I’m a big fan of the theatre, but as ticket prices seem to be getting more and more expensive, and my time is also quite limited, I find that I can’t justify going as much as I’d like. So I’m very happy to have a collection of DVD stage musical live recordings. They are one of my favourite things to curl up and watch in the comfort of my own living room, with no leg room or view issues and no expensive ticket price!
Of course I miss the atmosphere of seeing a show live, and I’ll always go to the theatre occasionally, but these are just the next best thing. I love being able to see a show set on stage the way it was intended, and I much prefer it to more realistic film adaptations such as Les Miserables. So if you’re with me on this, here are the recordings I have in my collection (or have seen at the cinema – because you can do that too now!)
Billy Elliot the Musical LIVE
I was so happy when they decided to record my favourite ever West End show for its 10th Anniversary, and I never tire of watching it! I think it captures the experience of the live show perfectly and I adore the special extended finale they created for the special anniversary performance. If you haven’t seen it then OMG watch it!
Shrek the Musical
I actually prefer this DVD recording of the show to the production I saw live in the theatre! The cast is great (Sutton Foster as Fiona is perfection) and it is just such fun to watch. Because it is so colourful and joyful, I enjoy watching it around Christmas time.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live Arena Tour
I actually watched this tour version live in Manchester and I loved it! It’s not everyone’s cup of tea as the setting has been updated to present day, but I think this really suits the rock music score, and I love the cast. Tim Minchin blew me away live and he blows me away on the DVD too!
Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Performance
An absolute must see! I’d completely forgotten how great this musical is until I watched this – It’s pretty much a faultless production.
The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall
This is just far, far superior to the 2004 movie (even if Gerard Butler was hot in that one). A real theatre setting is the only way to see Phantom, and no expense was spared for this lavish production. It’s long, but it’s just so good!
So old but so good! This is a fantastic production of one of the most classic Rogers and Hammerstein musicals, and features Hugh Jackman looking extremely youthful and handsome (in case you needed another reason…) and Maureen Lipman too!
The Nutcracker ballet is one of the first things I watch each Christmas as it really gets me in the festive spirit. There are countless live recordings of this ballet now, so take your pick, although the most recent will usually be the best quality. Plus, if you have SKY Arts they usually show one of them in the run up to Christmas.
Newsies: The Broadway Musical
This was one I watched at the cinema because there was no other way for me to see the show, and I really enjoyed it! It’s such a energising story, featuring a cute romance I’d love to add it to my DVD collection, and if you fancy it you can stream it on Amazon for a price.
Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
I almost forgot about this one because it’s so old that our family only have it on VHS!! I have fond mems of the first musical I ever watched at the theatre, and I actually love Donny Osmond in this recording. It’s not exactly a live stage recording as it’s filmed in a studio, but it’s a similar sort of vibe.
From Here to Eternity
I missed the chance to see this production in the West End, so I was very happy to be able to see the recording at the cinema instead. As it turns out, it’s not my favourite show of all time as I didn’t love the story. But it’s a great production to watch and has some great songs too. Plus, Darius is so good in it!
I think DVDs of stage recordings are a nice gift idea for a theatre lover, especially because theatre tickets themselves are so expensive and may be out of your budget. And like I say, you can also see new live recordings at the cinema, so if that’s of interest check out VUE’s Big Screen Events or Odeon Event Cinema.
Have you seen any of these recordings? What did you think?