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, August 25 and Thursday, August 26, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, 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, has moved to Wednesdays. Every week, the charming host welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers for songs and stories. Tonight's lineup includes Damn Yankees Tony winner Jarrod Emick, accordion virtuoso Michael Bridge and blues singer Sheshe Azusa Dance. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Tom Kitt & Friends
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome Tony-winning composer, orchestrator and musical director Tom Kitt to Stars in the House. The songwriter behind shows such as Next to Normal, If/Then and the upcoming Flying Over Sunset will be joined by some of his talented pals, including Heidi Blickenstaff and Pearl Sun. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Chichester Festival Theatre: South Pacific
On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the UK's Chichester Festival Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved musical South Pacific. Filmed live on stage last month, this new production of the Tony-winning classic about romance and racism during World War II features British stage stars Gina Beck and Julian Ovenden as Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque, the dashing Frenchman with a secret; Joanna Ampil as Bloody Mary; Keir Charles as Luther Billis and Rob Houchen as Lt. Joseph Cable. Tickets start at £20, approximately $28, and the recording is viewable for 24 hours from the start time. Closed captions and audio description are available.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: Ni Mi Madre
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, NYC's acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is presenting a hybrid season, with its productions performed in person but also streamed to at-home audiences. First up is Arturo Luís Soria's autobiographically inspired solo show Ni Mi Madre, about the complex relationship between an over-the-top Brazilian woman and her queer son as they grapple with identity and what it means to be an immigrant family in America. Tickets are $40 for both streamed and in-person performances at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
Jacob's Pillow: LaTasha Barnes Presents
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Berkshires' lauded Jacob's Pillow dance festival resumed in-person performances this summer, but select events are also being streamed to at-home audiences. Starting tonight, catch a new installment of LaTasha Barnes's The Jazz Continuum series, spotlighting the vibrancy of jazz dance and the Lindy Hop. RSVP to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Thursday, September 9 at 6 p.m. ET.
The Old Vic: Bagdad Cafe
Wednesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Old Vic presents visionary director Emma Rice's stage adaptation of Bagdad Cafe, Percy and Eleonore Adlon's charming 1987 cult film about quirky characters connecting at a rundown roadside restaurant and motel on California's Route 66. A celebration of female friendship and unexpected romance, the music-filled show is performed in-person on stage in London and also streamed to at-home audiences. Tickets cost £20 to £40, approximately $28 to $55. Audio description and closed captions are available.
New York Theatre Workshop: Semblance
Earlier this month, Off Broadway's invaluable New York Theatre Workshop reopened with Semblance, a filmed theatrical experience by Obie-winning writer-director Whitney White examining how Black women are perceived. Now a streaming version of this show is available, challenging viewers to consider how they see and interact with Black women. Nikiya Mathis (Skeleton Crew) embodies all the characters. Tickets are $10 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, October 24.
Irish Repertory Theatre: George M. Cohan Tonight!
On Wednesday at 3 and 8 p.m. ET, and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep presents George M. Cohan Tonight!, theatre historian Chip Deffaa's celebration of the Irish-American entertainer, songwriter and so-called "father of American musical comedy." A hit for the theatre back in 2006, this abridged version of that one-man show features Jon Peterson reprising his award-winning turn as Cohan as he croons some of the icon's most beloved tunes, including "Over There," "Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway," "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "All Aboard for Broadway." Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
PBS Great Performances: Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age
PBS Great Performances presents Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age, the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning 2003 documentary Broadway: The Golden Age, By the Legends Who Were There, written, directed and produced by the late Rick McKay. Hosted by two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff, this new movie focuses on Broadway between 1959 and 1980, and features a starry lineup of artists sharing remembrances about the original productions of Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, Pippin, A Chorus Line, Ain't Misbehavin' and other beloved shows. Enjoy interviews with Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Glenn Close, André De Shields, Jane Fonda, Robert Goulet, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Dick Van Dyke and Ben Vereen alongside rare vintage clips. Watch for free until Saturday, September 11 on PBS Thirteen's website.
Jacob's Pillow: Life Encounters: Archie Burnett
The Berkshires' lauded Jacob's Pillow dance festival resumed in-person performances this summer, but select events are also being streamed to at-home audiences. Catch Life Encounters, a celebration of the evolution of NYC's underground dance scene choreographed by ballroom legend Archie Burnett. Guest performers include former Martha Graham Dance Company principal Abdiel, performance artist Princess Lockerooo and Bessie Award winner Ephrat Asherie. RSVP to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.
It's a collaboration that could only come out of the pandemic. After attending a Brown University musical theatre department reunion on Zoom, Grammy-winning songwriter Lisa Loeb decided to write a mini-musical about the experience. She then invited other talented alumni to pen their own short tuners. The result is an evening of 10 pieces written, composed, produced, directed and performed by Brown grads, including Broadway vets Josh Hamilton, Ann Harada and JoBeth Williams, and Julie Bowen from Modern Family. Watch for free online though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Signature Theatre: Detroit '67
Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presents Detroit '67, the first installment in Tony-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau's Detroit Project exploring different periods in her beloved hometown's history. This powerful family drama about two Black siblings squabbling over how to move forward takes place against the backdrop of the Detroit Rebellion, as tensions rise indoors and outside. Directed by Candis C. Jones, this production was filmed live on stage. 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 Thursday, September 16.
Christopher Lloyd in King Lear
On Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. ET, Obie and Emmy Award-winning actor Christopher Lloyd (Taxi, Back to the Future) is currently headlining King Lear at Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires, but you can also stream the show at home. Directed by Nicole Ricciardi, the production was filmed live on stage earlier in the run. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable for 72 hours from the start time.
Untitled Theater Company #61: Alma Baya
Untitled Theater Company #61 presents an in-person performance of Alma Baya that was also filmed for at-home audiences. In this absurdist sci-fi drama, Alma and Baya are struggling to survive on a hostile planet. But when a refugee arrives begging for shelter, they face a moral dilemma. Two different casts perform this thought-provoking play, written and directed by Edward Einhorn. Tickets are $25 for the on-demand recording, which was filmed earlier in the run and is viewable until Sunday, September 19.
Jacob's Pillow: Dallas Black Dance Theatre
The Berkshires' lauded Jacob's Pillow dance festival resumed in-person performances this summer, but select events are also being streamed to at-home audiences. Catch a newly commissioned work by choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie for the 45-year-old Dallas Black Dance Theatre. RSVP to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Thursday, September 2 at 6 p.m. ET.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The world's largest arts festival, Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is back in person this year, but many offerings are also being streamed to adventurous at-home audiences. Check out performances from artists around the world, including cutting-edge comedy, experimental theatre, wacky musicals and the indefinable. Some shows cost money, others are free; some are available on demand, others have specific start times. Browse the options to see what piques your interest.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Sandra Marvin in The Old Vic's Bagdad Cafe, which is streaming live from the London theatre both days. Photo by Steve Tanner