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, June 1, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Leslie Uggams on Stars in the House
At 2 p.m. ET, stage and screen star Leslie Uggams ushers in June on Stars in the House, a hilarious in-joke for those in the know. The Hallelujah, Baby Tony winner and Deadpool scene-stealer will chat about her storied 60-plus-year and perhaps croon a song or two. Hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, this twice daily series supports The Actors Fund. You can watch for free on YouTube.
Shakespeare's Globe: The Merry Wives of Windsor
At 2 p.m. ET, London's Shakespeare's Globe shares a recording of its 2019 mounting of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's comedy about the clownish Falstaff, who romances two women for their fortunes until they turn the tables on the two-timer. Olivier nominee Bryony Hannah and Sarah Finigan play the clever ladies and Pearce Quigley is Falstaff. Watch for free anytime through Sunday, June 14 on the theatre's YouTube channel.
The Seth Concert Series: Kelli O'Hara
At 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a twice 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 with Broadway stars in Provincetown every summer for the past decade. This year, he brings the show online. Tony winner Kelli O'Hara kicked off the series on Sunday night, and you can watch a recording of that performance today. In addition to crooning songs from the shows she's starred in (The King and I, Kiss Me, Kate, The Bridges of Madison County), Rudestsky got the diva to dish! He is a master at inspiring celebrities to open up. Tickets are $25.
Lincoln Center Dance Week: The School of American Ballet Virtual Workshop Performance Celebration
At 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center at Home continues its online dance festival with highlights from the School of American Ballet's annual workshop performance series, complemented by commentary from New York City Ballet's artistic leaders and celebrated alums. The lineup includes Justin Peck's In Creases, Jerome Robbins' Circus Polka and the pas de deux from George Balanchine's Agon. See the dance stars of tomorrow today for free on Lincoln Center's website.
Rising Star Honors
At 7 p.m. ET, watch up-and-coming actors at the Rising Star Honors, Paper Mill Playhouse's virtual variation on the theatre's 25-year-old Rising Star Awards, which honors student performers in New Jersey. The celebration will be a montage of school video submissions of the shows that happened, were in process or had to be canceled. Many famous Rising Star alums will also appear, including Book of Mormon Tony winner Nikki M. James, Chaplin Tony nominee Rob McClure and Gypsy Tony winner Laura Benanti. Watch for free on Paper Mill Playhouse's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: I Puritani
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Bellini's Idomeneo, starring Anna Netrebko, Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo and John Relyea, conducted by Patrick Summers. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2007, and is 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, Salome, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance
At 7:30 p.m. ET, watch up-and-coming actors from the New York area show off their talents at the 10th annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance. Named for the late Tony-winning actor and presented by the Broadway Education Alliance, this event is hosted by Frank DiLella from NY1's On Stage and Andrew Barth Feldman, a 2018 Roger Rees Award Winner who went on to star as the title character in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. The special will feature ensemble musical numbers, a salute to Broadway starring the 18 previous Roger Rees Award winners and the announcement of prizes. Watch for free on Broadway Education Alliance's YouTube channel.
Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
At 7:30 p.m. ET, run away with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at the troupe's weekly live-streamed variety show, hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. Enjoy a cavalcade of amazing acts, including comedic juggler Marcus Monroe, who's equally hilarious and jaw-dropping; aerialist Kyla Ernst-Alper, hat juggler Bruke, rolling globe riders Coronel Sisters and hula hooper Pinkie Special. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
At 8 p.m. ET, the 92nd Street Y shares a recording of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, writer-performer James Lecesne's one-man play about how the disappearance of a gay teenager impacts a small New Jersey town. Lecesne, who earned an Oscar for his short film Trevor, portrays all the characters in this award winner, which was a hit Off Broadway and is being presented in honor of Pride Month. Watch for free anytime all month on the 92Y's website thoughh donations are encouraged.
Schele Williams on Stars in the House
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley are turning Stars in the House into a platform for justice and equality. Their guest tonight is Schele Williams, an artist and activist who's committed to social change. She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Aida, was the associate director of the Tony-winning Motown and is slated to direct the upcoming revival of Aida. In addition, she's the director for the NYU Center of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and chairs the board for Broadway Inspirational Voices, so she knows a lot about pairing politics and performance! Watch for free on YouTube though donations to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational 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 decades. Tonight's lineup includes Jerome Robbins' Broadway Tony winner Debbie Gravitte, jazz crooner Kurt Elling, theatre and TV star Linda Purl and Luba Mason, who was appearing in Girl From the North Country on Broadway when the shutdown hit. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Menopause the Musical
At 8 p.m. ET, for almost 20 years, Menopause the Musical has been giving audiences hot flashes of laughter with its clever parody numbers about "the change." This production was recorded in 2015, and features classic tunes from the '60s, '70s and '80s with comedic new lyrics. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
It's the last day to watch Roundabout Theatre Company's Holiday Inn on BroadwayHD at no cost. Based on the classic Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire movie of the same name, this backstage musical comedy features beloved Irving Berlin songs ("Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Easter Parade") and stars Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham and celebrated hoofer Corbin Bleu. Watch for free anytime through 8 p.m. ET on on BroadwayHD.
the [title of show] show Vineyard Theatre Virtual Variety Show show
If you missed The Vineyard Theatre's delightful star-studded benefit show this past Saturday, don't fret! You can watch a recording of the festivities through Tuesday. It's hosted by the affable quartet behind the meta-musical [title of show], Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff and Jeff Bowen, who created fresh material for themselves and their big-name guests, including Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, Bill Irwin, Linda Lavin, Kelli O'Hara, Leslie Odom Jr. and Victoria Clark, as well as Billy Crudup, Alex Newell, Michael Urie, Steven Pasquale, Phillipa Soo, Zachary Quinto and Brooke Shields. To watch, donate at least $25 to the theatre, though TDF members pay a discounted rate.
National Theatre: This House
London's National Theatre presents This House, James Graham's gripping examination of Britain's political strife in the '70s. Much as he did for his Tony-nominated play Ink, Graham uses historical events to illuminate current woes, both in the U.K. and the U.S. This play may have been filmed in 2013 but its exploration of polarized politics feels insanely timely. Watch for free through Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Top image: Leslie Uggams.