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 15 to Sunday, October 17, for free or at low cost.
Saturday, October 16
Triad Theater: The Amazing Adventures of a Woman in Need
On Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, America's Next Top Model winner Naima Mora stars in The Amazing Adventures of a Woman in Need. Cowritten by Mora and director Marishka S. Phillips, this one-woman play celebrates a quartet of quirky New Yorker ladies, including a supermodel, a stay-at-home dog mom and a serial dater. Mora will perform the show live on stage at the Triad Theater, but the production will also be live-streamed to at-home audiences. Tickets start at $30.
Sunday, October 17
The Seth Concert Series: Jessie Mueller
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 relaunched his weekly online live-streamed concert series! Tonight, catch beloved musical theatre star Jessie Mueller, who was in the midst of making her Broadway dramatic acting debut in The Minutes when the pandemic hit. In addition to backstage dish, she'll sing numbers from the shows she's done, including Waitress, Carousel and her Tony-winning turn in Beautiful. Tickets are $25.
TheatreSquared: Designing Women
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the wildly popular '80s sitcom Designing Women, brings those opinionated ladies into the 21st century with her new comedy named (what else?) Designing Women. It's 2020 and Atlanta-based interior design firm partners Julia, Suzanne, Mary Jo and Charlene are facing crises both political and personal. But despite their spirited debates and disagreements, their friendship helps get them through. Tony nominee Carmen Cusack (Bright Star) headlines this world premiere, which was filmed live on stage at Arkansas' TheatreSquared earlier this month. Tickets start at $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, October 24.
Theater Three Collaborative: Blue Valiant
After a successful Zoom reading during the pandemic, Theater Three Collaborative decided to stage Karen Malpede's moving drama Blue Valiant at Pennsylvania's outdoor Farm Arts Collective starring the invaluable Kathleen Chalfant. Filmed live on that alfresco stage, this story of trauma and healing centers on a lonely woman, a wild horse and a refugee child thrown together by circumstance and the unexpected bonds they forge. Watch for free until Sunday, November 28 on Theater Three Collaborative's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Vineyard Theatre: Fall Forward Festival
During the shutdown, the Vineyard Theatre commissioned five artists to create new boundary-breaking theatre. The resulting works will debut throughout the fall and two are available to experience this weekend. Aunt Lillian is a new audio musical comedy by the wonderful Kirsten Childs (Bella: An American Tall Tale, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin). Based on her own childhood memories, the short is inspired by her real-life aunt, who traveled from North Carolina to Los Angeles to help care for Childs and her siblings. Maybe Dorothy Was Right is a short film by celebrated playwright-performer Ngozi Anyanwu exploring the neighborhoods and theatres that have been part of her NYC journey. Alfonso Johnson directs. Both offerings are available for free on the Vineyard's website though you need to create a log in.
PBS: Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It
Hey you guuuuuys! PBS presents Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, Mariem Pérez Riera's critically acclaimed documentary about the legendary EGOT winner, whose groundbreaking 70-year career included starring roles on stage and screen. This 90-minute film chronicles her entire life, from her early years in Puerto Rico, to being typecast as various "exotic" ethnicities in Hollywood, to her Oscar-winning performance in West Side Story, to becoming a little-kid icon on The Electric Company. At age 89 she's still working—her sitcom One Day at a Time wrapped last year and she's appearing in Steven Spielberg's upcoming remake of West Side Story—and she's still got a lot to say about the sexism and racism she's encountered in the entertainment industry. In addition to interviews with Moreno and her famous friends, including Gloria Estefan, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Longoria, Terrence McNally, Karen Olivo, Norman Lear and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the film features footage from some of her iconic performances. Watch for free until Wednesday on PBS' website.
Center Theatre Group: Chavez Ravine: In 9 Innings
Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group presents Chavez Ravine: In 9 Innings, a virtual reimagining of a 2003 play about the small, tight-knit LA neighborhood that was razed so Dodger Stadium could rise. Devised by the collective Culture Clash, this digital production features scenes from the original script filmed at LA's Kirk Douglas Theatre and on location around the city, incorporating music, archival videos and photos, and new interviews. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Monday, December 6.
Lantern Theater Company: The Plague
Philadelphia's Lantern Theater Company presents The Plague, Neil Bartlett's adaptation of Albert Camus' existentialist classic La Peste about a disease upending a city. Talk about timely! Charles McMahon directs this production, which was filmed live on stage this past summer. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, November 7.
Alvin Ailey: Jamar Roberts' Holding Space
The incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Holding Space, a dance for film created by resident choreographer Jamar Roberts. Inspired by the ongoing fight for racial justice and inclusion, the piece examines the ways we can make room for each other. Watch for free until Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on Ailey's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged. Note: This work will make its in-person debut this December during the troupe's annual City Center run!
PlayCo and Por Piedad Teatro: Django in Pain
An adult fable co-presented by PlayCo and Por Piedad Teatro, Django in Pain centers on the misadventures of a suicidal man and a three-legged dog. Hand-made puppets inhabiting a vibrant tabletop world star in this tale of despair, loyalty and hope. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Tuesday.
PBS: The Kennedy Center at 50
PBS presents 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 until Friday, October 29 on PBS' website.
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 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 wizened 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 Sunday, October 24 but tickets must be purchased by this Friday.
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.
Playing on Air: Ghoul Fools
Acclaimed podcast Playing on Air partners with TDF's Young Playwrights to present a new audio short by one of our talented students! Samuel Schell's Ghoul Fools focuses on two paranormal investigators whose friendship becomes strained when they try to turn their supernatural adventures into a podcast. Will they end up ghosting each other? Sarah Storm directs Megan Hill, Neimah Djourabchi and Steve Maurice Jones. Listen for free on Playing on Air's website.
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 currently making 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.
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: Jessie Mueller, who'll perform a live concert online with Seth Rudetsky on Sunday. Photo by Stephanie Diani.