Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch today, Tuesday, June 9, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Hunter Foster on Stars in the House
At 2 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley continue their spotlight on regional theatres by welcoming Hunter Foster to Stars in the House. In addition to his many Broadway roles, including his Tony-nominated turn in Little Shop of Horrors, as well as the shows he's written (Summer of '42), Foster is the artistic director of Syracuse, NY's Redhouse Arts Center, which was founded in 2004 and mounts both plays and musicals. He'll be joined by Queens-based playwright Marc Palmieri, who's writing a sequel to his Zoom one-act Waiting For The Host for the company to perform online. Watch for free on YouTube.
The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues Presents Fists Up/Underlying Conditions
At 6 p.m. EST, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests across the national demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice, the latest installment of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues is being created and performed by all Black artists to benefit Communities United For Police Reform. Curated by Portia and russell g., Fists Up/Underlying Conditions features 13 solos touching on the concurrent threats of COVID-19 and violence against Black bodies. Every 15 minutes from 6 p.m. until midnight, Stephanie Berry, Keith Arthur Bolden, Cherise Boothe, Rosalyn Coleman, Nina Domingue Glover, Benton Greene, Susan Heyward, Angela Lewis, Craig Scott, Elijah Smith, Salena Steward, Tamara Williams and Kara Young will perform tailor-made monologues, all penned and filmed within the last 24 hours. The participating playwrights are Zakkiyah Alexander, Dennis A. Allen II, Christina Anderson, Beresford Bennett, Amina Henry, Angie Bridgette Jones, Jaymes Jorsling, Shawn Randall, Monique A. Robinson, Stacey Rose, Nikkole Salter, Levy Lee Simon and Craig T. Williams. Watch on Instagram at instagram.com/24hourplays.
Bedlam: Richard II
At 6:30 p.m. ET, Bedlam, a theatre company lauded for its reinventions of classics (Sense & Sensibility, The Crucible), presents a reading of Shakespeare's Richard II as a benefit for the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of the troupe's regulars are performing, and the evening kicks off with a half hour of live music. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Register to receive a link to watch the show for free, though donations to the National Bail Fund Network are encouraged.
Iolanta and Bluebeard's Castle at the Met
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a double bill of one-act opera inspired by folk tales: Tchaikovsky's final opera Iolanta starring Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, and Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle starring Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko, both conducted by Valery Gergiev. The productions were filmed in 2015 for the company's Live in HD series, and are available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Clemenza di Tito, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Eden Theater Company: The Room Plays
At 8 p.m. ET, the women-led Eden Theater Company premieres a series of short plays created to be performed remotely that explore our current state of isolation. For this first edition, all the shorts take place in the bedroom, with couples and singles trying to cope with their new surreality. The 45-minute performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Register to receive a link to watch the show for free.
And a heads up that tickets for Lungs starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith at London's Old Vic go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10 at 7 a.m. ET and are expected to sell out fast. You can read more about that production here.
Matrix Theatre Company: Scraps
Los Angeles' Matrix Theatre Company shares its 2019 production of Scraps, Geraldine Inoa's powerful examination of how friends and family cope when a Black loved one is murdered by police. We covered the play when it had its world premiere at The Flea two years ago, and its themes and emotions remain infuriatingly timely. Directed by Obie winner Stevie Walker-Webb, the production is available to watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.
Lincoln Center Theater: Pipeline
BroadwayHD is streaming Pipeline at no cost, Dominique Morisseau's thought-provoking drama about a Black inner-city public school teacher (Karen Pittman) fighting to ensure her son doesn't become a statistic of the school-to-prison pipeline. Watch for free anytime on BroadwayHD.
Jomama Jones in Black Light
Joe's Pub presents a recording of Black Light starring Jomama Jones, the theatrical alter ego of writer-performer Daniel Alexander Jones. A breathtaking Black diva who's not afraid to let her pain show, Jomama shares her original songs and her struggles in a performance that ultimately champions love and connection. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.
National Theatre: Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus
London's National Theatre presents Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston (the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Betrayal on Broadway), who earned a 2014 Olivier nomination for his powerful turn in the title role, a Roman general turned politician who's brought down by his principled bluntness, corrupt colleagues and an easily manipulated populace. Watch for free through Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Shakespeare's Globe: The Merry Wives of Windsor
London's Shakespeare's Globe shares a recording of its 2019 mounting of The Merry Wives of Windsor, the Bard's comedy about the clownish Falstaff, who romances two women for their fortunes until they turn the tables on the two-timer. Olivier nominee Bryony Hannah and Sarah Finigan play the clever ladies and Pearce Quigley is Falstaff. Watch for free anytime through Sunday on the theatre's YouTube channel.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
In honor of Pride Month, the 92nd Street Y shares a recording of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, writer-performer James Lecesne's one-man play about how the disappearance of a gay teenager impacts a small New Jersey town. Lecesne, who earned an Oscar for his short film Trevor, portrays all the characters in this award winner, which was a hit Off Broadway. Watch for free anytime all month on the 92Y's website though donations are encouraged.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Denise Yolén and Ahkei Togun in Scraps at the Matrix Theatre Company. Photo by I.C. Rapoport.