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 companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch today, Tuesday, July 14, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
OSL: Bach at Home 2020
At noon ET, the Orchestra of St. Luke's wraps up its month-long celebration of Bach today. The final lineup includes a world-premiere dance piece choreographed by Doug Varone set to the sarabande from Bach's Cello Suite No. 5, a performance by the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's string players and a series of brand-new compositions inspired by the Baroque great. Watch for free on OSL's website.
The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues
At 7 p.m. ET, theatre artists from COVID-19 hot spot Arizona created the latest edition of The Viral Monologues, a six-hour series of solos about how we're living today. Every 15 minutes from 6 p.m. until midnight, actors from the Arizona Theatre Company, Borderlands Theater, The Rogue Theatre, Teatro Bravo!, United Colours of Arizona Theatre and other companies in the Grand Canyon State will perform tailor-made monologues by local dramatists, all penned and filmed within the last 24 hours. Watch for free on The 24 Hour Plays' Instagram though donations are encouraged.
La MaMa: Hair 50th Anniversary
At 7 p.m. ET, in 2017, La MaMa marked the half-century birthday of Hair, James Rado and Galt MacDermot's groundbreaking counter-culture musical, which premiered downtown before transferring to a club and, finally, to Broadway—with the help of frequent La MaMa director Tom O'Horgan. Tonight the theatre shares a recording of that celebration featuring the creators and performances by actors who got their start in mountings of Hair over the decades, including Tony winners André De Shields and Melba Moore, Ellen Foley from Night Court, downtown diva Annie Golden and Dale Soules from Orange Is the New Black. Watch for free on La MaMa's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
At 7:15 p.m. ET, Out of the Box Theatrics presents a live performance of Nocturne, an early drama by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp about an aspiring writer who's haunted by the death of his younger sister. Ethan Paulini stars in this searing solo show. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: its 1981 mounting of La Traviata, Verdi's romantic tragedy about a courtesan whose chance at true love is thwarted by bourgeois mores. This production stars Ileana Cotrubas, Plácido Domingo and Cornell MacNeil, and James Levine conducts. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Manon Lescaut, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Night of a Thousand Judys
At 8 p.m. ET, Judy, Judy, Judy...Garland that is. This concert celebrates the life and career of the legendary singer-actress, who was born in a trunk in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and traveled over the rainbow to become a musical movie icon. Writer, performer and raconteur Justin Sayre presides over an online edition of this annual favorite, and the lineup of crooners includes Tony winners Lena Hall and Alice Ripley, Adam Pascal from Rent, Ann Harada from Avenue Q, Fun Home's Beth Malone, Hadestown's Eva Noblezada and George Salazar from Be More Chill. Watch for free online though donations to The Ali Forney Center are encouraged.
At 8 p.m. ET, after two delays due to the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, the 65th annual Obie Awards finally go on. Downtown darling Cole Escola hosts this prerecorded celebration of the best of Off and Off-Off Broadway from the past season. In addition to a starry list of presenters, the evening includes performances by singer-songwriter Shaina Taub, Saycon Sengbloh and Sahr Ngaujah in a number from Fela!, and Michael R. Jackson crooning a tune from his Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop. Watch for free on YouTube. Want to get in on the action? There's a ticketed pre-show sing-along starting at 6 p.m. ET featuring Broadway vets N'Kenge, Saycon Sengbloh, LaChanze and Celia Rose Gooding. Proceeds support the American Theatre Wing's ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts.
Stars in the House: Broadway Record Breakers
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome a trio of Broadway record breakers to Stars in the House: Marlene Danielle, who appeared in the original production of Cats for its entire 18-year run; Alton Fitzgerald White, who played Mufasa in The Lion King for 4,308 performances; and Donna Marie Asbury, whose 20 years as the same character in Chicago landed her in the Guinness World Records. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Nuyorican Poets Cafe: The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda
At 8 p.m. ET, the East Village's Nuyorican Poets Cafe presents a recording of its provacative 2019 production The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ishmael Reed's Christmas Carol-style examination of what the Hamilton creator left out of his Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Ever since Hamilton debuted on Disney+ earlier this month, it's reignited heated conversations about the show's blind spots, especially the Founding Fathers' slaveholding and mistreatment of Indigenous people. Watch the play for free on the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's Facebook page.
The Kilroys List 2020 Celebration
At 8 p.m. ET, since 2013, an impressive group of playwrights, directors and producers has been tackling the theatre industry's gender parity problem by releasing an annual list of the best under-produced shows by women, trans and nonbinary writers. This year, the focus has pivoted to shows by women, trans and nonbinary writers that closed early or were canceled due to the pandemic. Tonight, the team honors these plays with live performances of excerpts from some of the scripts, which will hopefully see the stage one day. Watch for free on Zoom though donations are encouraged.
The Public Theater: Richard II
At 8 p.m. ET, although The Public Theater had to cancel its free Shakespeare in the Park summer season, the invaluable institution is still giving audiences quality no-cost drama with its radio production of Richard II. A collaboration with WNYC, this four-part audio play is directed by Saheem Ali, who was scheduled to mount the tragedy at the Delacorte Theater before the pandemic hit. André Holland from Moonlight stars as the inept king, and the supporting cast includes Oscar winner Estelle Parsons, Tony winner Phylicia Rashad, and Tony nominees John Douglas Thompson and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Part II airs tonight for free on WNYC.
Dixon Place: HOT! Festival
Downtown staple Dixon Place brings its 29th annual queer culture fest online with four weeks of theatre, dance, music, readings and comedy. Tonight you can stream:
Bernadette Peters: A Special Concert
It's your last day to catch this never-before-seen recording of Bernadette Peters' 2009 concert at the Minskoff Theatre. The performance features beloved songs from the three-time Tony winner's 60-year career, including numbers by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim. There's also a special appearance by the late Mary Tyler Moore, who co-founded the annual pet adoption event Broadway Barks with Peters. Watch for free until 6 p.m. ET on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids YouTube channel.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel
Lincoln Center shares a recording of the New York Philharmonic's 2013 concert staging of Carousel, starring Tony winner Kelli O'Hara as Julie Jordan and opera star Nathan Gunn as Billy Bigelow. The supporting cast is just as impressive, with Tony winner Shuler Hensley as the villainous Jigger, Tony winner Jessie Mueller (a future Julie Jordan) as Carrie Pipperidge opposite Jason Danieley's Enoch Snow, Kate Burton as Mrs. Mullin, Tony winner John Cullum (a former Billy Bigelow) as the Starkeeper and Dr. Seldon, and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck in the Act II dream ballet. Watch for free until Tuesday, September 8 on Lincoln Center's YouTube channel.
National Theatre: The Deep Blue Sea
London's National Theatre presents its 2016 production of The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Rattigan's devastating portrait of a woman unraveling in 1952 London. Olivier nominee Helen McCrory, known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, stars as Hester Collyer, whose passionate love affair ruins her marriage and her will to live. Watch for free until Thursday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Zack DeZon.