Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many performers from Broadway and beyond are sharing their talents online. Below are performances you can watch today, Thursday, April 16, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
At 2 p.m. EST, London's National Theatre shares a recording of its dynamic stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Olivier winner Patsy Ferran (a celebrated actress across the pond who was scheduled to make her Broadway debut in the now-cancelled Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and Dr. Who's Arthur Darvill star in the play, which was recorded for the National's NT Live series. Watch it for free on the theatre's YouTube page through Thursday, April 23.
At 2 p.m. EST, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host a live variety show on Stars in the House. The lineup includes Tony-nominated singer-actress Liz Larsen and her husband, Broadway vet Sal Viviano; drag diva Varla Jean Merman, who's got a wicked set of pipes and a wicked sense of humor; and stand-up comics Michelle Collins and Harrison Greenbaum. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.
At 4 p.m. EST, catch Peter Michael Marino's Show Up, Kids!, a live-streamed interactive family romp aimed at stir-crazy youngins. The solo artist has been performing this comedy for years in cities around the globe, and he's spent weeks figuring out how it will work online. The show can't go on without the kids, since they help determine everything from the story to the set design. Tickets are available online but TDF members get a discount.
At 5 p.m. EST, groundbreaking trans artist and activist Justin Vivian Bond shares their wit, wisdom and singular song stylings in their weekly "live-screamed" show Auntie Glam's Happy Hour. It's sure to be an entertaining and insightful time. Watch on their website for free, though tips are encouraged.
At 6 p.m. EST, Classic Stage Company kicks off Classic Conversations with a chat between artistic director John Doyle and three-time Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz, who was set to star in the theatre's highly anticipated revival of Assassins, which has been indefinitely postponed. While this is billed as an interview series, the theatre promises "occasional" singing, and we're hoping they'll up that to frequent. Watch on Classic Stage Company's Facebook page. Assassins bonus: Watch Uranowitz's costar Ethan Slater croon "The Ballad of Czolgosz" with fellow cast members. It gives you a tantalizing taste of what could have been—and hopefully one day will be.
At 6:30 p.m. EST, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below continues its #54BelowatHome series with a recording of The Jonathan Larson Project, an evening of unknown songs by the late writer of Rent. Broadway vets including Nick Blaemire, Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez and George Salazar perform numbers from his never-produced shows 1984 and Superbia, as well as outtakes from Tick, Tick... Boom! and Rent. Watch for free on Feinstein's/54 Below's YouTube channel. Note: this performance won't be available after-the-fact so you have one chance to watch.
At 7 p.m. EST, the invaluable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a recording of Rennie Harris' Lazarus, his 2018 hip-hop-infused work inspired by the life and legacy of the troupe's namesake dancer-choreographer. Watch it for free on the troupe's YouTube channel through Sunday, April 19.
At 7 p.m. EST, see a show that was specifically written to be performed remotely as regional troupe Penn State Centre Stage presents Streaming Passion, a comedic show within a show about the Passion Play being rehearsed via Zoom because of COVID-19. The brainchild of NYC-based playwright Marc Palmieri (whom we've interviewed multiple times in the past), the play just may be the first full-length work written for our new surreality. Watch the live-stream for free on Penn State's website.
At 7:30 p.m. EST, the Metropolitan Opera shares its 2011 mounting of Rossini's Le Comte Ory, starring Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez, and conducted by Maurizio Benini. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series, and is available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time at on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Rondine, until 6:30 p.m. today, as well as Carmen.
At 8 p.m. EST, ABC airs The Disney Family Sing-Along, a one-hour special featuring a cavalcade of stars crooning Disney tunes from their homes alongside their families. The lineup of talent is jaw-dropping, including many Broadway folks: Josh Groban, Darren Criss, Corbin Bleu, Kristin Chenoweth, Jordan Fisher, Alan Menken, Josh Gad, James Monroe Iglehart and the Broadway company of Aladdin, plus pop stars such as Ariana Grande (who's actually been on Broadway), Michael Bublé and Demi Lovato. Watch for free on ABC. If you don't have a TV, you can watch highlights on YouTube after-the-fact.
At 8 p.m. EST, Beautiful Tony winner Jessie Mueller joins Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley on Stars in the House. The musical veteran was in the midst of making her dramatic Broadway debut in Tracy Letts' play The Minutes when the shutdown hit, so she'll undoubtedly have a lot to talk (and hopefully sing) about. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.
At 8 p.m. EST, one of Brooklyn's most adventurous theatres, The Brick, launches its Archival Streaming Series with a recording of Sleeping Car Porters, a dark psychedelic comedy that earned a rave review from The New York Times last December. This is your chance to see boundary-pushing, outer-borough theatre without having to take the subway! Watch it on The Brick's YouTube channel for free, though donations are encouraged.
At 8 p.m. EST, one of the most acclaimed regional theatres in the country, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, shares a recording of Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by lauded playwright Jeff Augustin (Little Children Dream of God at Roundabout Theatre Company, The New Englanders at Manhattan Theatre Club) with songs by The Bengsons (Hundred Days). An exploration of the complicated relationship between a Haitian immigrant and his American-born son, the show was commissioned by the theatre for its Humana Festival of New American Plays. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
At 8 p.m. EST, Actors Theatre of Louisville shares a recording of Are You There?, a trio of new short works about socializing in the digital age that were commissioned for its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
A few weeks ago Dave Malloy, the Tony-nominated creator of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, posted a full-length recording of the 2015 mounting of his musical Ghost Quartet on YouTube. Now he's sharing another one from his archives, the original 2011 Shotgun Players production of Beardo, which he describes as "a surreal retelling of the Rasputin myth." Clearly Russia is his muse. Watch it for free on Vimeo.
London's Hampstead Theatre continues its #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series with a recording of its 2013 production of Drawing the Line, Harold Brenton's historical epic about the behind-the-scenes drama leading to the world-changing Partition of India in 1947. Watch it for free anytime on the company's website through Sunday, April 19.
Remember to check out our roundup of performances you can watch online anytime.
Top image: Josh Groban.