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 Friday to Sunday, September 18 to 20, for free or at low cost.
Virtual Halston: Erich Bergen and Jessica Keenan Wynn
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Julie Halston, Broadway scene-stealer and longtime friend to TDF, welcomes Madam Secretary and Waitress star Erich Bergen and Jessica Keenan Wynn from the musicals Heathers and Beautiful to her weekly chatfest. In addition to being a performer, Bergen has become a sought-after digital producer during the pandemic, so we expect their conversation to be fun and informative! Watch them dish for free on YouTube.
Queens Theatre: Nazis and Me
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Queens Theatre presents a live reading of David Lawson's of-the-moment solo show Nazis and Me, about confronting hate in an era when bigots feel empowered. Register to receive the free viewing link.
The Metropolitan Opera: I Puritani
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of bel-canto favorites continues with Bellini's I Puritani, featuring Anna Netrebko as Elvira, an innocent maiden with an iconic mad scene. Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo and John Relyea costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Cenerentola, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Gorilla Repertory Theater Company: Macbeth
At 7:30 p.m. ET, since 1989, Gorilla Repertory Theater Company has been presenting raucous interpretations of classical plays, often for free outside in Washington Square Park. Since the show couldn't go on this summer, founding artistic and producing director Christopher Carter Sanderson decided to pivot to his digital dream project: a version of Macbeth shot entirely in close-up on the actors' iPhones. TV vet Leajato Amara Robinson stars as the title character, and many of Gorilla Rep's regulars round out the cast, plus newbies such as (full disclosure) my daughter as Macduff's son. The result is a chilling, in-your-face take on Shakespeare's tragedy. Register to receive the free Zoom link.
La MaMa: Downtown Variety: Take 14
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, go avant-garde with East Village mainstay La MaMa, which kicks off its virtual season with an impressive lineup of experimental icons. Enjoy a smorgasbord of short performances by political theatre-makers Belarus Free Theatre, pioneering American Utopia choreographer Annie-B Parson of Big Dance Theater, puppet master Basil Twist, genre-defying multihyphenate RaFia Santana, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky and other cutting-edge creators. Watch for free on the company's website though donations are encouraged. Stick around for the virtual after-party!
Latino Theater Co.: Sleeps with the Angels
On Friday at 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Latino Theater Co. presents Sleeps with the Angels by Evelina Fernández, about the relationship between a single mother and her child's nanny, who may not be who she seems. This live reading is directed by José Luis Valenzuela and stars Aileen Alfaro, Esperanza America, Sandino Gonzalez-Flores, Sal Lopez, Xavi Moreno, Robert Revell, Lucy Rodriguez and Elia Saldana. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel.
Play-PerView: Sugar in Our Wounds
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a live reading of Sugar in Our Wounds, Donja R. Love's lyrical queer romance between two slaves during the Civil War. This event reunites the cast of the play's Manhattan Theatre Club world premiere: Stephanie Berry, Sheldon Best, Fern Cozine, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart and Chinaza Uche. Malika Oyetimein directs. Tickets start at $5 and benefit HIV/AIDS nonprofit Bebashi.
The Metropolitan Opera: L'Elisir d'Amore
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of bel-canto favorites continues with L'Elisir d'Amore, Donizetti's charming rom-com about a spirited landowner, a smitten peasant and a purported love potion. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher helmed this 2018 mounting that stars Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, I Puritani, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Metropolitan Playhouse: Eugenically Speaking
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten plays, presents a reading of Eugenically Speaking, a satire by Theatre Guild founder Edward Goodman that premiered on Broadway in 1915. The tale of a wealthy young woman whose plan to marry below her station goes awry, the one-act is directed by John Long and stars Robert Mackaseck, Tammy McNeil and Eric R. Williams. Considering the recent calls to cancel famous folks who championed this junk science last century, this is a particularly timely piece. Watch for free on the company's website though donations are encouraged.
Gorilla Repertory Theater Company: Macbeth
At 2 p.m. ET, since 1989, Gorilla Repertory Theater Company has been presenting raucous interpretations of classical plays, often for free outside in Washington Square Park. Since the show couldn't go on this summer, founding artistic and producing director Christopher Carter Sanderson decided to pivot to his digital dream project: a version of Macbeth shot entirely in close-up on the actors' iPhones. TV vet Leajato Amara Robinson stars as the title character, and many of Gorilla Rep's regulars round out the cast, plus newbies such as (full disclosure) my daughter as Macduff's son. The result is a chilling, in-your-face take on Shakespeare's tragedy. Register to receive the free Zoom link.
Noël Coward Foundation: A Marvellous Party
On Sunday at 2:30 p.m., a glittering array of stage stars pay tribute to the classic wit and wisdom of scribe, songwriter and bon vivant Noël Coward. The lineup of luminaries reading his wonderful words includes Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Cush Jumbo, Emma Thompson, Kate Burton, Derek Jacobi, Montego Glover, Robert Lindsay, Bebe Neuwirth and Kristine Nielsen. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
20 & Under Sing 20 & Over
At 7 p.m. ET, this clever concept concert features up-and-comers under 20 crooning songs from shows written before they were born alongside performers who've done those musicals. The lineup of Broadway pros includes Will Burton, Julian DeGuzman, Hannah Florence, Paul HeeSang Miller, Christine Cornish Smith, Sam Strasfeld and Adrienne Walker, and the whole shebang is produced by 16-year-old Jorden Amir (keep an eye on him). Register to receive the free viewing link but donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Norma
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera wraps up its week of bel-canto favorites with Bellini's Norma, featuring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja and Matthew Rose costar in this 2017 staging by Sir David McVicar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, L'Elisir d'Amore, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Seth Concert Series: Judy Kuhn
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a twice daily talk show online and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, musical director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online, and tonight's headliner is four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn, who was set to star in Classical Stage Company's highly anticipated revival of Assassins when the shutdown hit. Expect numbers from her incredible career, including leading roles in Les Misérables, Chess, She Loves Me and Fun Home, as well as some Disney tunes—after all, she was the singing voice of Pocahontas. Tickets are $25.
Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction
One of Broadway's most beloved events, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' annual Broadway Flea Market, goes virtual this year. While there isn't anything to watch per se, theatre fans have a chance to bid on incredible stage-related items, including one-on-one online chats with stars. Bidding is already live for both the silent and live auctions. Sunday is the official day of the event, when you'll be able to find items to buy on eBay and enjoy celebrity meet-and-greets, which are already on sale. You can peruse the complete list of options on Broadway Cares' website.
Bard at the Gate: Bulrusher
Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Paula Vogel continues her Bard at the Gate play reading series showcasing timely, under-the-radar scripts. Thursday night's offering was Bulrusher and you can watch a recording through the weekend. Eisa Davis' sexual and political coming-of-age tale centers on 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. Corey Stoll, Kara Young, André Holland, Edmund Donovan, Sydney Elisabeth and Tanis Parenteau star. Watch for free on Bard at the Gate's YouTube channel.
Two River Theater: Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England
Earlier this week, New Jersey's lauded Two River Theater presented a live reading of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Madeleine George's heady sex comedy, and you can watch a recording all weekend. The play centers on the professional and personal problems of a stressed-out college dean (Tony winner Lisa Kron), who's torn between her ex-girlfriend (Brenda Pressley) and her current partner (Elizabeth Ramosand) while trying to save her institution from financial ruin. Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.
Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick in Sitting and Talking
New Jersey's Mile Square Theatre presents Sitting and Talking, a poignant one-act by Lia Romeo about two sixty-somethings navigating online dating during COVID-19. Commissioned specifically for our new abnormal, the two-hander stars sitcom vets Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick, and is directed by James Glossman. Tickets cost $20 and the recording is available to watch for 48 hours after purchase.
Olney Theatre Center: The Humans
When Maryland's Olney Theatre Center's scheduled mounting of Stephen Karam's Tony-winning play The Humans was canceled due to COVID-19, they decided to forge ahead with a virtual version. Directed by Aaron Posner, who's well known for adapting classical plays, this online production underscores the disconnect and discombobulation of The Blakes, whose Thanksgiving reunion takes a very intense turn. Tickets cost $35 and the recording is available to watch for 48 hours after purchase.
Theatre Macon: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, and Sunday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. ET, Georgia's Theatre Macon presents A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Filmed on stage as a socially distant concert, this merrily murderous Tony-winning musical centers on a low-born man trying to kill his way to royalty. It's a lot of bloody fun. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
Seacoast Repertory Theatre: The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, New Hampshire's Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd, an allegory about haves and have-nots featuring knockout songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. The rarely revived musical will be performed live in front of a small in-person audience and streamed to many more online. Tickets are $20.
Pig Iron Theatre Company: Zero Cost House
Friday through Sunday at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Philadelphia's acclaimed avant-garde company Pig Iron Theatre Company presents a Zoom adaptation of Zero Cost House, Toshiki Okada's autobiographically inspired play about the ethical and physical challenges of living in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The theatre originally mounted the work in 2012; this live Zoom adaptation premiered earlier this summer and got glowing reviews. Tickets are $10.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Judi Dench.