BroadwayGirlNYC: Broadway on YouTube
What a weekend for the Broadway community. For the first time in recent history, every single Broadway & Off-Broadway show was canceled, due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene.
The MTA shut down subway & bus servIce Throughout New York City, leaving many actors unable to reach the theatres where they would have otherwise been working; and patrons, many of whom would also have to commute into Times Square, were left holding tickets to shows that would not go on. (Luckily, refund/exchange policies were instituted immediately).
Following recommendations by New York City officials, many residents evacuated their homes; those who were allowed to stay home were encouraged to stay inside all weekend -- we were left to fend for, and entertain, ourselves.
Afraid of power loss, I immediately charged my phone, iPod, and laptop computer. Even with the theatres closed, I knew it was going to be Broadway that got me through the storm.
Luckily, a few days prior, I tweeted "What are your favorite Broadway YouTube clips?" As soon as I settled in to wait upon Irene, I clicked back to the #BwayYoutube hashtag, and proceeded to entertain myself for hours upon hours as the rain came down on New York City.
Below, a selection of my favorite Broadway-related YouTube videos. Please share yours with me in the comments, or tweet them to me with the hashtag #BwayYoutube!
This hilarious web series features Josh Gad of the Book of Mormon, as a stumbling, bumbling, endearingly idiotic foreigner (think "Tommy Boy" meets "Borat"). My favorite episode features Gigi (Gad) spotting his name outside a building, and subsequently accidentally auditioning for Gigi, the Broadway musical.
Diary of a Chorus Girl is an episodic documentary that follows actress Alex Ellis as she prepares for her Broadway debut in Catch Me if You Can. From early rehearsals to opening night, Alex guides us through the freaking out, geeking out, and belting out that goes with becoming a Broadway star.
My favorite recent discovery, Submissions Only, is a sitcom-style web series about Tim, a casting director, and his friend/assistant Penny. Every episode banks on the old "it's funny because it's true" maxim, especially for anyone trying to make it in the world of New York theatre. Broadway geeks like me will swoon over the multitude of cameos . Note: Season 2, which premieres this month, will be available exclusively on BroadwayWorld.com!
It's no secret that I have a total girlcrush on Susan Blackwell. Then again, who doesn't? Her quirky online interview show brings her literally side by side with her, and our, favorite Broadway stars -- in activities from pilates (Will Swenson) to painting (Gavin Creel) to pedicures (Kelli O'Hara). In my favorite episode, she spends the morning in bed with Sutton Foster, takes Jonathan Groff on a romantic Central Park date, and has dinner with the lovely Laura Benanti... at Hooters.
Alice Ripley'S ENTIRE CHANNEL
She's the genius who won a Tony for her portrayal of Diana in Next to Normal. Alice's youtube page -- the home of her band, Ripley -- features a gorgeous cover of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here... and also some of the strangest spoken word poetry/ life observations that I've ever seen on film. Some made me laugh, others made me raise my eyebrows, and a few left me mindboggled... but I couldn't look away, and her channel kept me entertained for over an hour on hurricane night.
No matter how many times I view Neil Patrick Harris' BRILLIANT opening & closing performances from this year's Tony Awards, I never tire of them. In these two numbers he embodies everything that Broadway is all about. The opening number showcases flawless dance steps, an effortlessly smooth voice, asmile that never leaves his face, two quick changes including a purple sequined suit, and clever choreography... not to mention lyrics (written by David Javerbaum, of Crybaby and "The Daily Show" fame) that expressed the perfect message for theatre of 2011. The closing number shows that even white boys can rap, as NPH kills it on a lengthy rhyme composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. These two numbers add up to a Master Class in performing... and hosting. I hope they bring him back to host again next year!!
Patti LuPone'S INFAMOUS OUTBURST
We get it -- taking cell phone pictures during a Broadway performance is not allowed. But few, if any, performers have expressed such contempt for the practice as Patti LuPone did on January 10, 2009 during a performance of Gypsy. She stopped mid-song and demanded to have the culprit removed from the theatre, screaming repeatedly, "Who do you think you are?!" While there's no actual video of the event, the audio is here in full, and I, for one, can picture the event perfectly. Bonus link: "LuPWNed: The Remix"!
In one of the loveliest curtain call moments of all time, co-stars and real life sweethearts Janet Dacal and Darren Ritchie take their final bows on closing night of Wonderland. Already in tears, Janet waves to the crowd as the orchestra played the closing bows music. Then, to her surprise, the music cuts off and her leading man addresses the crowd. What appears to first be a thank-you on behalf of the entire cast becomes a personal affirmation of Janet's beauty inside and out... and you can guess what happens next. Or if you can't, the video is less than seven minutes long... I tear up every time I watch it.
When I'm out and about around Broadway, I often come across fun moments that I know my lovelies would like to see. So lately, I've been pulling out my camera phone to record as much as I can! Of course I never take video inside a theatre (see Patti LuPone paragraph, above), but out in public is another story. I'd love it if you'd subscribe to my channel... which will inspire me to find even more events I can video! I think you'll especially enjoy the video I posted of the Memphis flash mob in Central Park this summer. Enjoy!