Broadway fans are getting some real gifts this December with the highly anticipated debut of The Prom and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Netflix and the welcome streaming returns of Into the Woods on Disney+ and Meet Me in St. Louis on HBO Max.
Also this month: Documentaries and docuseries shed light on the lives of young performers with On Pointe, Giving Voice, and Homeschool Musical Class of 2020. The latter is inspired by Tony winner Laura Benanti's #SunshineSongs campaign from earlier this year.
Plus: There's plenty to satisfy theatregoers stuck at home during the holiday season, including a concert special by High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Check out Playbill's full 2020 Holiday Streaming Guide here.
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Sylvie’s Love (December 23)
Following his Broadway debut earlier this year, Nnamdi Asomugha stars opposite Tessa Thompson in Sylvie’s Love, written and directed by Eugene Ashe. Set in the hot New York summer of 1957, saxophonist Robert meets aspiring TV star Sylvie while working at a record store. As the two begin a friendship, something sparks a deep passion in each of them unlike anything they have felt before. Aja Naomi King, Jemima Kirke, Tone Bell, and Alano Miller co-star with Wendi Mclendon-Covey and Eva Longoria.
Anastasia (December 4)
Revisit the 1997 animated movie musical that would go on to inspire the 2017 Broadway musical of the same name. Along with the premiere of such Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens–penned numbers “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December,” the film includes voice performances from stage favorites like Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Hank Azaria, and Kelsey Grammer.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special (December 11)
It’s a high school reunion of sorts as 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, come together for a special one-off concert episode. The performance features holiday classics, popular hits, and a medley of Hanukkah favorites along with personal stories about childhood holidays traditions, memories, and more. Click here to watch the trailer.
Into the Woods (December 18)
Fairy tales collide in the film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, which contains such Sondheim favorites as “Agony,” “No One is Alone,” and “Children Will Listen.” Chicago film director Rob Marshall gave the big screen a faithful adaptation of the Broadway musical with an all-star cast including Meryl Streep as the Witch, James Corden as the Baker, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, and many more.
On Pointe (December 18)
The new six-part docuseries offers an inside look at a season with the School of American Ballet in New York City. Following students aged eight to 18, the series captures both older students preparing to launch professional careers and young children being put through their paces as they rehearse and perform Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Click here to watch the trailer.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (December 1)
Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, and Monty Woolley star in the 1942 adaptation of the 1939 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play, with Wolley re-creating his performance from the original Broadway production. When a New York radio personality slips and breaks his hip while trying to enter the home of a family he’s to dine with for a publicity stunt, he insists the family let him recuperate in their home over the holidays. Tensions mount between the egotistical celebrity and the small-town Ohio family, and Kaufman and Hart’s trademark acid-laced comedy ensues.
Meet Me In St Louis (December 1)
Inspired by a series of short stories penned by Sally Benson, Meet Me in St. Louis is one of the great MGM movie musicals. Judy Garland stars as Esther Smith alongside Margaret O’Brien and Lucille Bremer as sisters Tootie and Rose, respectively. The film is directed by Vicente Minnelli, who would go on to become Garland’s husband and father to Liza. The score, mostly written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, introduced such standards as “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and, of course, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which has cemented the film’s status as a holiday favorite.
Rock of Ages: Extended Edition (December 1)
This jukebox musical is hard rock’s answer to Mamma Mia!, with a score that includes songs by such artists as Guns N’ Roses, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Journey, and more. Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta lead an all-star cast—including Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, and Tom Cruise—in the 2012 film based on the 2009 Broadway show. The extended version runs 13 minutes longer than the theatrical version, including the deleted song “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and a longer version of “Waiting for a Girl Like You.”
The Shop Around the Corner (December 1)
Based on Miklós Lázló’s 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie, The Shop Around the Corner may be most famous as the first English adaptation of a play that would go on to become the source material for such films as In the Good Old Summertime and You’ve Got Mail, along with the Broadway musical She Loves Me. Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan star here as workplace nemeses who are also unknowingly sending anonymous love letters back and forth to each other.
Homeschool Musical Class of 2020 (December 17)
Inspired by Tony winner Laura Benanti’s social media movement #SunshineSongs, this documentary focuses on the theatre kids of the class of 2020, all of whom had their spring musicals canceled in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. Homeschool Musical Class of 2020 both explores this unprecedented time while also giving the kids the opportunity to share their singing and dancing with the world from the safety of their own homes.
Giving Voice (Dec 18)
The bright future of Broadway performance is waiting to be discovered in this documentary following several teenage finalists for the 2018 August Wilson Monologues Competition. The film features footage of the late playwright, along with interviews of Tony winners Davis and Denzel Washington, among others, as they share the impact that Wilson’s artistry has had on their careers and their hopes for the young people carrying it forward. Directed by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, the documentary screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Audience Choice Award. Click here to watch the trailer.
The Prom (Dec 11)
When an Indiana high schooler is told she can’t bring her same-sex date to the prom, she finds hope in a group of eager—and narcissistic—group of faded Broadway stars. Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, Keegan-Michael Key, Kerry Washington, Ariana DeBose, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman star in this faithful adaptation of the Broadway musical. With Ryan Murphy directing, expect an added dash of whimsy to this tale of hope, celebration, and inclusion from Chad Beguilin, Bob Martin, and Matthew Sklar that’s the perfect balm to 2020. Click here to read the reviews.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Dec 18)
Set in the 1920s, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom explores the exploitation of Black musicians in Chicago while centering on the “Mother of the Blues” and her band members during a tense recording session. Tony winner George C. Wolfe directs Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman as they bring August Wilson’s work to life on screen. Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson pens the screenplay with a cast that also includes Tony nominees Colman Domingo and Jeremy Shamos. Click here to read the reviews.