From Hamilton to Hairspray: feelgood musical anthems sung in lockdown

Black Lives Matter

‘Look into your eyes and the sky’s the limit’

Counting the minutes until you can stream the Hamilton film on 3 July? Then watch – and rewatch – this addictive lockdown cut of Helpless, led by the phenomenal Phillipa Soo, along with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the original Broadway cast. Not that you’d need any other incentive, but hiphop crew the Roots also join in. Instruments include spoons and whisky glasses – no one’s throwing away their shot here.

‘Feed your fire, to take you higher’

Kinky Boots’ funky finale Raise You Up sends audiences out of the theatre walking on air. Until we can all get safely back into auditoriums, here’s a quarantine remix recorded to celebrate NYC Pride. Billy Porter, Stark Sands and Annaleigh Ashford join cast members from productions in four different continents for Cyndi Lauper’s singalong hit.

‘When the world’s a bit amiss’

Also marking Pride under lockdown is this version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s bittersweet, Bowie-esque Wig in a Box, which tweaks the lyrics so the “lights go down across the USA” instead of a trailer park. The show’s creator, John Cameron Mitchell, ditches his face mask to let rip at the mic, joined in isolation by past Hedwigs Neil Patrick Harris, Darren Criss and other fabulous guests.

‘Nothing is for sure, nothing is for certain’

The unstoppable Six, a pop concert given by Henry VIII’s wives, will be one of the first musicals to return this summer as it embarks on a series of drive-in performances. This charity video, which mashes together the show’s opening and closing songs, gives a glimpse of its huge global fanbase, known as the Queendom. History is remixed, plenty of shade is thrown and hairbrush-microphones rule.

‘You can’t stop my happiness’

The major West End revival of Hairspray, starring Michael Ball, has now been delayed a year by the pandemic, with performances slated to begin in April 2021. Ball is among a huge list of stars in this dizzying rendition of You Can’t Stop the Beat. It’s a four-minute potion to beat the blues, with the message: “I’m gonna shake and shimmy it the best that I can today.”

The Guardian

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