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 performers are sharing their talents online. Below are performances you can watch today, Monday, April 6, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost). Bonus: Many are comedies! We could all use some laughs right now.
The original cast of Hamilton—including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Phillipa Soo, Christopher Jackson, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jonathan Groff—reunited on John Krasinski's brand-new online talk show Some Good News on Sunday night to sing the show's opening number live. It was a surprise to please a 9-year-old Hamilton superfan, who had tickets to see the musical before it was shutdown. If you missed this amazing performance, you can watch it on YouTube for free. The song starts at 11:30, but the lead up to it is heartwarming.
London's Hampstead Theatre continues its #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series with a recording of its 2014 production of Beth Steel's Wonderland, a drama about the UK’s miners' strike of the mid-'80s. Watch it for free anytime between now and Sunday, April 12 on the company's website.
Inventive low-tech comedy troupe Recent Cutbacks specializes in quick and clever pop-culture spoofs. Throughout April, the company is offering three of its most popular parodies online: Hold on to Your Butts (a send-up of Jurassic Park), Fly, You Fools (an irreverent take on the first installment of The Lord of the Rings) and a series lampooning Game of Thrones. Watch them all for free on the company's YouTube channel.
At 2 p.m. EST, Shakespeare's Globe in London, which has been streaming its productions online for years for a fee, begins posting one free show per fortnight. First up is its 2018 mounting of Hamlet featuring artistic director Michelle Terry in the title role. Watch it anytime through Saturday, April 19 on the theatre's YouTube channel.
At 2 p.m. EST, Colin Donnell (Anything Goes, Violet) and Broadway's original Elsa in Frozen, Caissie Levy, let it all go on Stars in the House. This series hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch on the organization's YouTube channel.
At 6:30 p.m. EST, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below continues its #54BelowAtHome series with a recording of a solo concert by Kyle Dean Massey (Broadway's Next to Normal and Pippin, TV's Nashville) as he shares covers of his favorite songs from childhood. Watch for free on Feinstein's/54 Below's YouTube channel.
At 7 p.m. EST, laughing during a pandemic, seems crazy, no? But Folksbiene LIVE! delivers the yuks with the Yiddish sketch comedy Kvarentin Shmarentin, aka Humor on Kovid. This is the series' final event before it breaks for Passover, and it's presented with English subtitles on National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's Facebook page.
At 7:30 p.m. EST, the Metropolitan Opera shares its 2018 mounting of Verdi's Aida, starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Quinn Kelsey, Dmitry Belosselskiy and Ryan Speedo Green, and conducted by Nicola Luisotti. 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 at metopera.org. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Norma, until 6:30 p.m. today.
At 7:30 p.m. EST, run away with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at the troupe's first-ever live-streamed variety show. Enjoy a cavalcade of acts, including magicians, jugglers, aerialists and acrobats for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page.
At 8 p.m. EST, Broadway.com honors the late Terrence McNally, who died of coronavirus complications last month, with a live reading of his poignant comedy Lips Together, Teeth Apart. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger, Star Trek's Zachary Quinto and Ari Graynor star as a pair of straight couples spending Fourth of July weekend in a gay community on Fire Island at the height of the AIDS crisis. Trip Cullman directs this one-time event, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. Watch for free on Broadway.com's YouTube channel, though donations are encouraged.
At 8 p.m. EST, cabaret maven Jim Caruso, who's been showcasing a wide array of singers at his weekly Cast Party gatherings at Birdland for decades, brings the show online for the first time. Although he hasn't teased any specific names, the series routinely welcomes Broadway vets alongside up-and-comers. Watch for free on YouTube, though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
At 8 p.m. EST, the live-streamed theatre series Play-PerView presents a reading of Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson (If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka), about a quartet of women activists in the '60s looking for the intersection between feminism and civil rights. The event takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets for the event start at $5, and proceeds benefit nonprofit troupe National Black Theatre and WIN (Women In Need).
And if you still haven't found the time to watch James Corden in the National Theatre's production of One Man, Two Guvnors, it's available for free on the company's YouTube page through Wednesday, April 8.
Remember to check out our roundup of performances you can watch online anytime.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Photo by Luke Fontana.