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, Tuesday, October 27, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Signature Theatre: The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World Reunion Reading
At 6 p.m. ET, four years ago, Off Broadway's lauded Signature Theatre revived Suzan-Lori Parks' The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead, a response to the murders of unarmed Black citizens at the hands of law enforcement. Sadly, the play's themes feel even more urgent now, which is why Signature is presenting a reunion reading featuring actors from the Obie-winning 2016 production. Lileana Blain-Cruz once again directs William Demeritt, Patrena Murray, Reynaldo Piniella, Julian Rozzell, Roslyn Ruff, Mirirai Sithole, David Ryan Smith, Daniel J. Watts, Jamar Williams and Amelia Workman in this poetic evocation of the never-ending cycle of racism and violence as a Black man dies over and over and over. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link and there will be a post-performance talkback with the playwright, director and cast. A recording sans talkback will be viewable until Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
New York Theatre Workshop: The Seagull on the Sims 4 Acts I and II
At 7 p.m. ET, New York Theatre Workshop presents playwright-performer Celine Song's fascinating reinvention of Anton Chekhov's breakthrough play for our digital age: The Seagull on the Sims 4. Full of subtext and experimentation, the drama was initially a flop because it was breaking new ground. Song hopes to do the same as she tries to reenact it on the 21st-century videogame Sims 4 via game streaming service Twitch. No idea what to expect? That's the point! Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link. Acts I and II will be performed tonight; Acts III and IV will happen on Wednesday.
Irish Repertory Theatre: A Touch of the Poet
At 7 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's intrepid Irish Rep presents its digital take on Eugene O'Neill's compelling immigrant drama A Touch of the Poet, featuring Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli as Con, an Irish-American inn owner near Boston in 1828, clinging to a gentlemanly past that never was. Ciarán O’Reilly directs a cast that includes Ciaran Byrne, Kate Forbes and Mary McCann. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
Bedlam: The Bear and Other Chekhov Shorts
At 7 p.m. ET, Bedlam, a NYC theatre company celebrated for its reinventions of classics (Sense & Sensibility, The Crucible), presents a live reading of three one-acts by Anton Chekhov, including The Bear, the first play I ever did at summer camp! Nathan Malin directs Michael Hammond, Ashley Bufkin and Tramell Tillman. The evening kicks off with a half hour of live music at 6:30 p.m. ET. Watch for free on the company's Facebook page though donations to the nonprofit Princess Janae Place are encouraged.
At 7 p.m. ET, since 2018, the Times Square Alliance has been presenting Broadway Buskers, a concert series showcasing the songwriting talents of NYC theatre folk. This year the show goes online with live-streamed sets on Tuesdays through tonight! On this final evening, enjoy numbers by Aladdin's Juwan Crawley, Anthony Norman from The Prom and Singaporean singer-songwriter Cheeyang Ng. Watch for free on the Times Square Alliance website though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition are encouraged.
The New York Pops Benefit Concert with Kelli O'Hara
At 7:30 p.m. ET, The New York Pops team up with Tony winner Kelli O'Hara for an evening of uplifting music. Recorded live at Connecticut's Riverside Yacht Club in September, this concert features highlights from O'Hara's illustrious Broadway career, including leading roles in revivals of The King and I, Kiss Me, Kate and The Pajama Game, as well as new musicals The Bridges of Madison County and The Light in the Piazza. She also croons American Songbook favorites and original tunes she wrote with her husband, Greg Naughton. Stick around for a post-performance chat between O'Hara and Steven Reineke, the music director of The New York Pops. Tickets start at $20 but TDF members get a discount. The recording is viewable until Tuesday, November 3.
The Metropolitan Opera: Agrippina
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera continues its week of politically minded productions with Agrippina, Handel's satirical take on the games the people surrounding Roman emperor Claudius play, including his wife, the title character, portrayed by Joyce DiDonato. Sir David McVicar's mounting was recorded earlier this year, and costars Brenda Rae, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock and Matthew Rose. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Don Carlo, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
New York City Ballet: Festival of New Choreography
At 8 p.m. ET, New York City Ballet wraps up its digital fall season with five nights of world-premiere works, performed at different locations around the city and filmed by director Ezra Hurwitz. The fest kicks off with Sidra Bell's pixelation in a wave (Within Wires), the first piece commissioned by a Black woman in NYCB's history. It's set to music by Dennis Bell, and features dancers Ghaleb Kayali, Emily Kikta, Mira Nadon and Peter Walker. Watch for free indefinitely on NYCB's YouTube channel.
Stars in the House: Hair Concert Reunion
At 8 p.m. ET, in 2004, Stars in the House cohost Seth Rudetsky masterminded a starry concert performance of Hair as a benefit for The Actors Fund. Tonight, he reunites members of the cast, including Tony winner Lillias White, Adam Pascal, Julia Murney and the legendary Annie Golden, who appeared in Hair on Broadway and in the movie! Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Vineyard Theatre: Lessons in Survival Episode 7
At 8:30 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's invaluable Vineyard Theatre drops the latest installment of Lessons in Survival, an intriguing project featuring a collective of 40 theatre artists sharing historic conversations, interviews and speeches about race by listening to the original speakers in an earpiece while repeating their words verbatim. Conceived by actors Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall and Reggie D. White and director Tyler Thomas, this singular series continues tonight with an episode titled "Lie to Me," featuring White, Kalyne Coleman and Crystal Dickinson channeling the first part of a celebrated 1971 interview between poet Nikki Giovanni and author James Baldwin about their different generational approaches to the civil rights movement. Tickets start at $5.
Latino Theater Co.: Dementia
At 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Latino Theater Co. presents a recording Evelina Fernández's drama Dementia about long-bured secrets coming to light when friends and family gather around the deathbed of man dying of AIDS. José Luis Valenzuela directed this 2010 production starring Esperanza America, Ralph Cole, Jr., Danny De La Paz, Evelina Fernández, Sal Lopez, Geoffrey Rivas and Lucy Rodriguez. Watch for free until Thursday, November 5 on the company's YouTube channel.
George Street Playhouse: Conscience
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents Conscience about US Senator Margaret Chase, who heroically denounced McCarthyism in her 1950 "Declaration of Conscience" speech. Written by Memphis Tony winner Joe DiPietro, this comic drama was running at the New Brunswick theatre when the shutdown hit. Director David Saint reunites castmates Mark Junek, Lee Sellars, Cathryn Wake and Tony winner Harriet Harris as the courageous Chase for this virtual production. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish but a $25 donation is suggested. A recording is viewable until Friday.
City Center: 2020 Fall for Dance Festival
Every autumn, City Center welcomes famous movers and shakers for its Fall for Dance Festival. Of course this 17th annual edition looks a little different: the dancers are still on the venue's storied stage but audiences stream the performances at home. The second program includes a pair of world-premiere commissions: tap great Dormeshia performing Lady Swings the Blues, a tribute to the legacy of Black women in dance; and Kyle Abraham's titled to be seen danced by American Theatre Ballet principal Calvin Royal III. Joseph Gordon and Adrian Danchig-Waring performing the male duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two; and Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck and Brittany Pollack dancing excerpts from George Balanchine's Who Cares? round out the evening. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Earlier this month, veteran stage and screen character actor Ronald Guttman performed a solo stage adaptation of Albert Camus' final novel The Fall, about an exiled Parisian lawyer whose fall from grace mirrors man's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Didier Flamand directed this hour-long piece exploring themes of innocence, imprisonment and truth. Watch for free until Wednesday on Vimeo.
The American Dance Guild Performance Festival: 10 Years Over 10 Weeks
Each year, the American Dance Guild produces a festival that includes salutes to iconic dance-makers. Since the event is virtual this year, the organizers are transforming it into a retrospective of the last decade of honorees, with archival recordings released every Monday. The third features tributes to 2012's masters Elaine Summers and Dianne McIntyre. Watch for free until Sunday on Vimeo though donations are encouraged.
Molière in the Park: Tonya Pinkins in The School For Wives
On Saturday, Molière in the Park presented a live reading of The School for Wives and the recording is viewable until tonight. A satire about a lascivious old man who wants to wed his naïve young ward, this mounting stars an all-women cast led by Tony winner Tonya Pinkins as the letch, upending the power dynamics of this 1662 play. Kaliswa Brewster, Cristina Pitter, Tamara Sevunts, Mirirai Sithole, Carolyn Michelle Smith and Corey Tazmania costar, Lucie Tiberghien directs. Watch for free on Molière in the Park's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja
On Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera presented a live recital featuring soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Joseph Calleja performing from Italy's Cappella Palatina of the Royal Palace of Caserta, and a recording is viewable until Thursday, November 5. The duo sings a selection of classic arias and duets from Puccini's Tosca, Bizet's Carmen and other operas. Roberto Moreschi accompanies on piano. Tickets cost $20.
Top image: Kelli O'Hara, who's performing a concert with The New York Pops tonight.