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, Thursday, October 15, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Tony Award Nominations
At noon ET, Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart announces the Tony Award nominations for the truncated 2019-2020 season. Although 16 productions didn't get a chance to open before the shutdown, 18 shows are still eligible, mostly plays. So this may be the year of the dramatist! Tune in to see if your favorites make the cut. Watch for free on the Tony Awards' YouTube channel.
BAM: That Kindness: Nurses in Their Own Words
At 7 p.m. ET, The Vagina Monologues author and activist V (formerly known as Eve Ensler) premieres That Kindness: Nurses in Their Own Words, a new documentary-theatre piece based on interviews with frontline medical workers about their experiences during COVID-19. Rosie O'Donnell, Billy Porter, Marisa Tomei, LaChanze, Connie Britton, Rosario Dawson, Stephanie Hsu, Liz Mikel, Dale Soules, Monique Wilson and Ed Blunt bring these harrowing stories to life, complemented by original music by Morley. Watch for free until Tuesday, November 3 on BAM's YouTube channel though donations to The Brooklyn Hospital Center are encouraged.
Education Through Music: Keep Music Alive
At 7 p.m. ET, the nonprofit Education Through Music, which provides music programs for underserved New York City public school students, hosts a virtual gala featuring performances by Tony winner Kelli O'Hara, Tony nominee Norm Lewis and legendary violinist Joshua Bell. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Radio Free Birdland: Kate Rockwell: Back to My Roots
At 7 p.m. ET, midtown jazz haunt Birdland presents belting Broadway blond Kate Rockwell in a concert recorded live at the venue and streamed to an at-home audience. The Mean Girls Tony nominee will croon tunes from her album Back to My Roots, featuring numbers from the '80s musicals that inspired her to pursue a stage career. Expect favorites by Andrew Lloyd Webber, William Finn, Stephen Sondheim, Alan Menken and more. Tickets are $20.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Give Me Your Hand
At 7 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's intrepid Irish Rep presents Give Me Your Hand, featuring Tony nominee Dearbhla Molloy and Dermot Crowley taking audiences on a virtual tour of London's National Gallery by pairing Paul Durcan poems with paintings by Van Gogh, Rubens and other masters. Directed by Jamie Beamish, this is a digital reimagining of the company's 2012 hit production. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
The Metropolitan Opera: Anna Bolena
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Donizetti favorites continues with David McVicar's captivating 2011 mounting of Anna Bolena, about King Henry VIII's second wife. Anna Netrebko stars as the ill-fated Queen, and Ildar Abdrazakov is her philandering husband who has a thing for Ekaterina Gubanova's Jane Seymour. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, L'Elisir d'Amore, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
PTP/NYC: Far Away
At 7:30 p.m. ET, PTP/NYC, known for its insightful mountings of politically charged plays, wraps up its virtual season with Caryl Churchill's Far Away, about a society engaged in a never-ending war, and citizens don't know which side they're on. PTP cofounder Cheryl Faraone directs Nesba Crenshaw, Caitlin Duffy, Ro Boddie and Lilah May Pfeiffer. Watch for free until Sunday on the troupe's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Vineyard Theatre: Lessons in Survival Live Open Rehearsal
At 8:30 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's invaluable Vineyard Theatre continues its fascinating Lessons in Survival project, featuring a collective of 40 theatre artists sharing historic conversations, interviews and speeches about race by listening to the original speakers in an earpiece while repeating their words verbatim. Conceived by actors Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall and Reggie D. White and director Tyler Thomas, the series presents an open rehearsal tonight, giving viewers a peek at how these performances are created. April Matthis, Reggie D. White, Sevrin Anne Mason, Adam Chanler-Berat, Brandon J. Dirden, Kristolyn Lloyd, Clarissa Marie Ligon and Nicole Lewis channel a 1968 demonstration speech by the chair of the Black Panther Party Bobby Seale; Bob Costas interviewing Bobby Seale in 1992; and a 1989 discussion about Huey Newton's death with civil rights activists Angela Davis, Ericka Huggins and JoNina Abron. Tickets start at $5.
Broadway's Best Shows: Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Broadway's Best Shows, which presented powerhouse readings of plays such as Love Letters and November in the spring, kicks off its new virtual season with a star-packed performance of Gore Vidal's political drama The Best Man. John Malkovich and Zachary Quinto portray two men vying for the job of POTUS, Morgan Freeman is the former commander-in-chief, and Elizabeth Ashley, Reed Birney, Matthew Broderick, Katie Finneran, Julie Halston, Stacy Keach, Phylicia Rashad and Vanessa Williams play some of the characters in their orbit. Michael Wilson, who directed the 2012 Broadway revival of this 1960 play, helms this production. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable through Saturday at 10:45 p.m. ET.
The Metropolitan Opera: Hansel and Gretel
Ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. ET. These productions have been specially selected for families, and Zoom education sessions leading up to the screening teach school-age kids about opera. This week's offering is the Met's 2008 mounting of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, a holiday staple at the venue. Starring Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer, it's an eye-popping, English-language production with oversize cartoon chefs, singing trees and an unforgettable witch's kitchen. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Bard at the Gate: Origin Story
Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Paula Vogel continues her Bard at the Gate play reading series showcasing timely, under-the-radar scripts with Dan LeFranc's Origin Story. A mystery about two teenagers trying to solve a crime with clues provided by a comic book illustrated by the enigmatic Pronoun, the one-act delves into issues of gender identity and bullying. Christopher Bayes directs Brandon E. Burton, Edmund Donovan, Gabriel Levey, Zoe Mann, Anula Navlekar and Liz Wisan. Watch for free until Sunday on Bard at the Gate's YouTube channel.
Top image: Billy Porter, star of That Kindness: Nurses in their Own Words. Photo by Shavonne Wong.