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, May 12 and Thursday, May 13, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Wednesday, May 12
The Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute
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 a welcome repeat from last week: Tony winner Julie Taymor's eye-popping, puppet-filled mounting of Mozart's fantastical fable The Magic Flute. Condensed into one act and performed in English, this 2006 production stars Nathan Gunn, Ying Huang, Matthew Polenzani, Erika Miklosa and René Pape. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tristan und Isolde
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Wagner's Tristan und Isolde featuring Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen as the title couple whose all-consuming love defies the law. Katarina Dalayman, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen and René Pape costar in this 1999 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Don Giovanni, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Thursday, May 13
Keen Company: The Year of Magical Thinking
On Thursday at 9 a.m. ET, Off Broadway's acclaimed Keen Company presents an encore stream of The Year of Magical Thinking starring the incomparable Kathleen Chalfant, one of NYC's busiest and most beloved stage performers. Adapted from Joan Didion's best-selling memoir, this one-woman play traces the author's journey of grief following the sudden death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, while caring for their ill daughter. It's an insightful heartbreaker with unexpected wit and loads of wisdom. 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 Sunday.
Tales from the Wings: A Lincoln Center Theater Celebration!
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center Theater presents Tales from the Wings, a celebration of the institution's productions past and future. In between clips of acclaimed plays and musicals, artists who've triumphed at the theatre, including actors Rosemary Harris, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Ruthie Ann Miles, Steven Pasquale and Paulo Szot, directors Lileana Blain-Cruz and Bartlett Sher, and playwright Ayad Akhtar will share backstage stories and a peek at the upcoming season. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Monday.
Symphony Space Gala
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Upper West Side culture spot Symphony Space presents an online gala featuring a concert followed by fascinating conversations. The lineup of special guests includes many Broadway stars, including Kate Baldwin, Santino Fontana, Nikki Renée Daniels, Laura Osnes and Tony Yazbeck, alongside Sesame Street vet Sonia Manzano, cartoonist Roz Chast, TV vet Jane Kaczmarek and many others. Tickets start at $35.
The Metropolitan Opera: Der Rosenkavalier
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss' comedy of love and errors starring Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Christine Schäfer and Kristinn Sigmund. Filmed for the Met's Live in HD series in 2010, it's 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, Tristan und Isolde, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays: Watch on the Rhine
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 Watch on the Rhine by Lillian Hellman. An acclaimed cast, including Tony and Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, Carla Gugino and Tony nominees Mary Beth Peil and Jeremy Shamos, star in this political thriller centering on a German anti-fascist and his American wife, who travel to Washington, D.C. in 1940 during the rise of the Nazi regime. Last seen on Broadway 40 years ago, this powerful play is an undersung classic. Sarna Lapine directs. Tickets are $18 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 and proceeds benefit The Actors Fund.
The Joyce Theater: Stephen Petronio Company
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with the lauded Stephen Petronio Company. The program features five works, either new or reimagined for online viewing, including Trisha Brown's 1973 piece Group Primary Accumulation. 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, May 26.
Goodman Theatre: The Sound Inside
On Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET, Chicago's acclaimed Goodman Theatre presents Adam Rapp's Tony-nominated play The Sound Inside about an ailing literature professor who forms an unexpected relationship with a precocious but mysterious student. Performed live on stage and streamed to an at-home audience, the production is helmed by Goodman's artistic director Robert Falls and stars Mary Beth Fisher and John Drea. Tickets are $30 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Available to Watch Both Days
On Wednesday and Thursday at 1, 4, 7 and 10 p.m. ET, come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway! Catch the acclaimed West End revival of 42nd Street about a spunky chorus girl who goes out a youngster but comes back a star after the leading lady gets injured. Filmed at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2018, the lavish production features jaw-dropping tap numbers and iconic Broadway songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin including "We're in the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway" and the title tune. Bonnie Langford plays the sidelined star Dorothy Brock and Clare Halse is Peggy Sawyer, the nobody who doesn't throw away her shot. The ultimate backstage musical! Tickets are $15.
Huntington Avenue Theatre: Black Beans Project
Boston's Huntington Avenue Theatre presents Black Beans Project, a new hour-long comedy by artist-in-residence Melinda Lopez and Broadway's Joel Perez (Fun Home, Sweet Charity) about two siblings who find solace in food and family during the pandemic. Jaime Castañeda directs this heartwarming and mouthwatering piece. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Sunday, May 30. Closed captions are available.
PBS Great Performances: Uncle Vanya
PBS Great Performances presents Conor McPherson's adaptation of Uncle Vanya, Anton Chekhov's heartbreaking tale of loneliness and longing. Toby Jones stars in the title role, an unhappy man who believes life has unfairly passed him by. Richard Armitage, Rosalind Eleazar, Aimee Lou Wood, Anna Calder Marshall, Dearbhla Molloy, Roger Allam and Peter Wight costar in this stage-cinema hybrid, which was filmed live at London's Harold Pinter Theatre, where the production had enjoyed a critically acclaimed but truncated run due to the pandemic. Watch for free on PBS Thirteen's website.
TheaterWorks Hartford: Christiane Noll: Coming Alive Again
Connecticut's TheaterWorks Hartford presents Tony nominee Christiane Noll in Coming Alive Again, an intimate and optimistic cabaret about our new normal. The Broadway favorite talks candidly about the challenges of navigating motherhood during the pandemic and performs songs from a few of the Broadway shows she's known for, Dear Evan Hansen and Ragtime, as well as numbers from Follies, Bridges of Madison County, Company, Fun Home, Grey Gardens, Hello, Dolly!, Jagged Little Pill, Next to Normal and Wicked. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Monday, May 31.
Feinstein's/54 Below: Marilyn Maye: Broadway, the Maye Way
Feinstein's/54 Below presents cabaret great Marilyn Maye in her brand-new concert Broadway, the Maye Way. Recorded at the club last month around Maye's 93rd birthday, the show features the legend singing numbers from the golden age of Broadway backed by her world-class jazz trio. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, May 29.
The New Group: Waiting for Godot
Off Broadway trailblazer The New Group presents its inaugural digital production: Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot featuring Ethan Hawke and John Leguizamo as Vladimir and Estragon. Helmed by the troupe's artistic director, Scott Elliott, and shot in isolation at the actors' respective homes, this play is a perfect fun-house-mirror reflection of our pandemic times as we all await change, both personal and global. Tickets start at $20 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 30. Closed captions are available.
Feinstein's/54 Below: Jeremy Jordan: Carry On
Feinstein's/54 Below presents Newsies Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan in Carry On, a profoundly personal concert that explores his life as a father as well as his own complex childhood. Although the show debuted in 2020 before the shutdown, this edition has been reimagined for digital consumption and was recorded on stage during the pandemic at the celebrated cabaret club. The evening includes numbers from the musicals he's known for, including the TV series Smash, plus pop songs and personal favorites. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, May 27.
The Joyce Theater: Limon Dance Company
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with lauded modern dance troupe Limon Dance Company. The program includes classics by cofounder José Limon, The Moor's Pavane (1949) and There Is a Time (1956), alongside Chafin Seymour's Suite Donut, which was commissioned last year. 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, May 19.
San Francisco Ballet: Romeo & Juliet
California's acclaimed San Francisco Ballet presents Romeo & Juliet choreographed by the troupe's artistic director, Helgi Tomasson. This archival recording of Prokofiev's passionate ballet features Davit Karapetyan and Maria Kochetkova as the star-crossed lovers. Tickets are $29 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, May 26.
The Shows Must Go On!: Before the Interval
The Shows Must Go On! presents the satirical dance-theatre piece Before the Interval, the sequel to After the Interval centering on three dancers and their career aspirations. Luca Silvestrini conceived of and directed the work, which was recorded at London's Linbury Studio Theatre in 2014. Watch for free indefinitely on YouTube.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Black Feminist Video Game
On Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET, Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents a live online performance of Black Feminist Video Game, Darrell Alejandro Holnes' inventive and interactive show about Jonas, a biracial teen on the autism spectrum attempting to win a classic 2D game along with the girl of his dreams. His journey unfolds on Twitch with the audience helping (or hindering) Jonas' progress along the way. Christon Andell, Kyla Jeanne Butts and Starr Kirkland star and Victoria Collado directs. Log in ready to join the action! Tickets are $10.
Top image: the cast of 42nd Street at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Photo by Sophie Thomas.