Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre still a rarity for the time being, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, June 2 and Thursday, June 3, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca
On Wednesday 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. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is Sir David McVicar's striking 2018 staging of Puccini's Tosca, starring Sonya Yoncheva as the title diva, Vittorio Grigolo as her artist lover and Željko Lucic as the man who stands in the way of their happiness. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Symphony Space: Virtual Selected Shorts: It Takes Two with Cynthia Nixon
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Upper West Side culture spot Symphony Space drops a new episode of its decades-old Selected Shorts series, with well-known actors performing brief works of literature by (mostly) contemporary authors. Cynthia Nixon hosts this evening of tales about twosomes, featuring stories read by husband and wife Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole, Hettienne Park, Kate Walsh and Kirsten Vangsness. Tickets are $15.
The Metropolitan Opera: Carmen
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Bizet's Carmen featuring Clémentine Margaine as the title character, who captivates all the men around her. Filmed in 2019, the production was directed by Richard Eyre, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, and costars Roberto Alagna, Aleksandra Kurzak and Alexander Vinogradov. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Samson et Dalila, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Girls5eva Celebration
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrate the TV show Girls5eva on Stars in the House. The new musical series, about a one-hit-wonder girl group from the '90s that reunites in the 21st century, stars Broadway favorites Sara Bareilles and Renée Elise Goldsberry, and is produced by Mean Girls' Tina Fey, all of whom will appear on this episode. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
One Night with Luba Mason
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Broadway vet Luba Mason, who was starring in Girl From the North Country when the shutdown hit, performs a live concert at Brooklyn's Soapbox Gallery that will also be streamed to at-home viewers. Accompanied by Sean Harkness on guitar and Samuel Torres on percussion, the singer-actor will croon tunes from her career, which includes roles in Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde and The Will Rogers Follies, and perhaps a few songs by her husband, Latin jazz great Rubén Blades. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish.
Anna Deavere Smith on Classic Conversations
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, Classic Stage Company presents a chat between artistic director John Doyle and performer, playwright, activist and educator Anna Deavere Smith. A Pulitzer finalist and Tony nominee, Smith is celebrated for her politically urgent, solo docudramas Fires in the Mirror, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 and Notes from the Field. Watch for free on Classic Stage Company's Facebook page.
Broadway Toasts Queensborough
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Queensborough Community College presents a benefit concert hosted by Ray Romano and featuring performances by Broadway vets, including Tony winner Debbie Gravitte and her son, Sam Gravitte, Tony nominee Christiane Noll, and former Wicked costars Alli Mauzey and Dee Roscioli. Register to receive the free viewing link.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Fille du Régiment
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents La Fille du Régiment, Gaetano Donizetti's beloved romantic comedy about an orphan girl raised by French soldiers who ends up falling for a rebel. This 2019 production stars Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Javier Camarena and Maurizio Muraro, and Oscar-nominated actress Kathleen Turner makes a non-singing cameo as the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Carmen, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays: Ohio State Murders
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, since spring of 2020, Broadway's Best Shows has presented performances of important plays featuring big stars acting from their respective homes. The series continues with six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald in Ohio State Murders. When writer Suzanne Alexander is invited to her alma mater to talk about the violence in her work, a dark mystery begins to unravel. Written by acclaimed dramatist Adrienne Kennedy, Ohio State Murders is a powerful examination of the destructiveness of racism in the US. Warner Miller, Lizan Mitchell and Ben Rappaport costar, and Tony winner Kenny Leon directs. Tickets are $19 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Monday at 6 p.m. ET.
Bard at the Gate: Bulrusher
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Paula Vogel launched Bard at the Gate, a play reading series showcasing timely, under-the-radar scripts. The initiative is now being presented by New Jersey's lauded McCarter Theatre Center, and the new season kicks off with an encore stream of Eisa Davis' Bulrusher, a sexual and political coming-of-age tale about a multiracial girl with clairvoyant gifts struggling to belong in her predominantly white town in 1955 California. But when a Black girl from Alabama arrives, everything shifts. Recorded remotely in fall 2020, the performance stars Corey Stoll, Kara Young, André Holland, Edmund Donovan, Sydney Elisabeth and Tanis Parenteau, and is directed by the playwright. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 9. On opening night, there will also be a post-show conversation with Davis, Vogel and Valerie Curtis-Newton, the artistic director for The Hansberry Project.
New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's Vienna Waltzes
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, New York City Ballet wraps up its digital spring season with George Balanchine's 1977 epic Vienna Waltzes, set to waltzes by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehár and Richard Strauss and featuring more than 50 dancers. This performance was filmed in 2013 and stars Rebecca Krohn, Tyler Angle, Megan Fairchild, Anthony Huxley, Erica Pereira, Sean Suozzi, Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Maria Kowroski and Jared Angle weaving through Rouben Ter-Arutunian's evolving scenery. Watch for free until Thursday, June 17 on NYCB's YouTube channel.
The Joyce Theater: RUBBERBAND: Vic's Mix
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with Canadian company RUBBERBAND, known for fusing street dance with classical movement. Founded by choreographer Victor Quijada in 2002, this Vic's Mix program features highlights from two decades of boundary-blurring dance. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 16.
Stars in the House: Youth Pride Chorus Celebration
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsly and James Wesley kick off Pride Month on Stars in the House with the Youth Pride Chorus, who'll be performing live solos and prerecorded group numbers. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
American Ballet Theatre Studio Company Spring Festival
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, American Ballet Theatre presents a digital festival of new performances starring dancers from its Studio Company. Filmed at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, New York earlier this spring, the lineup features the world premieres of Jessica Lang's Children's Songs Dance and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Banksy-inspired Scurry Night alongside excerpts from ABT's repertoire such as Alexei Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas, Twyla Tharp's Known By Heart duet and Paul Taylor's Airs. Watch for free on the troupe's YouTube channel.
Songs for Our City
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Broadway Sessions host Ben Cameron is behind the Songs for Our City competition, a week of live Times Square concerts that will also be streamed online, featuring brand-new NYC-centric numbers written by Broadway actors and composers. On Wednesday, enjoy tunes by Albert Guerzon, Rebecca Murillo, Starbird & the Phoenix and Storm Thomas. On Thursday, Amara Janae Brady, Cheeyang Ng and Eric Sorrels, F Michael Haynie, Josh Walker, Matt Wolpe and Mike Wartella celebrate our city in song. The finalists will face off on Saturday in a concert judged by Jack Phillips Moore from The Public Theater, theatre critic and TDF Stages contributor Jose Solís and Cambodian Rock Band playwright Lauren Yee. Watch for free online on Times Square Alliance's website. Prefer to attend in person? Click here to reserve your free tickets.
Manhattan Theatre Club: The Niceties
Manhattan Theatre Club presents The Niceties, Eleanor Burgess' thought-provoking two-hander about a Black student and her veteran white college professor locking horns over the presentation of American history. The play sparked lots of conversation when it ran Off Broadway at MTC in 2018. This new digital mounting, co-presented by Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, reunites the stars of that production, Lisa Banes and Jordan Boatman, with director Kimberly Senior. RSVP to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, June 13.
Dixon Place: Bill's 44th
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown's invaluable Dixon Place presents Andy Manjuck and Dorothy James's coming-of-middle-age puppet comedy Bill's 44th, about a high-strung man whose birthday goes awry. Tickets start at $12.
MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns: Faith
MasterVoices presents Faith, the final installment of the four-part theatrical song cycle Myths and Hymns by Light in the Piazza Tony winner Adam Guettel. Inspired by Greek myths and 19th-century Presbyterian hymns, the 1998 work explores the nature of faith and longing in our secular society. The other three chapters, Flight, Work and Love, were released earlier this year and can be streamed for free on YouTube. This fourth collection of multimedia musical shorts stars Tony winners Jennifer Holliday and Kelli O'Hara, A Strange Loop's Larry Owens, Mykal Kilgore, The Gospel Soul Children of New York and others. Watch for free on MasterVoices' YouTube channel.
The Vineyard Theatre: Brutal Imagination
Twenty years after Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination premiered at The Vineyard Theatre, the play returns with original stars Joe Morton and Sally Murphy. Directed by Morton, the drama is inspired by the infamous case of Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina who falsely claimed that a Black man kidnapped her children when, in fact, she had drowned them. A potent examination of dangerous racial stereotyping in America, then and now. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Monday, June 7.
The York Theatre Company: Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose
The York Theatre Company presents Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, Broadway vet Ed Dixon's solo show about his complicated friendship with George Rose, the Tony-winning star of My Fair Lady and The Mystery of Edwin Drood who turned out to have a terrifying dark side. This is a recording of the play's critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run in 2017, which was filmed at The Davenport Theatre. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, July 18.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: The Story of Greenwood
To mark the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents The Story of Greenwood featuring footage from Donald Byrd's powerful dance piece Greenwood as well as excerpts from a recent documentary about what happened in Oklahoma 100 years ago. Watch for free on the troupe's YouTube channel.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Audra McDonald, who's starring in a virtual performance of Ohio State Murders on Thursday. Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein.