Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre still a rarity, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, July 7 and Thursday, July 8, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
TDF: Critics of Color in Conversation
On Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, TDF presents a thought-provoking conversation with three theatre journalists of color: Jose Solís, Alicia Ramírez and Juan Michael Porter II. All three are passionate about the performing arts and have written for prestigious publications, including TDF Stages. They're also accustomed to often being some of the few non-white audience members at shows—but that's something they're actively working to change. Join TDF's Tyler Riley as he moderates a chat with these three cultural critics and activists. Watch for free on TDF's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is Tony winner Julie Taymor's eye-popping, puppet-filled mounting of Mozart's fantastical fable The Magic Flute. Condensed into one act and performed in English, this 2006 production stars Nathan Gunn, Ying Huang, Matthew Polenzani, Erika Miklosa and René Pape. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Metropolitan Opera: Ariadne auf Naxos
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Elijah Moshinsky's effervescent staging of Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss' opera-within-an opera about a commedia dell'arte troupe stranded on an island populated by mythic Greek characters. Deborah Voigt stars as the title princess, Richard Margison is Bacchus and Natalie Dessay is the leader of the itinerant players in this 2003 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Elektra, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, starting this week, cabaret maven Jim Caruso is pulling double duty! His in-person Cast Party gatherings are back at Birdland on Mondays, which means the live-streamed version of the show, dubbed Pajama Cast Party, moves to Wednesdays. Every week, the charming host welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers for songs and stories. Tonight's lineup includes Broadway's Ty Stephens, Boston Pops soloist Erica Spyres and ukulele player Spencer Moses. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Live at the New Am Stars
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome the cast of Live at rhe New Am, an in-person benefit concert for The Actors Fund showcasing Disney's hit songs taking place at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre later this month. Mary Poppins's Ashley Brown, Aladdin's Michael James Scott, The Lion King's Kissy Simmons and Tarzan's Josh Strickland will chat about the upcoming event and hopefully croon a tune or two. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Dramatists Guild: Dreaming the Queer Future
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, The Dramatists Guild presents Dreaming the Queer Future, a conversation moderated by Peppermint, one of the first openly trans performers to star on Broadway, and featuring the recipients of the New Visions Fellowship, which amplifies the voices of Black transgender and gender-nonconforming theatre writers. New Visions' lead mentor, Roger Q. Mason, will also share their insights. Register for the free Zoom link though donations are encouraged.
New Normal Rep: Lines in the Dust
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, New Normal Rep presents Lines in the Dust by Obie winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Nikkole Salter. Set in Newark in 2010, this moving drama centers on a working-class single mother desperate to find an alternative to the underperforming zoned school for her bright young daughter. How much will she risk to give her kid a leg up? Awoye Timpo directs Lisa Rosetta Strum, Melissa Joyner and Jeffrey Bean. 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 Sunday, August 8.
The Metropolitan Opera: Capriccio
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents John Cox's roaring '20s-set Capriccio, Strauss' love triangle featuring Renée Fleming as a countess courted by a composer (Joseph Kaiser) and a poet (Russell Braun). Sarah Connolly, Morten Frank Larsen and Peter Rose costar in this 2011 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Celebrating Sunday in the Park with George
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrate the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George with its book writer and original Broadway director James Lapine and original star Bernadette Peters. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Chance Theater: Sweat
On Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Chance Theater presents a virtual production of Sweat, Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a tight-knit group of blue-collar coworkers who are torn apart due to the economic hardship of the early 21st century. Elina de Santos directs a diverse ensemble cast in this heartbreaker. Tickets start at $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
PBS: A Capitol Fourth
If you missed Sunday night's starry Fourth of July celebration, you can stream it this week! Tony nominee Vanessa Williams hosted the shindig live from Washington, DC, with prerecorded numbers by Tony winners Cynthia Erivo and Ali Stroker, as well as Broadway vets Christopher Jackson, Laura Osnes and Renée Fleming, and many others. Watch for free until Sunday, July 18 on PBS' website.
Broadway Our Way Live: On an Island in the River
Last month, Michael McElroy and his Broadway Inspirational Voices christened the outdoor amphitheatre at Little Island with a gospel-infused performance of beloved Broadway show tunes. Now you can stream a recording of that groundbreaking performance. Schele Williams helmed the uplifting evening, which features guest appearances by tap dancer Ayodele Casel, Tony nominee Norm Lewis and other stage favorites. Watch for free on Broadway.com's YouTube channel though donations to Broadway Inspirational Voices is encouraged.
The terrific enfant terrible of the American stage, Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris, presents Torrey Townsend's Off Broadway, a scathing satire of racism in the theatre industry, both overt and implicit, centering on a nonprofit institution struggling to reinvent itself during the pandemic. The fabulous Robert O'Hara, who earned a Tony nomination for helming Slave Play, directs a cast that includes Broadway vets Dylan Baker, Becky Ann Baker, Hal Linden and Richard Kind. This is must-see virtual theatre folks. Watch for free until Sunday online.
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Baltimore Center Stage presents The Garden, a moving new play written by and starring Tony nominee Charlayne Woodard about the complex relationship between a Black woman and her estranged adult daughter. Patricia McGregor directs this world premiere, which costars Caroline Stefanie Clay. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Signature Theatre: After Midnight
Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presents After Midnight, an enthralling celebration of the legendary Cotton Club that was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards. Recorded on stage during quarantine, this new production is headlined by Hamilton Tony nominee Christopher Jackson and Nova Y. Payton, and is directed and choreographed by Jared Grimes, who appeared in the show on Broadway. Evocative renditions of Langston Hughes poems provide the framework for eye-popping tap-dance numbers set to the swinging songs of Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and other big band-era greats. Tickets are $35 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, August 4.
North Coast Repertory Theatre: Becoming Dr. Ruth
California's North Coast Repertory Theatre presents four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh in Becoming Dr. Ruth, Mark St. Germain's inspiring one-woman bio play about the cheery sex therapist and her compelling past, including losing her family in the Holocaust, working as a sniper for the Haganah and finally finding Mr. Right after two divorces. David Ellenstein directs the production, which was filmed live on stage at Bay Street Theater, a co-producer of the show. Tickets start at $35 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Westport Country Playhouse: Tiny House
Connecticut's Westport Country Playhouse presents Tiny House, a new comedy by Michael Gotch about a couple that fled the city for simple country life, but a Fourth of July celebration brings their quirky acquaintances to their new locale. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is available until Sunday, July 18.
Night of a Thousand Judys
Judy, Judy, Judy... Garland that is. This concert celebrates the life and career of the legendary singer-actor, who was born in a trunk in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and traveled over the rainbow to become a movie musical icon. Writer, performer and raconteur Justin Sayre presides over an online edition of this annual favorite, and the lineup of crooners includes Tony winner Alan Cumming, Tony nominees Sam Harris, Vivian Reed and Mary Testa, and stage favorites Karen Mason, Nathan Lee Graham, Jose Llana, Grace McLean and Margo Seibert. Watch for free until Saturday, July 24 on YouTube though donations to The Ali Forney Center are encouraged.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Julie Taymor's staging of The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera.