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 performers from Broadway and beyond are sharing their talents online. Below are performances you can watch today, Friday, April 24, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Dave Malloy, the Tony-nominated creator of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, keeps sharing recordings of his early musicals online, and we are so thankful for his generosity. In addition to videos of Ghost Quartet from 2015 and Beardo from 2011, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, a raucous musical riff on the epic poem, is now online. The show was mounted by Berkeley's Shotgun Players in 2008 and the nonprofit theatre is using this as a fundraiser. The suggested ticket price is $20 though there are less expensive options.
At noon, Russia's Bolshoi Ballet shares a recording of Ilya Demutsky's A Hero for Our Time, inspired by portions of Mikhail Lermontov's 1840 novel of the same name about the insatiable Pechorin. Choreographed by Yuri Possokhov, the three-hour production can be viewed for free on the dance company's YouTube channel through noon on Saturday.
At 1 p.m. ET, mark a new milestone in our strange surreality: the first-ever opera written for Zoom. The adventurous HERE Arts Center presents a live "15-minute operatic experiment," all decisions will be made by consensus, by composer Kamala Sankaram, librettist Rob Handel and director Kristin Marting. Watch for free on the theatre's Facebook page.
At 2 p.m. ET, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On! series continues with Love Never Dies, his sequel to The Phantom of the Opera starring Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Anna O'Byrne as Christine. Although the romantic musical played on the West End and toured the world as well as the U.S., it never made it to Broadway, much to the chagrin of New York-area Lloyd Webber lovers. Now Phans everywhere can catch it for free on YouTube through Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
At 2 p.m. ET, yas queens! The royal stars of Six, which was scheduled to officially open on Broadway the night theatres shut down, join Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley on Stars in the House. All of King Henry VIII's wives will be present: Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Abby Mueller, Brittney Mack, Samantha Pauly and Anna Uzele, as well as show creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, who'll chat about how the musical went from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to international sensation to Broadway in just three years. We hope after all this madness Six, like the final spouse, will survive. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.
At 6:30 p.m. ET, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below continues its #54BelowatHome series with a recording of 54 Below Sings Legally Blonde, a 2019 concert of songs from the popular musical starring Carrie St. Louis alongside other Broadway babies. Relive the triumphant tale of a smart and stylish blonde who knows how to bend and snap! 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. ET, dance haven The Joyce Theater shares a recording of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company performing Sadeh21 by Ohad Naharin, who invented the dance language Gaga. The piece is a collection of movement studies in his signature style. Watch for free on the Joyce's YouTube channel, where you can also find Trisha Brown Dance Company's Aeros and Groove and Countermove streaming for no fee.
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares its 2009 mounting of Verdi's La Traviata, starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and conducted by Fabio Luisi. 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, The Merry Widow, until 6:30 p.m. today.
At 8 p.m. ET, Joe's Pub shares a recording of a 2018 concert by the enviably talented singer-songwriter-actress Shaina Taub, who created marvelous musicalizations of As You Like It and Twelfth Night for The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. If you've never seen her perform, do yourself a favor and catch this show. She is immensely charming and her songs are breathtaking. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.
At 8 p.m. ET, New York City Ballet continues its digital season with Justin Peck's Rotunda, which had its world premiere earlier this year. A dozen dancers perform to a commissioned score by composer Nico Muhly. Watch for free on NYCB's YouTube channel through Monday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
At 8 p.m. ET, experimental theatre mecca La MaMa presents its weekly Downtown Variety show, featuring brief acts of dance, music, theatre, new media and comedy. Prepare yourself for the unexpected! Watch for free on the theatre's website.
At 10 p.m. ET, Arizona's Phoenix Theatre Company presents a concert of the songs from ¡Americano!, a Broadway-aimed musical inspired by the real-life story of Antonio Valdovinos, a Dreamer who discovered his immigration status at age 18 when he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines Corps after September 11. The event will be hosted by the show's co-creators and Valdovinos himself. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds benefit the nonprofit theatre.
It's your last chance to catch Hilary Bettis' 72 Miles to Go… about a decade in the life of a Mexican-American family whose matriarch has been deported. The production was forced to close early due to the pandemic, but Roundabout Theatre Company is offering a recording through 2 p.m. ET. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
It's also your last chance to see the National Theatre's live recording of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's critically acclaimed solo stage show Fleabag, the basis for her award-winning TV series of the same name. See how the uproariousness began on Amazon Prime through tonight for $5.
London's National Theatre shares a recording of its mounting of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's beloved comedy of mistaken identity. The production was recorded for the National's NT Live series, and Tamsin Greig is hilarious as Malvolia, a female take on the classic buffoon Malvolio. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube page anytime through Wednesday, April 30.
Shakespeare's Globe in London shares a recording of its 2009 mounting of Romeo & Juliet, directed by Dominic Dromgoole and starring Ellie Kendrick and Adetomiwa Edun. Watch for free anytime on the theatre's YouTube channel through Sunday, May 3 .
London's Hampstead Theatre continues its #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series with a recording of its 2014 production of Tiger Country, Nina Raine's play about the behind-the-scenes drama in a busy hospital over the holidays. It's eerily timely. Watch for free anytime through Sunday on the company's website.
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: The cast of Six in Chicago. Photo by Liz Laren.