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, May 19, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Off Broadway Alliance Awards
At 11:30 a.m. ET, longtime collaborators and NYC theatre legends Charles Busch and Julie Halston will announce the 10th annual Off Broadway Alliance Awards live. There are seven competitive categories: Best New Musical, Best New Play (Busch's wonderful The Confession of Lily Dare is a contender!), Best Musical Revival, Best Play Revival, Best Unique Theatrical Experience, Best Solo Performance and Best Family Show. Playwright and performer Gretchen Cryer, New Federal Theatre founder Woodie King, Jr., producer Eric Krebs and Vineyard Theatre and New York City Children's Theater founder Barbara Zinn Krieger will also be recognized as Legends of Off Broadway. Watch for free on Facebook.
Sierra Boggess Guest Hosts Stars in the House
At 2 p.m. ET, Phantom favorite Sierra Boggess guest hosts Stars in the House, and she's bringing some her Broadway costars along, including Lisa Howard, who played her sister in It Shoulda Been You and Sean Palmer, who played Prince Eric to her Ariel in The Little Mermaid. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on YouTube.
The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues
At 6 p.m. EST, catch the latest installment of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, a six-hour series of solos about how we're living today. Every 15 minutes from 6 p.m. until midnight, well-known actors—including Todd Almond, Maddie Corman, Ari Graynor, Cobie Smulders, Ryan Spahn and Kate Hamill—will perform tailor-made monologues, all penned and filmed within the last 24 hours. This week directors were paired with a single collaborator to create the pieces, including Colt Coeur's Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Sammi Cannold, who helmed Evita at Encores! last year, Rock of Ages' Kristin Hanggi and Tony nominee Leigh Silverman. Watch on Instagram at instagram.com/24hourplays.
The Tank: 2020 Virtual Gala
At 6 p.m. ET, one of Off-Off Broadway's most adventurous theatres, The Tank, throws an online benefit with performances by Tony winners Tonya Pinkins and Denis O'Hare, performers from Hadestown, the cast of Tony winner Greg Kotis' I Am Nobody, which was forced to close early due to the pandemic, and others. Tickets are $30 and come with an at-home cook along by Chef Jenn de la Vega so you can complement your cutting-edge culture with tasty cuisine.
54 Sings One Direction at Feinstein's/54 Below
At 6:30 p.m. ET, Feinstein's/54 Below presents 54 Sings One Direction, a concert tribute to the beloved British boy band of the 2010s. Up-and-coming stage stars such as Nicholas Barasch (She Loves Me), Charlotte Maltby, Larry Owens (A Strange Loop), Andy Richardson (Newsies, Kinky Boots) and Colton Ryan (Girl From the North Country) show off their best Harry Styles 'dos and vocals as they croon "What Makes You Beautiful," "Story of My Life," "Drag Me Down" and other hits. Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
Café La MaMa Live with Karen Finley
At 7 p.m. ET, go avant-garde with Café La MaMa Live: Take 6, a smorgasbord of short performances that experiment with form. This week is curated by a pair of gleefully irreverent performance artists and political truth-tellers, Karen Finley and George Emilio Sanchez, and the lineup includes downtown darlings JD Davids, Dusty Childers and Pamela Sneed. Watch for free on La MaMa's website, though donations are encouraged.
Lohengrin at the Met
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares its 2010 mounting of Wagner's Lohengrin, starring Eva Marton, Leonie Rysanek, Peter Hofmann, Leif Roar and John Macurdy, conducted by James Levine. 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, Idomeneo, until 6:30 p.m. today.
You Live, You Learn: A Night with Alanis Morissette and Jagged Little Pill
At 8 p.m. ET, you oughta know that rock goddess Alanis Morissette and the cast of her jukebox musical Jagged Little Pill are performing an hour-long concert to benefit The Actors Fund. The Grammy-winning songwriter will be joined by the show's stars, including Elizabeth Stanley, Celia Rose Gooding, Derek Klena Lauren Patten, to perform numbers from the suspended Broadway musical. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Flash Reunion on Stars in the House
At 8 p.m. ET, hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome the cast of the CW's smash The Flash to Stars in the House. Inspired by the comic book series of the same name, the show features a number of Broadway alums, including Rent star Jesse L. Martin and Grant Gustin, who also appeared on Glee. So we expect some songs, especially since there's already been a Flash musical episode. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on YouTube.
New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's Diamonds
At 8 p.m. ET, New York City Ballet shares George Balanchine's Diamonds, the third section of the legendary choreographer's three-part Jewels, set to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29. Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen dance this masterwork, which was recorded in performance last year. Watch for free on NYCB's YouTube channel through Friday at 8 p.m. ET.
The 37th Annual Michael R. Jackson Talk and Sing
At 8 p.m. ET, Musical Theatre Factory, which incubates work by underrepresented artists, shares a concert by Michael R. Jackson, newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner for his marvelous meta musical A Strange Loop, which was developed at the organization. Recorded at Joe's Pub last year, this performance also features Natalie Walker, John-Andrew Morrison and Molly Hager. Watch for free on Musical Theatre Factory's YouTube Channel though donations are encouraged.
Available to Watch All Day
Shakespeare's Globe: The Winter's Tale
London's Shakespeare's Globe shares a recording of its 2018 mounting of The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's genre-shifting comedy-tragedy-romance about an insanely jealous king, a pair of determined young lovers, an oracle, a magical statue and a bear. Watch for free anytime through Sunday, May 31 on the theatre's YouTube channel.
When 3Views was founded by playwrights Julia Jordan and Sarah Ruhl, its mission was to be an online journal showcasing in-depth theatre criticism and essays by diverse writers. But with no shows to cover, the project's aim has shifted to serving as a digital archive of productions that were postponed, suspended, canceled or closed due to the pandemic. The first three shows being spotlighted were all running Off Broadway when the shutdown hit: Unknown Soldier, Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein's wistful musical about a family mystery, which closed early at Playwrights Horizons; Gnit, Will Eno's twisted take on Ibsen's Peer Gynt, which was postponed at Theatre for a New Audience; and Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage's opera Intimate Apparel, which was postponed at Lincoln Center Theater. Watch video clips, hear audio, read script excerpts and click through production photos for all three on 3Views' website.
Neil LaBute Shorts
Prolific provocateur-playwright Neil LaBute (Bash, The Shape of Things) is sharing a half dozen short films online featuring some of his usual stage collaborators. The first two premiere today: Sexting starring Julia Stiles, Jamie Anderson and Marin Ireland, who earned a Tony nod for her turn in LaBute's Reasons to Be Pretty on Broadway; and Double or Nothing with Keith David, Adam Brody and Louisa Krause. A new flick will be released every Monday for the next four weeks. Watch for free on Vimeo.
Simon McBurney's The Encounter
London's Complicité streams The Encounter, avant-garde theatre-maker Simon McBurney's aurally immersive one-man play about National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre's interactions with the elusive Mayoruna tribe in the Amazon rain forest. This singular show was well-received on Broadway and headphones are recommended to get the full experience as it conjures the locale through evocative sound design. Watch for free anytime through Friday on Complicité's YouTube channel.
National Theatre: Barber Shop Chronicles
London's National Theatre shares Barber Shop Chronicles, Inua Ellams' hit play about the thriving social scenes at six different barbershops, one in London, the others in Africa. A critically acclaimed production, the show presents a loving and insightful portrait of the African men who work and visit these hair-styling havens. Watch for free anytime through Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Lincoln Center Theater: Pipeline
BroadwayHD partners with Lincoln Center to stream the drama Pipeline at no cost. Written by Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau, the thought-provoking play ran at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in 2017 and centers on a black inner-city public school teacher fighting to ensure her rage-filled son doesn't become a statistic. Watch for free anytime through Friday on BroadwayHD.
Stratford Festival: The Tempest
Ontario's venerable Stratford Festival continues its Shakespeare On Film series with The Tempest starring six-decade stage vet Martha Henry as Prospero the vengeful sorcerer. Stratford's artistic director Antoni Cimolino helmed this well-received 2018 production, which you can watch for free on the Stratford Festival's YouTube channel.
Odd Day Rain at TADA! Youth Theater
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 musicals for families. Recorded last year, the sci-fi rock musical Odd Day Rain is a tuneful cautionary tale about the perils of relying on technology, and features kids forced to live in isolation, which feels eerily timely. 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.
Top image: Lauren Patten and company performing "You Oughta Know" in Jagged Little Pill. Photo by Matthew Murphy..