This Week on the Calendar
Find out where to stream these musicals and more on the Filmed Live Musicals calendar.
Sugar, Butter, Release Date Pie: Waitress Opening Up in Cinemas
Sara Bareilles’ musical based on the 2007 Adrienne Shelley film was filmed live on Broadway in 2021 starring Bareilles, Charity Angél Dawson, Caitlin Houlahan, Drew Gehling, Dakin Matthews, Eric Anderson, and Christopher Fitzgerald. After premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2023, the film will be released in cinemas across the United States by Fathom Events on December 7, 2023.
HEX Released on National Theatre at Home
Based on Sleeping Beauty, the new musical by Tanya Ronder, Jim Fortune, and Rufus Norris was filmed live at the National Theatre during its run in late 2022/early 2023. Available on demand via the National Theatre’s At Home.
RuneSical to be Released Online
A choose-your-own adventure musical comedy, RuneSical was created by British company GiggleMug. The musical was filmed live at The Town & Gown Theatre in Cambridge. It will be available for free on YouTube from September 29, 2023.
There can be miracles! The Prince of Egypt to be Released in Cinemas and Streamed Online
A musical adaptation of the DreamWorks animation which tells the story of Moses learning his true identity and following his destiny to be the leader of his people. Filmed live in the West End in 2019, The Prince of Egypt will be released in cinemas worldwide by Trafalgar Releasing on October 19, and online in the United States via BroadwayHD on November 15, 2023.
Want to be in the know about upcoming filmed live musical releases?
Sign up for the FREE Filmed Live Musicals newsletter to have
upcoming streams delivered straight to your inbox!
On the calendar
This week in the *new look* streaming calendar:
The Eras Tour
Taylor Swift has announced that a film of her recent record-breaking Eras Tour, filmed live at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in August, will be released in North American cinemas on October 13. Deadline reported that sales exceeded well over $10 million on the first day of the presale. If only theatre had a way to emulate the model of filming a live event with limited seats and making it available to millions of fans around the world…
The Prince of Egypt: Live from the West End
Disney’s stage adaptation of the 1998 animation was filmed live in the West End at the Dominion Theatre in 2021. According to Filmed on Stage the musical will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland in October, 2023.
Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love
A 2013 documentary all about composer Marvin Hamlisch is now available to stream for free on All Arts. A composer, conductor, musical genius like no other, Marvin Hamlisch is the artist responsible for some of the most iconic music of our time. Hits like the Broadway sensation A Chorus Line and Oscar winning scores for The Way We Were and The Sting cemented his place in music history. At the extraordinary age of 31 he became one of two PEGOT winners ever, having won a total of 4 Grammys, 3 Oscars, an Emmy, Tony and a Pulitzer prize. Featuring interviews with close friends including: Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones and many more. Directed by Dori Berinstein. Available on All Arts.
Michael Jackson ONE: MJ Blue Sapphire Celebration of the King of Pop’s Birthday
A special panel and performance featuring the cast of ONE by Cirque du Soleil, a state-of-the-art visual and audio experience dedicated to the creative legacy of one of the most successful recording artists of all time, Michael Jackson. Features an interview with MJ: The Musical star and Tony Award winner Myles Frost. Filmed live at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Available on demand for free via YouTube.
Support a new musical: Grace and the Ghost
Written by up and coming composers Anna DeNoia and Joshua Villa, Grace and the Ghost tells the story of a reclusive young musician who spends her days alone in her room, singing songs for the friend she’s imagined in the shadow on her wall. When a city-wide blackout leaves her without light, however, she discovers her “imaginary friend” has been listening. In the darkness, Shadow is able to move around uninhibited, physicalized by Grace’s touch. The two discover how they are connected, explore the consequences of making physical contact, and wrestle with who should hold ownership over the body that exists between them— a depressed, living person who wishes they could disappear, or a spirit who wishes for a second chance. Learn more at Indiegogo.
As elemental as song and dance are to human nature, so to is the quest for power, control of resources, and control over one another. Today marks 104 years since the armistice between the Allied Forces and Germany after four bloody years of war was declared. Now known as Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day in the US, it is a day to reflect upon the sacrifice of war, and honor the men and women who have served their countries through the military.
Sadly, war continues to be an ever-present reality for many people in the world. I had the honor of interviewing Alex Borovenskiy, the founder and executive director of the Ukrainian ProEnglish Theatre and Drama School in Kyiv. Literally amidst falling bombs, power cuts, and continued Russian aggression, Alex and his colleagues are creating new work that speaks to the times and broadcasting it to the world beyond the Ukraine’s borders. The 2022 PRO.ACT Festival, with the theme “Unbreakable,” is available to stream for free on Scenesaver. The episode will be available next week.
Other podcast episodes looking at musicals about war include Allegiance with composer and producer Jay Kuo going behind the scenes of the musical about the incarceration of Japanese-American citizens on American soil during WWII, Pieces of String with composer Gus Gowland talking about his musical inspired by the untold stories of gay men in the military, and Pacific Overtures with theatre historian Margaret Hall delving into the history of Sondheim’s musical about the forcible opening of Japan to the West.
Below is a list of stage musicals you can watch from home which tell the stories of war across history, and from across the world.
Allegiance is loosely based on the events of actor George Takei’s life. During World War II, Takei and his family, along with 120,000 Japanese-American citizens were incarcerated in camps within the United States. Filmed live on Broadway in 2016, and released in cinemas in December of that year. It briefly held the record as Fathom Events’ highest grossing Broadway film. Click here for streaming options.
An American in Paris
Using the music of George and Ira Gerswhin, this romanticized musical tells the story of an American GI who falls in love with a Parisian woman in the days following the end of WWII. Adapted from the MGM movie of the same name, the stage production was filmed live in the West End in 2017. Click here for streaming options.
Filmed live on Broadway in 2017, this swing musical tells the story of a musician who returns from fighting in Europe during WWII, traumatized but with the desire to re-build his life following the death of his best friend. Although the musical was the first theatrical production to be certified by Get Your 6 for its authentic portrayal of the military, Bandstand was criticized for its lack of characters or actors of color. Released in cinemas in 2018, the musical was briefly available to stream on Playbill and Broadway on Demand earlier this year. Click here for streaming options.
From Here to Eternity
British musical From Here to Eternity is based on James Jones’ novel of the same name. With music by Stuart Brayson, lyrics by Sir Tim Rice, and a book by Bill Oakes, the musical depicts the affairs of US soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the lead-up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was filmed live during its West End run in 2014. Click here for streaming options.
A much lauded hip hop musical following the trials and tribulations of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton depicts battles from the Revolutionary War, along with the battles of the cabinet. Click here for streaming options.
A fictionalized re-telling of true events, Imagine This is set in the Warsaw Jewish ghetto during the Holocaust. With departure to a camp imminent, a local theatre troupe are encouraged by their director to stage a musical about Masada (where a group of 960 Jewish refugees in the year 70 attempted to evade Roman soldiers before committing mass suicide). The musical had a short-lived run on the West End in 2008 where it was filmed live. Now available on DVD. Click here for purchasing options.
Based on Victor Hugo’s historical novel of the same name, Les Miserables is not set during the French Revolution, during the uprisings that took place a few decades later. Although the stories and characters in Les Mis are fiction, they are drawn from Hugo’s close observations of Paris life. The musical has to date been filmed live three times, the 10th anniversary concert, 25th anniversary concert, and, most recently, last year’s West End staged concert. Click on each title for streaming options.
Love at Times
A two-act play with music and movement filmed at the ProEnglish Theatre in Kyiv during the Russian invasion in 2022. Part 1 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” sees two gay soldiers from the Territorial Defense of Kyiv discussing their romantic relationship. In part 2, “Katie and Frank,” the title couple argues over the old adage “you never listen to me.” Available for free with registration on Scenesaver. The ProEnglish Theatre’s one-woman play The Book of Sirens, a contemporary adaptation of The Book Thief set in Kyiv, is also worth a watch.
A modernized re-telling of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon is set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon. The musical tells the ill-fated love story of Kim, a young woman in Saigon, and an American G.I., Chris. The 25th anniversary gala production was filmed live in the West End in 2016. Click here for streaming options.
Only the Brave
Based on true stories, this British musical follows Captain John Howard and Lieutenant Denholm Brotheridge, and their wives Joy and Maggie, as the soldiers prepare for the D-Day landings. The 2016 production at the Wales Millennium Centre featured a real-life vet playing the role of John Howard Senior. Only the Brave was filmed live for archival purposes in 2016. Click here for streaming options.
Self-described by composer Stephen Sondheim as “the most bizarre and unusual musical ever to be seen in a commercial setting,” Pacific Overtures is a concept musical set around Commodore Perry’s first visit to Japan in 1853. It was filmed live during its original Broadway run for distribution on Japanese television. Click here for streaming options.
Pieces of String
Set in 1940 and the present day, British musical Pieces of String was inspired by a BBC documentary that briefly mentioned gay relationships in the armed forces during World War II, and modern day stories of gay men being unable to donate blood. Composer Gus Gowland sought to widen the scope for the way gay male characters are portrayed in musical theatre (a topic which he later explored in his PhD dissertation), and attempted to ensure women were also equally represented in the musical. The musical was filmed live during its run at Mercury Theatre Colchester in 2018. Click here for streaming options.
Based on the short story collection Tales of the South Pacific, the now classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was ground breaking musical for its exploration of racism, war, and interracial relationships. There are currently two filmed live productions of South Pacific in the database - the 2010 Lincoln Center revival and the 2005 Carnegie Hall concert starring Reba McIntyre and Brian Stokes Mitchell. The latter is available on DVD. Click here for purchasing options.
A Tale of Two Cities
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities is based on Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. The musical had a brief run on Broadway in 2008, and has received concert stagings in London, Paris, and Brighton. The concert performances were compiled into a special which was broadcast on PBS and is now available on DVD (this is an affiliate link and as an associate I may earn income from qualifying purchases).
Tyneham: No Small Sacrifice
This British musical tells the story of the residents of Tyneham, who were told to leave their homes in 1942 as the bequest of the British military. Although the residents were promised their homes would be returned, Tyneham remains military property to this day. Performed by amateur theatre company Generations Apart in 2013, the musical is currently available to view on YouTube.
V for Victory
This still-in-development British musical explores the lives of a group of friends in the resistance against the German occupation of Jersey during World War II. A concert version was performed at the Stockwell Playhouse in 2018 and was filmed live. Click here for streaming options.
Waiting for the Ship to Sail
Produced by Chickenshed in the UK, this timely musical is an artistic response to the urgent and pressing questions of global migration, and investigates the concepts of national and personal identity. It is currently available on YouTube.
The off-Broadway musical YANK! tells the story of soldiers falling in love, and depicts the gay scene that “thrived just beneath the surface of the US Army in the 1940s.” The musical was a hit of the NY Musical Theatre Festival in 2005, and had a successful off-Broadway run in 2010. Below 54 hosted a 10th anniversary concert in early 2020, and the video is currently available on YouTube.
How will you be honoring those whose lives have been lost in war, and those who have devoted their lives to service today?
There are two new entries to take a look at in the database - Better Late (1946) and Of a Lifetime (2021). The titles were filmed 75 years apart and represent very different possibilities of bringing live musicals to the screen. And just for fun, despite being filmed in the UK and US respectively, both musicals have Aussie connections much like yours truly who is Australian born!
Better Late was a musical revue starring Beatrice Lillie, and it was the first musical to be broadcast live by the BBC from the West End following WWII. The cast also included Aussie actor Murray Matheson who became a dear friend of Lillie's. A fun connection for me, when I was accepted to study at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama I was awarded the Beatrice Lillie Scholarship! I wonder what Ms. Lillie and Mr. Murray would think of this Aussie, who trained in London and now lives in the US, would think of their revue being studied in this way over three-quarters of century later?!
Of a Lifetime is a new electro-rock sci-fi musical by Aussie writer and composer James C.K. Jefferies. The musical was filmed during its off-Broadway run in 2021, and the film was an official selection of the 2022 International New York Film Festival where it received a Merit Award. It's available to stream online.
Visit the database to learn more!
In the month of March, Filmed Live Musicals is celebrating Stephen Sondheim! On the podcast, we have a three-part series with musical theatre historian Margaret Hall. Part 1 (Feb 28) is an overview of filmed live Sondheim musicals, part 2 (March 14) will be a deep dive into Pacific Overtures, and part 3 is a deep dive into the 2011 New York Philharmonic production of Company, the musical that inspired this very website!
To accompany this week's episode on filmed live Sondheim musicals, here’s a list of where you can watch those musicals!
This post contains affiliate links, and I may earn income from qualifying purchases made through these links.
Into the Woods
Merrily We Roll Along
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Putting it Together
Sunday in the Park with George
In 2015 Image Entertainment released the Stephen Sondheim Collection, a 6-disc DVD collection of Sondheim’s work including Into the Woods (1990), Company (2011), Sunday in the Park with George (1986), Follies in Concert (1985), Sweeney Todd (2001), and Sondheim: The Birthday (2010), though it appears to currently be out of print.
You can learn more about all of the above musicals in the Filmed Live Musicals database. There are more to be added, including the 1994 National Theatre and 1995 Barcelona productions of Sweeney Todd. Know of other filmed live Sondheim recordings? Send us an email! Remember, to be included in the database, a musical must have been legally filmed in front of a live audience, and made available to the general public.
Host Luisa Lyons chats with Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams, founders of new musical theatre company Bottle Cap Theatre, and creators of recently streamed musicals The Limit, about mathematician Sophie Germain, and RIDE, about Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle.
Topics include how song cycles and the Edinburgh Fringe inspired Freya and Jack to start writing musical theatre, deadlines and creativity, the development of The Limit, and RIDE, how the pair feel about filming their work, and more!
Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams are award-winning composers and lyricists, and founders of Bottle Cap Theatre. Their work focuses on telling female led stories and includes musicals RIDE (The Garrick, 2021) and THE LIMIT (VAULT Festival 2019). They are the joint winners of Aria Entertainment and ALP's Chamber Musical commission (2021).
Their work has been performed at venues including: The Garrick, The Other Palace, The Roundhouse and The Leicester Square Theatre, and has been developed with drama schools including the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and ArtsEd.
In 2021 Freya received a Michael Grandage Futures Bursary and took up a writing residency at Norwich Theatre Royal.
Learn more at www.bottlecaptheatre.com, follow on Twitter, and at Freya Catrin Smith, and Jack Williams.
Available wherever you listen to podcasts or on Buzzsprout.
Enjoyed this podcast? Leave a review and help spread the word!
This week on the podcast host Luisa Lyons chats with Eliza Jackson, an Australian producer based in the UK whom The Stage recently listed as one of the Top 100 Theatre Makers of 2020.
Topics including making the switch from acting to producing, the joys and challenges of producing virtual theatre content during the pandemic, paying artists during lockdown, the future of streaming, what it means to make theatre during this time, and Lambert Jackson Productions streams of The Last Five Years, Songs for A New World, [title of show], and the upcoming I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.
Australian born Eliza Jackson trained in Musical Theatre at the prestigious NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) in Sydney. She moved to London in 2012 and since then, has worked in the theatre industry both on and off stage.
In 2018, Lambert Jackson Productions was born and their first project was to take Eliza’s one-woman show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show, The Voice Behind the Stars received 5-star reviews across the board and was then toured around Australia with much success. On her return, she took on the role of Creative Director of Lambert Jackson full time.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change will stream at select times between January 28-30, 2021. More info and tickets available from the London Coliseum.
Available wherever you listen to podcasts!
If you like what you hear, subscribe and leave a review!
"And when our children tell our story..."
Today is Memorial Day, a day where we remember and honor the people who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. I don’t personally have loved ones who served for the United States, but my grandparents were liberated from Japanese occupation in the Philippines by American troops.
I think it is poignant that seventy years later, a Filipino actor, Lea Salonga, would depict a Japanese-American civilian interned on American soil in the Broadway musical Allegiance. Loosely based on actor George Takei’s experiences, Allegiance depicts the terrible treatment of Japanese-American citizens in the US, and the Japanese-American soldiers who fought for the US, during World War II. The musical opened on Broadway in 2015, and was later screened in cinemas around the US. It is now available on (a rather expensive) DVD, and from May 29 will stream for a limited time on Broadway on Demand.
Similarly set during the Second World War, Bandstand tells the story of Donny Novitsk, a musician who has returned from the war traumatized, but with the desire to re-build his life following the death of his best friend. Opening on Broadway in 2017, the musical was the first theatrical production to be certified by Got Your 6, a veteran’s advocacy organization whose work includes promoting the authentic portrayal of the military in entertainment. Bandstand was filmed live during its run and broadcast in cinemas across North America. To commemorate Memorial Day, the musical is available to stream for a small fee ($6.99 US) on Broadway on Demand from May 25th at 7.30pm, until June 2.
Also set on American soil, though two centuries earlier, the worldwide mega-hit and possibly the most-anticipated filmed live musical ever to be released, Hamilton, tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, and covers battles in the Revolutionary War. Hamilton, filmed live on Broadway in 2016, will be released on Disney+ on July 3.
Returning to World War II, and moving to the southern hemisphere, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical South Pacific, was the first Broadway musical to explore stories of race and war. White characters Nellie Forbush, a nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Lt Cable from Princeton, New Jersey, learn to overcome racial prejudice when they fall in love whilst stationed in Polynesia. The 2005 Carnegie Hall benefit production starring Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Alec Baldwin is available on DVD. The 2008 Lincoln Center revival directed by Bartlett Sher, and starring Kelli O’Hara and Paulo Szot, was broadcast on American television on Live from Lincoln Center. It is not currently officially available to view.
Staying in the Asia-Pacific region, but moving to a later conflict, Miss Saigon tells of the ill-fated love between a young Vietnamese woman, Kim, and an American G.I., Chris. An adaptation of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon first opened in London in 1989 (starring the aforementioned Lea Salonga), and ran for ten years, becoming a worldwide sensation. To celebrate the musical’s 25th anniversary, producer Cameron Mackintosh revived Miss Saigon in the West End in 2014. The production was filmed and broadcast in cinemas, and is now available on Amazon (UK) and BroadwayHD.
Again returning to World War II, but this time in Europe, An American in Paris tells the story of a young American soldier who falls in love in Paris at the end of the war. Based on a film, which was based on George Gershwin’s “tone poem,” the stage production premiered in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet in 2014, before transferring to Broadway in 2015 and the West End in 2017. The London production was filmed live and broadcast in cinemas around the world, and is now available on BroadwayHD.
The lesser-known musical YANK! also tells the story of soldiers falling in love, depicting the gay world that “thrived just beneath the surface of the US Army in the 1940s.” The musical was a hit of the NY Musical Theatre Festival in 2005, and had a successful off-Broadway run in 2010. Below 54th hosted a 10th anniversary concert earlier this year, and the video is currently available on YouTube.
Apart from war, one of the recurring themes across all of these musicals is love. We honor and remember with love, and that is the story that will continue to be told.
Can’t wait for Hamilton on July 3? Catch Lin-Manuel’s one-act musical 21 Chump Street. Want a moving musical to commemorate Memorial Day? Try out the Millennium Wales Centre production of Only the Brave. Need something to occupy the kids? Try Chichester Theatre Festival’s production of The Midnight Gang. If you’re feeling literary, you can catch Wasted, a rock musical about the Brontë family, or Emma Rice’s joyous Wise Children. Science more your thing? You can watch Tangram Theatre’s The Element in the Room about Marie Curie. Or perhaps you'd like to celebrate some historic women? Take a look at the new song cycle Passion Project.
Here is a list of over 30 musicals you can currently watch online (legally!) for free! There truly is a musical for everyone!
Musicals are sorted below by Broadway & West End Composers, off-Broadway & off-West End Beyond London & New York, Musicals in Development/Concert Readings, & Family Friendly.
If you’re able, please consider making a donation to the theatre or company making their content available. As reported by producer Sonia Freedman this week, up to 70% of theatres in the UK risk permanent closure by the end of the year, and things are also looking grim in the US.
Broadway and West End Composers
Off-Broadway and Off-West-End
Beyond London and New York
Musicals in Development/Concert Readings
Still want MORE musicals?
Use the Filmed Live Musicals database to search for musicals to watch online!
Filmed Live Musicals is a labor of love
that takes many hours of research & hundreds of dollars to run.
Become a patron and support original research into filmed live musicals.
From June 2020, Patrons will receive a monthly newsletter with bonus content not available on the site, and Star Patrons also receive a filmed live musical review.
There are so many musicals streaming online right now it's hard to keep up!
Today alone, the 8th of May, there are THREE filmed live musicals being made available for a limited time for free (not to mention all the musicals already available online)!
If you are so able, please consider making a donation to the institutions providing these streams, especially the independent theatres. Times are tough for everyone right now, and the theatre industry is facing an incredibly difficult time. Theatres rely on ticket sales to bring in income, and with the shutdown, many institutions are facing serious economic difficulty. If we can, let's give back to the places that give us so much joy.
Pieces of String
A new British musical set simultaneously in 1940 and the present day exploring LGBT themes, and the impact of secrets on generations. Free to watch from 10am - 11.59pm (GMT) on May 8 only at Mercury Theatre Colchester. If you miss the free screening, it's also available for a small fee from Digital Theatre.
The King and I
Bartlett Sher's gorgeous Lincoln Center revival starring Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe filmed live during its West End run at the London Palladium. Free watch party on May 8 at 8pm (EST) hosted BroadwayHD and Playbill. Only available in North America. Also available through a BroadwayHD subscription.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn's musical based on the book by P.G. Wodehouse. Will be available to stream for free from 2pm on May 8 for 48 hours on YouTube.
Royal Court Livestream
Missing being inside an actual theatre? This one is not a musical, but London's Royal Court theatre is live-streaming from within the empty auditorium on May 8th with Caretaker, a "durational installation" by Hester Chillingworth. 7.30pm GMT. Visit Royal Court for more info.
Still want MORE musicals?! You can visit the Filmed Live Musicals database and search for musicals to watch online! There are currently 75 musicals listed as available online, with more being added each week.