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12 Stage Performances to Watch Today, August 17

Date: Aug 17, 2020


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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, Monday, August 17, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).

Manual Cinema: Frankenstein
At 1 p.m. ET, here's a dazzling treat: Throughout August, the multimedia theatre collective Manual Cinema, which combines shadow puppetry and filmic elements, is sharing recordings of one eye-popping show each week. This week's show is Frankenstein, which stitches together Mary Shelley's memoir with her classic monster tale. Watch for free until Monday, August 24 at 1 p.m. ET on the company's website.

Food for Thought Productions: Kristine Nielsen and Nathan Darrow
At 2 p.m. ET, Food for Thought Productions presents a live in-person reading of two shorts at Theatre 80 in the East Village, but you can also watch online. Delphi Harrington headlines Christopher Durang's Mrs. Sorken, about a middle-aged suburban matron attempting to give a lecture on the meaning of theatre without her notes. Two-time Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen and Nathan Darrow star in Tennessee Williams' I Can't Imagine Tomorrow, an experimental, almost Beckettian piece about two old friends playing cards as they wait for the inevitable. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets are available from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.

Actors Theatre of Louisville: The Keep Going Song
At 3 p.m. ET, one of the most acclaimed regional theatres in the country, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, presents a brand-new uplifting musical from The Bengsons, the folky singer-songwriter spouses behind Off-Broadway shows such as Hundred Days and The Lucky Ones. Created during quarantine, The Keep Going Song is an hour-long concert about finding joy, love and inspiration during times of crisis. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.

The Seth Concert Series: Stephanie J. Block
At 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily talk show online and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known as a pianist, musical director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts in Provincetown with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block, and you can watch a recording today. The powerhouse belter made her Broadway debut impersonating Liza Minnelli in The Boy From Oz and last year she won a Tony for her turn as the mature Cher in The Cher Show. In between, she's starred in Wicked, 9 to 5, Falsettos and other eclectic musicals. Tickets are $25.

Battery Dance Festival
At 7 p.m. ET, for the first time in its 39-year history, downtown's Battery Dance Festival goes virtual, with hour-long programs premiering every evening on YouTube from August 14 to 22. The international series continues tonight with companies from Europe and Japan. The video will remain viewable for 10 days. Watch for free on Battery Dance's YouTube channel.

New York Theatre Barn: A Quarantine Lab
At 7 p.m. ET, for the past 13 years, New York Theatre Barn has showcased works in progress in its New Works Series. That initiative has now gone virtual, with 40-minute peeks at two new projects a week. Tonight, catch movement-centric excerpts from a pair of pieces created by two choreographer-director-performers during lockdown: Raja Feather Kelly's Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan, a musical about a multiethnic women struggling with her identity; and Tislarm Bouie's short film Thug, a meditation on being a Black man in America. Watch for free on New York Theatre Barn's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.

The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tosca, Puccini's thrilling love triangle starring Patricia Racette as the title singer, Roberto Alagna as her artist lover and George Gagnidze as the chief of police who wants Tosca for himself. Riccardo Frizza conducts this 2013 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Luisa Miller, until 6:30 p.m. today.

Stars in the House: Andréa Burns
At 8 p.m. ET, On Your Feet! diva Andréa Burns guest hosts Stars in the House and she's bringing a longtime friend with her: Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winning music director and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, who worked on Hamilton and In the Heights. We expect some LMM tea! Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
At 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers at Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular weekly Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for years. Tonight's lineup includes Cagney and Frozen on Broadway star Robert Creighton, Jelani Remy from Ain't Too Proud, country crooner Pam Tillis and Brady Bunch icon Eve Plumb. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.

The Muny: Summer Variety Hour
At 9:15 p.m. ET, after 102 years, the shows won't go on at The Muny this summer. But tonight, the beloved St. Louis institution streams a new episode of its online variety show featuring clips from past mainstage productions as well as brand-new virtual performances. The lineup for the final week includes production numbers from The Muny's mountings of Gypsy, A Chorus Line, Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Meet Me in St. Louis, Thoroughly Modern Millie and its Centennial Gala: An Evening with the Stars; a duet by Broadway spouses Erin Dilly and Stephen R. Buntrock; and dance pieces choreographed by Richard Yoder and Jack Sippel. Watch for free on the Muny's YouTube channel.

Available to Watch All Day

Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak
On Sunday, the Metropolitan Opera presented husband-and-wife duo Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak in a live recital, and you can watch a recording through Friday, August 28. The opera stars performed duets and solos from Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, Cavalleria Rusticana, The Merry Widow and other classics, accompanied by a string quintet on an outdoor terrace in Èze, France. Tickets are $20.

Play-PerView: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Play-PerView presented a live reading of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity on Saturday and you can watch a recording through Thursday. Kristoffer Diaz's 2010 play centers on a middle-rank pro wrestler whose chance to become a star involves exploiting cultural stereotypes. The insightful dramedy was a hit for Second Stage Theater a decade ago, where it won Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for best new play, and this event reunites four members from that production, Usman Ally, Terence Archie, Desmin Borges and Christian Litke, with new addition Justin Kirk. Tickets are $15 and benefit New Dramatists.


Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.

Top image: Kristine Nielsen.