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 this Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Seth Concert Series: Wayne Brady
On Monday at 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show 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 for the past decade. This year he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Wayne Brady and you can watch a recording today. Although he came to fame making up songs on the long-running improv TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Brady has also charmed audiences on Broadway in Kinky Boots, Freestyle Love Supreme and Chicago. Expect songs from his theatre career, maybe even from his recent turn in Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. Tickets are $25.
Red Bull Theater: The African Company Presents Richard III
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for reimagining classics, presents a live reading of The African Company Presents Richard III, Carlyle Brown's fascinating history-inspired drama about competing NYC productions of Shakespeare's tragedy in 1821 and how a white producer used racist laws to shut a Black troupe down. Carl Cofield directs Clifton Duncan, Edward Gero, Dion Johnstone, Paul Niebanck, Antoinette Robinson, Craig Wallace and Jessika D. Williams. Watch for free on Red Bull's YouTube channel; a $25 donation is suggested. A recording will be available until Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
The Metropolitan Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Mozart's masterpiece Le Nozze di Figaro, a romantic comedy of marriage and madness with Bryn Terfel as the wily Figaro, who's always trying to outwit his womanizing master Count Almaviva, played by Dwayne Croft. Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli and Susanne Mentzer costar in this 1998 mounting, staged by Jonathan Miller. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Il Trovatore, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Theater in Quarantine: Closet Works
On Monday at 7 and 9 p.m. ET, downtown multihyphenate Joshua William Gelb, known for deconstructing complicated classics like The Jazz Singer, performs a series of brief dance pieces in his closet created by Hadestown associate choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin. There's a Q&A with the artists in between the two live performances. Watch for free on Gelb's YouTube channel.
Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival: Mustard
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, every January since 2008, Origin Theatre Company has presented the annual 1st Irish Festival featuring readings, productions and panels. This year the event goes virtual with daily offerings through the end of the month. It kicks off today with a performance of Mustard, Eva O'Connor's solo show about heartbreak and heartburn. Hildegard Ryan directs. Tickets are $10.
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 Broadway vets Jen Sánchez and Zak Resnick, singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke and theatre composer Georgia Stitt. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus: Best of the Open Stage Variety Show Season 2
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus shares highlights from its second season of online circus acts, hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. Expect acrobats, aerialists and athletes from around the globe. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Thaïs
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents John Cox's 2008 mounting of Massenet's rarely staged Thaïs, about a taboo attraction between Renée Fleming's title courtesan and Thomas Hampson as a monk. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Star Search Reunion
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, it's a Star Search reunion on Stars in the House! Years before American Idol, America's Got Talent or The Voice debuted, this televised talent competition introduced audiences to a slew of future stars. Tonight, a handful of alums, including Tony nominee Sam Harris, Broadway vet Marty Thomas (who lost to Britney Spears!) and performer-director Michael Berresse, reminisce about the gleefully cheesy series. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
HERE Arts Center: Prototype Festival
Since 2013, Prototype, a festival featuring works that fuse opera and theatre, has defied genre expectations. Co-produced by HERE Arts Center and Beth Morrison Projects, the event goes (mostly) digital this year with six eclectic pieces. Five are online and on demand until Saturday; Ocean Body is an in-person, by-appointment-only installation at HERE, so it's not included below. Most offerings are free.
Repertorio Español: La gringa
Venerable Latinx theatre company Repertorio Español presents La gringa, Carmen Rivera's heartwarming tale about a young Nuyorican who travels to Puerto Rico for the first time to connect with her extended family and her heritage. The longest-running Spanish-language production in Off-Broadway history, the play premiered 25 years ago. This production was recorded on stage at Repertorio Español pre-pandemic and is performed in Spanish with English subtitles. Tickets are $10.
TWEED TheaterWorks: 'Taint
Like many NYC nightspots, East Village alt-cabaret club Pangea is in dire financial straits. So, over the holidays, the camp masters at TWEED TheaterWorks put together an irreverent variety show to help see the venue through the new year. The lineup is a who's who of downtown divas, including drag legend Charles Busch, storyteller David Cale, opera singer Joseph Keckler and vocal impressionist Amber Martin. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, January 20.
Fake Friends: Circle Jerk
Fake Friends presents an encore stream of Circle Jerk, a critically acclaimed satire about gay white supremacists. Penned and performed by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, the duo who wrote the book for the viral Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, this is an unsettling examination of right-wing trolling in the queer community. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Parity Productions: Stop-Motion
Parity Productions, a NYC-based company showcasing women, trans and gender-nonconforming artists, presents a reading of Stop-Motion, Liz Kerin's multimedia tragicomedy about a young woman who spent her twenties as her mom's caretaker now navigating the aftermath of a terrible accident. Register to receive the free viewing link; the recording is viewable until Monday, January 18.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Wayne Brady, who's doing a concert with Seth Rudetsky on Monday.