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, May 3 and Tuesday, May 4, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
ABT Incubator: Soirée Nocturne
On Monday at noon ET, American Ballet Theatre wraps up its Incubator series showcasing brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. The final premiere is Soirée Nocturne by ABT dancer Melvin Lawovi. Set to Chopin's Nocturne No. 20 in C# Minor, the pas de deux stars Lawovi's fellow ABTers Leah Baylin and Cameron McCune. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: New Songs Now in Your Living Room
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, this week, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents New Songs Now in Your Living Room, a series of unplugged mini-concerts by up-and-coming songwriters. Tonight, hear fresh tunes by singer-songwriter-actor Emma Claye and AriDy Nox, who wrote a piece about Sally Hemmings called Black Girl in Paris. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Elektra
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Elektra, Strauss' adaptation of the ancient Greek myth featuring Nina Stemme in the title role. Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier and Eric Owens costar in this 2016 mounting of the tragedy. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Rondine, 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 Broadway performers Anjali Bhimani and Alyssa May Gold, cabaret singer Sue Matsuki and John Malino & Family. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Roundabout Theatre Company: The Refocus Project: Rachel
On Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET, Roundabout Theatre Company partners with Black Theatre United for The Refocus Project, an initiative to diversify the canon of classic plays. The program kicks off with a series of readings of undersung works by 20th-century Black dramatists and the second offering is Angelina Weld Grimké's Rachel. Originally mounted by the NAACP's Drama Committee in Washington D.C. in 1916 and believed to be the first play by a Black woman professionally produced in the US, the drama centers on the title character, a turn-of-the-20th-century Black woman who desperately wants a child. But when her mother reveals a traumatic event from the family's past, Rachel's worldview is shattered. Paige Gilbert and E. Faye Butler star, and Miranda Haymon directs. RSVP to receive the free viewing link but donations to Black Theatre United are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Friday.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: New Songs Now in Your Living Room
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, this week, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents New Songs Now in Your Living Room, a series of unplugged mini-concerts by up-and-coming songwriters. Tonight, hear fresh tunes by singer-songwriter-actor Ada Westfall and Dawn Landes. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Little Gem
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Irish Rep presents Elaine Murphy's Little Gem about three North Dublin women from different generations, each facing a major life change. Brenda Meaney, Lauren O'Leary and four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason reprise their critically acclaimed performances from the theatre's hit 2019 production, with each actor taping her part remotely. Marc Atkinson Borrull once again directs. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though a $25 donation is suggested. Closed captions are available.
Becca: A Night of Stories and Song in Memory of Rebecca Luker
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, friends and family of the late, great Rebecca Luker, who died of ALS last December at age 59, pay tribute to the Broadway star in this one-night-only concert benefiting the medical research foundation Target ALS. The lineup of performers is headlined by her husband, seven-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein, who wrote so eloquently about her health battle, alongside a glittering array of costars and peers, including Laura Benanti, Sierra Boggess, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Santino Fontana, Judy Kuhn, Howard McGillin, Norm Lewis and Kelli O'Hara. Frank DiLella from NY1's On Stage hosts. Tickets start at $20.
The Metropolitan Opera: Rodelinda
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Stephen Wadsworth's staging of Rodelinda, Handel's drama about a queen faced with an impossible decision. Renée Fleming stars as the title royal alongside Stephanie Blythe, Andreas Scholl, Iestyn Davies and Joseph Kaiser in this 2011 production. 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. today.
Sing for Hope Virtual Performances
Since 2006, Sing for Hope has been bringing the power of live music to unexpected places such as hospitals, care facilities, schools, refugee camps, transit hubs and community spaces all over the world. (You may have seen our video of a Sing for Hope concert at the Javits Center as one of our TDF staffers got vaccinated!) Now, the nonprofit is expanding its reach with Open Arts, a series of live-streamed performances you can watch online from anywhere. The virtual calendar is packed with eclectic offerings, including 45-minute online concerts with Broadway vets every weekday at 4 p.m. ET. To watch, you must sign up for a free account with the org.
All Arts: Whitman in the Woods
Celebrate spring with drag legend, MacArthur genius and Pulitzer finalist Taylor Mac as he performs the poetry of Walt Whitman in Whitman in the Woods. Recorded outdoors in the Lower Hudson Valley, this fabulous short features Mac in a stunning array of nature-inspired costumes as he recites the words of the groundbreaking poet and gay icon. Watch for free on All Arts' website.
The Shows Must Go On!: After the Interval
The Shows Must Go On! presents After the Interval, a dance-theatre piece conceived and directed by Luca Silvestrini that explores the lives of dancers both on stage and off. The production was recorded at London's Linbury Studio Theatre in 2012. Watch for free on YouTube.
The York Theatre Company: An Evening with Sheldon Harnick and Friends
The York Theatre Company presents An Evening with Sheldon Harnick and Friends, a recording of a special March 2020 concert (filmed right before theatres closed!) celebrating the work of the Fiddler on the Roof lyricist. Harnick himself is joined on stage by Broadway favorites Liz Callaway, Karen Ziemba and the late, great Rebecca Luker, who croon songs from his hits (Fiorello!, She Loves Me, Fiddler) as well as his fascinating flops (Tenderloin, The Rothschilds, Rex, Dragons). Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Friday, May 14.
New York City Center: Sutton Foster: Bring Me to Light
Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie) headlines this uplifting concert, which was recently recorded live on stage at New York City Center. During the hour-long benefit performance, she's joined by some of her talented pals, including Raúl Esparza (Company, The Homecoming), Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) and Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) to sing numbers from Anyone Can Whistle, Camelot, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Violet, The Wild Party and other Broadway musicals. Foster's frequent collaborator, Leigh Silverman, directs this inspirational evening. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Monday, May 31.
Roundabout Theatre Company: The Importance of Being Earnest
Directed by and starring Tony Award nominee Brian Bedford in his final stage performance, Roundabout Theatre Company's 2011 mounting of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is an effervescent comedy of amours, filled with mistaken identity and social satire. Dana Ivey, Paxton Whitehead and Santino Fontana costar. This special presentation is hosted by David Hyde Pierce and includes an intermission talk about Wilde's life and legacy. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Monday, May 31.
Berkeley Rep: The Waves in Quarantine
California's Berkeley Rep presents The Waves in Quarantine, a theatrical experiment in six movements inspired by Virginia Woolf's The Waves. Conceived by Tony-nominated performer Raúl Esparza and adventurous director Lisa Peterson, this collection of cinematic shorts examines art in isolation, as Broadway favorites Carmen Cusack, Nikki Renée Daniels, Darius de Haas, Manu Narayan, Alice Ripley and Esparza perform David Bucknam's emotional songs. RSVP to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Friday, May 28. Open captions are available.
The Joyce Theater: Trisha Brown Dance Company
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with a program of innovative works from the Trisha Brown Dance Company. The evening includes an archival recording of the troupe's Geometry of Quiet danced at the Joyce in 2017, as well as brand-new performances of Locus Trio, Watermotor and The Decoy Project, a digital reimagining of the 1979 work Glacial Decoy. 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, May 12.
Goodman Theater: Measure for Measure
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of its 2013 production of Measure for Measure, helmed by artistic director Robert Falls. See how he tackled one of the Bard's notorious problem plays! Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday. Closed captions are available.
The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents an encore stream of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines 2020 docudrama based on interviews with New York City healthcare workers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The married playwrights are masters of the form: their previous plays include The Exonerated, about wrongly convicted inmates on Death Row, and Coal Country, about the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia. The latter had its run cut short at The Public Theater due to the pandemic, and Blank and Jensen almost immediately turned their attention to our city's first responders to craft this one-act for digital consumption. Under Blank's direction, an impressive cast, including Tony winner Santino Fontana, Tony nominee Alison Pill, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint, give voice to these harrowing real-life stories. Watch for free on The Public's YouTube channel.
John Cullum: An Accidental Star
It's your last chance to watch two-time Tony winner John Cullum in An Accidental Star. As he reflects on his 65-year career, he croons tunes from the shows he's known for, such as Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, The Scottsboro Boys and Urinetown, and shares never-before-heard stories about working with stars like Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Coproduced by three theatres he has longstanding relationships with—The Vineyard Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House and Irish Rep where it was filmed—this intimate and inspiring solo show is a must-see for theatre history buffs. Tickets start at $28.75 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Thursday.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: The late Rebecca Luker, who is being celebrated in a star-studded concert on Tuesday evening. Photo by Laura Marie Duncan.