Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
While in-person theatre is back in NYC, there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this Memorial Day weekend, Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30, for free or at low cost.
MCC Theater: Miscast22
Last chance! Don't miss an evening of unexpected songs with MCC Theater's Miscast22 benefit. Every year, the Off-Broadway theatre hosts a gala featuring stage stars performing numbers from roles they would never play. In years past, videos of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Raúl Esparza singing "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story and Tina Fey and Tituss Burgess one-upping each other in "You're Nothing Without Me" from City of Angels have gone viral. While the in-person event took place last month at Hammerstein Ballroom, you can watch a recording of the entire Miscast22 revue plus backstage interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. This year's stellar lineup includes Uzo Aduba, Shoshana Bean, Raúl Esparza, Joshua Henry, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Lea Michele, Steven Pasquale and Aaron Tveit. This is a surprise-filled must-see for musical lovers. Tickets start at $30 and the recording is viewable until Saturday.
PBS Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS Great Performances presents Keeping Company with Sondheim, a new documentary about director Marianne Elliott's gender-swapped revival of Company, which is nominated for nine 2022 Tony Awards. Filmed over two years, the doc features rehearsal and performance footage from pre- and post-(fingers crossed!) pandemic, plus interviews with Elliott, the late, great Stephen Sondheim, stars Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, and members of the musical's original 1970 cast. Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen or on the website. The recording is viewable online until Friday, June 24.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: Sondheim Unplugged
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, even though Feinstein's/54 Below has reopened for in-person performances, the swanky cabaret club continues to stream select shows live from its stage. Tonight, enjoy the latest installment of Sondheim Unplugged, cabaret impresario Phil Geoffrey Bond's stripped-down concert series celebrating the late songwriting legend. Broadway vets Kate Shindle, Eric Michael Gillett and Lucia Spina will croon Sondheim tunes accompanied solely by piano alongside special guest Sarah Rice, Sweeney Todd's original Johanna. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
PBS: National Memorial Day Concert
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, PBS presents the annual National Memorial Day Concert honoring the military service and sacrifice of all our folks in uniform. Streamed live from Washington, DC, the evening features a starry lineup, including Broadway vets such as Lea Salonga, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Norm Lewis as well as Joe Mantegna, Gary Sinise, Pia Toscan and various military bands. Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen or on PBS' website. The recording is viewable online until Sunday, June 12.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: 54 Sings Harry Styles
On Monday at 9:45 p.m. ET, even though Feinstein's/54 Below has reopened for in-person performances, the swanky cabaret club continues to stream select shows live from its stage. Tonight, Broadway up-and-comers croon the songs of pop icon Harry Styles! The lineup includes Jagged Little Pill's Morgan Dudley and Jane Bruce, Moulin Rouge's Tasia Jungbauer and Dear Evan Hansen's Nathan Levy. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Memoria
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Memoria, a deeply personal piece by the troupe's namesake choreographer honoring his late colleague and friend Joyce Trisler, who died of a heart attack at age 45. This moving 1979 piece is set to the sublime music of jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. Watch for free until Sunday, June 5 on Ailey's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
In honor of Memorial Day, Broadway on Demand is streaming Bandstand, an underrated musical starring Laura Ones and Corey Cott about WWII vets trying to win a music contest while grappling with PTSD. Tickets cost $4 and the recording is viewable until Tuesday.
PBS Great Performances: Merry Wives
PBS Great Performances presents Merry Wives, Jocelyn Bioh's fabulous one-act adaptation of the Bard's The Merry Wives of Windsor, filmed live on stage at Shakespeare in the Park's Delacorte Theater last summer. Set in modern-day Harlem with ladies' man Falstaff (Broadway vet Jacob Ming-Trent) attempting to woo two married West African immigrants, the show is an exuberant romp that celebrates broad comedy and Black joy. Saheem Ali directs an all-Black cast in this laugh-out-loud comedy, which I absolutely loved. Watch for free until Friday, June 17 on on PBS' website.
PBS Great Performances: Sutton Foster in Anything Goes
PBS Great Performances presents Sutton Foster in P.G. Wodehouse and Cole Porter's effervescent musical comedy Anything Goes, which was recorded live on stage in London last year. After winning a 2011 Tony Award for her brassy performance as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall's critically acclaimed revival of this classic, Foster reprised her role on the West End opposite Tony winner Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot. Marshall again oversaw this zany tale of romance and intrigue aboard the high seas featuring iconic songs including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top" and the title tune. Watch for free until Friday, June 10 on PBS's website.
Classical Theatre of Harlem: Antigone
Last chance! Classical Theatre of Harlem presents a politically charged, Afropunk-styled staging of Sophocles' tragedy Antigone, which was filmed in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park in 2018. Set in a dystopian future, the play opens with the death of two warring brothers. The new king proclaims one a hero and the other a usurper, leaving his limp body lying in the street as an example to those who dare act against the state. But the sister of the slain young men decides to stand up to tyranny. Carl Cofield directs this powerful reinvention of a classic that evokes the Black Lives Matter movement. Watch for free until Sunday on the company's website.
Red Bull Theater: Mac Beth
Last chance! Writer-director Erica Schmidt's radical, all-female reinvention of Shakespeare's Macbeth enjoyed two hit runs Off Broadway, and now you can watch a recording courtesy of Red Bull Theater. Portraying high schoolers who are putting on the Bard's bloody tragedy for their own amusement, Sharlene Cruz, Isabelle Fuhrman, Sophie Kelly-Hedrick, Ismenia Mendes, AnnaSophia Robb, Lily Santiago and Ayana Workman are fierce, funny and frightening. Be warned: this take is giggly, gruesome and unforgettable. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Roe v. Wade 2.0
Earlier this month, Margaret Vandenburg presented a reading of her "theatrical rallying cry" Roe v. Wade 2.0, and you can watch a recording through June. A satire about women's reproductive rights (or lack thereof), the play dramatizes the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization oral arguments from December 2021 that may be used to overturn Roe v. Wade as early as next month. Carrie Preston (True Blood), Joel de la Fuente (The Man in the High Castle) and Florencia Lozano (One Life to Live) lead the cast. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 1.
The Show Must Go On
The documentary The Show Must Go On chronicling the herculean efforts to save theatre during the pandemic comes to Apple TV+. The brainchild of celebrated theatre director Sammi Cannold and Emmy- and Tony-winning filmmaker and producer Dori Berinstein, the film focuses on artists involved in two stage productions, the international tour of The Phantom of The Opera and the South Korean tour of Cats, which went on in 2020 and inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber's COVID-19 safety protocols for UK theatre. Apple TV+ subscribers can watch for free or you can rent it for $5.
All Arts: Lea Salonga in Concert
All Arts is streaming Lea Salonga's epic 2019 concert recorded live at the Sydney Opera House. Backed by a lavish orchestra, the Tony winner belts out numbers from her three-decade career, including "On My Own" from Les Misérables, "Why, God, Why?" from Miss Saigon and "A Whole New World" from Disney's animated movie Aladdin. Watch for free on All Arts' website.
Broadway on Demand: Allegiance
Broadway on Demand presents Allegiance, a landmark musical about an American family forced by the US government into a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The show is loosely based on the life of Star Trek's George Takei, who stars alongside Katie Rose Clarke, Telly Leung and Tony winner Lea Salonga. A 48-hour rental costs $12 and the recording is viewable until Tuesday, July 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
All Arts: King Lear Starring James Earl Jones
Here's a gem from the vaults: All Arts is streaming a 1974 mounting of King Lear headlined by James Earl Jones! Filmed live on stage at the Delacorte Theater for the New York Shakespeare Festival (now known as Shakespeare in the Park), the production also features Raul Julia, Rosalind Cash and Paul Sorvino. A great way to get psyched for the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park season! Watch for free on All Arts' website.
Ma-Yi Theater Company: Vancouver
Last chance! The innovative Ma-Yi Theatre Company presents Vancouver, a timely new play written and directed by the troupe's producing artistic director, Ralph B. Peña. Centering on a mixed race family portrayed by breathtaking puppets, the one-act examines their move from Japan to the Pacific Northwest as they search for a place that feels like a welcoming home. Watch for free until Tuesday, May 31 on Ma-Yi's website.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Patti LuPone and Katrina Lenk in the current Broadway revival of Company, which is profiled in the new PBS documentary Keeping Company with Sondheim streaming this weekend. Photo by Matthew Murphy.