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, Monday, June 15, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Shakespeare's Globe: A Midsummer Night's Dream
At 2 p.m. ET, London's Shakespeare's Globe shares a recording of its 2013 mounting of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Bard's beloved romantic comedy about fairies messing with lovesick humans lost in a magical forest. The recently departed artistic director of the company, Dominic Dromgoole, helms this Renaissance staging, which stars Olivier Award winner Michelle Terry and John Light as Titania and Oberon. Watch for free anytime through Sunday, June 28 on the theatre's YouTube channel.
The Seth Concert Series: Jeremy Jordan
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 with Broadway stars in Provincetown every summer for the past decade. This year, he brings the show online. Newsies Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan was his guest last night, and you can watch a recording of that performance today. Even though he's become a TV star (Supergirl), Jordan has never abandoned his first love: the stage. He appeared in Waitress last year and was scheduled to play Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors this spring until the pandemic shut all shows down. Rudetsky is a master at inspiring celebrities to open up, so expect lots of songs as well as stories and maybe even a peek at Jordan's adorable toddler with wife Ashley Spencer. Tickets are $25.
Repertorio Español: La entrada triunfal de Chad Deity
At 6 p.m. ET, venerable Latinx theatre company Repertorio Español launches a series of live play readings with La entrada triunfal de Chad Deity, an insightful comedy about an underrated professional wrestler whose chance to become a star involves leaning into cultural stereotypes. This performance will be presented in Spanish, and you can watch for free on the company's Facebook page.
Anna Deavere Smith in Conversation
At 7 p.m. ET, as part of the 92nd Street Y Confronts Hate series, the culture hub presents a live-streamed conversation with actress, author and activist Anna Deavere Smith. A revered documentary theatre-maker, Smith investigates racism and other issues, spending years interviewing subjects and turning those transcripts into verbatim plays such as her exploration of the school-to-prison pipeline Notes from the Field, currently available on HBO, and Twilight: Los Angeles about the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, currently available on PBS. During this chat with Entertainment Weekly's Sarah Rodman, Smith will talk about her work as well as the current Black Lives Matter protests. Viewers can ask questions via the live chat. Watch for free on the 92Y's website.
The Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival
At 7 p.m. ET, every spring since 2015, the Shubert Foundation has invited more than 150 New York City public high schoolers to make their Broadway debuts at this annual, one-night-only fest featuring excerpts from their student productions. This year, the participants can't set foot on a stage, but they can still soak up the spotlight virtually by performing songs and scenes remotely. Frozen's Jelani Alladin will serve as host, and guest presenters Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal), James Harkness (Ain't Too Proud), George Salazar (Be More Chill) and three-time Tony nominee Sherie Rene Scott will cheer on all the cast members in the five shows: Fame by Brooklyn High School of the Arts, Lucky Stiff by Curtis High School on Staten Island, Hairspray by Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, Aida by Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts in Manhattan and The Wolves by Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan. This is your chance to spot future stage stars! Watch for free on the Shubert Organization's website.
New York Theatre Barn: A Musical Tribute to Edna Ferber
At 7 p.m. ET, for the past 13 years, New York Theatre Barn has showcased musicals in progress in its New Works Series. That initiative has now gone virtual, with 40-minute peeks at two new shows a week. Today, two women songwriters, Debra Barsha and Sheilah Rae, present excerpts from one-act musical adaptations of two short stories by Edna Ferber, whose 1926 novel Show Boat was turned into the groundbreaking show. Ferber's biographer and grand-niece, Julie Gilbert, will also talk about her work. Watch for free on New York Theatre Barn's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Songs for Our City
At 7:05 p.m. ET, Broadway Sessions host Ben Cameron is behind the Songs for Our City competition, a week of live-streamed concerts featuring brand-new numbers written by Broadway actors and composers. Tonight, the contest kicks off with original tunes by actor Donnie Kehr (Jersey Boys), songwriter Rob Rokicki (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), actress Jennifer Sánchez (Pretty Woman: The Musical) and others. Viewers can vote for their favorite online right after the performance, and the finalists will face off on Sunday in a concert judged by Tituss Burgess, Six creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Tony-nominated songwriter Andrew Lippa and Time Out New York theatre critic Adam Feldman. Watch for free on Times Square Alliance's YouTube channel.
Red Bull Theater: The Government Inspector Starring Michael Urie
At 7:30 p.m. ET, Red Bull Theater presents a live reading of the comedy The Government Inspector, starring the cast of the company's uproarious 2017 production. Michael Urie is divine as a deadbeat who's mistaken for a powerful government official in a tiny 19th-century Russian town. As the citizens kowtow to his every whim, he indulges all of his vices: gambling, drinking and flirting. The other actors provide crackerjack comic support, especially Tony winner Michael McGrath as the corrupt mayor, three-time Tony nominee Mary Testa as his lusty wife and Arnie Burton as an insolent servant. Watch for free on Red Bull's website though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Armida
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Rossini's Armida, starring Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, John Osborn, Barry Banks and Kobie van Rensburg, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2010, and is available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Rodelinda, 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. Enjoy a cavalcade of amazing acts, including hula hooper Kelsey Strauch, hat juggler Dominique Rabideau, knife thrower David Darwin and double human blockhead Tyler Fleet & Magic Brian. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's Facebook page though donations to the Center For Black Equity or the National Lawyers Guild NYC are encouraged.
Andréa Burns, Joshua Henry and Robin Robin De Jesús on Stars in the House
At 8 p.m. ET, On Your Feet! diva Andréa Burns guest hosts Stars in the House, and she's welcoming two of her former In the Heights costars: Joshua Henry, who made his Broadway debut as an ensemble member in that Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, and Robin De Jesús, who played the manic Sonny. In addition to chatting and performing songs from their careers, they're sure to continue the necessary conversation about racism and lack of POC representation in the theatre industry. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational 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 jazzy singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway, a Tony nominee who penned and performed the beloved theme to the sitcom The Nanny; folk singer Christine Lavin, drag chanteuse Miss Coco Peru and blues diva Burgandy Williams. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Muny Magic in Your Home: Beth Leavel
At 9:15 p.m. ET, although after 102 years, the shows won't go on at The Muny this summer, the beloved St. Louis institution is sharing some past performances from its intimate cabaret series. First up is The Drowsy Chaperone Tony winner Beth Leavel, a powerhouse belter who pulls no punch lines. Watch her story-and-song-filled set for free on the Muny's website.
TADA! Youth Theater: The Gumball Gang
TADA! Youth Theater, NYC's 35-year-old, Drama Desk Award-winning youth company whose alums include Jordan Peele and Kerry Washington, is sharing recordings of its original hour-long shows for families. Recorded in 2016, The Gumball Gang is a musical mystery as some crime-solving kids try to figure out who's stealing paintings from their school. The production stars talented tykes from ages 8 to 18 who are members of TADA!'s Resident Youth Ensemble. Watch for free on TADA!'s YouTube channel.
Classical Theatre of Harlem: The Bacchae
The Classical Theatre of Harlem, one of NYC's premiere Black companies, usually mounts a free production in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park during the summer. Since that's not possible this year, the troupe is sharing a recording of its 2018 take on The Bacchae, which turns Euripides' play into an raucous, glitter-encrusted, rock-'n'-roll party... until that tragic ending of course. You can stream the production anytime through June 26 for $10 on Vimeo.
National Theatre: The Madness of George III
London's National Theatre presents The Nottingham Playhouse's 2018 revival of The Madness of George III, Alan Bennett's fictionalized examination of the U.K.'s King George III, whose battle with mental illness plunged his court into disarray. Mark Gatiss, of Doctor Who and Sherlock fame, delivers a tour-de-force performance in the title role. Watch for free through Thursday, June 18 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: Mary Testa and Michael Urie in Red Bull Theater's The Government Inspector. Photo by Carol Rosegg.