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16 Stage Performances to Watch Today, August 3

Date: Aug 03, 2020


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With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch today, Monday, August 3, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).

Manual Cinema: The End of TV
At 1 p.m. ET, here's a dazzling treat: Over the next month, the multimedia theatre collective Manual Cinema, which combines shadow puppetry and filmic elements, is sharing recordings of one eye-popping show each week. This week's show is The End of TV, a deconstruction of the American Dream set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the '90s, as the aspirational promise of TV commercials is juxtaposed against declining opportunities. Watch for free until Monday, August 10 at 1 p.m. ET on the company's website.

The Seth Concert Series: Cheyenne Jackson
At 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily talk show online and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, musical director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts in Provincetown with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was two-time Tony nominee Cheyenne Jackson, and you can watch a recording today. Before he became a TV star on 30 Rock and American Horror Story, Jackson was a golden-voiced Broadway hunk, starring in a succession of musicals such as All Shook Up, Xanadu and Finian's Rainbow. We're looking forward to hearing him croon again! Tickets are $25.

A Strange Loop: A Conversation with Michael R. Jackson
At 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center's New York Public Library for the Performing Arts welcomes Michael R. Jackson for a conversation about A Strange Loop, which won a host of 2020 theatre awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A dramatist and songwriter who worked on this groundbreaking "self-referential" piece for almost a decade, Jackson is the first Black theatre-maker to win the Pulitzer for a musical. It's also the first musical to win the prize without a Broadway run, though the show is heading in that direction. Hear all about this artist's bright future by registering for a free ticket on Eventbrite. Concert for Black Theatre United
At 7 p.m. ET, presents a benefit concert for the recently launched org Black Theatre United. Performers include Jordan Cole (School of Rock), Arielle Jacobs (Aladdin), Jelani Remy (Ain't Too Proud), Thom Sesma (Superhero) and Aurelia Williams (In Transit). Register in advance to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.

The Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Tony winner Julie Taymor's eye-popping, puppet-filled, English-language production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, a fantastical fable starring Golda Schultz, Kathryn Lewek, Charles Castronovo, Markus Werba, Christian Van Horn and René Pape. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Fanciulla del West, until 6:30 p.m. today.

Theater Breaking Through Barriers: Voices from the Great Experiment
At 7:30 p.m. ET, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, one of the country's leading companies showcasing artists with disabilities, kicks off an eight-night live reading series featuring new shorts created for Zoom by dramatists who participated in its Virtual Playmakers' Intensive. First up is The Olympians by Fareeda Ahmed, directed by Kristin Heckler and starring Shravan Amin, Samantha Debicki and Paul Pryce. Watch for free with live captioning on the company's YouTube channel.

SolFest 2020 Virtual Edition: A Latinx Theater Festival
At 7:30 p.m. ET, The Sol Project, a national theatre initiative devoted to showcasing Latinx voices, brings its third annual festival of works-in-progress online. Night one features excerpts from Torched!, a new musical written by Rosalba Rolón with original music by Desmar Guevara, along with a pair of selections from Pregones/PRTT's 21 Islands International Short Film Fest: The Bathtub and Noon Express. Register in advance to receive the free viewing link.

Stars in the House: Andréa Burns
At 8 p.m. ET, On Your Feet! diva Andréa Burns guest hosts Stars in the House and she's bringing two of her former castmates with her: Oscar winner Helen Hunt and Broadway's Tracie Thoms, who both co-starred with her in Encore! Off-Center's mounting of Working last summer. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
At 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers at Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular weekly Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for years. Tonight's lineup includes Smash star Megan Hilty and her singer-songwriter spouse Brian Gallagher, Broadway and cabaret star Karen Mason, and singer/frontline nurse Danielle Threet. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.

The Muny: Summer Variety Hour
At 9:15 p.m. ET, after 102 years, the shows won't go on at The Muny this summer. But tonight, the beloved St. Louis institution streams a new episode of its online variety show featuring clips from past mainstage productions as well as brand-new virtual performances. The lineup for week three includes production numbers from the Muny's mountings of All Shook Up, Les Misérables, Newsies and South Pacific; a duet by real-life Broadway couple Beth Leavel and Adam Heller; and a game show with stage stars such as Ann Harada and Christopher Sieber. Watch for free on the Muny's YouTube channel.

Echo Theater Company: breakfast lunch dinner
At 10:30 p.m. ET, L.A.'s Echo Theater Company presents a live reading of Kira Obolensky's breakfast lunch dinner, a new dinner-table play about middle-class American life. Abigail Deser directs Samantha Cavestani, Brian Henderson, Megan Ketch and Carol Locatell. Register in advance to receive the free viewing link.

Available to Watch All Day

Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Renée Fleming
On Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera presented a live recital with Renée Fleming, a beloved diva known for her work in opera houses and on Broadway, and you can watch a recording until Wednesday, August 12. With Robert Ainsley at the piano, the star performs popular arias by Massenet, R. Strauss and Puccini, as well as a touching rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the music salon of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. Tickets cost $20.

Broadway Bares: Zoom In
If you missed it on Saturday night, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' virtual edition of its annual fundraiser Broadway Bares is still streaming (and steaming!) as stage performers show off their sexy sides in socially distant stripteases. Creator and Tony-winning director Jerry Mitchell curated this online ogling fest, a mix of brand-new numbers, recordings of old favorites and special guest appearances by Charles Busch, Lea DeLaria, J. Harrison Ghee, Nathan Lee Graham, Debbie Gravitte, Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, Beth Leavel, Judith Light, Lesli Margherita, Angie Schworer, Marc Shaiman, Miriam Shor, Christopher Sieber, Wesley Taylor and other fabulous folks. Watch for free on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.

Great Performances: Kevin Kline in Present Laughter
PBS Great Performances is streaming Moritz von Stuelpnagel's effervescent 2017 mounting of Noël Coward's Present Laughter starring Kevin Kline, who earned his third Tony Award for portraying narcissistic actor Garry Essendine, plagued by midlife fears, an uncontrollable libido and obsessed fans. Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen and Cobie Smulders costar. Watch for free until Saturday, August 29 on PBS' website.

Play-PerView: RoosevElvis
On Saturday, the live reading series Play-PerView presented RoosevElvis, and you can watch a recording until Thursday. A devised theatre piece by Brooklyn-based ensemble The TEAM, the show features Elvis Presley and Theodore Roosevelt battling over the soul of a shy meat-processing plant worker. This event reunites the cast and creative team of the play's 2013 Off-Off Broadway premiere: actors Kristen Sieh and Libby King and director Rachel Chavkin, who went on to win a Tony Award for helming Hadestown on Broadway. Tickets are $15 and benefit The TEAM and Emergency Release Fund.

Sophocles in Staten Island
One of NYC's premier Asian-American theatre companies, Ma-Yi, just launched a new broadcast studio showcasing the work of some of its affiliated artists. New to the site is Sophocles in Staten Island, a 30-minute short written by Michi Barall and Sung Rno and directed by Jack Tamburri about the aspiring filmmaker patriarch of a Filipino-American clan forcing his family into making a movie of Oedipus Rex and Antigone during lockdown. Watch for free on Ma-Yi Studio's website.


Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.

Top image: Cheyenne Jackson. Photo by Karl Simone.