Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre still a rarity, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, June 9 and Thursday, June 10, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Wednesday, June 9
North Coast Repertory Theatre: Becoming Dr. Ruth
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, California's North Coast Repertory Theatre presents four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh in Becoming Dr. Ruth, Mark St. Germain's inspiring one-woman bio play about the cheery sex therapist and her compelling past, including losing her family in the Holocaust, working as a sniper for the Haganah and finally finding Mr. Right after two divorces. David Ellenstein directs the production, which was filmed live on stage at Bay Street Theater, a co-producer of the show. Tickets start at $35 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, July 4.
The Metropolitan Opera: L'Elisir d'Amore
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 L'Elisir d'Amore, Donizetti's charming rom-com about a spirited landowner, a lovesick peasant and a purported love potion that may lead to romance. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher helmed this 2018 mounting that stars Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Bryant Park: New York Philharmonic
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Bryant Park kicks off its in-person Picnic Performances with a concert by the New York Philharmonic, which will also be streamed to at-home viewers. Under the baton of Lina González-Granados, 30-plus musicians will perform works by Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Paul Creston, Igor Stravinsky, Mozart and others in the Midtown green space. Watch for free on Bryant Park's YouTube channel.
Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, singer and actor Stevie Holland conjures the glamorous life and marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Cole Porter in Love, Linda. Cowritten by Holland and her real-life husband, Gary William Friedman, the one-woman musical chronicles the unconventional couple's 35-year union, as Southern belle Linda Lee Thomas stands by and inspires her talented man, songwriter Cole Porter, even though he was gay. Richard Maltby, Jr. directed this unorthodox love story. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 23.
Playwrights Horizons: The KILL ONE Race
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, equal parts theatre, reality TV competition and documentary, this online series from the multitalented Raja Feather Kelly follows participants in an arduous contest to be crowned the most ethical. The prize? Death. Filmed at Playwrights Horizons, this dystopian exploration of morality versus media unfolds in seven episodes. The first four installments are already up, and episode 5 premieres tonight. Watch them all for free online.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Sonnambula
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tony winner Mary Zimmerman's 2009 mounting of La Sonnambula, Bellini's comedy of confusion as a young woman (Natalie Dessay) is discovered sleeping in the bed of a stranger by her startled fiancé (Juan Diego Flórez). Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Faust, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Hello, Dolly! Game Night
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host one of their popular game nights, with Hello, Dolly! stars Kate Baldwin, Gavin Creel, Taylor Trensch and Beanie Feldstein competing for glory. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Thursday, June 10
Lincoln Center Theater: Marys Seacole
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center Theater presents Marys Seacole, Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies Drury's critically acclaimed play about an ambitious Jamaican woman whose adventures span many countries and eras, from the Crimean War to a modern-day nursing home. A profound exploration of women who are paid to look after others, this fantasia is inspired by the real-life 19th-century nurse and healer Mary Seacole as well as all the caregivers who came after her. This Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production was recorded on stage in 2019, with Lileana Blain-Cruz directing Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Gabby Beans, Marceline Hugot, Karen Kandel, Ismenia Mendes and Lucy Taylor. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, July 4.
Flushing Town Hall: Pride Trilogy: Part I - Mark Nadler: Gay As They Say
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Queens' Flushing Town Hall celebrates Pride Month with a trio of out and proud performances. First up is acclaimed singer-pianist Mark Nadler in Gay As They Say, an amusing exploration of the provocative double entendres in the lyrics of gay songwriters such as Cole Porter, Noël Coward and Larry Hart. Streamed live from the venue's stage. Tickets are $5.
Manhattan Theatre Club Virtual Gala
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Manhattan Theatre Club hosts a starry virtual spring gala, with artists who've worked at the company reflecting on what MTC means to NYC's cultural landscape. The lineup includes Lewis Black, Blair Brown, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, Debra Jo Rupp, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Simon Stephens and Florian Zeller. Register to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m. ET and captions are available.
Theater in Quarantine: The Nine O'Clock Problem
On Thursday at 7 and 9 p.m. ET, one of the most prolific pandemic collaborations, Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin's Theater in Quarantine presents The Nine O'Clock Problem, a meta-mockumentary about their virtual work over the past 15 months. Written in collaboration with Dan O'Neil, the piece delves into everything that can go wrong in Gelb and McLaughlin's closet-turned-digital studio where they perform their shows (including this one) live but with an inevitable digital delay. Watch for free on YouTube.
The Metropolitan Opera: Agrippina
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Agrippina, Handel's satirical take on the games the people surrounding Roman emperor Claudius play, including his wife, portrayed by Joyce DiDonato. Sir David McVicar's mounting was recorded in early 2020 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, La Sonnambula, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios
On Thursday at 7:50 p.m. ET, Grammy-nominated iconoclast and No. 1 Judy Garland fan Rufus Wainwright sings her entire 1961 Carnegie Hall set at Capitol Studios backed by a four-piece band in front of an audience of one: Renée Zellweger, who won an Oscar for portraying the diva in 2019's Judy. During the live-streamed concert, he'll duet with Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth in person and his sister, Martha Wainwright, remotely from Montreal. Tickets are $30 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, June 13.
The Joyce Theater: Ballez: Giselle of Loneliness
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with a world premiere from Ballez, a company dedicated to radically reinventing classic ballets. The troupe will perform Giselle of Loneliness, a queer reimagining of the 19th-century romantic tragedy that examines what dancers give up for their art. 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 23.
Stars in the House: Kristin Chenoweth's Broadway Bootcamp
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsly and James Wesley welcome beloved Broadway diva Kristin Chenoweth, who's in her hometown of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma overseeing Broadway Bootcamp this week. Enjoy performances by the Tony winner and the talented teens she's mentoring! Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Available to Watch Both Days
The Shows Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre
Ever since the pandemic began, the UK-based The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel has been keeping the magic of musicals alive by streaming recordings of popular shows for free. But last week, the presenters traded the screen for the stage by producing a series of in-person concerts at London's Palace Theatre. The final performance was also live-streamed to an at-home audience and you can watch a recording this week. Enjoy intimate numbers, mostly solos and duets, from some of the West End's biggest blockbusters, including Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, SIX, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Matilda the Musical, & Juliet, Les Misérables, The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Come From Away, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia!, Back to the Future the Musical and Pretty Woman the Musical. Watch for free until Friday at 2 p.m. on YouTube though donations to Theatre Support Fund+ are encouraged.
New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's Vienna Waltzes
New York City Ballet wraps up its digital spring season with George Balanchine's 1977 epic Vienna Waltzes, set to music 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.
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.
The Drama League's 2021 DirectorFest: the bull-jean stories
The Drama League kicks off a virtual edition of its annual DirectorFest, showcasing the talents of four New York Directing Fellows as they helm new work. The first offering is Sharon Bridgforth's the bull-jean stories, directed by Signe V. Harriday, chronicling the life and loves of a Black lesbian in the rural South of the 1920s. Watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel until Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
National Asian American Theatre Company: What If If Only
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, NAATCO, one of NYC's leading Asian-American theatre companies, presents a live online performance of What If If Only, a new playlet by the incomparable Caryl Churchill about the questions we ask ourselves after the loss of a loved one. Les Waters and Jared Mezzocchi direct an all-Asian cast in the short, including NAATCO co-founder Mia Katigbak. Tickets are $15.
Soho Theatre: Herding Cats
In May, London's Soho Theatre presented this stage-cinema hybrid of Lucinda Coxon's drama Herding Cats, featuring Jassa Ahluwalia and Sophie Melville acting in person on stage, with Grey's Anatomy star Greg Germann performing live via video from New York. Now you can watch a recording of this high-tech production about two millennial roommates, Justine and Michael, struggling to navigate their disconnected lives. Michael earns his living by chatting with strangers online, including boomer Saddo, who's grappling with his own intimacy issues. What's left to say when words can't bridge the gap? Tickets start at $19 and the recording is viewable until Monday, June 21.
Top image: A scene from Marys Seacole, which is being streamed by Lincoln Center Theater starting on Thursday. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.