Culture Feature

Broadway Straight to Your Computer: Musical Theater in Lockdown

From the cast of "Dear Evan Hansen" to an average family's rendition of "One More Day."

If you're someone who loves live theater, then you know that it really can't be replicated on film.

But for the first time, live theater is no longer readily available. Broadway and the West End are both closed, as are the majority of the theaters around the world. If you're missing it as much as we are, recorded versions of beloved musicals and musical theater songs are good enough to tide us over until the theaters open their doors again.

Original "Hamilton" Cast Sings for 9-year-old's Birthday 

There is no chance you can watch this without crying. None.

"Dear Evan Hansen’" Cast Performs on James Corden's Show

Late night talk show hosts are trying to spread some cheer by returning to TV, and this reunion of the original "Dear Evan Hansen" cast is certainly worth watching.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Sings "All I Ask Of You" 

Andrew Lloyd Webber is obviously one of the best living composer's of all time, and it's a real treat to see him play one of the best songs ever written.

Family’s rendition of ‘One Day More’ from "Les Mis"

This isn't exactly broadway caliber, iits even better.

Live Stream Q&A's with West End Stars 

Follow London Theatre on Instagram to partake in their morning warm ups and West End star Q&A's!

Watch the Online Recording of Cats

Don't worry, it's not the movie musical; it's the original stage musical from 1998 with Elaine Paige singing "Memory." Watch it here!

Watch Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's best plays, and thanks to the Public Theater and PBS, last summer's Shakespeare in the Park production is available to stream.

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical

SpongeBob SquarePants The Broadway Musical for Everyone

If you're looking for light hearted entertainment, this brightly colored spectacle is just the thing to distract you from your isolation.

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND performed by the worldwide cast of BEAUTIFUL (in quarantine) for The Actors Fund

The cast of "Beautiful" on Broadway wants you to know that "You've Got a Friend."

Music Lists

Slept On: New Releases from UnoTheActivist, SahBabii, and More

SahBabii, UnoTheActivist and more make up this weeks under appreciated releases

Juice WRLD's posthumous release, Legends Never Die, has already sold over 400,000 copies, putting it in the running for the biggest release of 2020.

Meanwhile, Summer Walker confidently returns with a sleek new E.P., Kid Cudi and Marshall Mathers unite for the first time, James Blake quietly dropped a shadowy new track, and H.E.R. added a splash of reggae flavor to her new track "Do To Me." While it was a big week for the mainstream, it was equally as massive for the underground. Upcoming mumble emcee SahBabii's released an infectious collection of wavy, levitative hip-hop, and the iconic Fresh Veggies duo of Casey Veggies and Rockie Fresh return for their second outing. Check out the latest underground releases below.

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MUSIC

Premiere | Busy Phillips, Laura Silverman Explore 'Men' In B Is For Beer: The Musical

Ben Lee & Tom Robbins Mount 'B Is For Beer: The Musical,' An Adaptation of Robbin's 2009 Book

https://www.kickstarter.com

Masculinity comes under the microscope with silly humor.

We've been conditioned to live and die by the patriarchy. But the #MeToo movement upended the system in a way to question everything and hold men accountable. There's actively participating in the problems, and then, there's complacency and staying silent, which, by all accounts, carries just as much responsibility and guilt. Author Tom Robbins explores the changing face of equality in his 2009 book, B is for Beer, and wouldn't you know, Australian musician and actor Ben Lee gives themes of empowerment and liability an update with a brand new music (of the same name).

The soundtrack, which drops October 12, features staunchly Avenue Q-esque humor and dynamic musical compositions and a slew of contributors, from Belinda Carlisle to Cary Brothers to Jon Cryer. On the witty and incisive "Men" song, a duet between Laura Silverman (The Comeback; Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist) and Busy Phillips (Dawson's Creek, Cougar Town), the notions and archaic standards of manhood and ego are shoved under the microscope. "One of the central concerns of B is for Beer is about a a young girl trying to come to terms with her father's emotional absence and to understand men as a whole," Lee tells Popdust, premiering "Men" today.

Ben Lee/Twitter

"It is an interesting moment in history right now, where we are collectively assessing some of the damage caused by living under patriarchal rule for so many generations. This is something Gracie is doing too ⎯⎯ challenging her father and even 'Great Daddy,' the patriarchal deity she is taught about in Sunday School," he continues. "Men," which comes mid-way through the production, gives the floor to Silverman's and Phillips' characters to "share their joint frustrations. On the surface, the song plays as a 'can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em' type banter, but its really about something deeper."

The song asks a series of questions underneath the surface, including, but not limited to: "What is masculinity? What does it want? How does masculine energy fit into a happy home? Is their a healthy way to make peace with it?"

Listen below:

Silverman, who has also made appearances on such shows as King of Queens, Nurse Jackie, and Bob's Burgers over the years, made an understandably huge contribution to the song. "She is very concerned with not making light of, or belittling, the historic violence that many women have felt at the hands of men. She reminded me there is nothing cute about bullying or psychological intimidation," stresses Lee.

"She challenged me to be careful with a delicate subject matter even in what is quite a light song. I was very grateful for that. As a man, it is sometimes difficult to see all the blindspots we might have in regards to gender issues. And writing for female characters, having a strong female lead to bring those to light was incredibly helpful."

Follow Ben Lee on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in B-Sides & Badlands, Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.


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