Holiday Coverage2020 Holiday Streaming Guide: Christmas on the Square, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical, Jingle Jangle, More
Dan Meyer, Logan Culwell-Block
November 16, 2020
Christine Baranski, Matthew Morrison, Phylicia Rashad, Ali Stroker, and many more spread seasonal cheer on screen this year.
This holiday season, Broadway stars are taking over our screens as we settle in for an unprecedented yuletide without stage productions for theatre lovers to attend in-person.
Thankfully, there's plenty to enjoy from home, including numerous, uplifting offerings from Lifetime and Hallmark, several musicals from Netflix, and even some fully staged theatrical productions captured on stage.
Check out our full listings below.
Broadway Favorites on TV and Streaming
Holidate (Available now on Netflix) Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth stars as a fun-loving aunt in Netflix’s newest outfit, donning at least two outstanding costumes for an Easter fete and a Christmas concert. The movie, starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, follows two yuppies as they make a deal to be each other’s non-sexual dates to their dreaded holiday-related family gatherings throughout the year. Hijinks ensue, Chenoweth sings, what more could you ask for?
One Royal Holiday (Available now on WatchHallmarkTV.com) 2020 Tony nominee Aaron Tveit and fellow Broadway veterans Laura Osnes, Victoria Clark, Krystal Joy Brown, and Tom McGowan star in one of the season’s first holiday adventures. The movie follows Anna (Osnes), who takes in a stranded but handsome stranger (Tveit) and his mother (Clark) for the holidays—only to discover they have royal lineage.
Dash & Lily (Available now on Netflix) The new holiday romantic comedy series stars Drama Desk recipient Midori Francis (TheWolves, UsualGirls) and Austin Abrams. The Lightning Thief and Be More Chill book writer Joe Tracz serves as showrunner for the series, based on the popular YA novels of the same name.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Available now on Netflix) This holiday musical movie stars Tony winners Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose and more. Featuring original songs by EGOT winner John Legend and others, the film follows toymaker Jeronicus Jangle whose inventions burst with whimsy and wonder—but when his apprentice steals his most precious creation, it’s up to his granddaughter to save the day.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again (November 19 on Netflix) Stage and screen favorite Vanessa Hudgens pulls triple duty in this sequel, not only returning as Margaret and Stacy, but also a third twin—Margaret’s cousin Fiona. Plot details are slim as of press time, but we can imagine identity confusion and royal drama awaits.
Christmas on the Square (November 22 on Netflix) Christine Baranksi, Dolly Parton, Jenifer Lewis, and more star in this movie musical about a Scrooge-esque town owner who tries to evict the entire populace as she tries to sell the land to a mall developer—but an angel with a country twang might bring about a change of heart. Parton wrote 14 original songs for the film.
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (November 27 on Netflix) From Shondaland, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker spotlights the career of Debbie Allen and follows her group of young dancers as they prepare for Allen’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s ballet.
Brickman for Broadway Christmas (November 28 on YouTube) Adrienne Warren, Kelli O'Hara, Norm Lewis, Matt Doyle, Max von Essen, Shoshana Bean, Megan Hilty, and Wayne Brady are among the artists joining Grammy-nominated songwriter and pianist Jim Brickman for a virtual concert celebrating the release of Brickman’s Christmas album. All proceeds from the 8 PM performance will benefit The Actors Fund. Click here for tickets.
Christmas Ever After (December 6 on Lifetime) Tony winner Ali Stroker (Oklahoma!, Spring Awakening) plays romance novelist Izzi Simmons, who spends the holiday season at her favorite bed and breakfast suffering from writer's block. Inspiration comes when she meets a guy who looks suspiciously like the leading man in her popular books.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical (December 9 on NBC) Tony nominee Matthew Morrison goes green this holiday season in this TV presentation of the stage adaptation by composer-lyricist team Tim Mason and Mel Marvin. Joining Morrison on stage are Tony winner Denis O’Hare as adult Max (The Grinch’s faithful dog), Booboo Stewart as young Max, and Amelia Minto as Cindy-Lou Who. The musical will be filmed at the Troubadour Theatre in London.
The Prom (December 11 on Netflix) While technically not a Christmas movie, we'd be remiss to not include this highly anticipated film adaptation of the 2018 Tony-nominated musical. An Indiana high schooler is barred from bringing her girlfriend to the prom, so naturally, a group of eccentric Broadway folk infiltrate the town in an earnest, albeit misguided, attempt to fight the injustice. Ryan Murphy directs the film adaptation of the Matthew Sklar-Chad Beguelin musical with a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, Keegan-Michael Key, Kerry Washington, Ariana DeBose, Kevin Chamberlin, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special (December 11 on Disney+) This streaming concert reunites the regular cast of the runaway hit series, including Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Joe Serafini, Mark St. Cyr, and Kate Reinders. The performance features holiday classics, popular hits, and a medley of Hanukkah favorites along with personal stories about childhood holidays traditions, memories, and more.
Tabernacle Choir With Kelli O’Hara (December 14 at 7 PM ET on PBS) Join Tony winner O’Hara and stage and screen star Richard Thomas for an evening of holiday songs and pageantry at Temple Square with a choir of over 300 performers. Among the highlights are a Rodgers and Hammerstein tribute, a number of traditional Christmas hymns, and several story-telling moments.
Hallelujah Anyway with Jennifer Nettles (December 23 at 8 PM) Broadway alum and Grammy winner Jennifer Nettles (Chicago) and her band presents a virtual holiday concert show, featuring seasonal tunes and favorites from the stars album To Celebrate Christmas, as well as a few songs from her upcoming Broadway LP. Click here for tickets.
Theatre Productions on Screen
Streaming Musicals’ Estella Scrooge (November 27 at EstellaScrooge.com) Broadway favorites Betsy Wolfe, Clifton Duncan, Patrick Page, Carolee Carmello, Danny Burstein, and more star in this upcoming streaming musical. The production was captured live with one person on the stage at a time. Then, the in-person performances were merged via green screen and virtual sets. With a book by Tony-winning director John Caird (Les Misérables) and music and lyrics by Tony nominee Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre), Estella Scrooge flips the script of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday tale by adding a modern sensibility and additional characters and storylines from Great Expectations, Little Dorritt, Bleak House, and more. Watch the trailer here.
A Christmas Carol (December 12-24 from The Old Vic: In Camera) The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln takes on Ebenezer Scrooge in Tony-winning Harry Potter scribe Jack Thorne’s new adaptation of A Christmas Carol, the same Tony-nominated production that played Broadway last year. Groundhog Day and Matilda director Matthew Warchus is again at the helm, now adapting his award-winning production for Old Vic’s In Camera series, which has streamed several plays live from the stage of London’s Old Vic without an audience.
A Christmas Carol (November 28-January 3 at AChristmasCarolLive.com) On the other side of the pond, Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) stars in a one-man adaptation of the Dickens classic, newly conceived as a streaming performance from Geffen Playhouse's 2018 stage production by director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening, Once On This Island). Best of all, ticket sales benefit more than 50 U.S. theatres. Tickets bought from the production's website for viewing in the U.S. will automatically benefit the closest theatre according to the viewer's billing ZIP code, with international ticket proceeds split among all participating theatres.
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (December 3-5 from Wise Children and The Bristol Old Vic) The passionate love story of artist Marc Chagall and writer Bella Rosenfeld Chagall are the focus of this work written by Daniel Jamieson, the latest offering from British pioneering theatre company Wise Children following their musical adaptation of Romantics Anonymous that was streamed live from the stage of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre earlier this year. The cast has been quarantining together so that the production can be broadcast in its original form, complete with stunning visual theatricality from director Emma Rice that brings Chagall’s beloved art to the stage.
A Christmas Carol (TBD) Primary Stages present a reading of A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Theresa Rebeck. More details to come.
A Christmas Carol (December 17-January 10 from Trinity Rep) Rhode Island's Trinity Rep will present a free and on-demand digital production of A Christmas Carol this holiday season with Joe Wilson, Jr. returning to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge following his 2017 in-person performance. This hour-long adaptation, filmed partially in-person under safety guidelines and partially remotely from actors' homes, will also be available for virtual school field trips.
More Broadway Stars on TV
Holly & Ivy (November 1 on Hallmark) Jeremy Jordan stars as a contractor who helps a woman as she tries to renovate her house in time to adopt her dying neighbor's kids. Also stars: Janel Parrish, Marisol Nichols.
Feliz NaviDAD (November 21 on Lifetime) Mario Lopez plays a single dad with no interest in the holiday spirit—in fact, ever since his wife died, he spends the season working as a delivery driver (in addition to being a school principal) just to avoid it all. But could a new Tinder match be the key to restoring his yuletide joy? Also stars: AnnaLynne McCord, Paulina Chavez, Marycarmen Lopez
A Taste of Christmas (November 20 on Lifetime) The countdown to Christmas is on as Nia Vardalos plays a restauranteur who discovers her new trattoria won't open in time for the holidays. In steps her cousin—and a pessimistic but handsome chef—to save the day. Also stars: Anni Krueger, Gilles Marini, Andrew Brodeur, Emma Myers
Christmas House (November 22 Hallmark) Sharon Lawrence, Jonathan Bennett (the original Aaron Samuels from the film Mean Girls), Treat Williams, and more star in this family holiday romp in which two sons return home, each bringing with them their loves—and anxieties—to the dinner table. Also stars: Ana Ayora, Brad Harder
Dear Christmas (November 27 on Lifetime) Faith Prince, Melissa Joan Hart, Jason Priestley, Robin Givens, and Ed Begley Jr. star in this holiday movie about a podcaster known for sharing true stories of holiday romance despite never having experienced one of her own. Back home to spend Christmas with her family, sparks ignite with a local firefighter.
The Christmas Setup (December 12 on Lifetime) Fran Drescher stars in this progressive new holiday film, Lifetime’s first to center on a same-sex couple. New York lawyer Hugo returns to Milwaukee to celebrate the holidays with mom Kate, who sets him up with his high school crush Patrick, back in town after hitting it big in Silicon Valley. Also stars: Ben Lewis, Blake Lee, Ellen Wong, Chad Connell.
A Sugar & Spice Holiday (December 13on Lifetime) Up-and-coming architect Suzie is back in her small Maine hometown and drawing on her Chinese-American heritage to spice up the local gingerbread house competition after her grandmother, a local baking legend, passes away. Stars: Jacki Lai, Tony Giroux, and Tzi Ma.
Love, Lights, Hanukkah! (December 20 on Hallmark) After a DNA test reveals her hidden Jewish heritage, restaurateur Christina suddenly finds herself with a new family and an unlikely romance, all against the backdrop of the festival of lights. Stars: Mia Kirshner, Ben Savage, Marliu Henner.