In recent years, it has become an exciting new trend to preserve Broadway musicals so that they can be streamed in the comfort of your home. Whether it be BroadwayHD, Netflix, or on Amazon, there are many musicals that you can watch over and over with their original staging and theatrical casts. Here is a guide to what is currently available, including a few feature films that have stage productions currently playing on Broadway.
Musicals Available on Netflix
Anastasia (1997, Film) With the voice talents of Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Liz Callaway, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters. Available on Netflix.
Though you cannot stream the current Broadway production of Anastasia, the popular musical first appeared as a movie, and you can enjoy the animated film that started it all. The great mystery behind the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, who may or may not have escaped her family’s execution, unfolds in this thrilling animated feature with a score by Ahrens and Flaherty (Once on this Island, Ragtime).
Carousel (1956, Film) Starring Shirley Jones, Gordon MacRae, Barbara Ruick, Cameron Mitchell, and Claramae Turner. Available on Netflix.
Why not prepare for the forthcoming revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel by spending some time with the film version? Filmed mostly on location in Maine, this musical about the stubborn factory worker Julie Jordan and her marriage to a troubled carousel barker features many iconic show tunes, including “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
It’s Broadway’s longest running revival and the 2002 Academy Award—winning film captured much of the stage show’s razzle-dazzle. Kander and Ebb’s Chicago is a satirical condemnation of how criminals become celebrities — a delicious romp of salacious fun and jazzy melody.
Everyone’s favorite ogre story is given the musical treatment in this kid-friendly tale of how a crotchety monster with a heart of gold finds his true love and saves his kingdom from the evil Lord Farquaad. With a score by Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek the Musical is fairy-tale-inspired fun.
Musicals Available on Amazon Prime
The Tony-winning Broadway musical with a score by Elton John (Aida) and Lee Hall, that came to us via London, was captured for our viewing pleasure. The production, recorded live, tells the story of a boy from a blue-collar family, who dreams of being a dancer. Overcoming the loss of his mother and his family’s financial hardships due to a miners’ strike, Billy’s story is sure to inspire.
Hello, Dolly! (1969, Film) Starring Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, and Michael Crawford. Available on Amazon Prime.
Maybe you cannot get into the Big Apple to see Bette Midler play Dolly Levi, musical theater’s favorite matchmaker. Do not fret. You can get your diva fix watching the 1969 film version with Barbra Streisand. The lush costumes and scenery, not to mention the peppy Jerry Herman score and the farcical story based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, is bound to be a joyous viewing.
Into the Woods (1991, American Playhouse). Starring Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Tom Aldredge, and Robert Westenberg. Available on Amazon Prime.
The Broadway cast of Into the Woods reunited to capture this beloved Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical in its original staging at the Martin Beck Theatre. Several fairy tales come together in this compelling exploration of what happens after “happily ever after.”
Rent: Live on Broadway (2008, Broadway) Starring Will Chase, Adam Kantor, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Eden Espinoza. Available on Amazon Prime.
Viva la vie Bohème! The Broadway production of Rent was captured in all its bohemian glory with this recording of the show. The Jonathan Larson musical brings together a group of struggling artists who find family among one another, even as they face down the specter of HIV and the possibility of losing their homes.
Musicals Available on BroadwayHD
Candide (2005, concert) Starring Paul Groves, Sir Thomas Allen, Kristin Chenoweth, and Patti LuPone. Available on BroadwayHD.
Voltaire’s 1759 novella about a traveling idealist seeking “the best of all possible worlds” was turned into a Broadway musical back in 1956. The show had a short run, but soon became a cult favorite thanks to the intoxicating score by Leonard Bernstein and a handful of contributing lyricists. Revived and reworked, the musical refuses to go away and is performed in all its glory in this star-studded concert.
Cats (1998, London) Starring Elaine Paige, Sir John Mills, and Ken Page. Available on BroadwayHD.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s poem collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats remains one of Broadway’s longest running musicals. Watch as several felines assemble in a junkyard to make their pleas to come back in their next lives. A lively musical for the whole family.
Company (2007, Great Performances). Starring Raul Esparza and Barbara Walsh. Available on BroadwayHD.
John Doyle’s clever staging of the Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical about a bachelor who grapples with his fear of commitment is given a unique production in which the actors also play musical instruments. The score features “Being Alive” and “The Ladies Who Lunch.”
Company (2011, concert). Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, and Martha Plimpton. Available on BroadwayHD.
If a starrier version of Company is more your cup of tea, the 2011 concert version is available for streaming as well. Neil Patrick Harris leads a cast of some of the finest talents of stage, film, and television.
Daddy Long Legs (2016, Off-Broadway) Starring Megan McGinnis, and Adam Halpin. Available on BroadwayHD.
Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin star in this preservation of the enchanting Off-Broadway production of Daddy Long Legs. The story of an orphaned young woman whose education is paid for by a mysterious benefactor is an intellectual twist on the rags-to-riches tale.
Falsettos (2017, Broadway) Starring Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells, and Brandon Uranowitz. Available on BroadwayHD.
Coming to Broadway HD on August 14th, the recent Broadway revival of William Finn and James Lapine’s Falsettos will be available for streaming. The story of Marvin, a man who leaves his wife and kid for another man, and the myriad repercussions that result, makes for a hilarious and ultimately moving viewing experience, demonstrating that families come in all shapes and sizes.
Follies: In Concert (1986, Great Performances) Starring Barbara Cook, George Hearn, Mandy Patinkin, Lee Remick, and Carol Burnett. Available on BroadwayHD.
An all-star ensemble at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall performs Stephen Sondheim’s and James Goldman’s Follies. At a reunion for decades worth of Weismann Follies performers, aging cast members and unhappy couples are haunted by the ghosts of their younger selves.
Gypsy (2015, London) Starring Imelda Staunton. Available on BroadwayHD.
The iconic Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical Gypsy, about the persevering stage mother who will stop at nothing to turn her children into stars, will thrill you with its theatricality and electrified score that features “Some People,” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” and “Rose’s Turn.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera about the final harrowing days of Jesus Christ is given a spectacular-sized treatment in this arena tour. Jesus Christ, Superstar features many song favorites including “Heaven on Their Minds,” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”
Jekyll and Hyde (2001, Broadway) Starring David Hasselhoff, Colleen Sexton, and Andrea Rivette Available on BroadwayHD.
Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse tackle Robert Louis Stevenson’s chilling classic novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, providing an electrically charged score that includes “This Is the Moment” and “Someone Like You.” TV and pop star David Hasselhoff takes the lead as the titular dual roles.
Kiss Me, Kate (2003, London) Starring Brent Barrett, Rachel York, and Nancy Anderson. Available on BroadwayHD.
When a theater company puts on a production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, things get complicated when the arrogant director/lead must work opposite his short-tempered ex-wife. Art begins to imitate life as the musical begins to parallel the play they are putting on. Chock-full of Cole Porter classics, Kiss Me, Kate is a hilarious battle of the wits.
A long-running London and Broadway classic, Les Misérables has touched the hearts of millions. Songs such as “Bring Him Home,” “On My Own,” and “Stars” have become Broadway standards. Celebrate Les Miz’s 25th anniversary with this concert of the musical based on Victor Hugo’s epic novel about a man’s transformation through faith.
Memphis (2011, Broadway) Starring Chad Kimball, Montego Glover, and James Monroe Iglehart. Available on BroadwayHD.
This Tony-winning Best Musical taught audiences to “never let anyone steal their rock ‘n’ roll.” Memphis tells the story of a white disc jockey who wants to play black music on the radio. The musical is loosely based on the true story of Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips.
Oklahoma! (1999, Royal National Theatre). Starring Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, and Shuler Hensley. Available on BroadwayHD.
The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical comes to life in Trevor Nunn’s captivating staging of the story of an Oklahoma farm girl who must choose between the cocky cowboy and the brooding farmhand who are courting her. The musical features a delightful score, including such Rodgers and Hammerstein classics as “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” and the rousing title number.
An enormous hit in London, and Broadway’s longest-running musical of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is celebrated here with a gala concert for its 25th anniversary. The story of the opera ghost who mentors and manipulates a young ingénue is based on the Gaston Leroux novel of the same name.
Putting It Together (2000, Broadway) Starring Carol Burnett, George Hearn, Ruthie Henshall, John Barrowman, and Bronson Pinchot. Available on BroadwayHD.
Nothing quite beats a revue of the music of Stephen Sondheim. Putting It Together uses the framing device of a dinner party to united five people in singing some of the master’s most respected and enjoyed songs.
She Loves Me (2016, Broadway) Starring Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, and Gavin Creel. Available on BroadwayHD.
This musical chestnut, with a score by Bock and Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof), revolves around two coworkers in a Hungarian parfumerie. They despise each other on the job, but are (unbeknownst to one another) anonymous pen pals who have fallen in love through a letter-writing lonely-hearts club.
Sophisticated Ladies (1982, Broadway) Starring Hinton Battle and Paula Kelly. Available on BroadwayHD.
The music of Duke Ellington swings and pops in the musical revue Sophisticated Ladies, which ran on Broadway in 1981. Songs such as “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” and “Hit Me With a Hot Note and Watch Me Bounce” are just a few of the jazz ditties celebrated.
Sweeney Todd: In Concert (2001, concert) Starring George Hearn, Patti LuPone, and Neil Patrick Harris. Available on BroadwayHD.
The tale of Sweeney Todd, the barber who was unjustly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and his cannibalistic plan for revenge, was turned into a Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. This concert version of the show relays the sinister (and tragic) plot, as well as the glorious score, including the songs like “A Little Priest” and “Not While I’m Around.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.