Four broadway shows to keep you busy at home

It has been almost a year since the lights of Broadway dimmed, and many of us are missing live theater.

Luckily, many Broadway shows have been professionally recorded over the years and are now available on a wide selection of streaming platforms. These professionally recorded musicals, otherwise known as pro shots, allow the viewers to enjoy these beloved performances from the safety of their couch. Here are four easily accessible pro shots in various genres so anyone can find one to sing along to:

25th Anniversary Phantom of the Opera

Christine (Sierra Boggess) is led beneath the opera house to the lair of the dreaded Phantom of the Opera (Ramin Karimloo). (IMDB/Public Domain)

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” is the longest-running Broadway musical of all time, capturing audiences for decades.

Although there is a 2005 film adaptation, the best version of this theatrical classic is the “25th Anniversary Phantom of the Opera” pro-shot. It follows Christine Daaé, a young ballet dancer being tutored in opera by a mysterious “Angel of Music.” When the lead soprano at the Paris Opera house quits unexpectedly, Christine gets a chance to replace her. But her “angel” turns out to be a terrible masked phantom who had been controlling the opera house from a lair below and who would do anything to see Christine become a star.

The music is a combination of beautiful and light opera songs such as “Think of Me” and “Angel of Music,” as well as more intense opera-rock such as “Phantom of the Opera.” All the performances are magnificent, with Broadway superstars Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo’s incredible voices stealing the show. The plot is engaging, with opera-style melodies taking their place as the central part of this show.

Overall, “Phantom of the Opera” is a captivating viewing experience and is one of the best all-around performances.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video 

 

Newsies

The newly formed Newsboys Union bands together to demand the price of the paper to be lowered. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times/ public domain)

For those looking for traditional show tunes and big dance numbers, “Newsies” may be the perfect musical.

Adapted from the 1992 Disney movie, its prominent feature is a newsboys’ strike at the turn of the 20th century. The scrappy group of newsboys team up to create a union and protest for fair pay from their rich and greedy employers.

Although a musical about business negotiations may seem boring, “Newsies” is full of life. It is packed with high-energy songs and legendary choreography. The charismatic main characters, played by an incredibly talented cast, help to make for an entertaining performance. It is the classic feel-good underdog story.

Where to watch it: Disney+

 

Shrek the Musical

Fiona (Sutton Foster) celebrates her first day of freedom from her treacherous tower by training mice to tap dance. (Joan Marcus/ New York Times/ Public Domain)

“Shrek the Musical” is an option to watch with younger kids or those that are young at heart.

The musical contains silly characters, catchy songs, and beautiful sets. It is based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie and is about a grumpy ogre named Shrek who pairs up with a goofy donkey to save Princess Fiona from a tower and deliver her to Lord Farquad, the ruler of Dulok.

However, the musical falls short of the movie in several ways. The humor present in the film is lost, and the stage production has a much more childish tone. Some moments (and even whole scenes) may cause some eye rolls, like the song where Shrek and Fiona try to have a burping contest or the painfully annoying song where Shrek’s parents sing to a baby Shrek in a cheerful voice about how people will chase him with pitchforks.

Fans of the film may be disappointed that the musical chose to remove every iconic one-liner and pop song except “Believer.” The film prides itself on making fun of light-hearted Disney musicals, but the musical remake has become precisely that. But for those who are willing to overlook its laughable and ridiculous nature, Shrek is a goofy, light-hearted, and fun musical. 

Where to watch it: Netflix

 

Hamilton

Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda) debates his political enemy Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) in a heated rap battle. (Joan Marcus/linmanuel.com/fair use)

“Hamilton” is probably the most famous show on this list.

The recording of the original Broadway cast was released on Disney+ back in July of 2020 and managed to captivate almost 3 million viewers in just its first month on the streaming platform.

For those who have not watched “Hamilton” yet, it is a must-see. It tells the true story of an American founding father, Alexander Hamilton, starting from when he comes to America and ending in his death. It tells of his epic highs and lows when fighting in the Revolutionary War, building the American government, conversing with political rivals, and building personal relationships.

Using hip hop, rap, and contemporary show tunes, the story is told almost entirely through song. Every song is memorable, catchy, and heartfelt. In addition to moving music and storytelling, every character is captivating in their own unique way.

“Hamilton” not only manages to make history exciting and relevant, but it is also a diverse and powerful musical unlike any other. This winner of 11 Tony Awards- including “Best Musical”- will not disappoint. 

Where to watch it: Disney+

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