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 this Monday, March 8 and Tuesday, March 9, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Shows Must Go On!: Letters Live
On Monday at 2 p.m. ET, The Shows Must Go On! presents a special International Women's Day edition of Letters Live. Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson, Daisy Ridley, Rose McGowan, Adwoa Aboah and other illustrious ladies will read correspondence by important women from history. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube though donations to The WOW Foundation are encouraged.
Food for Thought Productions: One-Acts by Tennessee Williams and Christopher Durang
On Monday at 2 p.m. ET, Food for Thought Productions presents a double bill: Tennessee Williams' Lifeboat Drill and Christopher Durang's For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, a parody of The Glass Menagerie. Broadway veteran Bob Dishy, Judy Graubart, Blanche Baker, Jeremy Beck, Darlene Hope and Nathan Darrow star in these one-act comedies, which are performed live at Theatre 80 in the East Village but also streamed to an at-home audience. Stick around for a special talkback with Durang and film icon Carroll Baker, who worked with Williams on the movie Baby Doll. Tickets are available from the theatre but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: Manon Lescaut
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: Renata Scotto in Manon Lescaut, Puccini's romantic tragedy about a woman torn between love and luxury. Plácido Domingo, Pablo Elvira and Renato Capecchi costar in Gian Carlo Menotti's 1980 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Forza del Destino, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Assassins Original Cast Reunion
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, Tennessee's Studio Tenn Theater Company presents an Assassins reunion! The theatre's artistic director, Patrick Cassidy, starred as the Balladeer in the musical's 1990 premiere at Playwrights Horizons, and he's getting the gun-toting gang back together, including writers Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, director Jerry Zaks, and costars Victor Garber, Greg Germann, Annie Golden, Lyn Greene, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, William Parry and Lee Wilkof. Guests will discuss the making of the musical and share rarely seen clips and photos. Watch for free on Studio Tenn's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Monday 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 Wicked alum Sam Gravitte, terrific tapper Luke Hickey, and husband-and-wife jazz duo Tania and Jeff Grubbs. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus: Open Stage Variety Show: Quarantine Edition
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its live weekly variety show hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. Tonight's awe-inspiring lineup includes aerialist Elizabeth Munn, juggler Yennega Circus, clowns Dick and Tiffany, and crossbow masters Mr. and Mrs. G. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents a pair of one-act works: Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana about a tragic love triangle, and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci about the leader of a vaudeville troupe. David McVicar staged this 2015 double bill with tenor Marcelo Álvarez starring in both leading roles. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Manon Lescaut, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: What I Learned About Women’s History Through The Roles I Played
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House celebrates Women's History Month with a series of episodes guest hosted by talented ladies! First up are Beautiful Tony nominee Anika Larsen and Hair's Nicole Lewis, who'll be talking about what they learned about women's history through the parts they've played. They'll be joined by Broadway vets Hannah Elless, Annie Golden, Ruthie Ann Miles and Saycon Sengbloh, and playwright Patricia Noonan. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
New York City Center: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
New York City Center kicks off its New Adventures Festival featuring four theatrical ballets created by maverick choreographer Matthew Bourne. First up is his beloved and bold take on Swan Lake, starring a sensual ensemble of menacing male swans. The show was a Tony-winning hit on Broadway two decades ago, but Bourne and his longtime collaborator, set and costume designer Lez Brotherston, updated elements of the production for this recent run at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre, which was filmed live on stage in 2019. Will Bozier stars as The Swan/The Stranger, Liam Mower is The Prince and Nicole Kabera plays The Queen. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
New Normal Rep: Jericho
New Normal Rep presents Jericho, Jack Canfora's poignant drama about a Jewish family on Long Island navigating the emotional minefield of a post-9/11 Thanksgiving gathering. Four-time Academy Award nominee Marsha Mason directs a cast headlined by L.A. Law star Jill Eikenberry and Eleanor Handley, who are reprising their roles from the play's 2013 critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 4.
New York City Ballet: Theme and Variations
New York City Ballet continues its digital spring season with Theme and Variations, George Balanchine's celebration of classical Russian ballet, set to the final movement of Tchaikovsky's third orchestral suite. Andrew Veyette and Tiler Peck headline this archival recording. Watch for free until Thursday on NYCB's YouTube channel.
Some Old Black Man
Three years ago, James Anthony Tyler's moving two-hander Some Old Black Man had its New York premiere at 59E59 Theaters. Last fall, the University of Michigan restaged and recorded that production, with Joe Cacaci directing original star Wendell Pierce and Charlie Robinson stepping in for the late Roger Robinson (no relation). Pierce plays Calvin, a 62-year-old NYC college professor who moves his irascible, working-class Southerner father into his Harlem brownstone. There, the two engage in a generational conflict about race, opportunities and past history. Register to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Friday.
In 2018, Shakespeare's Globe commissioned Morgan Lloyd Malcolm to write a play inspired by the life of Emilia Bassano, the 17th-century poet and feminist rumored to have been the Bard's Dark Lady, the subject of some of his bawdiest sonnets. Titled Emilia, the empowering, all-women work was such a critical and commercial hit, it transferred to the West End and a recording of that production is being streamed all month long. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at £1, approximately $1.40, and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, March 31. Closed captions and audio description are available.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: The Magical New Musical
On Monday at 2 p.m., and Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET, catch the new British musical The Sorcerer's Apprentice inspired by Goethe's poem of the same name about an aspiring wizard who makes all spells break loose. In Richard Hough and Ben Morales' take on the tale, the title character is actually the conjurer's rebellious daughter, but the pair mend their relationship to save a troubled town. Filmed at London's Southwark Playhouse earlier this month, the production was directed by Charlotte Westenra and stars Dawn Hope, David Thaxton and newcomer Mary Moore. Tickets are £18, approximately $25.
Smock Alley Theatre: Daddy Long Legs
On Monday and Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre presents Daddy Long Legs, a charming two-person sung-through musical about a wealthy benefactor who anonymously sends an orphan to college on the condition she write to him. Their passionate correspondence blossoms into an unexpected romance. Paul Gordon and John Caird based their show on Jean Webster's 1921 novel of the same name. This production was recorded live on stage at Smock Alley Theatre in 2018 and stars Eoin Cannon and Róisín Sullivan. Tickets are £18, approximately $25.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: The original Playwrights Horizons cast of Assassins, who'll be reuniting online on Monday.