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, Tuesday, September 29, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Food for Thought Productions: Tony Roberts and Rex Reed
At 2 p.m. ET, Food for Thought Productions presents a live in-person reading of humorous shorts at Theatre 80 in the East Village, but you can watch online at home, too. Titled "The Different Shades of Comedy," the program includes Tony Roberts reading from his memoir Do You Know Me?; and Jodie Markel, Rex Reed and Stephen Schnetzer starring in the one-acts Commercial Break by Tony winner Peter Stone and Come On by Susan Charlotte. 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.
Bedlam: Hedda Gabler
At 5:30 p.m. ET, Bedlam, a NYC theatre company lauded for its reinventions of classics (Sense & Sensibility, The Crucible), presents a live reading of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, starring Broadway vet Shirine Babb as the headstrong title character, who manipulates those around her to get what she wants. Christopher Murrah, Joél Pérez and Rachel Botchan costar. The evening kicks off with a half hour of live music. Watch for free on the company's Facebook page though donations to Artists Striving to End Poverty are encouraged.
At 7 p.m. ET, since 2018, the Times Square Alliance has been presenting Broadway Buskers, a 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 Taylor Iman Jones from Head Over Heels, Storm Thomas and the duo Starbird and the Phoenix featuring Courtney Bassett from Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and Andrew Swackhamer. Watch for free on the Times Square Alliance website though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Così fan tutte
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Mozart favorites continues with Così fan tutte, his tantalizing comedy of romance, mistaken identity and infidelity. Susanna Phillips, Isabel Leonard, Danielle de Niese, Matthew Polenzani, Rodion Pogossov and Maurizio Muraro headline this 2014 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
New York City Ballet: All Balanchine
At 8 p.m. ET, after taking the summer off, New York City Ballet leaps into fall with five weeks of exhilarating archival recordings. The series kicks off with an all-Balanchine program—Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and The Unanswered Question from Ivesiana, with excerpts from Symphony in C, Liebeslieder Walzer, Episodes and Stravinsky Violin Concerto—featuring some of the company's biggest stars, including Ashley Bouder, Lauren Lovette, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Ask la Cour and Taylor Stanley. Watch for free on NYCB's YouTube channel.
BPN Town Hall: Newsies Reunion
At 8 p.m. ET, seize the day—it's a Newsies reunion on the Broadway Podcast Network! Original Broadway cast members Kara Lindsay, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Aaron J. Albano, Tommy Bracco, Garett Hawe and Thayne Jasperson will chat with host David Alpert about the beloved Disney musical and what they've been doing during theatre's long intermission. Watch for free on YouTube.
Expand the Canon: Restless Night in Late Spring
At 8 p.m. ET, every year, Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre comes up with a curated list of classic, underproduced plays by women. The 2020 roundup of nine works (developed in partnership with Ma-Yi Theater Company, American Players Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem) dropped last Monday, and Hedgepig is presenting virtual readings of four of them over the next week. Tonight, catch the English-language world premiere of Restless Night in Late Spring, written by prolific Japanese playwright Fumiko Enchi, whose work is not well-known in the US. Chari Arespacochago directs Sasha Diamond, Shannon Tyo, Daniel K. Isaac and Fara Faidzan in this one-act featuring idealistic college students debating whether to pursue art or activism. Register to receive the free viewing link though a $15 donation is suggested.
Latino Theater Co.: The Mother of Henry
At 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Latino Theater Co. presents a recording of Evelina Fernández's The Mother of Henry set in East LA in 1968, as five diverse employees at the Boyle Heights Sears navigate a tumultuous period personally and politically. José Luis Valenzuela directs Esperanza America, Mary-Beth Manning, Xavi Moreno, Gary Patent, Robert Revell, Elia Saldana and Cheryl Umaña. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel.
The Joyce Theater
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce Theater kicks off its virtual season with four eclectic recordings available for four weeks: Calling Glenn choreographed by Danielle Agami for her Ate9 Dance Company; She Who: Frida, Mami & Me by the LA-based Contra-Tiempo; Indumba by Chicago's Deeply Rooted Dance Theater; and four short films by the London hip-hip troupe Far From the Norm. Watch for free on The Joyce's website.
Al Hirschfeld: West Wing Ha!
So this is an online exhibition, not a performance, but we couldn't resist sharing this wonderful collection of Al Hirschfeld caricatures of statesmen or actors playing politicians, including illustrations of the musicals 1776 and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Check out the art for free online.
Kennedy Center: A Time to Sing: An Evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams
On Saturday, two beloved Tony-nominated divas—opera legend Renée Fleming and pop star Vanessa Williams—teamed up for a live concert at the Kennedy Center, and you can see a recording through the end of the year. Watch these vocalists croon an eclectic selection of tunes, including "Children Will Listen," "Stormy Weather" and a brand-new number by Andrew Lippa. Tickets are $15.
Long Wharf Theatre: New Haven Play Project
New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre presents the New Haven Play Project, a full-length film chronicling the lives of Muslim, immigrant and refugee artists who call the Connecticut city home. It's a bold launch of a community-centric season by the theatre's new artistic director, Jacob G. Padrón. Watch for free on Long Wharf's website.
Play-PerView: Hamlet in Bed
On Saturday, Play-PerView presented a live reading of Hamlet in Bed and you can watch a recording through Wednesday. The play is written by and stars Michael Laurence as an actor who casts a woman he thinks is his long-lost mother as Queen Gertrude opposite his Hamlet. Directed by Lisa Peterson, this event reunites the cast of the show's Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production: Laurence and Annette O'Toole, with the intriguing addition of John Glover. Tickets start at $15 and benefit Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
Top image: New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck in George Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. Photo by Paul Kolnik.