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12 Stage Performances to Watch Today, August 18

Date: Aug 18, 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, Tuesday, August 18, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).

Park Avenue Armory and The National Black Theatre: 100 Years | 100 Women
At 2 p.m. ET, two iconic NYC arts institutions, the Park Avenue Armory and The National Black Theatre, join forces with other local orgs for 100 Years | 100 Women, an interrogation of the complex legacy of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The lineup of 100 diverse creators includes iconic performance artist Karen Finley, spoken-word great Staceyann Chin, poet and trans activist Andrea Jenkins, singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, and Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver from the lesbian theatre collective Split Britches. Get a sneak peek at their projects at this virtual viewing party. Register to receive the free viewing link.

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 New York Times: Finish the Fight: The Heroes of the Suffrage Movement
At 7 p.m. ET, The New York Times celebrates the centennial of the 19th Amendment with Finish the Fight, a new play by Ming Peiffer (Usual Girls) that pays tribute to the undersung heroes of the suffrage movement. The newspaper actually commissioned the piece, which is based on the book Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, written by Veronica Chambers and Times staffers. Whitney White directs Harriett D. Foy as Mary McLeod Bethune, Zora Howard as Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Q'orianka Kilcher as Zitkála-Šá, Leah Lewis as Mabel Ping-Hua Lee and Chelsea Rendon as Jovita Idár, all pioneering feminists who've been whitewashed from history. It's time their stories took center stage. Watch for free on The Times' YouTube channel. Real-time captioning is available here.

Broadway Buskers
At 7 p.m. ET, since 2018, the Times Square Alliance has been presenting Broadway Buskers, a summer concert series showcasing the songwriting talents of NYC theatre folk. This year the show goes online with live-streamed sets on Tuesday nights through October 27. This evening enjoy numbers by former Next to Normal costars J. Robert Spencer and Tony winner Alice Ripley (they appeared together in the original production of Side Show on Broadway, too!), and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer from Hadestown. . Watch for free on the Times Square Alliance website though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition are encouraged.

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 pieces by women choreographers in celebration of the centennial of women’s right to vote. The video will remain viewable for 10 days. Watch for free on Battery Dance's YouTube channel.

The Metropolitan Opera: Francesca da Rimini
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: Piero Faggioni's sumptuous 1984 mounting of Francesca da Rimini, Zandonai's rarely staged adaptation of a section of Dante's Inferno, with Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo as the passionate lovers Francesca and Paolo. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Tosca, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Billy Porter on Stars in the House
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome Broadway stars who honed their skills at the lauded Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. Talented alumni scheduled to appear include Kinky Boots Tony winner Billy Porter, who stopped the show at the DNC last night; Michael McElroy, founder of Broadway Inspirational Voices; and actor-writer-director Jack Plotnick, who collaborated with Rudetsky on the campy jukebox romp Disaster!. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

Arizona Theatre Company: Alma
At 8 p.m. ET, Arizona Theatre Company presents a live reading of Alma, a new drama by Benjamin Benne about an Afro-Latinx single mother and her teenage daughter, whose promising future is suddenly upended. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.

Latino Theater Co.: Premeditation
At 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Latino Theater Co. kicks off its new virtual season with a recording of the very dark comedy Premeditation, about two wives so ignored in their marriages they start contemplating murder. Written by Evelina Fernández and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, the 2014 production is described as a "Chicano-Noir" and looks like a bloody good time. Watch for free on the company'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.

Manual Cinema: Frankenstein
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.


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

Top image: Alice Ripley.