It’s been many months since the lights have gone down on The Great White Way. New York City’s Broadway theaters and other performing arts venues have paused. Due to Covid-19, the doors have shuttered and the tours stopped. This has left many theater fans wondering where they can indulge in their love of the stage. Though in-person viewing isn’t possible for the time being, there are ways to bring the theater to you.
We don’t have to search the internet for brief clips of Broadway performances anymore. There are plenty of ways to experience full shows right in your living room. While this may not live up to the experience of live theater, it’s a great option to tide us over until then.
Streaming services have come a long way as an alternative to live theater. Choices are plenty across multiple platforms, each providing different possibilities for different tastes. We’ve compiled a list below of where it’s easiest to stream stage performances.
While the platform focuses on stage shows and musicals, it isn’t limited to Broadway. Off-Broadway and West-End performances also stream here. Some highlights are Tony award-winning musical Memphis and many Cirque Du Soleil performances. BroadwayHD has announced they plan on working to add more contemporary works.
A streaming staple, Netflix has more in the way of stage-to-film adaptions than pure stage shows. It also features a rotating offering of blockbuster musicals. In early 2021, Netflix will be airing an all-new musical before its live theater premiere of Diana, a musical that’s based on the Princess of Wales that debuts on Broadway in March of 2021.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon may offer the largest and most diverse video library. You’ll find recordings of classic shows, musicals, and behind-the-scenes documentaries. Even the youngest Broadway fans will have the chance to see favorites like The SpongeBob Musical.
PBS Passport provides members with access to stream exclusive content. The content that will interest theater-goers most is their Great Performances series. The series features live dance, drama, musical theatre, music, and opera performances. One highlight is a high-quality recording of the 2019 Shakespeare in the Park performance of Much Ado About Nothing, featuring Orange Is the New Black alum, Danielle Brooks. Passport members can view recordings of full shows for hours of entertainment.
In addition to these streaming giants, the theater industry is becoming more creative. To reach their audiences, many performing art companies and venues have begun to innovate. The Metropolitan Opera has been hosting a nightly stream of their Live in HD Opera series. Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber has launched the Youtube Channel The Show Must Go On, which features a full show every Friday that’s available for viewing for the next 24-to-48 hours. The channel also includes permanent videos chock-full of behind-the-curtain looks at West-End and Broadway theater.
Theater in the age of Covid-19 hasn’t gone away completely. Thanks to digital media, we waiting audiences have some way to take part until the stage lights are back on. In the meantime, it never hurts to be ready by purchasing Broadway tickets in anticipation of its long-awaited return.