Musical Theater

Great Performances presents both new works and classics. Coming in Fall 2016 is Hamilton’s America, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the hit Broadway musical. Last fall we enjoyed the vivacious Broadway legend Chita Rivera and the youthful Billy Elliot.


Jonathan Kent’s award-winning production of the classic musical Gypsy – a record-breaking sellout during its acclaimed London run – comes to THIRTEEN’s Great Performances, Friday, November 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS on the PBS Arts Fall Festival. (Check local listings.)

Premiered November 11, 2016
Full episode not available at this time

Hamilton’s America

The feature film documentary Hamilton’s America brings history to vivid life through the contemporary perspective of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary hip-hop musical, Hamilton. The story of Alexander Hamilton is most remembered for its dramatic conclusion, in which Hamilton was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr. But his immeasurable contributions to modern society have largely been forgotten by today’s general public.  Just in time for election year, Hamilton’s America will provide a primetime audience with intimate access to Miranda and his colleagues during the two years leading up to the Broadway opening of the smash hit musical “Hamilton.” 

Premiered October 21, 2016 | Video expires November 18, 2018

Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do

Broadway legend Chita Rivera has been lighting up Broadway and international stages for over 70 years. Anita in West Side Story, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Velma in Chicago are just some of the iconic roles she created.

Premiered November 6, 2015 | Video expires November 5, 2018

Billy Elliot the Musical Live

Billy Elliot the Musical Live, the long-running hit both on Broadway and in London’s West End (where it is still playing), comes to THIRTEEN’s Great Performances. Recorded at the show’s West End home at the Victoria Palace Theatre, the show has been dazzling audiences in London since it opened in 2005.

Premiered October 23, 2015
Full episode not available at this time


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, the second longest-running Broadway musical (only surpassed by Lloyd Webber’s own “The Phantom of the Opera”), and fourth longest-running West End musical, returns in high definition and digital sound to Great Performances where it had its 1998 world television premiere.

Premiered November 21, 2014
Full episode not available at this time

Sting: The Last Ship

Sting and ensemble perform songs from his new album and Broadway-bound musical, recorded live at The Public Theater in New York City. Drawing upon his memories growing up in the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England, Sting provides a glimpse into the play’s narrative through the songs on the new album, inspired by the story of “The Last Ship.”

Premiered February 21, 2014
Full episode not available at this time

National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage

Directed by the National Theatre’s Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner, the star-studded evening of live performance also features rare glimpses from the archive spotlighting many of the most celebrated actors who have performed on the National’s London stages over the past five decades.

Premiered February 14, 2014
Full episode not available at this time

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”

Starring Hugh Jackman, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, and choreographed by Susan Stroman, the acclaimed Royal National Theatre production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! in 1988 reveals the work’s emotional complexity. This broadcast marked the landmark musical’s 70th anniversary.

Premiered November 15, 2013
Full episode not available at this time

Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” with the New York Philharmonic

The concert staging of Stephen Sondheim’s musical has an all-star cast including Craig Bierko (as Peter), Stephen Colbert (as Harry), Jon Cryer (as David), Katie Finneran (as Amy), Neil Patrick Harris (as Robert), Christina Hendricks (as April), Adam Lazar (as Paul), Patti LuPone (as Joanne), Jill Paice (as Susan), Martha Plimpton (as Sarah), Anika Noni Rose (as Marta), Jennifer Laura Thompson (as Jenny), Jim Walton (as Larry), and Chryssie Whitehead (as Kathy).

Premiered November 15, 2013
Full episode not available at this time

40th Anniversary Celebration

Great Performances has provided viewers an unparalleled showcase of the best of the performing arts. On the occasion of the series’ 40th anniversary on PBS, a stellar roster of diverse alumni share their personal stories of what Great Performances has meant to them, with performances by Julie Andrews, Audra McDonald, Don Henley, David Hyde Pierce, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Martins, Patti Austin and Take 6, Met Opera star Elīna Garanča and Michael Bublé.

Premiered October 18, 2013
Full episode not available at this time