation coming later this year, now’s a good time to listen to the Tony-winning In the Heights cast recording. Or if you haven’t yet listened to the reigning Best Musical-winner Hadestown, now would be a good time. Check out musical podcasts like 36 Questions (guest starring Tony nominee Jonathan Groff). And if you’ve got Sirius XM, their “On Broadway” channel features a non-stop collection of showtunes from the classic era to now, along with talk shows and full cast recordings.
Film & TV
If you’re cool with film adaptations, then you have a wide array of options. Each streaming giant is full of musical films; Netflix has got things like Sweeney Todd, Jersey Boys, and Hairspray, while Amazon Prime has Grease, The Phantom of the Opera, and Chicago. Hulu has Hello Dolly!, West Side Story, and Rent. And of course Disney+ has all the classic and current Disney musicals. And there are new home video releases like Frozen II (which was released on Disney+ early on March 14) and America’s favorite movie musical Cats (which hits Blu-Ray on April 7).
And if you’re looking for TV shows to binge that will fill your musical cravings, the full series (all four seasons) of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is available on Netflix. The acclaimed and consistently underrated comedy features original (and oftentimes parodical) musical numbers each episode. If you want something newer, you can check out Fox’s new jukebox musical comedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, as its first season is currently airing. And of course there are the tried and trues, like Fox’s Glee and NBC’s Smash to keep you company.
If you just want to keep your days filled with Broadway themed conversation, Broadway.com (and the site’s YouTube channel) has an excellent assortment of original content, including the incredible series Show People with Paul Wontorek, which features casual 20-minute interviews with Broadway’s hottest stars. And, on a smaller level, give delightful YouTubers like Katherine Steele and Amy Lovatt a shot.
Rosie O’Donnell recently hosted a pseudo-reboot of her classic late night talk show (also available on Broadway.com), by featuring interviews and performances from Broadway stars on livestream. O’Donnell’s show raised $600,000 for coronavirus relief was where current Waitress star Gavin Creel announced his coronavirus diagnosis for the first time.
Some super creative artists have been doing group karaoke sessions on video chatting sites like Zoom. The posting of online covers and content have increased, and sites like Facebook are booming with special groups for Broadway lovers to virtually serve their quarantine together. And if you want to keep your workouts going, YouTube sites like Joseph Corella’s broadway workouts will allow you to get your cardio in while learning Broadway-inspired dance routines.
While we don’t know how long we’ll be in this current moment, we do know that it will not last forever. And for most of us, being quarantined has not stopped our ability to sing, dance, or immerse ourselves in our favorite pastimes. In the words of a famous teen movie musical, “We’re all in this together.” So be safe, wash your hands, take care of each other, and keep the show going.