Theatre TikTok launched a lifeline for the actors during the lockdown with musical spin-offs and a lot of theatrical nonsense that has gained momentum since then. Sam williamsThe double act with his grandmother Judi Dench made us laugh during the pandemic as he tried to tell her jokes and she thwarted his jokes. The duo appear to have retired, but the videos are still active and hugely entertaining.
Top TikTok Superstars combine fabulous voices with witty comedic skits: Katiejoyofosho stands out among them, composing his own parody musicals, including a Broadway show in a video “After Amazon Buys Its Own Theater” containing regular commercials and a branded backdrop among enthusiastic solo musicals, and another called How flirt if you are a woman in a musical. In the meantime, Dales_drama is an 18-year-old “musical theater girl” who performs a mix of wacky cosplay (Peter Pettigrew from Harry Potter appears repeatedly) and gloriously sung duets like George Salazar’s Michael in the Bathroom (from his own bathroom) and sometimes, strum along with the ukulele.
TikTok is a perfect fit for musical theater fans like creating Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical demonstrated. It started as a hashtag and culminated in a virtual concert that raised millions for charity. A host of great musicals have spawned a similar cascade of video-sharing: Six the Musical, which began on the outskirts of Edinburgh in 2018, was heavily fueled by the social media excitement surrounding it.
The SixTheMusical hashtag has since become its own mini-industry: the official account. Sixthemusical It offers direct clips of the songs or behind-the-scenes glimpses, but the fan videos are much more creative, with everything from memes to musical challenges to the incarnation of the queens for kids (#sixthemusicalkids).
Hamiltonmusical brings stylish behind-the-scenes videos of its Broadway, London and Australian shows. There’s adrenaline-fueled pre-show humor, songs and dances and loads of fan commentary on the hashtag. Julius Thomas III, like Alexander Hamilton on Broadway, dances in ruffled shirts and a velvet tailcoat in the dressing room. More sensationally, Lin-Manuel Miranda freestyles on Jimmy Fallon’s phone: “You’re leaving a message for Jimmy Fallon, he has various talents, but listen, he has a lot to do, so respect the balance.”
The bridgertonmusical hashtag created a huge chill moment during the lockdown with 41 million followers and 230 million views. It was directed by the composer, Abigail barlow with her writing partner, Emily Bear, in which fans of the duos reinvented the Regency-era drama as a stage show. They received praise from Adjoa Andoh, a star of the Netflix show, and Julia Quinn, author of the Bridgerton book series. Since then, Barlow has been confirmed as a TikTok star with 2.4 million followers and a stream of catchy songs, dances, and lip-syncing routines.
There is fun popcorn food in theatercafeuk, the Theater Cafe account in Covent Garden, London, which has live performances throughout its bar and hallways and features snippets of the behind-the-scenes action or the opening night of new musicals like Back to the Future and Frozen. Postmodern Jukebox it’s quirkier, with modern and contemporary pop songs performed like theatrical shows of yesteryear – so Taylor Swift’s Style like it’s Grease the Musical, a 1930s version of George Michael’s Careless Whisper, Oops! by Britney Spears. I did it again as classical jazz.
Some offer advice and knowledge for auditioning, the best of which comes from the actor and singer. Christina Bennington who gives practical advice on how to become an actor (“practice, watch everything you can, follow the casting directors on Twitter, attend open auditions… you can do it!”).
Then there is Hannah lowther, a fabulous ball of musical theater energy in a Tesco uniform. A recent music theater graduate, she became a shelf stacker at the beginning of the shutdown and began making music videos with a supermarket twist about the pandemic (the refrigerators and shelves are visible in the background). Her humor and talent are clear to see as she dances in Crocs and leggings along the veggie aisle with her revised numbers, Tesco 9-5 and Dancing Queen (“Mama Mia, here I go again, Tesco, how can I resist? “).
Last month, she announced that after a year and a half working at the supermarket, she had finally landed a role on a show. The voices of today and tomorrow. Come on Hannah!
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism