The 5 Buzziest Social Media Moments of Broadway 2018

Lists   The 5 Buzziest Social Media Moments of Broadway 2018
The viral hashtags, best live-tweeting, and popular videos from the theatre community this year.

Hashtags, anniversaries, and EGOT wins, oh my! 2018 has been a busy year on Broadway and social media has been there to capture it all through the immortality of the internet. Here are five Broadway moments when the social media spotlight shined on Broadway.

1. #Hamildrops

Lin-Manuel Miranda essentially shellacked a “Watch This Space” billboard on Twitter with the advent of his #Hamildrops. Each month, Hamilton fans received a "new" track from the musical's creator via his Twitter account—including cut Hamilton songs, music videos, and new musical arrangements. While technically the series kicked off in December 2017 with "Ben Franklin's Song" from Miranda and The Decemberists, the impact of the Hamildrops passionately smashed every expectation each month of 2018—up to and including the December 20 final #Hamildrop featuring (mic drop) former U.S. President Barack Obama. Before that, fans across musical genres clamored for the variety of artists who collaborated with Miranda—from Ben Platt to Ibeyi to Weird Al Yankovic.

Want to listen to all 13 #Hamildrops? Playbill has a Twitter thread for that:

2. #BeltTheVote

The theatre community is one of activism. For this year’s Midterm Election, Broadway performers raised their voices to #BeltTheVote! Led by Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon, Hamilton), superstars like Sara Bareilles, Joshua Henry, George Salazar, Andrew Rannells, and more teamed up to ensure people across the country were registered to vote. When Election Day came, performers flaunting their “I Voted” stickers and encouraging engagement with civic duty filled our newsfeeds.

3. Live-Tweeting Live Broadcasts

What’s the most swankified place in town? For NBC's live concert events, it was Broadway Twitter. With NBC's broadcasts of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert and A Very Wicked Halloween, Twitter buzzed with the commentary and celebration of Broadway fans. Viewers from all around the country tuned in to the broadcasts on their televisions, but the action was two-pronged because fans (including Lin-Manuel Miranda) tuned into Twitter for in-the-moment conversation and observations. The Twitter experience has become a singular one, reserved only for live musical broadcasts, leaning away from the more traditionally quiet live theatre experience.

READ: The 7 Best Things About Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Since the broadcast, the live television musical event has racked up accolades. At the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon earned nods for their acting, and David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski were nominated for their direction. Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert did win Emmys for Outstanding Lighting Design for a Variety Special; Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special; Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Special; Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Limited Series, Movie or Special; and Outstanding Variety Special (Live)—crowning Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, and John Legend EGOT winners, each completing the achievement of earning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards.Wicked’s concert had notable special guests such as Ariana Grande, Adam Lambert, Ledisi, and Pentatonix, but because the concert was pre-recorded, Chenoweth took to Twitter to interact with fans and share insider tidbits from the taping.

Chenoweth wasn't the only Wicked performer to post on social media in honor of #Wicked15. Past and present Wicked performers shared their thrillifying memories during their time in Oz, including Mandy Gonzalez, Derek Klena, Kara Lindsay, and current Broadway Elphaba Jessica Vosk, and we curated them in one article for easy reading:

Fans of Wicked also joined in on the revelry of #Wicked15, reminiscing on their own Wicked memories and reflecting on the impact the musical has had on their own lives.

READ: Playbill Kicks Off Countdown to Wicked 15

4. Mary Beth Peil: A New Social Influencer?

Where would we be without wisdom from our elders? Anastasia’s original Dowager Empress, Mary Beth Peil, bestowed important knowledge through Playbill’s own Facebook/Twitter video series “Life Advice with Mary Beth Peil.” Whether dealing with unruly theatre guests, recommendations for wine pairings, or brainstorming Tinder pick-up lines, Peil shared advice on numerous topics:

WATCH: Life Advice with Mary Beth Peil Highlight Reel

5. Twitter Challenge: Describe Your Favorite Stage Show in Five Words

If you had to describe your favorite musical or play in five words, could you? This summer, The Academy asked Twitter users to share the plot of their favorite film in five words, and Playbill put our own theatre twist on it. Over 2,000 of you chimed in! Can you guess the show based on these five-word clues?

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