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16 Stage Performances to Watch Today, September 23

By: RAVEN SNOOK
Date: Sep 23, 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, Wednesday, September 23, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.

Martha Graham Dance Company: The EVE Project
At 2:30 p.m. ET, the Martha Graham Dance Company kicks off a new season of Martha Matinees with The EVE Project celebrating women choreographers and the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The program includes footage of Graham in her seminal solo Frontier, a 2019 performance of her Errand into the Maze and the world premiere of Many Faces of EVE, a montage featuring submissions from the troupe's #19Poses Insta-Graham Challenge. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.

Bristol Old Vic: Romantics Anonymous
At 2:30 p.m. ET, the UK's lauded Bristol Old Vic presents Romantics Anonymous, performed live on stage to an empty theatre and streamed to an at-home audience. Based on the French film Les Émotifs Anonymes, this charming musical chronicles the unlikely love story between a painfully shy sweets maker and her harried chocolate factory boss. Emma Rice, who helmed Brief Encounter on Broadway, penned the book and directs this confection, which features songs by Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman. And since the cast and crew have been quarantining for weeks, no social distancing is required. There will be singing, dancing and kissing! Tickets are £21, approximately $27.

Irish Repertory Theatre: Belfast Blues
At 3 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's intrepid Irish Rep presents Belfast Blues, Geraldine Hughes' touching autobiographical solo show about growing up in Ireland during The Troubles in the '80s and how acting offered her a way out. After touring with this very personal play for more than a decade, Hughes, whose Broadway credits include Jerusalem and Harry Potter, did a final engagement at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast last year. This never-before-seen video comes from that run. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested. There will be another screening at 8 p.m. ET.

The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata
At 5 p.m. ET, ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. ET. These productions have been specially selected for families, and Zoom education sessions leading up to the screening teach school-age kids about opera. This week's offering is La Traviata, Verdi's romantic tragedy about a courtesan whose chance at true love is thwarted by bourgeois mores. Tony-winning director Michael Mayer helmed this 2018 mounting, which stars Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez as ill-fated lovers, and Quinn Kelsey as his disapproving father. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.

New York City Center's Studio 5: Great American Ballerinas
At 5 p.m. ET, New York City Center continues its Great American Ballerinas series with New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck working on new solo pieces crafted just for her by acclaimed modern dance choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Watch for free on New York City Center's YouTube channel.

Karen, I Said
At 6 p.m. ET, writer, performer and TDF Stages contributor, Eliza Bent, explores the phenomenon of white wokeness with wit and insight in her solo show Karen, I Said, directed by Tara Ahmedinejad. Reserve your free ticket to receive the viewing link; a $10 donation is suggested with proceeds going to the Black LGBTQ org Brave Space Alliance.

Brave Hearts for Broadway: Let Us Entertain You
At 7 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. used to be the time when New Yorkers made a joyful noise for frontline workers. Tonight, they're the ones singing (and dancing!) for us in Brave Hearts for Broadway: Let Us Entertain You. The brainchild of registered nurse, playwright and producer Michael E. Merritt, the concert stars The Frontline Choir and Friends, featuring more than 100 talented health care workers from 11 countries. They'll be joined by pros Billy Porter, Megan Hilty, Brian Gallagher and Lorna Luft, and many more bold-faced names will make cameos. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

Urban Stages: The Silverfish
At 7 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's Urban Stages continues its September Play Fest & Fundraiser with a reading of Megan Loughran's The Silverfish, about a struggling young couple who, when faced with an unexpected expense, decide to break the rules to stay afloat. The Book of Mormon Tony winner Nikki M. James and Be More Chill favorite George Salazar star, Jennifer Werner directs. Watch for free on Urban Stages' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.

New York Theatre Barn: New Works Series
At 7 p.m. ET, for the past 13 years, New York Theatre Barn has showcased works in progress in its New Works Series. That initiative has now gone virtual, with 40-minute peeks at two new musicals a week. Tonight, catch excerpts from A Walk on the Moon, based on the movie of the same name about a young housewife who has a sexual awakening in 1969. Paul Scott Goodman (Bright Lights, Big City) penned the songs and Wicked alum Jackie Burns stars. Daniel and Patrick Lazour's history-inspired We Live in Cairo centers on the student-led movement to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Watch for free on New York Theatre Barn's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.

The Metropolitan Opera: Manon Lescaut
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Puccini favorites continues with Manon Lescaut, a romantic tragedy about a woman torn between love and luxury. Richard Eyre staged this lush production, which is set in 1940s occupied France and stars Kristine Opolais, Roberto Alagna, Massimo Cavalletti and Brindley Sherratt. 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. ET today.

Lena Hall: Obsessed: Prince
At 8 p.m. ET, get ready to party like it's 1999 when Hedwig Tony winner Lena Hall belts out an evening of The Purple One's songs as part of her Obsessed concert series. VIP tickets include an interactive preshow featuring an extra half hour of music, a Q&A with Hall and a poll to choose her Obsessed artist for October. Tickets start at $20.

Stars in the House: Hercules Reunion
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley go the distance when they welcome the stars of Disney's beloved animated movie musical Hercules to Stars in the House. Most of the Ancient Greek gang will be there, including Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, Danny DeVito, Roger Bart, Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan and Cheryl Freeman—that's the gospel truth. Expect stories and lots of familiar songs. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

Available to Watch All Day

Barrington Stage Company: Three Viewings
Pittsfield, Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company presents Three Viewings, Jeffrey Hatcher's darkly comic trio of tales set in a Midwestern funeral parlor. That '70s Show costars Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith reunite for this virtual performance, which costars Angel Desai. Watch until Sunday, September 27 at 5 p.m. ET by making a donation of $25 or more.

Short North Stage: Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly
Columbus, Ohio's Short North Stage presents When Pigs Fly, the late Howard Crabtree's hilarious musical revue, which was an Off-Broadway smash in the '90s. A costume designer by trade, Crabtree was inspired to create this over-the-top spectacle featuring songs (by Mark Waldrop and Dick Gallagher), sketches and outrageous styles thanks to a high school counselor who told him he'd make it in show business "when pigs fly." Guess who got the last laugh? The audience! RuPaul's Drag Race alum Nina West guest stars. Tickets are available from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.

Actors Theatre of Louisville: COVID-Classics: One-Act Plays for the Age of Quarantine
One of the most acclaimed regional theatres in the country, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, presents five classic shorts by Guillaume Apollinaire, Anton Chekhov, Luigi Pirandello, August Strindberg and Thucydides, reimagined for our plagued times. Robert Barry Fleming directs this poignant 45-minute program. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.

Play-PerView: Sugar in Our Wounds
It's your last chance to see Play-PerView's Sugar in Our Wounds, Donja R. Love's lyrical queer romance between two slaves is set during the Civil War. Recorded on Saturday, this performance reunites the cast of the play's Manhattan Theatre Club world premiere: Stephanie Berry, Sheldon Best, Fern Cozine, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart and Chinaza Uche. Malika Oyetimein directs. Tickets start at $15 and benefit HIV/AIDS nonprofit Bebashi.

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

Top image: Disney's Hercules.

RAVEN SNOOK