A Whole New World… Of Broadway!

As most of the world is in a state of isolation as of today, so is the world of singing, dancing, and spectacular shows: the Broadway world. All theatres have hollowed out and are only left with an ominous shell of what was once a dazzling broadway production. However, the community spirit has not faded. Through online cabarets, concerts, and talk shows, the theatre community is alive and thriving! 

The wonders of technology seem to have brought together more cast reunions and live streamed Broadway shows than ever. Recently, the Bandstand original cast was live streamed, the  Falsettos original cast reunited for an online talk show, and the Legally Blonde cast reunited for a sing along, quarantine style. These turned out to be big hits since it is more accessible to the public, being only a click away. Online concerts have also found their way to the center of the broadway community with a concert celebrating Sondhiem’s 90th birthday. Being online, this concert had the advantage of getting all performers easily to one place and all within a safe distance in their own homes. Without the complexity of conflicting dates, Broadway superstars like Sutton Foster, Keli O’Hara, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Groban, Bernadette Peters, and every big shot you can think of performed at this star studded Sondhiem celebration.

Some actors have revived their youtube channels during their quarantine days. Seth Rudetsky, famous for his work in radio shows and for many hit youtube series such as Obsessed and Seth Rudetsky Deconstructs, is thriving in this online environment. He began a talk show series called Stars in the House featuring different Broadway actors just catching up about life and singing a few songs. There have also been many many cast reunions on the show, not only of Broadway shows like Carousel and Urinetown, but also TV shows like Jessie and This is Us. And the best part is that he has hours and hours of content completely accessible to the public. 

The whole broadway community seems to be even more accessible now than ever. Natalie Wiess, most well known for her youtube series, Breaking Down the Riffs, is a vocal coach and Broadway star who gives insight into her daily life from Instagram. Her instagram stories walk you through her days in quarantine. In her live streams, she asks audience members to sing for her, thus making her more accessible to her fans. This new found connection between the famous and the fans is what makes the community so strong.

Tyler Capa, pianist, usually at Feinstein’s/54 below, has also been reaching out to the fans. He has been featuring his fans in videos by posting instrumentals of iconic Broadway songs on Tik Tok for anyone to duet. Right now he’s working on choosing the performers for an upcoming virtual Feinstein’s/54 below concert from a ton of online submissions. 

Speaking of Feinstein’s/54 below, on their youtube channel, they are preparing for an at home concert this saturday featuring actors from broadway shows such as Frozen and Be More Chill. They are also live streaming old concert recordings for more entertainment. 

As you can see, this time of quarantine has brought together the familiar community we all know and love and has created a whole new world of Broadway to experience. Now, with all this Broadway content to explore, anyone can dive in head first into the Broadway experience without wondering if you should buy those expensive tickets. Although not exactly a live theatre experience, it is all better than nothing at all. 

Side note: If anyone just wants to talk about Broadway or needs any suggestions for something to watch, email me!

Elyza Tuan ’23, Rising Clubs and Classes Editor