Whether you’re a fan of heart-wrenching ballads, complex choreography, or colourful sets and costumes, there’s something for everyone in the world of musical theatre. But, as magical as musicals are, being a fan of musicals can be challenging. Especially if, like me, you are a broke student in Bangladesh and can only dream of someday walking along Broadway.
Sounds sad? Fear not, there are still several ways for you to experience and support your favourite musicals, even if you can’t see those shows in person. Here’s how you can taste Broadway bliss for 525,600 minutes of the year while still in Bangladesh.
LOOK FOR MOVIE ADAPTATIONS
Telling a musical fan to watch the movie is like telling an anime fan to watch the dub of their favourite show. In most cases, the original musical will always be better. However, movie adaptations are still an accessible alternative and are often better than fans give them credit for. There are also instances where movies have inspired their own Broadway adaptations, such as Mean Girls, Heathers, and pretty much every Disney musical to date.
Not all musicals have movies, but many older and more popular ones do. So, if you’re new to the form, movie musicals can be a great way to familiarise yourself with the shows that fans know and love, such as Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Le Miserables, and Rent. If you’re looking for something more recent, check out the new adaptations of West Side Story and Matilda, both of which came out just last year.
SUPPORT YOUR FAVOURITES ON SPOTIFY
Before the internet, all you could do to support the cast and crew of your favourite shows was cheer from a distance and hope the message got across. However, now that Spotify is available in Bangladesh, you can stream on the platform to show your support instead.
Streaming the soundtrack of your favourite show can help it climb the charts and prove to the production company that it deserves to stay on Broadway. Musicals like Be More Chill are a testament to how Spotify streams can revive productions and even move a show up from regional theatres to the big Broadway stage.
ANIMATICS ARE A GAME CHANGER
Music is an essential part of all musicals. However, visuals can significantly impact how you experience a song. For days when just listening to the soundtrack feels unfulfilling, check out fan-made animatics that can liven up a song with powerful visuals.
Animatics are free to watch and are often uploaded by musical fans on YouTube. As the name suggests, animatics are animated music videos made for the songs in a musical. Since they use the medium of animation, animators are free to get creative with their drawings and the scenes they pair with different parts of the songs. Seeing how artists interpret the same song can be almost as fun as watching the musicals themselves.
TUNE IN TO THE TONYS
The Tony Awards are like the Oscars of theatre. The biggest musical and stage theatre stars gather together to celebrate the best shows of the year. Seeing your favourite actors and shows get recognition for work is always heartwarming. However, the best part of the Tonys, by far, is the musical performances.
Unlike most award shows, the performances at the Tonys don’t just involve a singer performing on stage. Tonys performances consist of full casts of performers, decked in their finest costumes, acting out whole musical numbers on lavish sets. For fans who hope to get a peek into what actual Broadway performances of their favourite shows look like, the Tonys are a dream come true.
STAGE RECORDINGS ARE GOD’S GIFT TO FANS
All musicals have professional stage recordings kept at the New York Library for archival purposes. Most shows do not get professional recordings that are available to the public. However, every now and then, producers have mercy on our poor unfortunate souls and professional recordings receive official releases.
The most well-known professionally shot musical released for streaming is Hamilton. However, shows like Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods, and more also have professional recordings released online.
Sometimes, when talking doesn’t do the trick, all you can do is break out into a well-choreographed musical number. Whether you live in New York or Noakhali, London or Lalmatia, musicals are for everyone and can be enjoyed from anywhere as long as you know how.
This article is a part of Stripe, bdnews24.com’s special publication with a focus on culture and society from a youth perspective.