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16 Stage Performances to Watch Today, July 20

Date: Jul 20, 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, July 20, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).

The Seth Concert Series: Norm Lewis
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 Porgy and Bess Tony nominee Norm Lewis, and you can watch a recording today. Beloved for his glorious baritone, he has played many iconic theatre roles, including Billy Flynn in Chicago and Javert in Les Misérables, and he was the first Black actor to portray the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Rudestky is a master at getting his guests to talk, so we expect lots of stories along with beautiful songs. Tickets are $25.

Dixon Place: HOT! Festival
Downtown staple Dixon Place brings its 29th annual queer culture fest online with a month of theatre, dance, music, readings and comedy. Week three kicks off with:

Project Sing Out!: A Benefit for Arts Education
At 7 p.m. ET, Once on This Island Tony nominee Hailey Kilgore presents a fabulous one-night-only concert in support of the Educational Theatre Foundation, which provides arts programs for communities of color. The jaw-dropping lineup includes performances and appearances by Chita Rivera, Audra McDonald, Vanessa Williams, LaChanze, Brandon Victor Dixon, Ramin Karimloo, Ali Stroker, Will Swenson, Jordan Fisher, Ana Villafañe, Whoopi Goldberg, Lea Salonga and other Broadway favorites. Watch for free on Playbill's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.

Theater for the New City: Charles Busch's Visitors in the Dark
At 7 p.m. ET, East Village mainstay Theater for the New City presents Visitors in the Dark, a brand-new comedy by Tony-nominated playwright, drag icon and old Hollywood buff Charles Busch. A mash-up of classic melodrama and retro sci-fi, the play centers on four ladies in a Greenwich Village tenement bonding on the night of the 1965 blackout. Busch stars alongside Julie Halston, Becky London and Ruth Williamson, and his longtime collaborator Carl Andress directs. A must for old movie lovers! His references are sure to have you in stitches. Watch for free on Theater for the New City's website though donations are encouraged.

The New Group: Facing the Rising Tide: Quik-Mart
At 7 p.m. ET, pioneering Off-Broadway theatre company The New Group partners with the Natural Resources Defense Council for Facing the Rising Tide, a five-day festival of virtual readings of new plays exploring environmental racism and the climate crisis. First up is Charles Gershman's Quik-Mart about two refugee families who immigrated to the U.S. at different times battling over ownership of a bodega. Watch for free on The New Group's YouTube channel.

Red Bull Theater: 10th Annual Short New Play Festival
At 7:30 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's Red Bull Theater is known for revitalizing old plays. But tonight it presents eight brand-new shorts inspired by Noël Coward's classic comedy Private Lives. The evening features six playlets by emerging writers alongside two exciting commissions by Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck and Slave Play scribe Jeremy O. Harris. The cast includes Kathleen Chalfant, Tony nominee Lilli Cooper, William Jackson Harper and Charlayne Woodard. Watch for free on Red Bull Theater's YouTube channel.

The Metropolitan Opera: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini's comic masterpiece about Figaro, a resourceful barber who helps a couple out of a hairy situation. Tony winner Bartlett Sher directed this 2014 mounting, which stars Christopher Maltman as the title character and Isabel Leonard and Lawrence Brownlee as the young lovers. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Bohème, until 6:30 p.m. today.

Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
At 7:30 p.m. ET, run away with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at the troupe's weekly live-streamed variety show, hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. This evening's cavalcade includes comedy sideshow performer and America's Got Talent contestant Coney Island Chris, magician Jeff Moche, handbalancer and cyr wheel artist Joel Herzfeld, aerialist Maddy Gatrel and juggler Eries el Malabarista. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.

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 her In the Heights and On Your Feet! co-star Luis Salgado with her. 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 She Loves Me Tony nominee Sally Mayes, original Queer Eye star and musical theatre vet Jai Rodriguez, Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Monty Alexander and Soul Train Award-winning crooner Nicole Henry. 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 kicks off a new online variety show featuring clips from past mainstage productions as well as brand-new virtual performances. The lineup for week one includes production numbers from the Muny's mountings of The Little Mermaid, The Wiz, Singin' in the Rain and The Music Man; performances by Broadway vets Ken Page, Hunter Foster and Ashley Brown; and a game show with stage stars such as Ann Harada and Christopher Sieber. Watch for free on the Muny's YouTube channel.

Available to Watch All Day

The Transport Group: Broadbend, Arkansas
Stalwart NYC theatre company The Transport Group presents Broadbend, Arkansas, a two-person musical about a Black father and daughter grappling with the personal impact of racial oppression three decades apart, first in the '60s, then in the '80s. The show had its world premiere Off Broadway last fall but its themes feel even more urgent in the current moment. Reserve your free ticket to receive the viewing link; donations to the Black Theatre Network are encouraged. The recording is available until August 16.

Graeae Theatre Company: Reasons to Be Cheerful
Back in the '70s and '80s, Ian Dury became one of the first rockers with a disability to break through to mainstream success with his New Wave band The Blockheads. In 2017, London's Graeae Theatre Company, which showcases artists with disabilities, produced a gleefully raucous musical about his life, Reasons to Be Cheerful, filled with songs from his career, including his in-your-face anthem "Spasticus Autisticus." Watch for free until Monday, August 3 on Graeae Theatre Company's YouTube channel. There's also an audio-described version.

National Theatre: Amadeus
London's National Theatre presents Amadeus, Peter Shaffer's award-winning play about the rivalry between 18th composers Salieri and Mozart. Michael Longhurst directed this critically acclaimed production, which was filmed in 2017 and features live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Lucian Msamati portrays the more successful in life Salieri, who's tortured by the knowledge that the louche Mozart (Adam Gillen) is the true genius who will be remembered. Watch for free until Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel. There's also an audio-described version.

Stratford Festival: The Taming of the Shrew
Ontario's venerable Stratford Festival continues its Shakespeare on Film series with the Bard's admittedly problematic battle of the sexes Taming of the Shrew, starring real-life husband and wife Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay. Watch for free until Thursday, August 6 on the fest's YouTube channel.


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

Norm Lewis.