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- BroadwayHD lets you stream classic Broadway entertainment from the comfort of your home.
- The service includes filmed stage productions of past musicals and plays.
- BroadwayHD costs $12/month on its own, but Amazon Prime members can sign up for $9/month.
Seeing a musical or play in person is an amazing experience, but not everyone can attend live theater on a regular basis. High ticket prices and travel costs can be obstacles for many hoping to see big-budget shows on Broadway, and local theater options can be limited depending on where you live.
As a huge Broadway fan, I searched for a way to enjoy musical theater without having to attend shows every week. I finally found a fantastic solution with BroadwayHDa
service that offers a selection of filmed stage productions that you can watch from the comfort of your couch.
The service launched in fall 2015 with 100 titles and gradually built a content library full of shows. A subscription costs $12 per month or $130 per year after a one-week free trial. While the service doesn’t include shows that currently air on Broadway, the catalog of classic and popular productions still offers a ton of value for theater fans.
BroadwayHD was founded with the intention of democratizing Broadway.
The founders of BroadwayHD are Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley; both are Tony Award-winning producers. The streaming service aims to bring Broadway entertainment to a wider audience, including viewers who might not normally be able to see a production in person.
Broadway has always been a niche market, accessible only to a certain demographic in a specific geographic area. Even if you live in an area that receives frequent national Broadway tours, it’s easy to be overpriced for events like these. With BroadwayHDsubscribers can watch filmed stage productions from the comfort of their living room for an affordable monthly fee.
Before starting the servicethe founders have agreements with the 17 unions and guilds that represent workers on and off stage to ensure that each member is compensated for their work when a show is filmed for the service.
BroadwayHD also has partnerships with some of the major not-for-profit Broadway and off-Broadway theater companies, including the Public Theatre, the Roundabout Theater Company and the Lincoln Center Theater. This led to a few key collaborations, including the production of “She Loves Me” in 2016, which aired live on BroadwayHD directly from Studio 54.
BroadwayHD offers an accessible way to experience a Broadway production at home for a monthly fee.
Since 2015, BroadwayHD has continuously grown its content library. It includes older musicals and plays filmed live on stage on Broadway, as well as an extensive catalog of Shakespeare from the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
BroadwayHD also features big-screen adaptations of musicals, including “Hello Again” and “Yentl,” and plays adapted for the screen, including Oscar Wilde’s “Salomé” starring Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain. The service also offers programming of theatrical documentaries. “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is an excellent one that traces the creation and lasting impact of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
BroadwayHD is currently available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV products. The service costs $12 per month on its own, and new members can get a one-week free trial.
Amazon Prime members can also sign up for BroadwayHD as a Prime Video channel add-on for just $9 per month. With the add-on, Prime members can use the Prime Video app to watch BroadwayHD content.
It’s important to note that you won’t find any shows running on Broadway or in London’s West End.
All productions shot on BroadwayHD aren’t added to the service until the show ends, which means popular musicals like “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon” remain unavailable for streaming.
A notable exception to this, however, is the 25th anniversary production of “Phantom of the Opera”, which was filmed live in London. “Phantom of the Opera” is still playing on Broadway and in the West End for the foreseeable future, but this dazzling, large-scale spectacle can be enjoyed at home via BroadwayHD.
Another classic you can watch BroadwayHD even if new productions appear all the time all over the world, it is “Les Miserables”. Like “Phantom”, this production was filmed live in London in honor of the show‘s 25th anniversary. It’s equal in magnitude to the anniversary performance of “Phantom”, featuring the best of the best.
“Ann,” which stars Holland Taylor as Ann Richards, the former Governor of Texas, is also on BroadwayHD despite continuing to be portrayed by Taylor to this day.
As a former theater student and Broadway lover, I’m enjoying BroadwayHD a lot – here are some of my favorite productions you can watch right now:
“Falsettos” was filmed live from the stage of the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway in early 2017. Bill Finn and James Lapine’s musical tells the story of a family with unconventional dynamics at the dawn of the crisis of the AIDS. This production was nominated for five Tony Awards, four of which recognized the incredible acting of the series.
“Indecent” by Paula Vogel is one of my favorite theatrical genres: a play upon a play. The show, which was filmed live on Broadway in 2017, tells the true story of “God of Vengeance,” a Sholem Asch production that premiered on Broadway in 1923.
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s classic twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales was filmed live in London at an open-air theatre. It won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and stars Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) as the witch.
Another Sondheim classic, this version of “Sweeney Todd” was filmed in 1980 during the musical’s first national tour. It stars original cast member Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett and George Hearn as the demon barber of Fleet Street.
BroadwayHD has four productions of “Macbeth,” but I recommend the film version of the 2008 Broadway revival starring Patrick Stewart. The concept takes the game out of its Scottish setting and places it in a nondescript underworld.
“Kinky Boots”, by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper, was filmed live in London’s West End and released in 2019. The musical follows an unlikely partnership between a factory owner and a drag queen as they try to save the factory from financial problems. Both the original Broadway production and this London production are award-winning.
The bottom line
BroadwayHD is a truly comprehensive streaming service for theater fans. It’s perfect for people who can’t see the shows in person or for anyone looking to experience something new.
I first signed up for the service during Broadway’s closure when I missed live theater. But even now that Broadway is open again, I still find myself regularly watching BroadwayHD to revisit old favorites and check out productions I’ve never seen.
That said, if you’re primarily interested in shows currently running on Broadway, BroadwayHD may not be for you as those productions are notably absent.
Still, for $12/month, the service offers a good balance of older classics, including Shakespeare, and contemporary musicals like “BKLYN” AND “First Date.” Even if you’re lucky enough to go to the theater regularly, BroadwayHD is a great way to stream your favorites and enjoy Broadway entertainment from your living room.