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17 Performances with Stage Stars to Watch Today, April 15

Date: Apr 15, 2020


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With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many performers from Broadway and beyond are sharing their talents online. Below are performances that you can watch today, Wednesday, April 15, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).

At 2 p.m. EST, Stars in the House presents a live reading of The Divine Sister, written by and starring the fabulous Charles Busch. A hilarious send-up of Hollywood nun movies, this event reunites the original cast of the hit Off-Broadway production, including Busch's usual partners in comedy Julie Halston, Alison Fraser and Jennifer Van Dyck. Catch it for free on The Actors Fund's YouTube channel. Note: this performance won't be available after-the-fact so you have one chance to watch.

At 2:30 p.m. EST, see recently uncovered footage of modern dance great Martha Graham (alongside then company member Merce Cunningham) performing in her 1944 classic Appalachian Spring with a score by composer Aaron Copland. It's complemented by a montage of dancers performing this seminal work over the years as well as a live Q&A. Watch for free on the Martha Graham Dance Company's YouTube channel.

At 3 p.m. EST, legendary jazz pianist and singer Billy Stritch and his Tony-winning BFF/neighbor Linda Lavin continue their series of live online concerts in support of their new album Love Notes, which was just released last week. Their friendship, banter and American Songbook standards feel incredibly soothing in this uncertain time. Watch for free on Stritch's Facebook page.

At 4 p.m. EST, parents, do you need a break? (Of course you do.) Then check out Peter Michael Marino's Show Up, Kids!, a live-streamed interactive family romp. The solo artist has been performing this comedy for years in cities around the globe, and he's spent weeks figuring out how it will work online. The show can't go on without the kids, since they help determine everything from the story to the set design. Tickets are available online but TDF members get a discount.

At 5 p.m. EST, it's a bonus opera from the Metropolitan! Ever since the shutdown began, the opera house has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. But last week it quietly launched another online initiative to engage audiences: weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. These operas have been specially selected for families, and a series of Zoom education sessions leading up to the screening teach school-age kids about opera. This week's offering is Carmen and you can watch for free on the Metropolitan Opera's website anytime through Friday at 5 p.m.

At 5 p.m. EST, playwright Neil LaBute's Ten X Ten series of filmed monologues continues with new pieces performed by Tony nominee Richard Kind and Oscar nominee Amy Madigan. Watch them on St. Louis Actors' Studio's Vimeo channel.

At 6:30 p.m. EST, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below continues its #54BelowatHome series with a 2018 concert by Lorna Luft titled To L and Back, in which she talks about being the daughter of legendary entertainer Judy Garland as well as her own singing career. Watch for free on Feinstein's/54 Below's YouTube channel. Note: this performance won't be available after-the-fact so you have one chance to watch.

At 7 p.m. EST, Ballet Hispánico presents Con Brazos Abiertos, Michelle Manzanales' identity mambo featuring an American woman at odds with her Mexican heritage. Full of traditional mariachi marches juxtaposed with high-flying contemporary moves, the dance will be followed by a live Q&A with Manzanales, who also runs the troupe's lauded dance school. Watch for free on Ballet Hispánico's Facebook page.

At 7 p.m. EST, HERE Arts Center shares a spectacular show from its archives: the eye-popping Arias with a Twist, a singular collaboration between puppet genius Basil Twist and gender-bending chanteuse Joey Arias. As the sole human on stage, Arias cavorts and croons through a series of puppet-filled set pieces, and at one point becomes a kind of glamorous King Kong roaming a miniature city. This is the kind of theatrical treat better seen than described. Watch for free on HERE's Facebook page.

At 7:30 p.m. EST, Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Worldwide Concert for Our Culture, a virtual gala featuring musicians performing remotely from around the globe. Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will welcome an array of special guests including Chucho Valdés, Baqir Abbas, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Sullivan Fortner. Watch for free on Jazz at Lincoln Center's YouTube channel, though donations are encouraged.

At 7:30 p.m. EST, the Metropolitan Opera shares its 2009 mounting of Puccini's La Rondine, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, and conducted by Marco Armiliato. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series, 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, Boris Godunov, until 6:30 p.m. today.

At 8 p.m. EST, enjoy an SCTV cast reunion on Stars in the House. A slew of stars came out of the Canadian sketch comedy series, and four of the biggest ones—Eugene Levy, two-time Tony winner Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short—will be happy to make you laugh tonight. Hosted by Seth Rudetsky and his husband James Wesley, this twice daily series supports The Actors Fund. Watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.

At 8 p.m. EST, one of the most acclaimed regional theatres in the country, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, shares a recording of Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by lauded playwright Jeff Augustin (Little Children Dream of God at Roundabout Theatre Company, The New Englanders at Manhattan Theatre Club) with songs by The Bengsons (Hundred Days). An exploration of the complicated relationship between a Haitian immigrant and his American-born son, the show was commissioned by the theatre for its Humana Festival of New American Plays. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.

At 8 p.m. EST, Actors Theatre of Louisville shares a recording of Are You There?, a trio of new short works about socializing in the digital age that were commissioned for its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.

A few weeks ago Dave Malloy, the Tony-nominated creator of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, posted a full-length recording of the 2015 mounting of his musical Ghost Quartet on YouTube. Now he's sharing another one from his archives, the original 2011 Shotgun Players production of Beardo, which he describes as "a surreal retelling of the Rasputin myth." Clearly Russia is his muse. Watch it for free on Vimeo.

London's National Theatre is sharing its mounting of Jane Erye, based on Charlotte Brontë's beloved novel. A co-production with Bristol Old Vic, the three-hour play was recorded for the National's NT Live series, and is available for free on the theatre's YouTube page anytime through Thursday at 2 p.m.

London's Hampstead Theatre continues its #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series with a recording of its 2013 production of Drawing the Line, Harold Brenton's historical epic about the behind-the-scenes drama leading to the world-changing Partition of India in 1947. Watch it for free anytime on the company's website through Sunday, April 19.

Remember to check out our roundup of performances you can watch online anytime.


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

Top image: Andrea Martin. Photo by Don Dixon.