If this year was the plot of a musical, it would be full of the first act and the finale, but there is a lack of real live theatre. There are no pure theatrical moments to compensate for the absence of live theatre performances in the form of musicals, films, TV series, and films. Here’s what was 2020 in the theater.
For one thing, the whole world got to see the original cast of Disney’s Hamilton, which made the musical available to a mass audience. With cinemas closing worldwide, 2020 in the theater really was the year of streaming, and it couldn’t be more appropriate. It’s only a few weeks away from the US election and it’s on Amazon Prime, so get involved.
I don’t know if this is a sign of democratizing Broadway in a new way, but I do know that we haven’t seen an end to musicals or plays on the big screen. The new musical Diana, Diana is currently being filmed and is set to premiere on Broadway in 2021.
To bring these productions to television sets around the world, the National Theatre is launching a streaming service called “National Theatre at Home.” BroadwayHD, which constantly releases new titles that can be streamed, as well as a number of other streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
Divas gone wild
Meryl Streep is the one you know when she takes a sip of scotch straight from the bottle, but this zoom – in the performance of Company’s “Ladies’ Lunch,” in which she and Oscar-winner Christine Baranski work together – is crazier than anything you’ve seen on stage. Patti LuPone has gone a bit crazy this year, producing some of the best content we’ve seen all year on a tour of her underground, and showing off a plethora of show-business gadgets. These divas have really got us through the year and we are grateful for their creative generosity towards this website as we can’t wait to see them back on stage soon.
If you want to see more from the basement, you can listen to all of this in this interview with the show’s director and co-director, David Fincher, on the podcast.
But two virtual solo performances really caught my eye this year: solo performances will surely make a comeback on the distant social stage after the reopening of the theater. Delroy talks to Bridge Theatre’s director and co-director, David Fincher, and the head of the theater department at the New York Public Theater, and shares his thoughts on the new show.
First Michael Urie revived his acclaimed role as the buyer, and then Andrew Scott gave new meaning to “streaming” in the Old Vic’s Camera series, which offers live broadcasts of the theatre from the stage. This gripping and innovative production was followed by Scott’s masterful performance, which made me cry, but that was it.
Late-night musical theater
Late-night TV has always been a place where musical moments flourish, but since the days of James Corden and Jimi Hendrix in the late 1970s and 1980s, everything has been a contested affair.
But this year, a late-night host has really stepped up, and this time it’s John Mulaney. Twice a year he hosts Saturday Night Live and Each time he brings his love of theatre to the studio and creates truly iconic homage. In the first episode of his new show “Mulaney gives us all the voices, we need in these terrifying times, with a star-studded cast of actors, comedians, actors, and musicians.
2020 in the theater been a dramatic year, to say the least, in which the Covid shutdown has wreaked havoc on the world. Instead of a reality show, here are some of our favorite theater moments of the last year and a half in the form of musicals, movies, and TV shows. What are your favorite theatres and moments, and what are you here for instead of the actual shows?