Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre a rarity 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, April 5 and Tuesday, April 6, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
ABT Incubator: She Didn't
On Monday at noon ET, American Ballet Theatre continues its Incubator series, featuring brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. Today's premiere is She Didn't by company member Joseph Markey, a pas de deux set to music by John Coltrane and Taylor Deupree featuring his fellow ABTers Kanon Kimura and Javier Rivet. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Poetic Reflections: Words Upon the Window Pane
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep continues its Poetic Reflections: Words Upon the Window Pane, a trio of shorts by filmmaker Matthew Thompson featuring writers and actors reading odes by poets from Ireland, the US and England. The second installment, Identity, starts streaming today for free on the theatre's YouTube channel, where you'll also find the first part, Home and Sense of Place. If you happen to be passing Irish Rep's West 22nd Street home, these videos will also be projected in the lobby windows.
The Metropolitan Opera: Faust
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Des McAnuff's riveting 2011 production of Gounod's Faust, starring Jonas Kaufmann as a man who makes a deal with the devil. René Pape and Marina Poplavskaya costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Tristan und Isolde, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
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 country crooner Cooper Alan, jazz singer Joie Bianco and Broadway vet Shannon Lewis. 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 Rebecca Fey, juggler Bekka Rose, contortionist Frederick Bauer, yo-yo master Steve Brown and magician The Great Kaplan. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Lincoln Center: In Conversation: Anna Deavere Smith and Dr. Christopher Emdin
On Tuesday at noon ET, as part of its Lincoln Center Activate initiative, the culture hub presents performer, playwright and educator Anna Deavere Smith in conversation with scholar and teacher Dr. Christopher Emdin on reimagining education and the role of the arts in shaping the future. Register for the free Zoom link.
La MaMA: Efflorescence
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, La MaMa presents Efflorescence, a seven-part song and story cycle by experimental collective Talking Band about six disparate folks who've been living together for a year in an old farmhouse in the Catskills. Each night they bond by telling tales about their life-changing encounters with nature. Tickets start at $5.
The Metropolitan Opera: Rigoletto
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: its thrilling 1981 production of Verdi's Rigoletto, with Louis Quilico as the title character, a court jester who tries to protect his innocent daughter (Christiane Eda-Pierre) from Luciano Pavarotti's lascivious Duke. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Faust, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Asolo Repertory Theatre: Camelot in Concert
Florida's Asolo Repertory Theatre presents a virtual concert of Camelot, the classic 1960 musical about the love triangle between King Arthur, his beloved Queen Guenevere and Lancelot. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's celebrated score includes "If Ever I Would Leave You," "I Loved You Once in Silence" and the title number. Tickets start at $20.
National Theatre Live: War Horse
On Monday and Tuesday at 1, 4, 7 and 10 p.m. ET, it's your last chance to stream National Theatre Live's War Horse, the profoundly moving tale of a boy searching for his beloved steed against the bloody backdrop of World War I. Based on Michael Morpurgo's novel of the same name and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford in association with the brilliant Handspring Puppet Company, the production was a smash, first at London's National Theatre and then on Broadway where it won five 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Play. This mounting was filmed in London and is streaming to benefit independent cinemas around the US. Tickets are $15.
The Joyce Theater: Step Afrika!: Stono
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with Step Afrika!'s powerful Stono, which uses the troupe's signature blend of percussive, traditional African and contemporary dance to evoke the little-known Stono slave rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina. 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 Wednesday, April 14.
San Francisco Ballet: Jewels
California's acclaimed San Francisco Ballet presents George Balanchine's glittering gem Jewels, a full-length abstract ballet featuring three separate sections: Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, set to music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $29 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 21.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran
Washington, DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, Javaad Alipoor's multimedia exploration of the global class divide. The second installment of a trilogy examining identity in our high-tech age, this dark comedy fuses online performance and a live Instagram feed to examine entitlement, consumption and social media through the eyes of Iran's elite. Tickets are $18 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, April 18.
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 rural Texas Depression-era sporting house, as revelers dance, drink and flirt to blues music. Watch for free until Tuesday, April 13 at 5 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
New Light Theater Project: The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests
Off-Off Broadway's inventive New Light Theater Project presents Michael Aguirre's genre-defying The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests. A man named Allen plays the sole album by folk singer Jackson C. Frank, whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and depression. In between tracks, Allen shares the story of his older brother, who disappeared for an entire year. Sarah Norris directs Aguirre in this one-man meditation on isolation, mental illness and the power of music. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $15 donation is suggested. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Goodman Theater: Pedro Páramo
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of Pedro Páramo. Based on Juan Rulfo's influential 1955 novel of the same name, the production was created by Cuba's Teatro Buendía and presented at the Goodman in 2013 featuring a cast of American and Cuban actors. A pioneering work of magical realism, the story centers on a young man who travels to his recently deceased mother's hometown to track down his long-lost father. The show is performed in Spanish with closed captioning in English and Spanish. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
George Street Playhouse: Fully Committed
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents a new online production of Becky Mode's Fully Committed, a satire of NYC's haute cuisine scene. 30 Rock star Maulik Pancholy plays more than 40 characters in this one-man comedy, including an aspiring actor/harried restaurant reservationist who's having a really bad day, along with all of his demanding patrons. The 1999 play was initially a smash Off Broadway, and was revamped and revived on Broadway in 2016. With sitcom and stage vet Pancholy as the main ingredient, this digital reimagining is a delicious tour de farce. Tickets are $33 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 11. Closed captions and audio description are available.
New York City Center: American Theatre Ballet: A Ratmansky Celebration
New York City Center presents an evening of works by American Ballet Theatre's celebrated resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The program was recorded live on stage at City Center sans audience and features excerpts from The Seasons, Seven Sonatas and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as the world premiere of Bernstein in a Bubble, set to music by Leonard Bernstein. Tickets are $25 and the recording is available until Sunday, April 18.
Top image: Anna Deavere Smith. Photo by Kwaku Alston.