Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
In-person theatre is back in NYC, both on Broadway and beyond. But there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this weekend, Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 3, for free or at low cost.
Friday, October 1
Ballet Hispánico: A La Calle Block Party
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Ballet Hispánico presents a virtual edition of its annual block party, featuring excerpts of Arabesque by Vicente Nebrada, Danse Creole by Geoffrey Holder and 18+1 by Gustavo Ramírez Sansan alongside performances by other Latinx dance companies such as Bombazo Dance Company, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and CONTRA-TIEMPO. Register to receive the free viewing link. The recording will be viewable until Friday, October 15.
PBS: The Kennedy Center at 50
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS airs The Kennedy Center at 50, a star-studded concert that was recorded last month at the DC institution. Hosted by six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, the 90-minute celebration features performances by many Broadway stars, including Renée Fleming, Darren Criss, Tony Yazbeck, Joshua Henry and Kelli O'Hara, plus the cast of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori's Soft Power. Plenty of non-theatre folks also fete the Kennedy Center in song, including Common, Ben Folds and the Punch Brothers. Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen or stream it all weekend on PBS' website.
Sunday, October 3
Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction
While Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual Broadway Flea Market is back in person this year, theatre fans unable to attend can enjoy some elements online, including a silent auction and one-on-one video chats with Broadway performers. If you're able to drop by Shubert Alley on Sunday, be sure to say hello: TDF will be running our annual Pik-a-Tik table.
Colt Coeur: Polylogues
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, one of Off-Off Broadway's most thrilling theatre companies, Colt Coeur, is currently presenting the premiere of Polylogues in person at the HERE Arts Center. But starting this Sunday, you can watch performer-playwright Xandra Nur Clark's interview-based solo show about nonmonogamy online, too. This one-act is a no-holds-barred examination of open sexual relationships and their impact on loved ones. Tickets are $20-$25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, October 10. If you're a TDF member and want to see the show in person, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.
The Seth Concert Series: Shayne Steele
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, even though show-tune savant Seth Rudetsky is back doing shows in person, he hasn't completely abandoned the virtual realm. In fact, he's relaunching his weekly online live-streamed concert series tonight with Shayna Steele, a belting bombshell who's worked on Broadway (Hairspray, Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar), as a backup singer for Bette Midler, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson, and released her own albums. Never heard of her? Don't dismiss her. Rudetsky has an ear for greatness and he's a big fan. One listen to her vibrant vocals and you'll be, too. Tickets are $20.
Netflix: Diana: The Musical
Diana doesn't begin previews on Broadway until next month. But you can see a live stage capture of this musical about the People's Princess starting this weekend on Netflix. Written by the team behind the Tony-winning Memphis and recorded at the Longacre Theatre last fall during the shutdown, Diana stars Jeanna de Waal as the title princess, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla and two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth. Tony winner Christopher Ashley directs this romantic tragedy about the beloved but ill-fated royal. Subscribers can watch for free on Netflix.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Three Short Plays by Tracy Letts
Chicago's invaluable Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents a triptych of playlets by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts (August: Osage County, Linda Vista). The virtual offering just received a rave review in The New York Times and consists of Night Safari, a monologue performed by Rainn Wilson as the world's most depressing animal tour guide; The Old Country, in which two foundering old men are portrayed by puppets voiced by William Petersen and Mike Nussbaum; and The Stretch, starring Letts as a man parsing this horse race we call life. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Friday, October 15.
PBS: Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes
PBS Great Performances presents Matthew Bourne's Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of the legendary 1948 movie The Red Shoes, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. An eye-popping examination of obsession, possession and the hard choices artists make in their pursuit of perfection, the production stars Ashley Shaw as a rising ballerina torn between Adam Cooper's imperious impresario and Dominic North's intense composer. The dance production was filmed live on stage at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. Watch for free until Friday October 15 on PBS' website.
Ian McKellen on Stage
Enjoy a glorious two and a half hours with the incomparable Ian McKellen as he shares behind-the-scenes stories about his incredible career on stage and screen, as well as excerpts from some of his legendary performances in this solo tour de force. Directed by Sean Mathias and recorded live on stage by London's National Theatre, this enchanting reminiscence includes recreations of scenes from Shakespeare as well as The Lord of the Rings. The man's got range! Tickets are $30 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to theatres. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
New Normal Rep: F.I.R.E.
New Normal Rep presents F.I.R.E., a story of corporate intrigue and greed by Julia Blauvelt. A diverse ensemble portrays lowly accountants at a high-end hedge fund trying to wrap up an emergency audit so they can go party with the bigwigs at a swanky soiree. Heather Arnson directs. 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, October 20.
Play-PerView: The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage
Play-PerView presents a reading of The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, an autobiographical play written by and starring Dan O'Brien that explores the unhappy history of his dysfunctional family. Alex Draper costars in this one-act, which is directed by Christian Parker. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Primary Stages: BadAss GalBoss Power Hour (Mandatory Meeting – 11/18/2020)
Primary Stages plans to return to in-person productions next spring. In the interim, the renowned Off-Broadway theatre is presenting some intriguing virtual fare, starting with BadAss GalBoss Power Hour (Mandatory Meeting – 11/18/2020), written by and starring the fabulous Kate Hamill. Celebrated for her witty page-to-stage adaptations (Sense and Sensibility, Little Women), Hamill crafted this new hour-long comedy specifically for Zoom as a multi-level marketing company attempts to use a feminist agenda to sell defective beauty products. Hand to God Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs a crackerjack ensemble cast. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, October 13.
Alvin Ailey: Jamar Roberts' A Jam Session for Troubling Times
The incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents A Jam Session for Troubling Times created last year by resident choreographer Jamar Roberts. Fashioned for digital consumption and set to music by jazz greats Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, the piece uses the uplifting sounds of bebop to raise our spirits during this challenging moment. Watch for free until Tuesday on Ailey's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Center Theatre Group: Canyon
LA's Center Theatre Group presents Canyon, a timely new play by Jonathan Caren about a thirtysomething couple whose progressive ideals are challenged when they hire a Mexican father and son to renovate a deck and the job goes awry. Filmed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and directed by rising star Whitney White, the show was coproduced by IAMA Theatre Company and The Latino Theater Company. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Friday, October 22.
Lantern Theater Company: Me and the Devil
Renaissance man Steve H. Broadnax III, who's poised to make his Broadway debut as the director of Thoughts of a Colored Man, cowrote, costars and helms Me and the Devil, a new play with music about blues great Robert Johnson. According to legend, the guitarist, singer and songwriter made a deal with the Devil for his talents. Broadnax plays Lucifer and Lawrence Stallings is his mark in this show, which finds Johnson trying to extract himself from the contract to save his soul. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, October 17.
New York Theatre Workshop: Semblance
In August, 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 the 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.
Top image: Kelli O'Hara performing at The Kennedy Center at 50, which airs on PBS on Friday. Photo by Scott Suchman.