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Watch Broadway Shows Online: 20 Live Musicals and Plays to Stream Now

Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma!, Matt Henry in Kinky Boots, the original cast of Hamilton, David Byrne's American Utopia, and more critically acclaimed stage performances are online for your toe-tapping pleasure.

by | April 1, 2021 | Comments

Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Oklahoma!

(Photo by Disney+; BroadwayHD; ©PBS/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Theater shutdowns around the world have been one of the many disappointments of the pandemic, but the option to stream live theater in the comfort of our own homes has also meant no ringing cell phones or crinkly candy wrappers interrupting performances.

Some streaming services specialize in stage shows. BroadwayHD‘s offerings, for example, run the gamut from Tony-award-winning plays and musicals to concerts, ballets, Cirque du Soleil performances, and Royal Shakespeare Company productions. A subscription will cost you $8.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Similarly, Marquee.tv offers collections of Royal Opera House, Teatro Real of Madrid, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, The Washington Ballet, The Bolshoi, and more. Memberships are $8.99 monthly and $89.99 annually.



You might also have seen some of the film adaptations (for better and worse) available of shows like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Chicago, Kinky BootsRent, Into The Woods, and, most recently — and most hilariously — Cats, which has a 19% Tomatometer score. Steven Spielberg is also remaking West Side Story for an upcoming release, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights opens this summer in theaters and on HBO Max.

While the theatrical stages slowly return (with limited capacity for the time being), here are suggestions for 20 theatrical performances you can catch from a prime front-row seat on your couch — though you’ll have to police candy wrapper and cell phone disruptions yourself.


What it is: The winner of 11 (11!) Tony Awards, Hamilton uses hip hop, R&B, pop, soul, dance, and fine performances from the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, and Phillipa Soo to tell the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Why you’ll love it: Because you couldn’t get seats during its Broadway run with the original cast. Because even if you did, it’s still a mind-blowing experience to see it from the comfort of your own home, especially now that you know the songs and dances by heart and can sing along, as loudly as you’d like.
Where to watch it: Disney+


What it is: The Pulitzer and Tony-nominated story in which writer Heidi Schreck plays adult and teen versions of herself to talk about issues like domestic and sexual abuse, immigration, and women’s rights.
Why you’ll love it: Schreck’s frenetic energy brings much-needed laughs to the often traumatic personal stories she shares to illustrate the many ways the laws of our country betray the very people who need their protection the most. It’s also quite interactive, thanks to frequent audience reactions, as well as a final vote by the audience on whether or not the Constitution should be abolished.
Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video


What it is: Jonathan Larson’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning rock musical about a group of struggling young artists in New York City’s East Village became a pop culture phenomenon, running for 12 years on Broadway, earning more than $280 million in ticket sales, with cast members including Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin, and Taye Diggs.
Why you’ll love it: The final performance of Rent on Broadway, this presentation also features appearances by the original cast, who join with the final cast to reprise “Seasons Of Love,” the Rent song you probably know the words to even if you’ve never seen any production.
Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video
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Into The Woods

What it is: The Stephen Sondheim musical about a childless couple that is cursed by a witch and interact with fairy tale characters from “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk” as they pursue their dream of having a family.
Why you’ll love it: This 2019 Olivier Award winner for best musical revival was filmed live at the Regent Park Open Air theater (fittingly in a wooded area) in London, and features Hannah Waddingham, who many TV fans will recognize from the Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso, as the Witch.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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Falsettos

What it is: A 1992 Tony-winning musical, written by William Finn and James Lapine, about Marvin, a gay man who leaves wife Trina to be with his lover, Whizzer, and the relationships they have to maneuver later while planning son Jason’s Bar Mitzvah.
Why you’ll love it: This 2016 revival earned five Tony nominations thanks to its spectacular cast, including Christian Borle as Marvin, Andrew Rannells as Whizzer, and Stephanie J. Block as Trina, who hit every emotional note as they explore modern families, love, illness, religion, and loss (hint: have the box of Kleenex standing by).
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD


Richard II

What it is: Shakespeare’s 1595 play about King Richard of England’s last two years of life, during which he alienated his people, including his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, who overthrew Richard and took the crown, as King Henry IV.
Why you’ll love it: This 2013 Royal Shakespeare Company production stars former Doctor Who star David Tennant as the titular king, and, just as he had in an earlier RSC production of Hamlet, the always fantastic Tenant makes the production both definitive and accessible with his bold portrayal of the vain, doomed Richard.
Where to watch it: Marquee.tv


What it is: Spike Lee directs Talking Heads singer David Byrne and 11 musicians in a filmed version of the 2019/2020 Broadway show, as they perform recent and classic hits from Byrne’s career, including “Once in a Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House,” and “Road to Nowhere.”
Why you’ll love it: The incredibly joyous, energetic performance would be welcome anytime, but there’s no denying how much it really hits the spot this year, and how much it will make you feel less isolated than most things that have filled our screens this year have.
Where to watch it: HBO Max


The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!

What it is: The Tony-nominated (a dozen nominations, to be exact) 2017 musical based on the beloved Nickelodeon kids show (which has, of course, just as many adult devotees).
Why you’ll love it: Led by Tony-nominated performances by Ethan Slater and Gavin Lee, with bold and wonderful Tony-winning scenic design, and infectious songs written by the likes of John Legend, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, They Might Be Giants, Steven Tyler, and David Bowie, the musical captures every bit of the whimsy and fun of the TV ‘toon.
Where to watch it: Vudu and other streaming services
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What it is: Like the title says, it’s The Boss, on Broadway, during an almost year-long 2017/2018 musical residency featuring Bruce, solo, singing, playing guitar and piano, and sharing stories from his memoir Born to Run.
Why you’ll love it: The Tony- and Emmy-winning performance features a carefully crafted setlist (“My Hometown,” “Thunder Road,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” and “Born to Run” are included) and personal storytelling that combines for what Rolling Stone called “one of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory.”
Where to watch it: Netflix


What it is: John Mulaney and Nick Kroll take to their turtleneck-sporting Upper East Side boomer friends and roommates George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon to say, “Oh, Hello!” to audiences on The Great White Way.
Why you’ll love it: Plot is not really important here, but pals Mulaney and Kroll take laughs, and tuna, seriously in this absurd, but undeniably weird and funny riff on the friendship — and, again, shared love of tuna — between these uniquely delusional New York seniors.
Where to watch it: Netflix


Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn

What it is: Irving Berlin’s 1942 movie turned into a 2017 Broadway musical, about a singer and dancer, Jim, who decides to leave showbiz behind for a more quiet life on a farm. But when he begins to miss his old life, he turns the farm into a musical inn … that’s only open on the holidays.
Why you’ll love it: High School Musical star Corbin Bleu plays Ted in this delightful song-and-dance adaptation, which, surprisingly, is the first time the film has been turned into a Broadway production. It’s a retro gem, though, especially the Tony-nominated choreography (including a number featuring jump ropes — really).
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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The King and I

What it is: The tale of the 1860s-era Siam King (Ken Watanabe) and the British widow schoolteacher (Kelli O’Hara) who clash and bond as he comes to value her as the only person who dares to tell him the truth. The production, originated on Broadway in 2015, was filmed when the musical moved to the West End in 2018.
Why you’ll love it: As grand as a romantic theater musical can be, this production of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein classic is sweeping and lovely, with Tony-winning performances by O’Hara and Ruthie Ann Miles as the King’s wife, a nod for Watanabe, and a Tony win for the entire production for Best Revival of a Musical.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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Driving Miss Daisy

What it is: American playwright Alfred Uhry’s story, based on his grandmother’s life, about a Southern Jewish woman and her decades-long friendship with her African-American chauffeur. Uhry won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play.
Why you’ll love it:  A duo of acting legends bring Miss Daisy Werthan and the man she will eventually call her best friend, driver Hoke Coleburn, to life in this filmed version of a 2013 Australian tour performance of the play: Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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Oklahoma!

What it is: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first musical – a revival, movie, and school performance gem – revolves around Oklahoma farm girl Laurie, who is being wooed by two love interests: cowboy Curly and evil farmhand Jud.
Why you’ll love it: This 1999 filming of London’s National Theater production of the musical, which won four Olivier Awards, is also an early career triumph for Hugh Jackman, who earned an Olivier nod for his performance as Curly. Jackman and  Josefina Gabrielle as Laurie also perform the show’s famous “dream ballet” sequence – rewritten for this production – themselves.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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What it is: John Leguizamo’s 2017 play about the history of Latin Americans in U.S. history – a topic that included research revelations that surprised even the actor – sparked from his son’s school assignment to write about heroes and the discovery that Latinxs had gotten little coverage in school textbooks.
Why you’ll love it: There is no better, more frenetic, more heartfelt solo theater performer than Leguizamo, who earned a well-deserved Tony nod for this very personal and entertaining performance as he sets about to relay 3,000 years of Latin history, “between the Mayans and Pitbull.”
Where to watch it: Netflix


What it is: This 2008 musical is based on the hit movie series and author William Steig’s book about the big green ogre who lives at the swamp and the new friends – Donkey! – and new love – Princess Fiona! – he meets when he tangles with the evil Lord Farquaad.
Why you’ll love it: The always Tony-worthy Sutton Foster indeed earned a nomination for her performance as Fiona, as did Shrek and Farguaad portrayers Brian d’Arcy James and Christopher Sieber, while Tim Hatley got the Tony win for Best Costume Design, all elements which made this colorful, clever comedy musical a pure delight, a worthy adaptation of all the Shrek that came before it.
Where to watch it: Netflix (subscription); buy or rent on Vudu and other streaming services
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What it is: Cyndi Lauper wrote the music and lyrics and Harvey Fierstein wrote the book for this beloved 2013 Broadway musical, about Charlie, who inherits a shoe factory and teams with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to create a line of high-heeled boots that will save Charlie’s business and help him and Lola learn they’re a lot more alike than different.
Why you’ll love it: The show brought the fabulous Billy Porter, the Tony– and Grammy Award–winning actor who portrayed Lola, to our musical-drama-lovin’ lives. Kinky Boots won six of the 13 Tony nominations it earned, including a Best Original Score win for Lauper. Laurence Olivier Award–winning Matt Henry stars as Lola in the filmed performance now available on BroadwayHD. Henry was also nominated for the “Best Solo Performance” Grammy Award for the Kinky Boots West End Cast Recording.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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She Loves Me

What it is: Based on the 1937 play Perfumerie, which was also adapted as the movies The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail, this 2016 revival revolves around Georg and Amalia, sparring co-workers unaware that the pen pals they’re falling in love with are actually each other.
Why you’ll love it: Zachary Levi as Georg, Laura Benanti as Amalia, and Jane Krakowski as their co-worker Ilona all received Tony nominations for their charming performances in this feel-good romantic comedy, which also earned a Tony nod as Best Revival of a Musical and a Tony win for Best Scenic Design of a Musical.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD
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Elaine Stritch at Liberty

What it is: Legendary actress and Broadway star Elaine Stritch’s 2002 one-woman show started Off-Broadway, before moving to Broadway and then to the West End in London, where this performance was filmed.
Why you’ll love it: If you remember her best from her late-career TV role as the ball-busting mother of 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), that’s the vibe you’ll get in this tour de force, as Stritch takes the audience through her life and career, with song, dance, delicious backstage anecdotes, and an outfit consisting of a white blouse and rather sheer black stockings; the lady is a vamp.
Where to watch it: BroadwayHD subscription; buy it at Amazon Prime Video


What it is: A 2013 Broadway revival of the Shakespeare standard, starring Orlando Bloom and four-time Tony-nominated Condola Rashad as the titular star-crossed lovers.
Why you’ll love it: The rest of the stellar cast includes 24 and The Walking Dead star Corey Hawkins, American Idol alum Justin Guarini, and Dexter and House of Cards scene-stealer Christian Camargo. And while you wistfully think about how having an all-star version like this to watch would have helped your enjoyment of studying the Bard’s tragedy back in high school, also consider this impressive fact: this version is the 36th time Romeo and Juliet was produced on Broadway.
Where to Watch It: BroadwayHD
Movie alternatives:



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