Stream these festive theatre shows this holiday season
This year’s holiday season is guaranteed to feel different, quieter, and perhaps more peaceful than previous years. Suspension of Broadway performances also means we can’t partake in our annual traditions; no Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and no Christmas Eve productions to bring us festive cheer live on stage. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the holidays.
Create your own theatrical advent with these holiday shows, which you can stream throughout the holiday season. From solo concerts, group performances, and even live musicals broadcast to audiences around the globe, find the show for you below.
Another A Christmas Carol, you say? You’d be mistaken here, as the world premiere of Estella Scrooge imagines what would happen to Ebenezer’s four times great-granddaughter. Planned, produced, and digitally captured during the pandemic, creatives have rallied what feels like the whole of Broadway to get involved, including Betsy Wolfe, Patrick Page, and Danny Burstein. Stream it from December 16.
Santa won’t be coming down our chimneys this year to deliver presents, but there’s still holiday magic in the air. That’s the case in A New York Holiday Minute, a series of six short plays all about living in the city during the holidays. Every play is different, with stories including shop workers decorating a storefront, a Kwanzaa celebration and Papa Elf playing matchmaker on a subway.
Usually, Big Band Holidays Christmastime concert sell out weeks in advance, but jazz fans around the world can enjoy this year’s offering, thanks to a virtual stream. The jazz musicians at Lincoln Center Orchestra will take to the stage with big band versions of family-favorite holiday hits in this New York sensation. Big Band Holidays premieres on December 19 and is available to listen to for one week.
Look forward to a trio’s swinging holiday covers including “Sleigh Ride,” courtesy of A Swinging Birdland Christmas. This year will mark the group’s 11th year performing festive hits, and their album “Christmas at Birdland” even reached number two on the iTunes music charts. It’s a holiday-themed cabaret with all the musical trimmings you could ever imagine which will be available to stream on December 18.
Head to “church” via the theatre with Sister Helen Holy of the First Southern Fried Self-Satisfied “Babatist” Church. The 701 Club is popular all over the country, so join the coolest congregation in town this season. Stream on demand from Dec. 4 to Dec. 20, 2020.
Terrance McNally’s Some Christmas Letters is given the operatic treatment, thanks to Opera San Jose. The 90-minute American opera follows Graham, a famous actress and her two adult children whose secrets come to light as they get older. Unlike the title though, Three Decembers is actually available to stream for four weeks, from December 3.
Guarantee your place on Santa’s good list with tickets to The Naughty List. As the title suggests, the show follows those who deserve Christmas presents. But, check those lists twice, as someone who has been naughty is on the wrong list. With magic, music and plenty of laughter, save the holidays with theatre, available to watch from December 4.
See a cast of 120 from Ballet Chicago take on Tchaikovsky’s Christmassy ballet. Embark on this unforgettable journey with the cast, as a young girl travels to the Kingdom of Snow and Land of the Sweets. Look forward to the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, available to watch from December 18.
Charles Dickens’ tale is definitely a Christmas hit, with theatre companies across the country presenting their own adaptation. If you’re struggling to pick, why not tune into Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production. Presented as a radio play, you’ll be able to feel the spirits of Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and co. in your own living room. It’s available to listen to now, until Dec. 31, 2021, so you can get into the Christmas spirit all year long.
Join a whole host of variety acts in San Francisco’s New Conversatory Theatre Center’s Christmas show. During the event, witness drag performances, live music and aerial art, available to watch from December 13.
Reunite with childhood characters of Christmas films past in Christmas on the Rocks. Join the bartenders and Christmassy individuals as they share their festive heartbreaks with a tipple or two. It’s available to watch until Dec. 31, 2020.
Telly Leung and Storm Lever star in this holiday production; the original play which inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet. There’s a war that takes place between a Mouse King and a Nutcracker prince, but who will emerge victorious? Set to be a Christmas favorite for years to come, it’s available for three nights from December 17.
The holiday season is more than just gift giving and playing out in the snow. It’s about spending time with those you treasure. Join the award-winning cabaret performer Taylor Mac in their Christmas celebration from December 15, reminding us all that creating memories with family and friends is more important than ever.
Forget Ebenezer Scrooge, there’s a new miser in town. Karen’s a high-flying boss in Manhattan, ignoring any concept of festive spirit. As the audience, you’re her assistant, having to guide Karen through the holidays. Will you keep your sanity? Will you get your bonus check? Will you speak to the manager? With multiple endings, it’s up to you alone to decide what happens to this Christmas Karen, available from December 17 – 22.
What do you think Cindy Lou Who would be like as a grown woman? No need to wonder, as Who’s Holiday brings Dr. Seuss’s lovable character to life again on December 11. Lesli Margherita stars in this live-streamed revival, written entirely in rhyme. All proceeds raised will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, so you can watch a show, donate money and feel good at the same time.
Home For The Holidays
Struggling to feel the holiday spirit? Broadway is here to welcome you home. Escape the real world for a few hours with this star-studded charity concert, including Alan Cumming, André De Shields, Lena Hall, Karen Olivo and even more to be announced.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
In recent years, a holiday season hasn’t been complete without a NBC holiday musical. Even though theaters aren’t lit up this year, the tradition continues this year with a family favorite: How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Take a trip to Whoville with Glee and Finding Neverland’s Matthew Morrison as he plays the title role in the production, which will be broadcast live from London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre on December 9. The musical was last seen on Broadway in 2007, with this production set to include two brand new songs. Let’s just hope the Grinch isn’t too mean to audiences.
A Christmas Carol
If 2020 was a Christmas character, it’d be a Scrooge. But there’s no reason why you need to be a Scrooge. Jefferson Mays reprises his groundbreaking performance as the fictional Dickensian in A Christmas Carol, which will be available to stream worldwide on November 28. Soon to star in The Music Man on Broadway, the Tony Award-winning actor will star in this holiday spectacular, first performed in Los Angeles in 2018. All money raised from livestreams going toward partner theaters across the United States.
A Christmas Carol
Seen on Broadway in 2019, transport yourself to Dickensian London via your laptop with A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic in London. The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln will play Scrooge in this critically-acclaimed production, written by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Jack Thorne, which is available to stream December 12 – 24.
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a sprinkle of faith, trust and pixie dust. Journey off to Neverland with Chicago Shakespeare Theater in a re-mastered feature film of Peter Pan. From the Darling children to the Lost Boys and even Captain Hook, you’ll wish you could venture to the second star on the right all year long. Peter Pan is available from December 19 – Jan, 1. 2021.