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 27, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Manual Cinema: Lula del Ray
At 1 p.m. ET, here's a dazzling treat: Over the next month, the multimedia theatre collective Manual Cinema, which combines puppetry and filmic elements, is sharing recordings of one eye-popping show each week. First up is its 2012 coming-of-age fable Lula del Ray, set in the mid-century American Southwest and inspired by classic country and western music. Watch for free until Monday, August 3 on the company's website.
Black Theatre Week
At 2:30 p.m. ET, the Black Theatre Network has moved its 34th annual Black Theatre Week festival online, with five days of virtual programming spotlighting Black theatre creatives. The centerpiece of day one is a 50th anniversary celebration for NYC's pioneering Black company the New Federal Theatre, led by visionary founder Woodie King, Jr. Hadestown Tony winner André De Shields hosts the event, which is fitting since he's a New Federal Theatre vet—he starred in the troupe's Knock Me a Kiss a decade ago. Watch for free on the Black Theatre Network's Facebook page.
The Seth Concert Series: Megan Hilty
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 Megan Hilty, and you can watch a recording of the performance today. The Tony nominee became a small-screen sensation on the cult TV musical series Smash. Rudestky is a master at getting divas to dish, so in addition to songs from the shows she's starred in like Wicked and 9 to 5, she's sure to talk about all things Smash. Tickets are $25.
Dixon Place: HOT! Festival
Downtown staple Dixon Place brings its 29th annual queer culture fest online with a month of theatre, dance, music, readings and comedy. The final week kicks off with:
The Metropolitan Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti's tragedy about the title character (Natalie Dessay) who's driven mad because she cannot marry the man she loves. Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier and Kwangchul Youn round out the cast of this 2011 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Fanciulla del West, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
At 7:30 p.m. ET, all good things must come to an end, including Bindlestiff Family Cirkus's weekly live-streamed variety show, which wraps up its first season tonight. Hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson, this evening's cavalcade includes juggler Rich Potter, hula hooper Melissa-Anne, magician Kid Ace, aerialist Max March-Steinman and balancer Ermiyas Muluken. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Brenda Braxton
At 8 p.m. ET, Smokey Joe's Cafe Tony nominee and Chicago vet Brenda Braxton guest hosts Stars in the House, and she's bringing some as-yet-unnamed 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 Olivier Award-winning Broadway belter Lesli Margherita, jazz crooner Tierney Sutton, violinist Edmund Bagnell and soul singer CJ Emmons. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
At 8 p.m. ET, Ain't Too Proud star Jelani Remy is behind NextGen Spotlight, a virtual fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS featuring performances and conversations with Broadway vets and newbies, including Tony winner LaChanze, Storm Lever, Shereen Pimentel and Sergio Trujillo. Register in advance to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged.
The Muny: Summer Variety Hour
At 9:15 p.m. ET, after 102 years, the shows won't go on at The Muny this summer. But tonight, the beloved St. Louis institution streams a new episodes of its online variety show featuring clips from past mainstage productions as well as brand-new virtual performances. The lineup for week two includes production numbers from the Muny's mountings of Aida, 42nd Street, Spamalot and Oklahoma!; performances by Tony nominees Rob McClure and Taylor Louderman; and a game show with stage stars such as Ann Harada and Christopher Sieber. Watch for free on the Muny's YouTube channel.
Untitled Theater Company #61: The God Projekt
NYC's venerable Untitled Theater Company #61, which presents avant-garde takes on heady subjects, shares The God Projekt, a dark comedy about the big G that was recorded at La MaMa in 2016. Set in a Beckettian landscape, the play finds the Almighty having an existential crisis as he struggles with his work-afterlife balance and a secret from his past. Expect borscht belt humor, bloody puppetry and lots to chew on. Watch for free on Vimeo.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Blues Suite
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a 1985 recording of Blues Suite, the ballet that launched the invaluable dance troupe in 1958. Ailey was just 27 when he choreographed this half-hour piece, which is set in a sporting house and celebrates Black joy as revelers dance, drink and flirt to blues music. Watch for free until Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty
London's Royal Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty about a princess with a slumbering problem. Set to Tchaikovsky's romantic score, this was the first work performed by The Royal Ballet when it launched in 1946. Recorded earlier this year, this mounting stars Fumi Kaneko as the title character and Federico Bonelli as her prince, and the choreography is an amalgam of Marius Petipa's 19th-century steps and new movement created for the troupe by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. Watch for free until Thursday, August 6 on YouTube.
Two River Theater: Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine
If you missed Two River Theater's live reading of Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine last night, you can watch the recording. Written and directed by Tony-winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the drama about a stormy interracial relationship had its world premiere at the theatre in 2015, and this event reunites original cast members Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Hovelson, Merritt Janson and Roslyn Ruff with the addition of Glynn Turman. Watch for free until Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on Two River Theater's YouTube channel.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.