After months of hype, HBO's new streaming service, HBO Max, has officially launched. The content list is sprawling, and contains a surprising number of musicals and plays, both classic and new. Here's a sample of you can expect to find.
A Star Is Born
HBO Max has all four versions of A Star is Born, the 1937 original with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March, the 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the 2016 version with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. They also have A Star Is Almost Born, a 1962 episode of The Flintstones.
Two by Busby Berkeley
Two films by director Busby Berkeley are currently available. Dick Powell, Gloria Stuart, and Adolphe Menjou star in Gold Diggers of 1935, the film that launched the Oscar-winning song "Lullaby of Broadway." Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney star in 1940's Strike Up the Band, which has songs by Roger Edens, Arthur Freed, and George and Ira Gershwin.
The Judy Garland Collection
In addition to A Star Is Born and Strike Up the Band, HBO Max is also home to The Wizard of Oz and 1943's Girl Crazy, which also starred Rooney and was based on the stage musical featuring songs by George and Ira Gershwin.
More by Gershwin
Strike Up the Band and Girl Crazy aren't the only films with Gershwin songs available. The original An American in Paris, with Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, and Oscar Levant is available, as is Rhapsody in Blue, a fictionalized biography of "George Gershwin and his fight to bring serious music to Broadway." Robert Alda stars.
Little Shop of Horrors: The Director's Cut
HBO Max has both versions of the Little Shop of Horrors musical film, the one where Seymour and Audrey live happily ever ever, and Frank Oz's restored director's cut, where man-eating plant Audrey II destroys the world, which is the ending of the stage musical. It's never looked better.
Two with Debbie Reynolds
Singing in the Rain is included, but so is 1966's The Singing Nun, where Reynolds starred opposite Greer Garson, Agnes Moorehead, and Ricardo Montalban. It's based on the life of the nun who recorded the hit song "Dominique."
HBO Max has a surprising amount of foreign language musicals, from 1964's French classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and 1967's The Young Girls of Rochefort, both with scores by Michel Legrand, to the 1931 black-and-white German film version of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera.
Contemporary Broadway Favorites
They have the film versions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, starring John Cameron Mitchell and Miriam Shor, Les Misérables, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway, Hairspray starring John Travolta, and The Phantom of the Opera, with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum, as well as the films that inspired the stage musicals School of Rock, Anastasia, Moulin Rouge!, and 42nd Street. Oddly, they only have Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and not its predecessor. You can also find Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas, the stop-motion animated television special that uses songs from the Broadway musical Elf, as well as the documentary Six by Sondheim.
HBO Max is home to Mike Nichols's sprawling filmed version of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, as well as the film version of The Laramie Project, created by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, and The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway.
If you're looking for anything from Xanadu to La La Land to the Esther Williams vehicle Million Dollar Mermaids, you can find it on HBO Max. But this is by no means a complete list. You can peruse their selections yourself, and if you're an HBO subscriber, you can automatically set up a free account.