A Look Back: Our Top Ten Stage-to-Screen Moments of 2018

2018 saw many stage to screen adaptations on our televisions, streaming services, and at the movies, and BroadwayWorld is here to count down 10 of our favorite moments from the year!

10. Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe - THE KING AND I Traflagar Releasing

Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe brought their enchanting performances from The King and I to film audiences who were unable to see the production on Broadway or in London. Thanks to Traflagar Releasing, fans across the country were able to watch the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

9. John Leguizamo - LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS on Netflix

John Leguizamo charmed New York theater goers for months, but thanks to Netflix, his comedic, yet important history lesson can be seen from any computer, phone, or tablet.

8. Cozi Zuehlsdorff - FREAKY FRIDAY on Disney Channel

With the big four networks diving into the world of live musicals the last few years, Disney Channel decided to give their fans something different, a film version of the musical adaptation of the Freaky Friday movie (*takes deep breath*). Cozi Zuehlsdorff showed audiences that she is truly a star.

7. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Traflagar Releasing

Traflagar Releasing brought another beloved classic to movie screens in American in Paris. Fans of the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical were able to watch the beautiful musical from the comfort of their local theaters and that is something to be thankful for!

6. Bruce Springsteen - SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY on Netflix

If there was one thing I didn't expect, it would be that Bruce Springsteen was one of the biggest things that hit Broadway. His one-man show was the hottest ticket in town, and for those who weren't able to drop a hefty sum to get a ticket (me), Netflix has given you the next best thing: the entire show at your finger tips! Now it may not be the same as listening to him in such an intimate setting, but the show in itself is an incredible musical journey through his life, and I'm thankful for Netflix for bringing it to all viewers.

5. Josh Groban and Sara Barellies - 2018 TONYS Opening

Finding the perfect Tony Awards host can be challenging, but the moment I saw the dueling pianos of Bareilles and Groban, I knew it would be a good night. Their opening number was a ballad "for the losers," and it was both funny and a reminder that two insanely talented people have never won an award (HOW?). The duo had great chemistry and made the show fun and enjoyable! I wouldn't mind if they hosted again.


Now, I may get flack for not picking "For Good" as my choice from A Very Wicked Halloween, but I believe that Ariana Grande's rendition of "The Wizard and I" was incredible. This performance served as a reminder of her Broadway roots to those who have doubted her voice, and as a super fan herself, it was awesome to watch Grande participate in an event that was so dear to her heart. You could feel her excitement as she performed, and it was one that I've re-watched many times since.


Jesus Christ Superstar Live was without a doubt one of the best live musicals on television to date. With a cast that included John Legend (who won an EGOT with his Emmy win for the show), Brandon Victor Dixon and Norm Lewis, the show was a huge success, but it was Sara Bareilles who truly left me wanting more. Her portrayal of Mary Magdalene was a truly beautiful reminder of what a star Bareilles really is.


Mamma Mia! fans had eagerly waited for the film's sequel, and Lily James proved that it was worth the wait. From the first moment she was on screen, she captivated audiences and brought the life and energy expected from Donna in her younger years. Her performance led to countless fans longing for her style, her charisma, and her overall Donna-ness. I left the theater full of energy and wanting to watch it again!

1. "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" - MARY POPPINS RETURNS

Mary Poppins Returns was one of the most-talked about films this year, and for good reason. Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda lit up the big screen with a sequel that made everyone feel like a kid again. The "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" number was one of those that gave me chills and put a huge smile on my face. You have to head to your local theater to see the whole number, but here is a little behind-the-scenes clip that can help you understand the immense work that went in to making it happen and why it's my top pick.

What a year it has been! I can only expect 2019 to be even bigger with the premiere of RENT Live and the film adaptations of ALADDIN and THE LION KING - and that is only the tip of the iceberg of what is to come in the new year! I can't wait to share the next set of incredible stage-to-screen moments with you next year, but until then, have a Happy New Year!

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From This Author Kaitlin Milligan

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