Struggling for a way to scratch your Broadway itch during the pandemic? A new YouTube channel may provide some much-needed theatrical salvation.
"The Shows Must Go On!" is a new YouTube channel from Universal that aims to bring fans backstage access and full performances from acclaimed musicals throughout history. The first available to watch is Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," featuring Donny Osmond.
If you want to watch the red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn (and so on) coat online, you’ll have 48 hours to watch, or until Sunday around 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT.
The channel will release one new musical each week with similar two-day viewing windows. The next musical that will be available to watch is “Jesus Christ Superstar” on Good Friday, April 10.
The YouTube channel is an inventive way to keep theater fans entertained at home, considering that it is generally impossible to see major theatrical events in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the shutdown of all Broadway theaters in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Similar shutdowns have closed theater doors in other major cities, and stay-at-home orders prevent Americans from attending non-essential events.
Broadway isn’t the only industry that is using digital means to keep people entertained at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoos and aquariums across the country are continuing offering live streams of their land and maritime creature collections.
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This story was reported from Los Angeles.