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 Tuesday, December 1, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Ball Change
At 2 p.m. ET, Manhattan Theatre Club continues its virtual reading series with Ball Change, Brittany K. Allen's time-traveling examination about how modes of communication evolve and shape society. Margot Bordelon directs. Watch for free until Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on MTC's YouTube channel.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
At 5 p.m. ET, to mark World AIDS Day, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presents Janet Hood and Bill Russell's groundbreaking 1989 song cycle Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt. A starry cast, including Broadway favorites Brooks Ashmanskas, Robin de Jesús, Lena Hall, Lisa Howard, James Monroe Iglehart, Cherry Jones, Nathan Lane, Norm Lewis, Jessie Mueller, Anthony Rapp, Krysta Rodriguez, Alysha Umphress and Cynthia Nixon, performs poignant songs and monologues about some of the loved ones lost during the early days of the epidemic. Watch for free until Saturday, December 5 on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Plaguey Hill
At 7 p.m. ET, the intrepid Irish Rep presents Plaguey Hill, a brand-new piece by Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon performed by Tony winner Liev Schreiber. Written this past spring, the lyrical work parallels New York at the height of COVID-19 with the 1830s cholera epidemic in Belfast. Watch for free on Irish Rep's YouTube channel though a $10 donation is suggested.
The Metropolitan Opera: Aida
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: legendary diva Leontyne Price in her farewell performance as Aida. Fiorenza Cossotto, James McCracken and Simon Estes costar in this 1985 milestone. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Eugene Onegin, until 6:30 p.m today.
Remember the Ribbon: A Tribute to World AIDS Day
At 8 p.m. ET, Playbill marks World AIDS Day with a concert hosted by Hadestown Tony winner and HIV advocate André De Shields. The evening includes popular past performances from the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS archives, as well as new performances by Hamilton's Javier Munoz, Rema Webb from The Lion King, playwright Donja R. Love and Frozen's Aisha Jackson. Watch for free on Playbill's YouTube channel though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS are encouraged.
The 24 Hour Plays Broadway Gala
At 8 p.m. ET, The 24 Hour Plays, which has been sharing timely Viral Monologues throughout the pandemic, presents its 20th annual gala featuring six online shorts, all written, rehearsed and performed in one day. Acclaimed dramatists Rachel Axler, J. Holtham, David Lindsay-Abaire, Christopher Oscar Peña, Jonathan Marc Sherman pen the playlets, which are performed by a starry lineup including David Cross, Hugh Dancy, Rachel Dratch, Jesse Eisenberg, Noah Galvin, Clark Gregg, Josh Hamilton, Marcia Gay Harden, Gillian Jacobs, David Krumholtz, Bebe Neuwirth, Solea Pfeiffer, AnnaSophia Robb and Michael Zegen. Tickets start at $30.
The Nice List
When Santa's away, the elves will play! That's the premise of Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz's new one-act holiday musical The Nice List starring Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart as Kris Kringle, who leaves his underlings in charge when he goes to check on his mall stand-ins. Broadway vets Telly Leung, Julia Mattison, Ann Harada, Jennifer Barnhart, Nick Kohn and Don Darryl Rivera play his eager if inefficient elfin employees. Watch for free until Thursday, December 31 on the show's website.
TheaterWorks Hartford: Christmas on the Rocks
Deck the halls with tales of folly with Christmas on the Rocks, TheaterWorks Hartford's irreverent holiday staple. Conceived and directed by Rob Ruggiero, it's a cavalcade of Christmas jeer as iconic kid characters from holiday movies and specials share their woes in satirical shorts. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31. Closed captions are available.
The New York Pops Benefit Concert with Kelli O'Hara
An encore stream by popular demand! The New York Pops team up with Tony winner Kelli O'Hara for an evening of uplifting music. Recorded live at Connecticut's Riverside Yacht Club in September, this concert features highlights from O'Hara's illustrious Broadway career, including leading roles in revivals of The King and I, Kiss Me, Kate and The Pajama Game, as well as new musicals The Bridges of Madison County and The Light in the Piazza. She also croons American Songbook favorites and original tunes she wrote with her husband, Greg Naughton. Tickets start at $20 and the recording is viewable until tonight.
The American Dance Guild Performance Festival: 10 Years Over 10 Weeks
Each year, the American Dance Guild produces a festival that includes salutes to iconic dance-makers. Since the event is virtual this year, the organizers are transforming it into a retrospective of the last decade of honorees, with archival recordings released every Monday. The eighth features tributes to 2017's masters Garth Fagan, Martha Myers and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. Watch for free until Sunday on Vimeo though donations are encouraged.
Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol
Jefferson Mays is a master at playing multiple characters in the same show. He won a Tony Award for doing just that in I Am My Own Wife (40 different roles!), and earned a nomination for portraying eight members of the ill-fated D'Ysquith family in A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. He's at it again in this solo adaptation of A Christmas Carol in which he plays everyone from Scrooge to Tiny Tim. Originally mounted at LA's Geffen Playhouse in 2018, the production was reimagined for digital consumption by director Michael Arden (Once on This Island) and costume and set designer Dane Laffrey, who restaged and recorded it during quarantine at the stunning United Palace theatre in Washington Heights. The result is a fresh and intimate take on Dickens' timeless tale featuring Mays in a tour-de-force performance—make that performances. Tickets are $50 and a portion of the proceeds goes to TDF! The recording is viewable until Sunday, January 3.
Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist
A tuneful, modern-day take on the old Christmas chestnut, this new holiday musical comes from John Caird and Paul Gordon, the team behind Broadway's Jane Eyre, and incorporates popular characters and plot lines from multiple Charles Dickens' novels. Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) is the title character, a ruthless real estate mogul, who heads to her hometown for the holidays to foreclose on a hotel for the homeless run by her childhood sweetheart, Philip "Pip" Nickleby (Clifton Duncan). But soon three spirits arrive to scare her sweet. Broadway favorites Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill), Patrick Page (Hadestown), Carolee Carmello (Parade) and Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge!) costar. Tickets start at $25 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31.
PBS' Great Performances: Lea Salonga in Concert
PBS' Great Performances presents Lea Salonga in concert at the Sydney Opera House. Backed by a lavish orchestra, the Tony winner belts out numbers from her three-decade career, including "On My Own" from Les Misérables, "Why, God, Why?" from Miss Saigon and "A Whole New World" from Disney's animated movie Aladdin. Watch for free until Friday, December 25 on PBS' website.
MNM Theatre Company: Closer Than Ever
Florida's MNM Theatre Company presents Closer Than Ever, Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire's witty musical revue of insightful songs about love and life. Propelled by theme not plot, the show features a cast of four and was filmed live on stage during quarantine in an empty theatre. Director Jonathan Van Dyke's clever blocking delivers a sense of intimacy while keeping actors socially distant. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31.
Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique
Puppet master Basil Twist presents a recording of his breakthrough show Symphonie Fantastique, an underwater ballet danced by vibrant pieces of fabric, sheets of plastic and other inanimate objects to Berlioz's title composition. A one-of-a-kind spectacle, this production was filmed during the show's 20th anniversary run at HERE Arts Center in 2018 and includes behind-the-scenes moments illustrating how the magic is made. Tickets are $20 for a 48-hour rental.
Top image: Telly Leung in The Nice List.