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12 Stage Performances to Watch Today, May 4

Date: May 04, 2020


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With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many performers from Broadway and beyond are sharing their talents online. Below are performances you can watch today, Monday, May 4, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).

Pioneering avant-garde theatre troupe The Wooster Group is posting recordings of some of its seminal works online, including Rumstick Road, Spalding Gray's response to his mother's suicide; To You, the Birdie!, the company's riff on Racine's Phèdre; and House/Lights, a mash-up of Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights and the 1964 B-movie Olga's House of Shame. If you've never seen a show by this influential and iconoclastic company, prepare for nudity, obscurity, multimedia experimentation and Willem Dafoe, who was in many early productions. Watch for free on the Wooster Group's website.

Molière in the Park, which usually presents productions in Prospect Park, tried a new venue over the weekend, cyberspace, with a streamed performance of The Misanthrope. You can catch the comedy of manners about a man who rejects social conventions for free on YouTube.

At 2 p.m. ET, it's a City of Angels reunion on Stars in the House. Hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome the cast of the Tony-winning film noir meta musical (which is long overdue for a revival), including Tony winners James Naughton and Randy Graff, Gregg Edelman, Dee Hoty and Rachel York, as well as lyricist David Zippel, who'll talk about his late collaborators Cy Coleman and Larry Gelbart. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.

At 2 p.m. ET, Shakespeare's Globe in London shares a recording of its 2018 mounting of The Two Noble Kinsmen, a tragicomic love triangle generally believed to be the Bard's final play written in collaboration with John Fletcher. Watch for free anytime through Saturday, May 17 on the theatre's YouTube channel.

At 6:30 p.m. ET, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below shares a recording of 54/54/54, 54 singers performing 54-second versions of their favorite numbers. The cavalcade of crooners includes lots of Broadway regulars, including three-time Tony nominee Dee Hoty, Tony-nominated songwriter Joe Iconis, Nicholas Barasch from She Loves Me, Storm Lever from Summer and 50 more! Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel. This performance won't be available after-the-fact. 

At 7 p.m. ET, the live-streamed theatre series Play-PerView presents a reading of Crying On Television, a comedy by R. Eric Thomas about a woman who desperately wants to become BFFs with her reality show star neighbor. The cast includes Midori Francis, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and Charlie Barnett from Netflix's Russian Doll. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets start at $5, and proceeds benefit Nashville Repertory Theatre and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. This performance won't be available after-the-fact. 

At 7 p.m. ET, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, playwright Rich Orloff presents Days of Possibilities, a new adaptation of his 1989 docudrama Vietnam 101: The War on Campus specifically created to be performed remotely. Based on interviews with more than 100 alumni of his alma mater, Oberlin College, the play chronicles the evolution of the student antiwar movement, from small protests in the mid-60s to campus-wide activities after the killings of four unarmed student activists by National Guardsmen at nearby Kent State University. Watch for free on Facebook

At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares its critically acclaimed 1998 mounting of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, starring Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Susanne Mentzer, Dwayne Croft and Sir Bryn Terfel, conducted by James Levine. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series, and is 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, Borodin's Prince Igor, until 6:30 p.m. today.

At 7:30 p.m. ET, Red Bull Theater presents a live reading of The Witch of Edmonton, a Jacobean tragedy about a rumored sorceress, a bigamist, an angry mob and the devil. A hit for the company in 2011, this event mixes members of that cast such as Charlayne Woodard and Everett Quinton with new additions like the riotous Carson Elrod. Watch for free on Red Bull's website.

At 7:30 p.m. ET, run away with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at the troupe's weekly live-streamed variety show, hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. Enjoy a cavalcade of jaw-dropping acts, including juggler and magician Zander Mowat, contortionist Jonathan Nosan, Gina Allison and her amazing dog, aerialist Rachel Karabenick and hula hooper Eva Lou Rhinelander. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.

At 8 p.m. ET, see a starry performance of Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron's long-running Off-Broadway smash Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a collection of witty, moving and cathartic stories inspired by real-life women. In 2017, the 92nd Street Y hosted a one-night only reading of the play featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Carol Kane, Natasha Lyonne and Lucy DeVito. Tonight, that recording is being released for three weeks in order to raise money for the 92Y. Tickets are $10.

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 decades. Tonight's lineup includes Phantom favorite Sierra Boggess, Lindsay Pearce, who'd just taken over as Elphaba in Wicked when the Broadway shutdown hit, Broadway vet Aaron Lazar and jazz singer/trumpet player Benny Benack III. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.


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

Top image: Rosie O'Donnell.