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, Monday, September 14, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Seth Concert Series: Jeremy Jordan
At 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a twice daily talk show online and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, musical director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Newsies Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, and you can watch a recording today. Even though he's become a TV star (Supergirl), Jordan never abandoned his first love: the stage. He appeared in Waitress last year and was scheduled to play Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors this past spring until the pandemic shut all shows down. Rudetsky is a master at inspiring celebrities to open up, so expect lots of songs as well as stories and maybe even a peek at Jordan's adorable toddler with wife, Ashley Spencer. Tickets are $25.
SigSpace Summit: Anna Deavere Smith and Twilight Bey
At 5 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's invaluable Signature Theatre kicks off a three-part series of urgent conversations featuring actor and author Anna Deavere Smith chatting with civil rights activists about Black Lives Matter, the George Floyd protests and the movement to dismantle systemic racism in theatre. Her first guest is Twilight Bey, whose name inspired the title of her Tony-nominated documentary theatre play Twilight: Los Angeles about the 1992 Los Angeles uprising. Register to get the free Zoom link. Bonus: You can watch Twilight: Los Angeles for free on PBS.org.
Red Bull Theater: The Revenger's Tragedy
At 7:30 p.m. ET, NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for its invigorating reimaginings of classics, presents a live reading of the Jacobean thriller The Revenger's Tragedy, a bloody tale of corrupt politicians, adultery, mayhem and murder. The 17th-century tragedy was freely adapted by the company's leader, Jesse Berger, who also directs. The play was a hit for the troupe back in 2005, and this online performance stars some actors from that production, including Broadway vet Matthew Rauch as the title character, as well as new cast members such as Canadian stage star Geraint Wyn Davies. Reserve your free ticket to get the viewing link; a recording will remain available through Friday. Donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Don Pasquale
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera kicks off a week of bel-canto favorites with Donizetti's comedy Don Pasquale, starring Anna Netrebko as Norina, the clever young widow who helps teach the Scrooge-like title character much-needed lessons about generosity and love. Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien and John Del Carlo costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Werther, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Gorilla Repertory Theater Company: Macbeth
At 7:30 p.m. ET, since 1989, Gorilla Repertory Theater Company has been presenting raucous interpretations of classical plays, often for free outside in Washington Square Park. Since the show couldn't go on this summer, founding artistic and producing director Christopher Carter Sanderson decided to pivot to his digital dream project: a version of Macbeth shot entirely in close-up on the actors' iPhones. TV vet Leajato Amara Robinson stars as the title character, and many of Gorilla Rep's regulars round out the cast, plus newbies such as (full disclosure) my daughter as Macduff's son. The result is a chilling, in-your-face take on Shakespeare's tragedy about the ultimate power-hungry power couple. Register in advance to receive the free Zoom link.
Stars in the House: Brenda Braxton
At 8 p.m. ET, Smokey Joe's Cafe Tony nominee and Chicago vet Brenda Braxton guest hosts Stars in the House, and she's bringing some as-yet-unnamed friends with her. 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 two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber, N'Kenge from Caroline, or Change, Joshua Colley from Newsies and jaw-dropping belter Marissa Rosen. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
At 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus leaps into fall with a new season of its weekly live-streamed variety show. Hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson, this evening's cavalcade includes contortionist Ellie Steingraeber, juggler Lucy Antonia Eden, aerialist Eva Rowland, pole master Max March-Steinman and the uproarious Scotty the Blue Bunny. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
MCC Theater: Miscast20
If you missed MCC Theater's fabulous Miscast20 concert last night featuring stage stars performing songs from roles they would never play, you can watch a recording today. In years past, videos of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Raúl Esparza singing "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story, Aaron Tveit and Gavin Creel crooning "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent, and Tina Fey and Tituss Burgess one-upping each other in "You're Nothing Without Me" from City of Angels have gone viral. This year, since Miscast20 is completely virtual, audiences everywhere can enjoy the entire evening of kooky casting, which is often hilarious but also unexpectedly thought-provoking and poignant. The stellar lineup includes Leslie Odom Jr., Norbert Leo Butz, Robert Fairchild, Heather Headley, Joshua Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Phillipa Soo and Adrienne Warren. No spoilers about the surprising songs they sang, however, I will say, if Norbert sang that love ballad to me, I would leave my husband. Watch for free on MCC's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Joyce DiDonato
On Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera presented a live recital with Grammy-winning superstar Joyce DiDonato, and you can watch a recording through Thursday, September 24. The American mezzo-soprano performed some of her favorite arias and songs, including Didon's final scene from Berlioz's Les Troyens, "Voi che sapete" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and "Oh Shenandoah," and was accompanied by Carrie-Ann Matheson on piano and the chamber ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro. Tickets cost $20.
Incidental Moments of the Day: The Apple Family: Life on Zoom
Tony-winning dramatist and director Richard Nelson presents Incidental Moments of the Day, the final installment of his of-the-moment Zoom trilogy centered on his fictional Apple family. From 2010 to 2013, Nelson mounted one hyper-realistic play a year about this Rhinebeck, New York clan as they grappled with national milestones such as the 10th anniversary of September 11, the 2012 reelection of Barack Obama and the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. This past April, as the COVID-19 pandemic peaked in New York, the Apples reunited for What Do We Need To Talk About?, a Zoom call in quarantine, followed by And So We Come Forth in July. Once again, the four siblings and one boyfriend, played by the cast of the original tetralogy—Tony winner Maryann Plunkett, Sally Murphy, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders and Stephen Kunken—will assuage their isolation via technology as they discuss how they're faring. There's also a surprise guest, Charlotte Bydwell as Lucy Michael, a character from another Nelson series, The Michaels. The previous hour-long Apple Zooms were profoundly moving and akin to eavesdropping, an uncanny reflection of how so many white, middle-class, middle-aged liberals are feeling today. Expect more of the same from this climactic episode. Watch for free until November 5 on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Great Performances: Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet
In 1965, acclaimed choreographer Kenneth MacMillan debuted his iconic staging of Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Ballet. This film adaptation by the BalletBoyz, aka Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, brings the romantic tragedy to the screen, with Francesca Hayward and William Bracewell as Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers dancing to Sergei Prokofiev's lush score. Watch for free until Friday, October 9 on PBS' website.
Play-PerView: Seneca Falls
On Saturday, Play-PerView presented a live reading of Seneca Falls, and you can watch a recording through Thursday. Jean Ann Douglass's darkly humorous triptych about the first 72 years of the women's suffrage movement is directed by Jess Chayes, and stars Off-Broadway favorites Susannah Flood, Kelly McAndrew, Monique St. Cyr, Erin Wilhelmi, John Zdrojeski and two-time Obie winner April Matthis. Tickets start at $15 and benefit NYC-based theatre company New Georges.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Jeremy Jordan.