10 Broadway Stage Recordings Streaming Now (And Where To Watch Them)
Pop culture is in the midst of a musical renaissance of cinema. Titles like Encanta, West Side Story, In the Heights, and Tick, tick… Boom! made waves and received critical acclaim, while smaller titles, like Everybody’s talking about Jamie and Annette, left strong impressions on those who captured them.
This musical boom reawakened public interest in theatre. Fortunately, a number of stage productions have extended their reach by releasing recordings of their live show.
Hamilton – Stream on Disney+
Hamilton: an American musical is the musical sensation that adapts Ron Chernow’s biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton into an epic three-hour “hip-hopera.” The musical condenses Hamilton’s entire life: covering his rise through the American political ranks, his friendship with George Washington, the courtship of Eliza Schuyler, and his longtime rivalry with Vice President Aaron Burr.
The 2015 Broadway production is still going strong after breaking box office records, becoming the most Tony-nominated show, launching the careers of Leslie Odom Jr. Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs and inviting the whole world in the mind of Lin Manuel Miranda. This filmed recording received 12 Emmy nominations and won the Special Outstanding Variety Award (Pre-Recorded).
The SpongeBob Musical – Stream on Paramount+
Everyone’s favorite underwater sponge has made its way to the stage with many of its classic friends and gags from the Sponge Bob SquarePants TV show. In The musical SpongeBob SquarePants, the citizens of Bikini Bottom descend into chaos when a nearby volcano is about to erupt. It’s up to SpongeBob, Sandy and Patrick to stop the volcano and save the town.
This filmed production is a reunion for many returning actors from the Broadway show. Ethan Slater and Gavin Lee reprise their Tony-nominated performances as Spongebob and Squidward, while fellow nominee Tina Landau directs for the screen. The musical’s soundtrack is notable for having a star-studded collaboration with songs from artists like David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, TI, and Panic! At the disco.
David Byrne’s American Utopia – Stream on HBO Max
After going on tour with his album of the same name, David Byrne’s American Utopia adapts the Talking Heads alum’s concert for the theatrical stage. The show incorporates hits from the Talking Head catalog and a cover by Janelle Monáe to capture the overwhelming chaos of modern life.
On the tracks of Stop making sensedirector Jonathan Demme, American utopia recruits an equally iconic director in Spike Lee. This Spike Lee Joint elevates the already fantastic original piece, simultaneously adding a sense of intimacy and scale through camera angles and close-ups. With city snippets in the credits and a number where Byrne and the band enter the audience, the film also serves as a tribute to the New York community.
Come From Away – Stream on Apple TV+
Come from afar tells the true story of a small Canadian town in the aftermath of 9/11. Shortly after the attacks, 38 planes were forced to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland. Uncertain of their fate, the city welcomed and accommodated nearly 7,000 passengers who are making Gander their new home for the next six days.
After plans for a film adaptation were crushed by the pandemic, the team behind Come from afar pivoted to a live recording. The film brought the cast and crew together to tell this heartwarming story of community for the first time since Broadway closed in March 2022. Production has since reopened on Broadway, but the film is the only way to witness the Tony nominated performance by Jenn Colella.
Pass Over – Stream on Amazon Prime Video
Go over follows two friends who spend the whole night hanging out on the streets, dreaming of the day when they will finally get out of their town. But this simple night isn’t so simple for Moses and Kitsch, two black men who must contend with societal prejudices hanging over them and cops disrupting their conversations.
A Lesser-Known Spike Lee Joint, The Movie Captures Go overThe original 2017 production at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Although not a recording of the now-shutdown 2021 Broadway production, the film and the Broadway iteration share talent: following Antoinette Nwandu’s book and starring Jon Michael Hill (Elementary) as he originated the role of Moses before taking over the character in New York.
What the Constitution Means to Me – Stream on Amazon Prime Video
In What the Constitution means to me, writer/performer Heidi Schreck re-examines the historical document in all its outdated glory and imperfections. She uses personal anecdotes and contemporary cultural events to question the validity of “all men are created equal”.
By preserving the play for the screen, director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) retains the raw intimacy of the room. Like reuniting with an old friend, the film encapsulates the humor and vulnerabilities that Schreck exploits by putting the country’s values under a microscope. The play received two Tony nominations and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, while the recording received a Producers Guild Award nomination.
Diana the Musical – Stream on Netflix
Diana the Musical is one of many recent portrayals of the Princess of Wales. The musical follows Diana’s first interaction with Prince Charles and covers their marriage, divorce and death. In doing so, the musical recreates many of Diana’s most iconic looks and moments.
With its original opening night delayed by the pandemic, Diana took the unusual route of filming and releasing a live recording before it finally made its Broadway debut in December 2021. Directed by Come from afarthis is Christopher Ashley, Diana was panned by critics both on stage and on screen. After a brief run of 33 performances, the show quickly came to a close. Despite the reviews and the short run, the musical has built a cult following.
Oh hi! On Broadway – Stream on Netflix
After ruling the TV and online landscape, this couple of elderly Upper West Side roommates have put Oh hi! on broadway. Together, Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland muddle New York culture, make arcane pop culture references, and judge tuna quantities.
For this show, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney bring their beloved Kroll Show characters on stage. This crazy piece mixes sketching and improvisation as the two revisit fan favorites, dance a dreamy ballet and interview a celebrity guest. Each live performance featured a new cameo with the Netflix special capturing an appearance from Steve Martin. Mathew Broderick also makes an appearance exclusive to Netflix.
Shrek the Musical – Stream on Netflix
After the story of the first movie, Shrek the Musical peel the layers of the onion in the shape of an ogre. Not only does it cover Shrek’s adventure to save – and later fall in love with – Princess Fiona, it also explores the deep history of favorites like Fiona, Farqquad, Donkey and the titular ogre through stunning numbers and breathtaking ballads.
This film version of the eight-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical comes from the mind of musician Jeanine Tesori (Tony winner, fun house) and librettist/lyricist David Lindsay-Abaire (Pulitzer Prize winner, rabbit hole). The cast is led by MCU and Broadway veteran Brian d’Arcy James (Projector, Hawkeye)Sutton Foster (Younger) and Daniel Breaker (Girls5eva).
Springsteen on Broadway – Stream on Netflix
The music legend proves why he’s The Boss in this Netflix special. Springsteen on Broadway captures Bruce Springsteen’s nearly three-hour show of one man, his guitar, piano, harmonica, classic songs and life stories.
Originally slated for a limited engagement from October to November 2017, Springsteen’s one-man show extended its run twice and finally closed in December 2018. Shortly after its Broadway run ended, the taped special debuted on Netflix later that same month. In 2021, the show briefly returned to Broadway to help usher in the reopening of the industry. Thom Zimny won an Emmy for directing the Netflix special, and the Boss received a special Tony Award for initial Broadway engagement.
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