If escapism is what you're looking for, look no farther than this 1980 tale of a plucky understudy who becomes as star. A tap-happy paean to musical theater itself, it's the quintessential manifesto of Broadway's show-must-go-on ideology. The 1933 source film is an anti-Depression treatment; the musical supplements the story with extra standards from the Harry Warren–Al Dubin songbook and massive cloudbursts of synchronized dance. This filmed version captures the 2017 West End revival, with choreography by Randy Skinner that draws on Gower Champion's original staging at several key moments.
Highlight: As belts begin to tighten and wallets begin to thin, the exuberant production number "We're in the Money" (1:05) may be just the thing to take your mind off your troubles.
Not everyone can get out to actual Broadway productions, and fans of musical theater are hungry for shows they can watch from home. That's where BroadwayHD comes in. A streaming service aimed at theater lovers, BroadwayHD offers some 300 whole, high-quality, professionally filmed live theater performances from Broadway, London's West End and beyond. (Some have been acquired from existing catalogs, while others have been created especially for the channel.) Subscriptions cost $11.99 a month—and for new subscribers, the first week is free.
But how can you choose among the many shows on offer? That's where we come in. BroadwayHD is currently streaming 69 different musicals. Here are the ones we think you won't want to miss. One note: BroadwayHD offers several musicals that were shot as feature films (including The Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) or as made-for-TV movies (such as Bye Bye Birdie or the Bette Midler Gypsy), but we have limited this list to recordings of live stage productions.