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, June 23, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
OSL: Bach at Home 2020
At noon ET, every summer, the Orchestra of St. Luke's presents a month-long series of Bach concerts. This year the group brings the fest online with recordings of orchestral, chamber and solo performances being released every Tuesday through July 14. Today's lineup includes Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, a selection of cello suites and Paul Taylor Dance Company performing Brandenburgs. Watch for free on OSL's website.
The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues
At 6 p.m. ET, catch the latest installment of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, a six-hour series of solos about how we're living today. Every 15 minutes from 6 p.m. until midnight, well-known actors—including Anna Baryshnikov, Ato Essandoh, Marcia Gay Harden, Zosia Mamet and Saycon Sengbloh—will perform tailor-made monologues, all penned and filmed within the last 24 hours. Participating playwrights include Jessica Goldberg, David Lindsay-Abaire, Kenneth Lonergan, Christopher Oscar Peña and Liza Jessie Peterson. Watch for free on The 24 Hour Plays' Instagram though donations to Release Aging People In Prison are encouraged.
Bedlam: The Long Christmas Ride Home
At 6:30 p.m. ET, Bedlam, a NYC theatre company lauded for its reinventions of classics (Sense & Sensibility, The Crucible), presents a live reading of The Long Christmas Ride Home by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel. The one-act takes place on a fraught road trip, as two parents and their three young children (who are played by puppets) travel to visit grandparents for the holidays. Many of the troupe's regulars are performing, and the evening kicks off with a half hour of live music. Watch for free on the company's Facebook page though donations to The Audre Lorde Project are encouraged.
Yiddish Fiddler Cast Reunion
At 7 p.m. ET, cast members from the smash Off-Broadway production of Yiddish Fiddler gather virtually for an evening of songs from the beloved musical in support of the UJA-Federation of New York. This performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets are free but required to get the viewing link; donations are encouraged.
Ping Chong + Company: Nocturne REMIX 2020
At 7 p.m. ET, Ping Chong + Company, a 45-year-old NYC theatre troupe that explores cultural and civic issues, presents Nocturne REMIX 2020. A virtual reimagining of what was to be the company's spring production, the piece features short works addessing our current reality from an array of theatre-makers of color, including Edwin Aguila, Kenya Bullock, Irisdelia Garcia, Zakaria Khafagy and Chong himself. This performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. The performance is free, but you need to register to receive the viewing link.
The Metropolitan Opera: Doctor Atomic
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares John Adams' Doctor Atomic about the impact the test of the first atomic bomb had on those at Los Alamos. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2008 and stars Sasha Cooke, Thomas Glenn, Gerald Finley and Richard Paul Fink. It's 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, La Traviata, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Ballet Hispánico
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley spotlight Ballet Hispánico on Stars in the House. An invaluable NYC-based dance company specializing in work by Latinx choreographers, the troupe is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an online gala next week. Tonight the company's artistic director, Eduardo Vilaro, is set to appear as well as some of Ballet Hispánico's dancers. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund are encouraged.
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Ping Chong + Company: Undesirable Elements
Since 1992, Ping Chong + Company has produced more than 50 installments of Undesireable Elements, a unique documentary-theatre series that examines different "outsider" groups (Muslims, people with disabilities, refugees, LGBTQ youth, etc.) by having community members share their stories onstage. Recordings of two installments are currently available to watch online. Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors is a recording of a 2009 show featuring adult survivors of child sexual abuse sharing their stories; there's also a documentary about the making of the piece. Undesirable Elements: When the Salmon Spoke is a brand-new addition to the series that was developed and recorded remotely. Co-created by the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission, it features stories from Indigenous communities tied to the "transboundary" rivers shared by northwest British Columbia and southeast Alaska, and how they've been impacted by climate change and other factors. Watch these videos for free on Ping Chong + Company's Vimeo channel.
Pride Plays: Brave Smiles...Another Lesbian Tragedy
Last June in honor of Pride Month, Michael Urie partnered with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater to present a festival of diverse LGBTQ play readings. This year the series has gone online at Playbill.com, and you can watch a recording of its latest offering Brave Smiles...Another Lesbian Tragedy by The Five Lesbian Brothers, a cutting-edge theatre collective comprised of Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey and Tony-winning Fun Home book writer-lyricist Lisa Kron. Under the direction of Tony nominee Leigh Silverman, the hilarious ladies reunited for this live reading of their 1992 satire of the tragic depiction of lesbians in entertainment throughout the 20th century, with merciless send-ups of The Well of Loneliness, The Group, Maedchen in Uniform and The Children's Hour. Watch for free on Playbill's website though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS are encouraged.
TADA! Youth Theater: Up to You
TADA! Youth Theater, NYC's 35-year-old, Drama Desk Award-winning youth company whose alums include Jordan Peele and Kerry Washington, is sharing recordings of its original hour-long musicals for families. Recorded in 2016, Up to You was written by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell, the duo behind the long-running Off-Broadway hit The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!). Inspired by Rockwell's own adolescent experiences, Up to You is set at a high school in 1977 during a contentious student council election, with students grappling with peer pressure, verbal bullying, nasty stereotyping and rumors, especially the narrator, Eric. The production stars talented tykes from ages 8 to 18 who are members of TADA!'s Resident Youth Ensemble. Watch for free on TADA!'s YouTube channel.
Lincoln Center Theater: Act One
Lincoln Center Theater shares a recording of Act One, James Lapine's Tony-nominated adaptation of legendary theatre-maker Moss Hart's memoir about how he got into showbiz. The cast includes Tony winners Santino Fontana and Tony Shalhoub, who plays Hart as an older man as well as his longtime collaborator George S. Kaufman. It's a charming, history-filled love letter to the enduring allure of the stage. Watch for free until Friday, July 3 on Lincoln Center's YouTube channel.
Holland Taylor in Ann
PBS presents Ann, Holland Taylor's one-woman bio-play about the late Ann Richards, an outspoken Democrat who served as Governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995. Taylor's compelling portrayal earned her a Tony nomination as best actress. It's an inspiring portrait of a woman who captivated as a politician and as a person. Watch for free until Friday, July 17 on PBS' website.
National Theatre: Small Island
London's National Theatre presents Small Island, Helen Edmundson's acclaimed 2019 stage adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel exploring the complicated history between Jamaica and the U.K. through a trio of interconnected stories as the protagonists try to find their way in post-WWII Britain. Directed by Rufus Norris and featuring a diverse cast of more than 40 actors, this three-hour epic is available to watch for free until Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Top image: the cast of Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Matthew Murphy.