Musical Theater TikTok is having a moment. With the need for live entertainment growing daily as we hopefully enter the final phases of the shutdown, theatre lovers are flocking to a new wave of TikTokers to get their Broadway fix and making viral stars out of Broadway veterans and hopefuls along the way. If you need a little break from that to-do list, here are five accounts keeping us entertained here in Pandemia.
- JJ Niemann Broadway baby and Elon University grad JJ Niemann shot to TikTok fame with his series depicting what goes on backstage during different Broadway musicals. Often talking to his off camera dresser “Cindy,” JJ takes us through costume changes while discussing everything from dinner plans to singing off stage vocals. Other videos in the series have him sharing the onstage secrets of actors when their mics are turned off. From breaking character after an onstage fall or chastising audience members under his breath for recording a bootleg, the laughs are endless and a treat for anyone who has done live theater. Ratatouille the Musical lovers will recognize JJ from his scene-stealing one man ensemble dancing during the one night only online event.
- Mia Gerachis It started with an idea: what if the narrator in Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat didn’t care about Joseph and was bored with his story? Looking so over it but still belting The Narrator’s notoriously high notes with ease, Gerachis had a viral moment that grew into her “Bored Belting” series. Her ability to make some of the most difficult songs for beltresses look effortless is a masterclass in vocal technique and a brilliant display of her range and comedic talents. Trying to figure out why she is so bored has kept the group chat in stitches for weeks.
- Maggie Bera Christine Pedi. Cristina Bianco. Carly Sokolove. Leslie Kritzer. All masters of the art of impersonation. Well, you can add Maggie Bera to the list with her rapid fire series “Broadway Stars in Shows They Definitely Were Not In.” With spot on renditions of Bernadette Peters, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and my personal favorite Patti LuPone all singing songs written for other people, the result is a hilarious mash up of the worst casting decisions that could happen. Actually, I take that back. Idina Menzel absolutely would have rocked Regina George.
- Nick Daly burst on the scene when he was named Playbill’s Search for A Star and became an overnight sensation when his rendition of Bridgerton the Musical’s “Burn” had him singing Simon and asking viewers to duet with him as his Daphne. Vocalists flocked and it wasn’t long before the composing team took notice and featured his video and views hit over 3 million. This University of Michigan senior hasn’t even arrived in New York and already his fans are wondering what Broadway show will give him his debut.
- Marisha Wallace Marisha Wallace was already a Broadway standout when the West End called and she became Amber Riley’s standby by for the iconic role of Effie Melody White in Dreamgirls. Those fortunate enough to catch her rendition of “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going” were spellbound and a star was born. After turns in Waitress and Hairspray, the breakout star was featured on the Jingle Jangle soundtrack and recently released her debut album. TikTok fans have flocked to her videos for practical vocal tips and her undeniable charm. If the Broadway transfer of Dreamgirls ever happens, we can’t help but hope Marisha repeats her performance here.
With two brand new musicals getting their big break via the app, have you considered putting your work out there for the Musical Theater TikTok crowd? If we have learned anything from following #musicaltheater it’s that the love for all things Broadway remains and the fans are a force to be reckoned with. Considering a one minute clip of a song turned into a star studded event that raised almost two million dollars, it’s safe to say Musical theater TikTok is a formidable part of the future of Broadway.
PS: For more tips like this and to join a community of like-minded theater professions, check out The Theatermakers Studio.