Best Broadway Shows to Stream

The Best Broadway Shows You Can Stream

With Broadway on hold until 2021, it can be hard to enjoy the art form that we love. Luckily, we live in an age where streaming has taken off, and there are actually theatre performances available to watch at any time. So, here are a few of the best Broadway shows you can stream now.

  1. Hamilton
broadway shows you can stream

Where to stream: Disney+

Come on, did you really think I could make this post and not include Hamilton? It’s a modern classic for a reason. Filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and featuring an incredible, ground-breaking score, this show needs no introduction. We all know and love it. And while some of us were lucky enough to see it on Broadway, it’s incredible that now we can watch it over and over again, with the original leads, from the comfort of our own homes. Don’t you love modern technology?

2. Rent

broadway shows you can stream

Where to stream: Amazon, Google Play, YouTube

Long before there was Hamilton, Rent took the theatre world by storm. This famous show started the trend of people camping out overnight to get rush tickets. And while it was made into a movie in 2005 with most of the original cast, I personally prefer this version that was filmed live on stage during the final show of the original Broadway production. If you like the movie, you’ll love getting to see the show as it was meant to be seen, with an all-star cast.

3. Falsettos

broadway shows you can stream

Where to stream: Amazon Prime and BroadwayHD

This 2016 revival of William Finn’s show about a gay man, his former wife, their child and his boyfriend was originally filmed for Live From Lincoln Center, but now you can stream it, too. It’s a wonderful, emotional show with a cast of many beloved actors, like Andrew Rannells, Christian Borle and Stephanie J. Block. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, this is a must-see for sure. And check out BroadwayHD while you’re at it. A streaming service just for theatre? Sign me up!

4. Into the Woods

broadway shows you can stream

Where to stream: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play

I love Stephen Sondheim. Who doesn’t? Into the Woods is one of his best works, and you can watch the original cast from the comfort of your own home. Being able to watch the legend that is Bernadette Peters is a true gift. And while the movie is enjoyable, again, there is nothing better than seeing a musical performed the way it is supposed to be, especially with such an iconic cast in an iconic show.

5. Oh, Hello on Broadway

broadway shows you can stream

Where to stream: Netflix

Is Oh, Hello a musical? No. Is it still worth seeing? Absolutely! John Mulaney and Nick Kroll are hysterical as their elderly alter egos. It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s a unique piece of theatre with an all-star guest appearance. And while it’s much different from the other shows on this list, it’s a must watch for any theatre lover.

Theatre is meant to be seen on a stage, the way it is intended to be. Unfortunately, right now, we can’t do that. So we’ll settle for the next best thing, and stream them on our TVs or computers as we wait for Broadway’s intermission to end.

If you liked this post, check out Theatre in Other Forms: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”


How to See a Broadway Show Without Leaving New Jersey

It’s a lot of fun to head to New York and catch a Broadway show. But with the average cost of a single tickets going for about $120, add in travel and food and things can add up quickly. Luckily, you don’t have to go to NYC for a Broadway caliber show. You can see one here without paying top prices and traveling very far.  Here are five great theaters to see a play in New Jersey.
1.     State Theatre New Jersey (New Brunswick, NJ)

This old vaudeville theater located in Central Jersey,  has  an array of programming (this reads a bit like a press release. A little boring) including Broadway shows. Built in 1921 by the theater and cinema designer Thomas W. Lamb, it was revitalized into a performing arts center in the 1980s. Each year, State Theatre presents their Broadway Series, which features touring productions of hit musicals like Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Fiddler on the Roof. You can see concert and stand up at the 1800-seat-venue. As one reviewer, Zakiyia Forbes put it in her Google review. “Too many award-winning shows to name take the stage; an eclectic mix of options for all tastes and ages.” This summer, from June 5 throguh June 7, they will be presenting the tour of the 2018 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical, Once on This Island. Tickets range from $40-$98.
2.     Mayo Performing Arts Center (Morristown, NJ)

Built in 1937, this Morristown theater was renovated about a decade ago to become a premiere performing arts facility for North Jersey. The 1300-seat-theater including Broadway tours like Rent and A Chorus Line. MayoPAC has a performing arts school with over 600 students of all ages. The venue also hosts a rotating art gallery. “It’s a very nice theater and well worth the price of the tickets. Just as good as a Broadway show,”  one TripAdvisor user said. Now in their 25th season, they will be presenting the tour of Broadway hit Finding Neverland from March 6-7 and a concert with six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald on May 1. Their Broadway tickets typically range $59-$99.
3.     Two River Theater (Red Bank, NJ)

This theater presents American classics, world classics, and new works. Founded in 1994, the venue houses two theaters, a 350-seat mainstage and a 99-seat black box theater. The theater has hosted many guest performers and directors, like Alec Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joel Grey. Recently, they had their first Broadway show, premiering Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz’s Tony-nominated Be More Chill. Google reviewer Shary Galloway gave the venue five stars, saying “One of the best values and benefits of Central Jersey. Many of their originating shows move on to Broadway. Professional productions with primo talent…Clearly one of New Jersey’s best kept secrets.” Catch the world premiere of Tony Meneses’s newest play, The Hombres, this spring from April 11-May 10. Depending on the date, tickets can be anywhere from $53 to $73, with a discount for seniors and people under 30.
4.     Paper Mill Playhouse (Millburn, NJ)

This 1200-seat theater in Millburn produces new works and revivals and presents some tours as well. It has hosted many well-known actors throughout the years, including Anne Hathaway, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minelli and Patrick Swayze. Founded in 1934, the theater is credited with being one of the first to begin the American regional theater movement. It was awarded the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award. They have produced many shows that have gone to Broadway or launched tours, such as Newsies, A Bronx Tale: The Musical and Bandstand. Paper Mill also hosts the Rising Star Awards, a statewide competition that celebrates high school performers in New Jersey. Here’s what one TripAdvisor user had to say: “Best theater outside of NYC and sometimes better. Masterful musical productions in an easily accessible and safe neighborhood…Just took our granddaughter to see Cinderella and it rivaled most of what I have seen on Broadway. A must!” This summer, they will be presenting the world premiere of The Wanderer, the musical story of Rock and Roll hall of famer Dion DiMucci from May 28-June 28. Tickets range anywhere from $32 to $122.
5.     McCarter Theatre (Princeton, NJ)

Located on Princeton University’s campus, the theater produces over 200 events each year of new work and reworked classics. well-known for being a pre-Broadway venue since its founding in 1930, in 2012, it hosted the world premiere of Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which went on to win the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. It also had the world premieres of classics like Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Kaufman and Hart’s You Can’t Take it With You. One Google reviewer, Joanna Smith, gave it a five-star rating, saying “Great productions. It’s just like seeing a Broadway show right here in Princeton.” Check out their presentation of Nathan Alan Davis’s The Refuge Plays this spring from May 8-June 7. Tickets are $25-$78.


A Plea to All Ushers

I saw “Rent” at the State Theatre last Thursday. It was amazing. But this post is not about that.
This post is about the audience.
As I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve become something of a theatre snob.
(It IS ridiculous that the theatre was selling things like hot dogs, popcorn and soft pretzels in the lobby, but maybe that’s another post.)
I personally believe that when you go to the theatre, you should dress nicely, you should be attentive during the show and you should applaud when the show is finished. Right? Is that too much to ask? I guess so, because the audience at the show was CRAZY.
My BIGGEST pet peeve is people on their phones during shows. And there were so many of them! Texting! Snapchatting! Taking pictures of the stage WITH THEIR FLASH ON!
And this wasn’t just a single person. There were multiple occasions, and that’s only from where I was sitting in the rear balcony.
Only once did I see an usher come over and flash their little flashlight at someone taking pictures. Plus, I didn’t even hear them say to turn off phones before the show. And although it was so bad here at the State Theatre, I know it’s not just here – it’s theatres everywhere.
We need to do more. Seriously, we pay to watch actors pour out their hearts through song and dance. The least we can do is just pay attention. It’s not that long unless you’re, like, seeing “The Iceman Cometh” or something. Your text can wait until intermission. Or if it’s really that important, go out into the lobby. But please don’t try to come back to your seat after. That’s even MORE distracting.
I ask this of all ushers everywhere. Please do more! I have so much respect for ushers – I could never be one. I would yell at EVERYONE (but quietly because I’m not about to disrupt the show). I’m just so sick of everyone around me ruining my theatrical experience. I wished so many times that an usher would come over to tell the people around me to stop. I can only give so many dirty looks!
Ushers, please tell people to put their phones away and shut up. It makes the show better for both the audience and the actors. And the audience…put your phones away! Shut up! You probably paid good money to be here, so just enjoy the show! But do it quietly. 🙂


Why Everyone Should Listen to The Prom

Hi. Have you listened to The Prom yet? That’s ok if you haven’t. Just go listen to it first and then come back here. It’s on Spotify. It’s even better if you have! Go put it on anyway. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Now, at this point, you may have figured out that I am a bit of a theatre fan. It’s true. I love listening to so many musicals. Yet very rarely there comes along a musical that is so incredible that I want to completely submerge myself into it. I listen to it nonstop, I read all the information about it, I watch cast videos on Youtube, and, of course, I beg everyone around me to go with me to see it. I think the last musical that I felt this way about was…Fun Home, in 2015.
Then I listened to The Prom.

This musical is amazing. It’s loosely based on a real story of a prom being canceled because a teenage girl wanted to bring her girlfriend as her date. But in this version, a group of aging Broadway stars come from NYC all the way to Indiana to save the day.
Doesn’t it sound AMAZING?
It is. It really is. It is so good. The music is great. It’s hilarious. Seriously, the cast album alone makes me laugh out loud. And it has SO much heart. It is probably one of the best musicals I have listened to in a while. Beth Leavel is everything. Christopher Sieber is always so funny (I saw him in Pippin, but perhaps you remember him as Mary-Kate and Ashley’s dad on “Two of a Kind”). And Caitlin Kinnunen, who I remember from being a MASSIVE Spring Awakening fan in high school, is so sweet as Emma, and it makes me so happy to see her getting the success she deserves.
This show is so important. Think about it. How many musicals center around lesbians? How many get happy endings? HOW MANY HAVE BROOKS ASHMANSKAS SINGING ABOUT GOING TO THE PROM FOR THE FIRST TIME?
I don’t want to say to much. You have to experience it for yourself. Just…go listen to it. You can find it everywhere. Heck, go buy tickets. Just one request if you do, though – take me with you!


Revisiting Old Favorites: American Idiot

I am a very sentimental person, and because of this, I spend an awful lot of time thinking about the past.

Yes, at 20 years old, one of the scariest things I can do is think about being in high school. And yet, lately, I have found myself thinking a lot about that, and who I was back then.

And, of course, that means thinking about all the musicals I used to listen that I haven’t touched in years. So I thought I would make a blog series where I revisited my old favorites.

The first one I decided on was Broadway’s “American Idiot“.

I was so obsessed with this in high school. A good friend of mine and I used to listen to it all the time and talk about it every day. Also, it was so popular on Tumblr back in 2013. Even so, I hadn’t listened to it in years.

“American Idiot” (the musical) is of coursed based off of Green Day’s conceptual punk opera album “American Idiot”. The original album, by the way, is probably one of the greatest albums of all time. It’s absolutely a masterpiece. The musical follows three young friends trying to find meaning in their lives. It’s the perfect musical for disillusioned millennials, or any Green Day fan, which I would hope is most people.

This show is just so special to me. It’s not the most amazing show ever, but it holds a special place in my heart. It has a message that I think a lot of people can relate to today. Especially people my age. We all feel disillusioned and confused about the state of the world, and a lot of us are angry about that as well. (Also, related, for some reason Trump was there? But Billie’s response was everything)

When I listened to this for the first time in ages just the other day, I felt so happy and emotional. I still remembered all the words to all my favorite songs. (Which are, BTW, “Favorite Son”, “Last of the American Girls/She’s a Rebel”, “Too Much Too Soon” and “Homecoming” but specifically “The Death of St. Jimmy”) And as I sat in my car crying as I listened to Tony Vincent singing some of my favorite lines – “Jimmy died today / He blew his brains out into the bay / In the state of mind / In my own private suicide” – I remembered why I fell in love with such an unconventional musical in the first place. Because I feel it deep in my heart.

DOES IT HOLD UP?: Heck yeah it does!

(Also, Theo Stockman will always be the OG bae, thnx)


So What’s Next for Me?

I am SO excited. This Saturday, I’m going to see “Hello, Dolly!

I cannot wait. Ever since they announced that Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber were going to be in it, my mom and I knew we HAD to go. My mom has been a Victor Garber fan since she listened to “Godspell” for the first time when she was 13. And Bernadette Peters…I mean, she’s Bernadette Freaking Peters.

I mean, Bette Midler is Bette Midler, and yes, she truly took charge of the stage when she won that Tony. It was incredible, I’m not denying that.

But Bernadette Peters, to me, is everything. It’s just so exciting! I can’t think of the words to say, because I’m just SO EXCITED!

And, of course, Victor Garber. I love “Godspell” too, thanks mom. I don’t love him nearly as much as my mom does, though, but I don’t think anyone does. And Gavin Creel is in it, a man I have had a crush on for quite some time – I had both a “Thoroughly Modern Millie” phase and a “Hair” phase. Although, I just did read that Santino Fontana is going to replace him in March, and if you have read my previous posts, you probably already can tell that I am pretty upset I’ll be missing that. But Creel also did win a Tony for this, which was just so incredible to watch, so I’m still excited.

So Friday morning I will be leaving with my family (and my boyfriend) to head to the city. We’ll hit up my favorite place, Shake Shack, to meet up with my older brother and his girlfriend, and then go our separate ways. My dad and younger brother will go do some stuff I don’t care about, and my mom, my boyfriend and I will GO SEE BERNADETTE PETERS IN “HELLO DOLLY!”

Don’t expect me to be able to post about it afterwards, because seeing her sing “Before the Parade Passes By” will honestly just kill me.


Theatre in Other Forms: "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Theatre is just theatre, except when it’s not. What? That’s right, theatre isn’t just on Broadway – it’s on our TV screens, too.

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” on the CW is my favorite TV show and honestly one of the funniest shows currently airing (the other funniest show is NBC’s “The Good Place“). But what is it? It’s a dark comedy/musical show. Isn’t that great? A musical, on my TV, every week. I love it! It’s so funny, and so twisted. It chronicles Rebecca Bunch’s (Rachel Bloom, whose Youtube channel alone is hysterical, but pretty NSFW, so be careful!) journey with mental illness after she uproots her big city life to move to California to chase after the man of her dreams, Josh Chan (but she didn’t move here for Josh).

The show also features a great cast of singing talent, including Broadway stars such as Tovah Feldshuh, Patti LuPone, Santino Fontana, Lea Salonga, Josh Groban and more.

The songs are hilarious, written by Bloom herself alongside Jack Dolsen and Adam Schlesinger. My personal favorites include “Let’s Generalize About Men“, “I Go to the Zoo” (but the explicit version specifically), “Settle for Me“, “You Stupid Bitch“, “Ping Pong Girl” and “Dream Ghost“, but so many are incredible.

Now, just because the show is a musical doesn’t mean you can only enjoy it if you like musicals. I got my boyfriend into it, and he is nowhere near as into theatre as I am. He even complained about the songs at first, saying that he wished the show was just the plot, because of how funny it is. But as we’ve watched more together, he’s realized how important the music is to the plot. And it makes everything funnier!

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, because it really needs to be experienced firsthand. Just watch it, it’s amazing.

The first two seasons are on Netflix, and the third just finished airing, so I expect to see it up there soon. The CW hasn’t officially renewed it for a fourth season, but I’m hopeful. Watch it if you haven’t. If you have, time for a rewatch – I just started my third time through the show!

What do you guys think? Have you watched this? Do you think it’s amazing? Or did it fall flat? Let me know in the comments!


My Top Five Best Shows

In my life, I have been lucky to see plenty of shows, but only a few that deserve the title of best.

Now, in my mind, there is a big difference between “favorite” and “best.” Not all of my favorites are the best, and not all of the best are my favorites. I can enjoy things that just are not very good. But here are the top five best shows I have seen.

5. “On the 20th Century

Posing with Peter Gallagher

Seeing the 2015 revival of this Comden and Green classic was a revelation. It was such a fun and delightful performance from one of my favorite theatre seasons. When I think back to seeing this show, I think so much of Kristin Chenoweth’s incredible performance. I truly believe that woman can do no wrong. Another standout was Andy Karl, who deserves to star in a big hit soon. It is a great comedy that is about theatre itself and, I mean, they put a train onstage. I cannot find a picture of it online, but I assure you it was just as awesome as it sounds.

4. “The King and I

Somehow, this is the only proof that I saw this.

This is a show all theatre fans know. Rodgers and Hammerstein are true legends, and this is one of their best. This revival was from the same 2015 season, and seeing it was honestly just watching that thrilling moment most shows only have one of, except it was for the entire show. Kelli O’Hara is a dream, and I cried watching her win the well-deserved Tony Award for Best Actress for this role. Everything about this show was breathtaking. The set, the costumes, the orchestrations, and of course the cast, especially O’Hara. Another highlight was Conrad Ricamora, who is on one of my favorite TV shows, “How to Get Away With Murder.” The entire show was beautiful, but honestly, for me it’s ALL about Kelli O’Hara, all the time.

I was about to turn 14 here. Just yikes.
Slightly different, this one is a straight play, not a musical. But it stays being one of my all-time favorite theatrical experiences along with being one of the best. It is so good, that I saw it twice, with two different casts, and it was equally incredible both times. Rick Elice did an amazing job adapting this novel for the stage, and Roger Rees’ and Alex Timbers’ direction truly makes this show magical. This show is just indescribable. It’s hilarious, it’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, it’s beautiful. I actually made a line from the show my senior quote, and when our yearbook advisor decided we didn’t need senior quotes in the yearbook, I painted it on my graduation cap.  “Everything ends, and so our story begins”. And the ending of the play still gives me chills just thinking about it.
2. “Pippin
This 2013 revival was almost number one on my list before I thought of something else, but just know it was very very close. This production was perfect in every single way. Revivals are difficult, and especially with a show like this that is so popular for community theatres, it can be hard to turn out something that is completely fresh. That is exactly what director Diane Paulus did here. I still think about this production all the time. It was just that good. Matthew James Thomas (who my mom still calls Johnathan Taylor Thomas even now) was a fantastic Pippin, and I could seriously talk for hours about just HOW AMAZING Patina Miller was as Leading Player. The circus choreography was absolutely genius. Not only was this one of the best shows I have ever seen, I would say that it is hands down one of the greatest revivals of a show in history.
And here is the number one best show I have EVER seen…
1. “Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, my idol.
Everything about this show is beautiful, inspiring, and life-changing, and that is no exaggeration. Another huge hit from the 2015 season, I vividly remember begging my mom to buy tickets for my birthday before the Tonys aired, because I knew it was going to win so many and the ticket prices would massively increase (I was right, by the way). It’s revolutionary. I still want to be Sydney Lucas when I grow up. There’s really just nothing better than this. There’s no element I would change about this show. It’s perfect. I was just crying listening to it earlier, as I do every time. The greatest moment in theatre history is probably in “Flying Away (Finale)” when all three Alisons sing “I can see all of Pennsylvania” and then they come together on “fly away”. It’s thrilling. It’s perfect. Listen to this show, if you haven’t. I beg you. If you have, listen to it again. On repeat, endlessly.
Well, I’m off to cry over “Fun Home” once again. Let me know if you agree with some of these, or what your best shows are!


Musicians Who Should Write Musicals

This morning, I sat in my car, stuck behind a bus, singing along to my latest obsession.

While I was listening, it hit me that Manchester Orchestra would write an amazing musical. Plenty of musicians have turned their talents to Broadway musicals. Sara Bareilles’s “Waitress” has been a hit, “The Who’s Tommy” is a classic, while others such as Sting’s “The Last Ship” was a pretty quick flop. I started thinking about other musicians that would be great if they wrote a musical, and thus, this list was born.

1. Manchester Orchestra

The first album by this indie rock band “I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child” has been on repeat nonstop in my car for the past few weeks, and their most recent album “A Black Mile to the Surface” is equally as good. Lead singer and songwriter Andy Hull writes lyrics that are poetic and emotional. A musical by this band would be beautifully depressing, and I would love it.
Musical-worthy line: ‘Cause like dying young, idols got the best of me / Well don’t stop calling, you’re the reason I love losing sleep

2. Panic! at the Disco

As I’ve mentioned before, this is my favorite band, and frontman Brendon Urie is no stranger to musicals. Not only did he star in “Kinky Boots”, his songwriting talent can be seen (or rather, heard) in the currently running “Spongebob Squarepants: the Broadway Musical” in the song “(Just a) Simple Sponge“. The band itself is incredibly theatrical in production and performance. Urie himself has mentioned before how much he loves musicals, so now he just needs to write his own. His lyrics are incredibly vivid and even though the words don’t seem to always make sense, the meaning is clear. And I have always thought the album “Vices & Virtues” (one of my all-time favorites) would translate into a great jukebox musical.
Musical-worthy line: Ever since we met / I only shoot up with your perfume / It’s the only thing / That makes me feel as good as you do

3. Taylor Swift

Loved by many, but hated by many. In my mind, Taylor Swift’s talent is undeniable, and not just because I have been a self-proclaimed “Swiftie” since I was 9. She’s most popular for her love songs, but take a listen to any of her albums and you’ll see that she’s more than just that. Her lyrics evoke such vivid imagery that you might feel she’s singing about your life, and her catchy tunes will be stuck in your head for ages (I’m still trying to shake off “Shake it Off”). She too would make a great jukebox musical (and it was!) but a whole musical of new Swift songs would be just as amazing.
Musical-worthy line: And you call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest

4. Regina Spektor

Another one of my favorites who is completely underrated, Regina Spektor’s musical style is part indie pop, part undefinable. With most songs played either on her piano or guitar, each song has its own distinct style. It’s impossible to try to lock her into one genre – it’s just not how she goes. Her incredible unique style would translate very well to theatre. It would be something that no one has seen before and I think it would be truly beautiful. A few years ago she was writing for a musical, but nothing has been heard about it since.
Musical-worthy line: I know the morning is wiser than the nightime / I know there’s nothing wrong, I shouldn’t feel so down

What do you guys think?

Who do you want to see write a musical?


What Was the Last Show I Saw?

The last time I saw a show was “Kinky Boots” on Broadway last May.

At the time, Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco was starring. That is my favorite band, so I was entering the ticket lottery every single day. On May 30, I found out I won tickets for the evening show the next day! I begged my mom to let me go, and she bought me the tickets as my birthday present, since my birthday was in a few days.

Brendon Urie as Charlie Price

I went with my boyfriend, and it was a great experience. We had box seats, so we were right up to the action. It was also my boyfriend’s first Broadway show, which made it a lot of fun.

Aside from my favorite singer being in it, the show itself was fantastic. “Kinky Boots” is such a fun and uplifting show. When I saw the show, my dad was in the middle of what would be a month-long hospital stay due to chemotherapy complications. For two hours and 20 minutes, I forgot all of that. That is what I love about theatre. It is so nice to have that escapism, even for a short period.

Brendon Urie did a great job as Charlie Price. His rendition of “Soul of a Man” was one of those truly electrifying theatre experiences that are so rare. He was not the only good thing in the show, though. J. Harrison Ghee as Lola was hilarious and heartwarming. The ensemble was fantastic. Overall, this show is fun, but also emotional and moving. Cyndi Lauper’s pop score is bright and brings so much to the story. In fact, before I saw the show, back when it first opened on Broadway, I listened to the cast album frequently.

“Kinky Boots” is a great show that honestly can appeal to anyone. It is captivating with a wonderful message: “You change the world when you change your mind”.

Our view of the stage!

It was a great day! And some random guy asked to take our picture. We have a pretty unique look!