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 Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
John Leguizamo: Ghetto Nerd Power
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, The Cooper Union in the East Village reopens its Great Hall for the first time in more than a year with John Leguizamo's Ghetto Nerd Power. While the Tony winner will be performing the autobiographical lecture live on stage at the venue, the show will also be streamed to at-home viewers. Watch for free on The Cooper Union's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
All for One Theater: Open
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, in honor of Pride Month, All for One Theater presents the queer love story Open by award-winning playwright and longtime TDF teaching artist Crystal Skillman. Filmed live on stage during its critically acclaimed 2019 run at Off Broadway's The Tank, this one-woman play stars Megan Hill as Kirsten, an aspiring writer and amateur magician trying to save the life of her lover Jenny. Initially presented as a magic show, with Kirsten miming various feats and encouraging the audience to believe in things we cannot see, the show transforms into an exploration of how romance opens you up and leaves you both stronger and more vulnerable. Jessi D. Hill directed this heartrending tale. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link. Donations are encouraged and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
The Metropolitan Opera: The Exterminating Angel
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents The Exterminating Angel, Thomas Adès' adaptation of filmmaker Luis Buñuel's surrealist masterpiece of the same name, about wealthy guests at a lavish dinner party who realize they're unable to leave. Librettist Tom Cairns directs a large ensemble cast in this 2017 premiere. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Luisa Miller, 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 pop singer and Pajama Cast Party coproducer Ruby Locknar, jazz vocalists Luke Carlsen and Laura Anglade, and Philip Springer, the 95-year-old composer of "Santa Baby." Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
La MaMa Love Cabaret
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, avant-garde haven La MaMa celebrates Pride Month with a Love Cabaret hosted by gender-fluid RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sasha Valour. Presented live on stage and also streamed to at-home viewers, this celebration of intersectionality features a glittering array of NYC-based LGBTQ luminaries, including Justin Vivian Bond, The Illustrious Pearl and Pixel the Drag Jester, along with streamed performances by cutting-edge artists from the international queer community. Tickets start at $25.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Ghosting
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep presents Ghosting, Anne O'Riordan and Jamie Beamish's tragicomedy about a disconnected young woman who awakens to find the ex who abandoned her years earlier standing at the foot of her bed. O'Riordan stars in this one-woman play about revisiting the past in order to carve out a future. Directed by Aidan Kelly, the production was recorded at Theatre Royal in April 2020. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
New Federal Theatre: Jimmy's Last Night at Mikell's
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Woodie King Jr.'s half-century-old New Federal Theatre wraps up its annual Ntozake Shange Reading Series spotlighting undersung plays by Black dramatists. Tonight's offering is Jimmy's Last Night at Mikell's by Larry Muhammad, about James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Miles Davis enjoying one final evening at their favorite Upper West Side nightclub. A. Dean Irby directs Beethovan Oden, Kene Holliday, Petronia Paley and Brian Richardson. Join the Zoom by 6:45 p.m. ET in order to watch this free performance. Donations are encouraged.
Hostos Center for Arts & Culture: Video Mixtape Vol. 1 - Art of the Possible
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Hostos Center for Arts & Culture presents husband-and-wife theatre-makers and TDF teaching artists Eric Aviles and Arlene Chico-Lugo in a series of insightful sketches reflecting on everything we've been through over the past 16 months, including the pandemic and the fight against injustice. From the hilarious to the heartfelt to the absurd, this evening even includes an imaginary boxing match between the US and Puerto Rico. Watch for free on Hostos' YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Rusalka
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Antonín Dvorák's Rusalka, a tragic Little Mermaid-like tale about a water sprite who yearns to become human in order to fall in love. Tony winner Mary Zimmerman staged this 2017 production, which stars Kristine Opolais, Brandon Jovanovich, Eric Owens and Jamie Barton. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, The Exterminating Angel, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
LAByrinth Theater Company Virtual Fundraiser
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, one of NYC's most exciting destinations for new plays, LAByrinth Theater Company, presents a virtual fundraiser featuring an impressive lineup of member artists and famous fans, including Bobby Cannavale, Anna Chlumsky, Alan Cumming, Giancarlo Esposito, Luis Guzmán, Jon Hamm, Julianna Margulies and Daphne Rubin-Vega. Come hang out with these stars as they share their most memorable theatre anecdotes, like on-stage mishaps and backstage drama. Watch for free on LAByrinth's website though donations are encouraged.
American Conservatory Theater: Tales of the City
San Francisco's lauded American Conservatory Theater celebrates Pride Month by streaming a never-before-seen recording of its 2011 smash Tales of the City, a musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's series of novels chronicling LGBTQ life in San Francisco in the late 20th century. With a book by Avenue Q Tony winner Jeff Whitty and songs by John Garden and Jake Shears from the glam-rock band Scissor Sisters, the production stars Waitress' Betsy Wolfe as San Fran newcomer Mary Ann Singleton, Tony winner Judy Kaye as her eccentric landlady Anna Madrigal, Mary Birdsong as her bisexual hippie neighbor Mona Ramsey and Wesley Taylor as Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gay man living with HIV. Tony nominee Jason Moore directed the show, one of the highest-selling productions in the theatre's history. Tickets start at $19 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home
For the second year in a row, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' most seductive annual fundraiser Broadway Bares goes virtual, with more than 170 stage performers showing off their sexy sides in socially distant stripteases. Creator and Tony-winning director Jerry Mitchell oversees this online ogling fest featuring brand-new numbers recorded all across NYC—even on the red steps at our TKTS Booth! Special guests include Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots' J. Harrison Ghee, Jay Armstrong Johnson from The Phantom of the Opera and Tony nominee Robyn Hurder from Moulin Rouge! It's the steamiest stream in town. Watch for free on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Everybody say, "Yeah, yeah!" Catch the exuberant West End production of Kinky Boots starring Olivier Award winner Matt Henry as drag diva Lola, who helps shoe manufacturer Charlie (Killian Donnelly) inject some fabulousness into his factory. Although the musical examines serious subjects such as homophobia and father-son estrangement, it's mostly a celebration of friendship and being true to yourself, with catchy songs by Cyndi Lauper and a heartfelt book by Harvey Fierstein. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 2.
Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway! Catch the acclaimed West End revival of 42nd Street about a spunky chorus girl who goes out a youngster but comes back a star after the leading lady gets injured. Filmed at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2018, the lavish production features jaw-dropping tap numbers and iconic Broadway songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, including "We're in the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway" and the title tune. Bonnie Langford plays the sidelined star Dorothy Brock and Clare Halse is Peggy Sawyer, the nobody who doesn't throw away her shot. The ultimate backstage musical! Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 2.
George Street Playhouse: It's Only a Play
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents It's Only a Play, Terrence McNally's popular comedy set at a dramatic party where a Broadway producer, playwright, director and cast anxiously await their opening night reviews. Funnyman Kevin Cahoon directed this mounting, which was filmed live on stage at the theatre. Tootsie Tony nominee Andy Grotelueschen, Greg Cuellar, Julie Halston, Doug Harris, Christine Toy Johnson, Triney Sandoval and Zach Shaffer star. 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, July 4. Closed captions and audio description are available.
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.
Lincoln Center Theater: Marys Seacole
Lincoln Center Theater presents Marys Seacole, Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies Drury's critically acclaimed play about an ambitious Jamaican woman whose adventures span many countries and eras, from the Crimean War to a modern-day nursing home. A profound exploration of women who are paid to look after others, this fantasia is inspired by the real-life 19th-century nurse and healer Mary Seacole as well as all the caregivers who came after her. This Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production was recorded on stage in 2019, with Lileana Blain-Cruz directing Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Gabby Beans, Marceline Hugot, Karen Kandel, Ismenia Mendes and Lucy Taylor. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, July 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, July 11.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Wesley Taylor and Betsy Wolfe in American Conservatory Theater's 2011 production of Tales of the City, the Musical, which is streaming all week. Photo by Kevin Berne.