We’ve all heard the famous Charles Caleb Colton saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” And there’s no better place to find imitation than on YouTube. The internet has become every performer’s stage and the Bermuda Triangle of productivity for the rest of us.
Bu since you’re going to take your phone to the bathroom anyway — it’s OK, we all do it — we’ve dug up some Broadway-inspired videos to fill your time and perhaps provide a little inspiration.
Fire up your browser, because here are nine musical theatre tributes to check out on YouTube:
1. Christopher Rice — “Good Morning”
Following the death of film legend Debbie Reynolds, Broadway actor Christopher Rice tapped his pals, Clay Thomson and Eloise Kropp, to recreate the famous number from “Singin’ in the Rain” as a tribute to the late star. The trio each showcase their triple-threat status, and Kropp is every bit as charming as Reynolds in the role of Kathy Seldon.
BONUS: Check out Kropp again below in Cory Lingner’s gorgeous tribute to the musical, “White Christmas.”
2. Peter Hollens and Alex G. — “Disney Medley”
Peter Hollens is a YouTube veteran these days, with videos on his channel dating back to 2011. Hollens loves to cover pop songs, but his channel also features a variety of Broadway medleys. In this mashup of beloved movie musical songs, Hollens joins fellow YouTuber Alex G. for a video that is nothing short of Disney magic.
3. bravofact — “Something’s Coming!”
There’s a smorgasbord of talent in this side-by-side collaboration. Paul Nolan reprises his role as Tony from the Stratford Festival’s production of “West Side Story” to sing the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim classic. Simultaneously, National Ballet of Canada dancer Guillaume Côté performs Jerome Robbins’ famous choreography. An abandoned building provides the perfect backdrop for this beautiful reminder of why “West Side Story” is one of the greats.
4. Nick Pitera — “One-Man Les Misérables Medley”
It’s hard not to be impressed by Nick Pitera. For starters, he has a surprising vocal range, which is how he manages to do a one-man version of the greatest hits from “Les Misérables.” Pitera is a Broadway fan and has covered the songs of several shows, including a “Wicked” medley performed with Hollens.
5. Working With Lemons — “The Schuyler Sisters” and “My Shot and Aaron Burr, Sir”
The production quality of these videos is noteworthy, especially considering the age of several of the participants. We’re pretty sure the music videos we made with our parents’ camcorders when we were that young looked nothing like these videos. The YouTube channel is operated by a group of family members and friends from Utah who love to make movies. Their “Hamilton” covers are tons of fun, and there’s some blossoming young talent in the group.
6. BYU Vocal Point — “Newsies Medley”
The harmonies in this one are spot-on from the very first note. The talented a cappella group collaborated with several of the school’s student performers and crew to create an impressive, Broadway-worthy performance that proves they are more than just your average collegiate a cappella group.
7. Alex Boyé ft. One Voice Children’s Choir — “Let It Go”
You may have seen Alex Boyé on “America’s Got Talent” in 2015 when he blew the judges away with his performance of Taylor Swift’s mega-hit “Shake It Off.” However, before his television debut, Boyé set the internet on fire with an Africanized tribal cover of the popular Disney song with the talented and adorable One Voice Children’s Choir (also seen on “America’s Got Talent”).
8. Evynne Hollens — “She Used to Be Mine”
Does that name sound familiar? It should. Unfair as it may be to have that much talent in one family, Evynne Hollens is Peter Hollens’ musically gifted wife who also does Broadway covers. Her hauntingly beautiful tribute to “Waitress” is as impressive vocally as it is in production value, with the video set in a diner after hours.
9. Musicality — “It’s Quiet Uptown”
This high school vocal ensemble from Chicago has covered several of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hits from “Hamilton.” The group is undoubtedly talented, but it’s their cover of “It’s Quiet Uptown” that shows an impressive maturity and emotional depth.
BONUS: James Corden — “Broadway Carpool Karaoke”
So it’s not really a tribute video, but just in case there’s anyone out there who hasn’t seen this musical theatre-themed segment of James Corden’s popular karaoke bit, we’ve included it for good measure. The hilarious video features Miranda, Audra McDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jake Krakowski.