Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre a rarity for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Monday, April 26 and Tuesday, April 27, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
ABT Incubator: Thread of Memories
On Monday at 9 a.m. ET, American Ballet Theatre continues its Incubator series showcasing brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. Today's premiere is Thread of Memories by ABT dancer Luigi Crispino. Set to music by Joe Hisaishi, the trio stars Crispino's fellow ABTers Virginia Lensi, Rachel Richardson and Nathan Vendt. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
Broadway's Future Songbook Series: Voices of Hope
On Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts presents a concert of inspirational numbers by emerging musical theatre songwriters, including Joey Contreras, Doug Lyons, Billy Recce, Alex Ratner, Greg Pliska and Maria Christensen, that were created in response to the pandemic. Hear Broadway voices of tomorrow today! Register to receive the free viewing link.
The Town Hall: Broadway by the Year: The Cole Porter Years
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, cabaret impresario Scott Siegel reinvents his Broadway by the Year series for digital consumption with a concert of Cole Porter songs. Tony nominees Lilli Cooper and Alexander Gemignani and other Broadway regulars perform numbers from Anything Goes, Can-Can, Kiss Me, Kate and more Porter musicals. Tickets are $30 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
The Way Forward: Theatre's Evolution in Moments of Change: Part II: Present — Culture and Crisis
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, the 92nd Street Y and Town & Country magazine continue their three-part interview series with theatre industry leaders discussing the long road back to in-person performances. Part II is titled "Present — Culture and Crisis" and features The Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Nataki Garrett, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company artistic director Maria Manuela Goyanes and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah discussing how to make the industry more diverse, inclusive and anti-racist. Register to receive the free viewing link
New York Theatre Workshop: Brother, Brother
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, New York Theatre Workshop presents Brother, Brother, a new music-filled audio drama by award-winning playwright Aleshea Harris (Is God Is, What to Send Up When It Goes Down) about two songwriting siblings traveling Appalachia by bicycle on their way to make it big in Tennessee. But on their journey they're confronted by ghosts from the past. Shayok Misha Chowdhury directs Tony winner André De Shields, To Kill a Mockingbird's Gbenga Akinnagbe, Amari Cheatom and Owen Tabaka in this haunting production. Tickets are $10 and you can listen until Sunday, July 25.
Red Bull Theater: Paradise Lost Part II: Eve and Adam
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for reimagining classics, presents a theatricalization of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost about the questions that haunt us all: What is evil? Why does God allow bad things to happen? Do humans have free will? Michael Barakiva adapted and directed the two-part production and tonight's final installment is titled Eve and Adam. Watch for free on Red Bull's YouTube channel though a $25 donation is suggested. A recording will be available until Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Bohème
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents La Bohème, Puccini's romantic tragedy about love, bromance and art. Sonya Yoncheva, Susanna Phillips, Michael Fabiano, Lucas Meachem, Alexey Lavrov and Matthew Rose star in this 2018 mounting of Franco Zeffirelli's original staging. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website You can still stream yesterday's opera, Dialogues des Carmélites, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Period Piece Part III
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, for once you can rejoice that it's that time of the month as a diverse slate of storytellers and stars come together for Period Piece, a meditation on menstruation. Conceived by Susan Cinoman and directed by Karen Carpenter, this three-evening event wraps up tonight with a dozen actors, including Tony winner Cady Huffman, Maddie Corman, Judy Gold, Tracie Thoms and Jennifer Westfeldt, performing playlets by Lisa D'Amour, Emma Goldman-Sherman, Tina Howe, Kit Yan and others that aim to destigmatize menses. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers at Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular weekly Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for years. Tonight's lineup includes Broadway show-stopper Bonnie Milligan, Brittney Johnson from Wicked, Hamilton's Wesley Ryan and gospel singer Tiffany Coburn. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus: Open Stage Variety Show: Quarantine Edition: The Finale!
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, now that in-person performances are coming back, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents the finale of its live weekly variety show hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. The final awe-inspiring lineup includes aerialist Maia Ramnath, magician Torkova, juggler Solvin Arnold and the Tono Unicycle Troupe. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
American Conservatory Theatre: The Matchmaker
On Monday at 9 p.m. ET, San Francisco's lauded American Conservatory Theater wraps up its A.C.T. Out Loud reading series spotlighting prescient plays with Thornton Wilder's 1954 comedy The Matchmaker, a reinvention of two earlier plays that served as the basis for the beloved musical Hello, Dolly! Dawn Monique Williams directs a multicultural cast in this 19th farce about widow Dolly Levi looking to make her own perfect match. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Theater of War Productions: The Oedipus Project
On Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET, Theater of War Productions, a company that uses classical texts to examine contemporary issues, presents a starry reading of scenes from Oedipus at Colonus, followed by a town hall-style discussion with the audience. Three-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Corey Hawkins, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Tony winner Jeffrey Wright and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will perform parts of Sophocles' tragedy—which premiered during a plague that decimated the Athenian population—and then talk about how the play's themes relate to our current pandemic. Reserve your free ticket on Eventbrite at least an hour in advance. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Little Gem
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Irish Rep presents Elaine Murphy's Little Gem about three North Dublin women from different generations, each facing a major life change. Brenda Meaney, Lauren O'Leary and four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason reprise their critically acclaimed performances from the theatre's hit 2019 production, with each actor taping her part remotely. Marc Atkinson Borrull once again directs. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though a $25 donation is suggested. Closed captions are available.
Out of the Box Theatrics: The Last Five Years
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Jason Robert Brown's musical dissection of a romance, The Last Five Years, has proven to be a pandemic favorite, with multiple productions in the UK and stateside. It makes sense since the two-hander is about disconnection, as the man tells his side of their love story chronologically while the woman recalls their relationship in reverse. This digital reimagining of the show was coproduced by Out of the Box Theatrics and Holmdel Theatre Company and filmed inside a New York City apartment, giving it an air of verisimilitude. Nasia Thomas and Nicholas Edwards star as the ill-fated couple, and celebrated musical director Jason Michael Webb helmed the production. Tickets start at $29.
The Metropolitan Opera: The Merry Widow
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tony-winning director Susan Stroman's delightful staging of Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow, starring opera legend Renée Fleming as the title character, who's wooed by Nathan Gunn's Danilo, an old flame with ulterior motives. Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara costars. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Bohème, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Civilians: Black Feminist Video Game
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, The Civilians 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 $11.50.
Stars in the House: Growing Up Annie and Sandy
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House guest host Christine Pedi celebrates Broadway's favorite orphan and her canine BFF! The Forbidden Broadway alum will be joined by Bill Berloni, an animal trainer who worked on all three Broadway productions of Annie; the original Annie herself, Tony nominee Andrea McArdle; replacement Annie Allison Smith; and Alicia Morton, who played Annie in the 1999 TV movie. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Goodman Theater: Measure for Measure
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of its 2013 production of Measure for Measure, helmed by artistic director Robert Falls. See how he tackled one of the Bard's notorious problem plays! Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday, May 9. Closed captions are available.
The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents an encore stream of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines 2020 docudrama based on interviews with New York City healthcare workers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The married playwrights are masters of the form: their previous plays include The Exonerated, about wrongly convicted inmates on Death Row, and Coal Country, about the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia. The latter had its run cut short at The Public Theater due to the pandemic, and Blank and Jensen almost immediately turned their attention to our city's first responders to craft this one-act for digital consumption. Under Blank's direction, an impressive cast, including Tony winner Santino Fontana, Tony nominee Alison Pill, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint, give voice to these harrowing real-life stories, which are complemented by Aimee Mann's original music. Watch for free on The Public's YouTube channel.
The Shows Must Go On!: Border Tales
The Shows Must Go On! presents Border Tales, an emotional dance-theatre piece by Luca Silvestrini's troupe Protein. An exploration of multicultural Britain, this production features dynamic movement, live music and dialogue inspired by the international cast's real-life experiences. Watch for free for the rest of the year on YouTube.
PBS Great Performances: Romeo & Juliet
PBS Great Performances presents a new mounting of Romeo & Juliet from London's National Theatre. The production was initially planned as an in-person experience, but the pandemic forced the artists to film the show. In this contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, a group of actors quarantined in the theatre bring the play to life. Josh O'Connor and Jessie Buckley portray the star-crossed lovers. Watch for free on PBS Thirteen's website.
New Normal Rep: Two Sisters and a Piano
New Normal Rep presents Two Sisters and a Piano by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, about two sisters under house arrest in Cuba in 1991. Maria Celia is a writer whose works led to the pair's imprisonment, and Sofia is a pianist. Passion and politics collide when the lieutenant assigned to the sisters' case visits their home. Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent) and Gary Perez originally appeared in this drama at Off Broadway's Public Theater in 2000. For this digital production directed by the playwright, they're joined by Jimmy Smits (L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, God of Carnage) and Florencia Lozano. 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, May 23.
Lincoln Center Theater: The Royale
Lincoln Center Theater shares a recording of The Royale, Marco Ramirez's powerful pugilist play inspired by the real-life experiences of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world champion. Rachel Chavkin won a well-deserved Obie Award for her visionary direction of the show at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 2016, and Khris Davis earned kudos for his breathtaking performance as a boxer who's always fighting—even outside the ring. Montego Glover, John Lavelle, McKinley Belcher III and Clarke Peters costar. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, May 16.
Signature Theatre: Daniel J. Watts' The Jam: Only Child
Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presents Daniel J. Watts in his autobiographical solo show The Jam: Only Child. A 2020 Tony nominee for his searing turn as Ike Turner in the Broadway musical Tina, Watts recounts being raised by a single mom in this genre-defying show, which fuses poetry, tap dance and personal insights. Lileana Blain-Cruz directed the production, which was filmed at Signature Theatre sans audience. Tickets are $35 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Friday, May 7.
Play-PerView: The Gett
On Sunday Play-PerView presented a live reading of The Gett and you can watch a recording until Thursday. Liba Vaynberg's examination of the ancient ritual of Jewish religious divorce features four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, Peter Mark Kendall, Alfredo Narciso and the playwright. Daniella Topol directs. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link; a $20 donation is suggested.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: André De Shields, who stars in New York Theatre Workshop's audio play Brother, Brother starting on Monday. Photo by Lia Chang.