The history of musical films is as old as the history of cinema itself (or at least, I suppose, the “talkies”). While film adaptations of Broadway musicals might not be as popular as, say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they remain beloved to many enthusiastic fans. I myself, often look for news places I can find musicals streaming online.
It’s no surprise that in the age of streaming, major streaming services have tried to reach out to fans (such as myself) of musical theater. Whether it’s musical films or filmed stage productions of Broadway hits, you’ll find many different options when it comes to streaming musicals online.
Here I’ve compiled a list of the best streaming services for musicals.
Take note that the availability of shows mentioned in this blog post may change over time and will vary based on your region.
Musicals Streaming on Disney+
There remains a major overlap between fans of musical theater and fans of Disney. Of course, Disney the company has produced many hit Broadway adaptations of their iconic animated films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. There also remains a revolving door between Broadway and the Disney’s animation studio when it comes to big name composers like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken.
Disney provides a number of popular musical films on its streaming service Disney+, even going so far as to have a special “Collections” page for musicals. You’ll obviously find Disney animated musical classics like Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty in addition to modern musicals and classic films.
Broadway fans should also check out the filmed concert special Disney’s Broadway Hits at Royal Albert Hall and the charming reality series Encore! where adults reunite to present an “encore” performance of musicals they performed in high school theater.
Check out the Shall I Stream It? review of Disney+ here.
Musicals streaming on Disney+ include:
- The Greatest Showman
- Into the Woods
- The Sound of Music
- West Side Story (2021)- Arrives March 2nd
Musicals Streaming on BroadwayHD
The leading streaming service that is specifically dedicated to Broadway shows is BroadwayHD. This streaming service focuses on providing filmed Broadway productions. While the app is a little more choppy than Netflix or Disney+, it’s one of the best ways to access some of the productions included in a BroadwayHD subscription.
BroadwayHD includes a variety of content including filmed musical productions, stage plays (particularly Shakespeare), concert specials with Broadway stars like Andrew Rannells and Stephanie Block, ballet, and some musical films.
Memberships to BroadwayHD are either $11.99 mostly or $129.99 annually after a 7-day free trial. You can sign up for BroadwayHD here.
Musicals included on BroadwayHD include:
- Kinky Boots
- Miss Saigon
- Billy Elliot
- Phantom of the Opera (and it's sequel Love Never Dies)
Musicals Streaming on Netflix
Netflix has a more limited selection of third-party movies than it used to now that Disney and other studios have begun gradually letting their contracts expire in favor of their own streaming servicess. That being said, there is still a good variety of movies that cycle in through the Netflix streaming library.
Netflix also has produced some high profile musical films of its own and even debuted a filmed production of Diana: The Musical before it hit Broadway (although the reviews were mixed at best). Broadway fans may also take interest in the quirky documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway, which examines the odd world of musicals that were made specifically for corporate trade shows by famous Broadway producers.
Searching for “musicals” should bring up most of the titles available, and once you’ve watched a musical Netflix’s advanced algorithm should begin suggesting some more.
- Les Misérables
- The Prom
- Shrek the Musical
- My Fair Lady
Musicals Streaming on HBO Max
The streaming service from HBO’s Warner Media has access to a vast library of content which includes a variety of musicals. The classics from their Turner Classic Movies collection in particular stand out for those interested in old-timey tunes from the Golden Age of cinema.
Besides that, most other musicals films are filed under the “Music” section of their movies, a category that also includes concert specials and documentaries.
Check out the Shall I Stream It? review of HBO Max here.
Musicals streaming on HBO Max include:
- In the Heights
- Singin' in the Rain
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
- West Side Story (2021)-Coming March 2nd
Musicals on Prime Video
Amazon’s streaming service has one of the biggest content libraries out there, and much of it is filled with classic movies and smaller, indie films As such you’ll find mostly older musicals on Prime Video, but there are a couple of recent Prime Original musical films.
Prime Video has a dedicated “Musicals” category and also offers the ability to add-on BroadwayHD as a Prime Channel for an extra fee.
Check out the Shall I Stream It? review of Prime Video here.
- A Chorus Line
- The Wiz
- Everybody's Talking About Jamie
- Funny Girl
- Guys and Dolls
There’s some other streaming services that have notable titles for those who enjoy streaming musicals online. In keeping with its focus on quality over quantity, AppleTV+ offers a filmed production of the excellent musical Come From Away. Peacock features several of NBC’s live musicals such as Hairspray Live!, Peter Pan Live!, and Annie Live! Paramount Plus has a very slim selection of musicals, but does feature The Spongebob Musical.
What are some of your favorite streaming services for streaming musicals online? Let me know in the comments!