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, July 28, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Black Theatre Week
The Black Theatre Network has moved its 34th annual festival Black Theatre Week online, with five days of virtual programming spotlighting Black theatre creatives. Day two includes:
Watch both events for free on the Black Theatre Network's Facebook page.
Joint Awards Ceremony: The Dramatists Guild, The Dramatist Guild Foundation and The Lillys
At 6 p.m. ET, three influential organizations in American theatre—the Dramatists Guild of America, the Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Lillys—band together to present their annual awards in one big streamed ceremony. Recipients for the first two sets of honors have already been announced, with Dramatists Guild Awards going to Michael R. Jackson for A Strange Loop, and playwrights Kia Corthron, Lydia R. Diamond and Madhuri Shekar; and Dramatists Guild Foundation Awards going to songwriter Khiyon Hursey, playwright-poet Erika Dickerson-Despenza, composer Julia Meinwald and songwriter Benjamin Velez. The winners of the Lilly Awards, which celebrate the work of women in theatre, will be revealed this evening. Presenters include Lynn Nottage, Stephen Schwartz, Hallie Foote, Chisa Hutchinson, Sarah Ruhl, Kirsten Childs and Heidi Schreck. Watch for free on on the Dramatists Guild of America's YouTube channel.
At 7 p.m. ET, since 2018, the Times Square Alliance has been presenting Broadway Buskers, a summer concert series showcasing the songwriting talents of NYC theatre performers. This year the show goes online with live-streamed sets on Tuesday nights through October 11. This evening enjoy songs by queer Asian-American duo Kit Yan and Melissa Li, whose musicals include Interstate and Cancelled; and 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Winner Ben Wexler, who co-wrote Washington Square with Kirsten Childs. Watch for free on the Times Square Alliance website though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tosca, Puccini's thrilling love triangle starring Karita Mattila as the title singer, Marcelo Álvarez as her artist lover and George Gagnidze as the chief of police who wants Tosca for himself. Luc Bondy's production was filmed for the Met's Live in HD series in 2009. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
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 continues with:
Stars for #SaveTheArts on Stars in the House
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome a cavalcade of boldface names to Stars in the House in honor of the #SaveTheArts campaign. The lineup of stars asking our government to take action includes Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening, two-time Tony nominee Alex Brightman, Tony-winning director Kenny Leon, Rosie Perez, premier parodist Randy Rainbow, Hairspray songwriter Marc Shaiman, Sarah Silverman and surprise guests. Watch for free on YouTube and then let your local politicians know the arts are essential!
Queens Theatre: New American Voices Summer 2020 Virtual Reading Series: The Innkeepers
At 8 p.m. ET, as part of its New American Voices Summer 2020 Virtual Reading Series, Queens Theatre presents The Innkeepers, Novid Parsi's politically charged murder mystery about a woman who brings together four guests to confront them about their involvement in the death of her son. Reserve your ticket to receive the free viewing link.
The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing
There may be no Shakespeare in the Park this season, but you can enjoy one of the series' best productions in recent years online: last summer's Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon and featuring an all-Black cast led by the fabulous Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple, Orange Is the New Black) and Grantham Coleman, this is one of my favorite mountings of the Bard's romantic comedy, a production that is often hilarious but also highlights the ongoing battle for equality. Watch for free anytime until Saturday, September 12 on PBS' website.
Disney Cruise Line: Tangled: The Musical
This hour-long production of Disney Cruise Line's Tangled: The Musical gives us a taste of two things we can't do right now: in-person theatre and cruises! Recorded in 2015 aboard one of their boats, the show is based on Disney's animated movie of the same name and features all of the beloved songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, plus three new numbers. Broadway director Gordon Greenberg helmed this production, which has amazing puppets created by Beetlejuice wiz Michael Curry. Watch for free on Disney Parks' 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 still 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.
Top image: Alex Brightman.