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Musicals on the Small Screen: An Encore in Your Living Room

As passionate lovers of the theatre, we've all been there: the curtain falls after the final act of a magical Broadway show, the applause dies down, and we find ourselves yearning for an encore. But what if the magic of Broadway could be brought into your own living room, making it accessible anytime, anywhere? In recent years, this has become a reality as musicals have found a new stage - the small screen. This transition, fueled by the power of television and streaming platforms, has opened up a world of possibilities, bringing Broadway closer to audiences worldwide.


The small screen has become a medium for celebrating and exploring the beauty and complexity of musicals. This exciting crossover not only brings musicals into the homes of Broadway fans but also introduces the magic of musicals to new audiences, bridging the gap between stage and screen. Prepare for an encore performance like no other, as we dive into the captivating world of musicals on the small screen.


There have been several successful musical TV-shows that demonstrate the potential of this synergy. Shows like Glee and Smash have captivated audiences with their behind-the-scenes look at the world of musical theatre. These shows not only keep the spirit of musical theatre alive on the silver screen but also pave the way for innovative formats in storytelling and performance.


For those who crave the thrill of Broadway but can't make it to the theatre district, the small screen has got you covered with an array of shows that encapsulate the essence of Broadway. From shows inspired by the theatre world to shows featuring Broadway-worthy incredible scores, these television series offer a taste of Broadway magic from the comfort of your living room. So, sit back, grab some popcorn, and let us guide you through some must-watch TV shows that every Broadway lover will adore.


Galavant, a musical comedy television series, is a delightful show that Broadway lovers will find irresistible. This show, which aired for two seasons from 2015 to 2016, is a whimsical medieval adventure filled with catchy tunes, witty lyrics, and captivating performances that would feel right at home on any Broadway stage.


One cannot talk about Galavant without mentioning its strong Broadway connections. The show's music and lyrics were penned by none other than Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, a team known for their work on Broadway hits like The Little Mermaid and Sister Act. Their theatrical expertise shines through in the show's score, which cleverly balances humor and emotion while pushing the narrative forward in true Broadway fashion.


Moreover, the cast of Galavant includes many faces familiar to theatre fans. For instance, Joshua Sasse (Galavant) and Luke Youngblood (Sid) both have theatrical backgrounds that shine through in their performances. In essence, Galavant is a love letter to musical theatre, blending Broadway's storytelling techniques with the episodic structure of television.

Grease Rise of the Pink Ladies

Rise of the Pink Ladies, a recent television series, is another treat for Broadway enthusiasts. The show offers a fresh take on the iconic Broadway musical, Grease. While Grease took the world by storm with its high-energy performances and memorable tunes, Rise of the Pink Ladies promises a deeper exploration of its beloved characters, with a particular focus on the female-led gang, the Pink Ladies.


The series chronicles the origins of the Pink Ladies and their reign at Rydell High, offering a fresh perspective on the familiar narrative. This prequel to the hit musical promises to delve deeper into the lives of familiar characters, while maintaining the musical and theatrical elements that made Grease a Broadway classic.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is yet another TV gem that Broadway lovers will appreciate. This Emmy-winning series cleverly utilizes the power of music and dance to elevate its storytelling, much like a Broadway production. The show follows the life of Rebecca Bunch, a successful lawyer who abandons her life in New York to chase her ex-boyfriend in a small California town.


What sets Crazy Ex-Girlfriend apart from its counterparts is its unabashed use of musical numbers, which are interwoven seamlessly into the narrative. Each episode features original songs that range from hilarious parodies to heartfelt ballads, reminiscent of Broadway's diverse musical palette. The music is not just entertaining but also integral to the plot, helping to reveal character motivations and advance the storyline. The show's Broadway connections run deep, with co-creator and star Rachel Bloom being a self-proclaimed theatre nerd. Several Broadway stars also made appearances throughout the series, including Tovah Feldshuh, Donna Lynne Champlin, and Santino Fontana.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend offers more than just a sitcom experience. It's a showcase of Broadway-style storytelling, where music and drama intertwine to create a rich, layered narrative. For those who appreciate the narrative power of Broadway shows, this series is a must-watch.


Schmigadoon, a recent addition to the realm of Broadway-influenced television, takes a comedic and loving look at classic Broadway musicals. This musical comedy series, available on Apple TV+, is a delightful parody that showcases a deep appreciation for the world of theatre.


The show follows a couple who stumble upon a magical town where everyone acts as though they're in a 1940s musical. The series is filled with tongue-in-cheek references to classic musicals, including The Sound of Music and Oklahoma, making it a treat for Broadway aficionados.


The creators of Schmigadoon have left no stone unturned in their pursuit of authenticity. The series features original songs that superbly imitate the styles of classic Broadway composers. The cast is a who’s who of Broadway and television stars, including Ariana DeBose, Alan Cumming, and Keegan-Micahel Key, further enhancing the Broadway-esque experience.


Schmigadoon offers a unique blend of parody and tribute, serving up a love letter to Broadway musicals while also poking fun at their tropes. It's a delightful romp that offers Broadway lovers a chance to revel in the nostalgia of classic musical theatre while enjoying a fresh, comedic twist.


Daisy Jones and The Six is a testament to the fact that Broadway's influence extends beyond traditional musical theatre. Based on the bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the show centers around a fictional rock band in the 1970s. While it may not be a musical, the series features a fantastic score and is steeped in a Broadway-esque drama that will resonate with theatre lovers.


The narrative unfolds in a compelling, retrospective style, with each band member recounting their version of the band's rise to fame and eventual breakup. In true Broadway fashion, the story explores themes of ambition, love, and the price of success, all set against the backdrop of the rock-n-roll world.


Daisy Jones and The Six promises to be a captivating exploration of music, drama, and the human condition, embodying the spirit of Broadway storytelling in a rock-n-roll setting. For those who love the dramatic flair of Broadway shows, this series is one to watch out for.


As we draw the curtains on our exploration of Broadway on the small screen, it's clear that the worlds of theatre and television are more intertwined than ever before. From shows that offer behind-the-scenes looks at the theatre world like Schmigadoon! and Rise of the Pink Ladies, to series that center around Broadway-style storytelling such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Daisy Jones and The Six, the small screen is increasingly becoming a stage for Broadway magic.


This trend is a boon for both industries, creating a broader platform for creative expression and audience engagement. It brings the magic of musicals into our homes, introducing this genre to new audiences and providing theatre lovers with a way to enjoy a new story anytime, anywhere.


However, while the small screen can capture the drama, the music, and the storytelling of Broadway, there's nothing quite like the thrill of a live performance. The energy of the audience, the immediacy of the action, the sheer spectacle - these are elements that simply cannot be replicated. And let's not forget the talented actors and crew who bring these shows to life, many of whom juggle careers on both the stage and screen.


While musicals’ transition to the small screen augments our theatre experience, it's clear that nothing can truly compare to the magic of live theatre. Until we can next find ourselves in the heart of the theatre district, these TV shows offer a delightful encore performance right in our living rooms.