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, July 13, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Food for Thought Productions: Bob Dishy and Louise Lasser
At 1:30 p.m. ET, a first for NYC: a hybrid live in-person/digital theatre event! Food for Thought Productions presents a staged reading of short pieces about memory loss starring Tony nominee Bob Dishy and Louise Lasser at The Coffee House Club in Midtown Manhattan. A small audience will be in attendance, but you can also watch online. The two-hour program features Robert Anderson's I'm Herbert, Arthur Miller's I Can't Remember Anything and Daniel Rose's Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Watch for free on Zoom.
The Seth Concert Series: Audra McDonald
At 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a 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 in Provincetown with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Audra McDonald, and you can watch a recording today. In addition to being a six-time Tony winner with powerhouse pipes, she's an activist who recently co-founded Black Theatre United. Rudestky is a master at getting divas to dish, so in addition to songs from the shows she's starred in (Ragtime, Carousel, 110 in the Shade, Porgy and Bess, to name just a handful), she's sure to talk about her work to make Broadway more diverse. Tickets are $25.
Dixon Place: HOT! Festival
At 6:30 p.m. ET, downtown staple Dixon Place brings its 29th annual queer culture fest online with a month of theatre, dance, music, readings and comedy. Week two kicks off with Hand Wash by writer, performer, filmmaker and university professor Jeff McMahon and some of his students. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available to purchase from the theatre.
Irish Rep: The Irish...and How We Got That Way
At 7 p.m. ET, the Irish Repertory Theatre shares a recording of its 1998 production of Frank McCourt's The Irish...and How We Got That Way, an irreverent, song-filled celebration of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's beloved compatriots featuring Terry Donnelly, Bob Green, Marian Tomas Griffin, Rusty Magee, Ciarán O’Reilly and Ciarán Sheehan. Reserve your free tickets in advance. For those looking to help the venerable theatre through this difficult time, VIP packages include a pre-show talk with the artists and a special musical performance by Sheehan, a former Phantom on Broadway.
The Metropolitan Opera: Manon Lescaut
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Manon Lescaut, Puccini's romantic tragedy about a woman torn between love and luxury. Kristine Opolais, Roberto Alagna, Massimo Cavalletti and Brindley Sherratt star in Richard Eyre's 2016 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Tristan und Isolde , until 6:30 p.m. today.
Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
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. In honor of the International Jugglers' Association Festival, which kicks off today, jugglers are the main attractions of this evening's cavalcade, including cane juggler Drew Brown, foot juggling family Orlene Carlos and her Famiglia Gentile, dangerous duo The Passing Zone and Salih Mahammed. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
The Public Theater: Richard II
At 8 p.m. ET, although The Public Theater had to cancel its free Shakespeare in the Park summer season, the invaluable institution is still giving audiences quality no-cost drama with its radio production of Richard II. A collaboration with WNYC, this four-part audio play is directed by Saheem Ali, who was scheduled to mount the tragedy at the Delacorte Theater before the pandemic hit. André Holland from Moonlight stars as the inept king, and the supporting cast includes Oscar winner Estelle Parsons, Tony winner Phylicia Rashad, and Tony nominees John Douglas Thompson and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Part I airs tonight for free on WNYC.
Stars in the House: Andréa Burns
At 8 p.m. ET, On Your Feet! diva Andréa Burns guest hosts Stars in the House and she's bringing some of her as-yet-to-be-determined 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 American Songbook master Michael Feinstein, tap dancers Luke Hawkins and Addalie Burns, Broadway's Tavia Riveè from Motown: The Musical and Whitney Houston tribute artist Kevin Smith Kirkwood. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
La MaMa: Experiments 20: Erased
At 8 p.m. ET, experimental theatre mecca La MaMa presents Erased, a play by Coleen MacPherson about four workers toiling away in a claustrophobic greeting card factory as their female co-workers are disappearing. Inspired by Francis Bacon's screaming popes, the drama was in rehearsals in the playwright's native Canada when the pandemic hit, and has been reimagined for today's online landscape. Watch for free on La MaMa's website though donations are encouraged.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel
Lincoln Center shares a recording of the New York Philharmonic's 2013 concert staging of Carousel, starring Tony winner Kelli O'Hara as Julie Jordan and opera star Nathan Gunn as Billy Bigelow. The supporting cast is just as impressive, with Tony winner Shuler Hensley as the villainous Jigger, Tony winner Jessie Mueller (a future Julie Jordan) as Carrie Pipperidge opposite Jason Danieley's Enoch Snow, Kate Burton as Mrs. Mullin, Tony winner John Cullum (a former Billy Bigelow) as the Starkeeper and Dr. Seldon, and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck in the Act II dream ballet. Watch for free until Tuesday, September 8 on Lincoln Center's YouTube channel.
National Theatre: The Deep Blue Sea
London's National Theatre presents its 2016 production of The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Rattigan's devastating portrait of a woman unraveling in 1952 London. Olivier nominee Helen McCrory, known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, stars as Hester Collyer, whose passionate love affair ruins her marriage and her will to live. Watch for free until Thursday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Bernadette Peters: A Special Concert
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids shares a never-before-seen recording of a Bernadette Peters concert filmed at the Minskoff Theatre in 2009. The performance features beloved songs from the three-time Tony winner's 60-year career, including numbers by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim. There's also a special appearance by the late Mary Tyler Moore, who co-founded the annual pet adoption event Broadway Barks with Peters. Watch for free until Tuesday, July 14 on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids YouTube channel.
The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents the world premiere of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines docudrama based on interviews with New York City healthcare workers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The married playwrights are masters of the form: their previous plays include The Exonerated, about wrongly convicted inmates on Death Row, and Coal Country, about the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia. The latter had its run cut short at The Public Theater due to the pandemic, and Blank and Jensen almost immediately turned their attention to our city's first responders to craft this one-act for digital consumption. Under Blank's direction, an impressive cast, including Tony winner Santino Fontana, Tony nominee Alison Pill, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint, give voice to these harrowing real-life stories. Watch for free until Tuesday, August 4 on The Public's YouTube channel.
Top image: Michael Feinstein. Photo by Kevin Alvey.