Tired of "Hamilton" and ready to discover your new musical theatre obsession? Look no further than the Internet's many streaming services.
With Broadway dark and "Hamilton" on the receiving end of a multitude of scathing critiques, you might feel like your life is lacking musical theatre in a big way.
Fortunately, the Internet offers many, many shows you can stream to fill the void. There's really nothing like falling in love with a new musical, memorizing all the songs, singing each character's part and generally losing yourself in the world of the stage.
And though streaming services can't compare to the actual experience of entering a darkened theatre to lose yourself in a maze of lights and sound, sometimes even recordings can capture the magic of a musical.
While BroadwayHD and streamingmusicals.com (and YouTube) offer plenty of classic musicals, brand new musicals can be a bit trickier to find, so we've gathered a bunch here for you. If you're a seasoned musical theatre nerd, you've likely seen all these recordings already. But hopefully this list offers a few new gems, too—or at least reminds you of some of your favorite theatre experiences from the world long ago where we could see shows without fearing for our lives.
1. Ghost Quartet
Dave Malloy's song cycle Ghost Quartet is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube. The show features a collection of songs sung by different ghosts from seven generations as they gather together to drink. It weaves together Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," the ghost of Thelonious Monk, a story about a subway murder, astronomy, and much more to create something confusing, labyrinthine, and redemptive (as all good musicals should be).
2. Anthem: HomunculusAnthem: Homunculus
This one might be cheating because you can't exactly watch John Cameron Mitchell's Anthem: Homunculus, but you can listen to it. The first two episodes are available for free on Spotify, and after that you can purchase it from Ghostlight Records for $13 (way less than you'd pay for a normal Broadway ticket, right?). Mitchell, who created Broadway's beloved Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is the brains behind this musical podcast that stars Cynthia Erivo, Glenn Close, Nakhane, Patti LuPone, Laurie Anderson, Marion Cotillard and Denis O'Hare.
It tells the story of Ceann, a man living in a trailer park who is dying from a brain tumor—and is attempting to crowdfund the $100,000 he needs to remove it by live-streaming a radio show. It goes deep into Ceann's past and though it has no visual accompaniment, if you close your eyes and really let your imagination run away, it's almost like watching a real Broadway show. Almost. Not really. But admittedly, the podcast doesn't try to compare to real Broadway; instead, it's a unique and bittersweet audio ride that is ultimately a critique of America's broken healthcare system.
3. The Greatest Showman
Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Zendaya, this original movie musical is available to stream on Amazon Prime. It celebrates the birth of P. T. Barnum's circus and comes complete with some of the most theatrical musical numbers in recent memory.
4. Anna and the ApocalypseAnna and the Apocalypse
Does a zombie apocalypse make for a fantastic musical? With Anna and the Apocalypse, it's clear that the answer is a resounding yes. Written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry, the film tells the story of a girl named Anna and some of her friends who spend their Christmas Day fighting off a zombie attack and impending adulthood.
5. Passing Strange
Developed by the Sundance Film Institute in 2004, Passing Strange is a rock musical that tells the story of one young Black man's artistic journey as he travels through Europe searching for "the real." Eventually the musical made it to Broadway, and a production was filmed by Spike Lee in 2008. It can now be streamed on Amazon.
6. Love Never Dies
Ever wondered what happened after The Phantom of the Opera's dramatic conclusion? Apparently, the Phantom moved to New York City's Coney Island—and what happens next is the plot of Love Never Dies, a 2011 followup to the iconic musical. Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the sequel features operatic burlesque, surreal beachside performances, and—yes—more stressful romance between The Phantom and Christine. Though it received mediocre reviews, it's still an entertaining journey for hardcore Phantom fans.
7. Been So Long
Now streaming on Netflix, Been So Long is a 2018 musical starring Michaela Coel (yes, of I May Destroy You) and Mya Lewis. It follows the journey of a single mother as she meets a handsome stranger in London's Camden Town—sparks and chaos (and musical numbers) inevitably ensue. For fans of Michaela Coel looking to see some of her earlier work (or any hopeless romantics), this is a must-watch.
8. MYTH: Live at the Other Palace
For fans of Hadestown seeking more musical Orpheus-and-the-underworld content, MYTH more than delivers. Sam Cassidy's musical is now available to stream for free in its 2018 incarnation and includes Zoe Birkett (The Bodyguard), Jaymi Hensley (Union J), and Jodie Steele (Heathers).
9. 9 to 5
Anyone seeking more Dolly Parton content will be very pleased by this free recording of 9 to 5: The Musical, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name—and which features a score entirely comprised of iconic Dolly Parton songs. With a book by Patricia Resnick, it features Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, and Megan Hilty, and is full of that Dolly Parton charm and realness we all know and love.