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, July 14 and Thursday, July 15, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Ute Lemper in Concert: All That Jazz
On Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m. ET, catch internationally renowned German chanteuse Ute Lemper in a concert recorded on a NYC rooftop. She croons songs by Kurt Weill and Jacques Brel, tunes made famous by Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf, and "All That Jazz" from Chicago, which she headlined on Broadway. Tickets are $20.
Nottingham Playhouse: Piaf
On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, Nottingham Playhouse presents Piaf, Adam Penford's bio show about the legendary French chanteuse starring Tony nominee Jenna Russel. The play charts the ups and downs of the singer's life and also features many of the hits she charted, including "La Vie en Rose," "Hymne à l'amour" and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien." For this special performance, the production will be live-streamed from the stage to at-home viewers. Tickets are £25, approximately $35.
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 La Cenerentola, Rossini's charming take on the old Cinderella story, which includes mistaken identities on the royal side, too. Joyce DiDonato stars as the plucky princess-to-be, wooed by Javier Camarena in this 2014 production. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Light in the Piazza: From Page to Stage
On Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET, Library of America presents a live conversation between New Yorker scribe Adam Gopnik and acclaimed songwriter Adam Guettel, who won a 2005 Tony Award for his score for The Light in the Piazza. Elena Shaddow, who played the lead role of Clara in the musical's national tour, will also perform a number from the show. Register to receive the free viewing link.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: its 1978 mounting of Puccini's Tosca, starring Shirley Verrett as the title diva, Luciano Pavarotti as her artist lover and Cornell MacNeil as the man who stands in the way of their happiness. 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.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso is pulling double duty! His in-person Cast Party gatherings are back at Birdland on Mondays, which means the live-streamed version of the show, dubbed Pajama Cast Party, has moved to Wednesdays. Every week, the charming host welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers for songs and stories. Tonight's lineup includes veteran screen actor Ruta Lee, guitar virtuoso Sean Harkness and musical theatre performer Jana Prentiss. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Scandal Reunion on Stars in the House
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, it's encore week on Stars in the House, with replays of fan favorites. Tonight, re-watch a Scandal cast reunion featuring Broadway vets Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Jeff Perry, three-time Tony nominee Kate Burton, Tony nominee Norm Lewis, Katie Lowes and Tony nominee Joe Morton. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Russell Brand in Our Little Lives: Shakespeare & Me
On Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, actor, comedian and bad boy Russell Brand riffs on his tempestuous life and his love for the playwright behind The Tempest in Our Little Lives: Shakespeare & Me. Recorded live on stage at London's Almeida Theatre, Brand's confessional solo show was developed in collaboration with director Ian Rickson and explores how the Bard's themes and language remain relevant in our modern-day world. Bonus: Brand's dog costars! Tickets start at $15.
Manchester International Festival: Notes on Grief
Starting on Thursday, last summer, as COVID kept families apart, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's father succumbed to kidney disease. Wracked by grief exacerbated by isolation, the acclaimed writer penned an essay for the New Yorker, Notes on Grief, which she subsequently expanded into a memoir. Now, director Rae McKen has adapted this poignant remembrance for the virtual stage. Michelle Asante, Uche Abuah and Itoya Osagiede star. A meditation on loss we can all relate to. Tickets start at £5, approximately $7. The recording is viewable until Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. Closed captions are available.
59E59 Theaters: East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual
On Thursday at noon, 59E59 Theaters presents a virtual edition of its annual East to Edinburgh Festival featuring nine cutting-edge productions worthy of the world's largest fringe fest. One pass gets you on-demand access to all the offerings, including Tristan Bernays's Testament, a modern-day take on four biblical characters; Katherine Teed-Arthur's Joan/Jehanne, a meditation on Joan of Arc; Priyanka Shet's solo exploration of racially charged violence in #Charlottesville; and Somebody Jones's self-explanatory Black Women Dating White Men. Tickets are $20 to watch all shows at your convenience until Sunday, July 25.
American Ballet Theatre Summer Celebration
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, American Ballet Theatre presents its Summer Celebration fundraiser featuring brand-new works by Silas Farley, Helen Pickett and principal dancer James Whiteside. Hamilton Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry hosts the evening. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, CollaborAzian presents an abridged online concert of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder starring an all-Asian American and Pacific Islander cast. A dark musical comedy about a man gleefully killing off his kin in an attempt to inherit a fortune, this production is directed by Alan Muraoka and stars Cindy Cheung, Karl Josef Co, Ali Ewoldt, Diane Phelan and Thom Sesma. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and proceeds benefit Stop AAPI Hate. The recording is viewable until Thursday, July 22.
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, see the stars of tomorrow tonight at the annual Jimmy Awards, aka the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. Since 2009, this annual celebration has showcased supremely talented teens, some of whom may make it to Broadway. After all, past finalists include Kyle Selig from Mean Girls, Stephanie Styles from Kiss Me, Kate, Antonio Cipriano from Jagged Little Pill and Andrew Barth Feldman from Dear Evan Hansen. Broadway's Corbin Bleu hosts the evening. Watch for free on YouTube.
Baltimore Center Stage: A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Baltimore Center Stage presents A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction, a dark comedy by Miranda Rose Hall about a theatre company putting on a play about climate change that goes awry. So the stage manager/light board operator/dramaturg comes up with some unexpected ways to engage the audience. Log on ready to participate in this communal experience. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Madama Butterfly, Puccini's tragic tale of a young geisha (Hui He) abandoned by her lover, a callous American naval officer (Bruce Sledge). Elizabeth DeShong and Tony winner Paulo Szot also star in this 2019 mounting of Anthony Minghella's classic staging. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Tosca, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Not a Moment, But a Movement: The Duat
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, LA's Center Theatre Group partners with Watts Village Theatre and NYC's The Fire This Time Festival for Not a Moment, But a Movement, a series of virtual events spotlighting Black artists. This week, catch a performance of The Duat, Roger Q. Mason's one-man play about a former FBI informant during the civil rights movement, who awakens in the Egyptian afterlife. Taibi Magar directs Gregg Daniel in this one-act. Bonus: Tune in an hour early to watch the pre-show panel Art and Social Justice: Intersecting Onstage and Beyond featuring theatre-makers Dominique Morisseau, Azure D. Osborne-Lee and Jonathan McCrory. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube.
Goodman Theatre: I Hate It Here
On Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET, Chicago's acclaimed Goodman Theatre presents I Hate It Here, a genre-defying, profanity-laden call to action by playwright-and-director duo Ike Holter and Lili-Anne Brown about the hellscape that was 2020. A diverse ensemble cast brings this rallying cry for our time to life. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Chance Theater: Sweat
On Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Chance Theater presents a virtual production of Sweat, Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a tight-knit group of blue-collar coworkers who are torn apart due to the economic hardship of the early 21st century. Elina de Santos directs a diverse ensemble cast in this heartbreaker. Tickets start at $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Michael Feinstein Live: Un-plugged & Un-masked
On Thursday at 11 p.m. ET, pianist, singer and master of the American Songbook Michael Feinstein performs an in-person concert at his 1940s-style club Vitello's in Studio City, CA, which will also be streamed to at-home audiences. Expect standards by Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and other iconic songwriters. Tickets are $35.
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Baltimore Center Stage presents The Garden, a moving new play written by and starring Tony nominee Charlayne Woodard about the complex relationship between a Black woman and her estranged adult daughter. Patricia McGregor directs this world premiere, which costars Caroline Stefanie Clay. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Fishamble Theatre Company: Silent
Dublin's acclaimed Fishamble Theatre Company presents Silent, Pat Kinevane's Olivier Award-winning solo show about a man who's lost everything, including his home and his mind. Kinevane reprises his captivating, Olivier Award-winning performance as McGoldrig, who shares his tumultuous and surprising past with disarming honesty. Jim Culleton directed the production, which was filmed live on stage. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
New Normal Rep: Lines in the Dust
New Normal Rep presents Lines in the Dust by Obie winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Nikkole Salter. Set in Newark in 2010, this moving drama centers on a working-class single mother desperate to find an alternative to the underperforming zoned school for her bright young daughter. How much will she risk to give her kid a leg up? Awoye Timpo directs Lisa Rosetta Strum, Melissa Joyner and Jeffrey Bean. 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, August 8.
Signature Theatre: After Midnight
Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presents After Midnight, an enthralling celebration of the legendary Cotton Club that was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards. Recorded on stage during quarantine, this new production is headlined by Hamilton Tony nominee Christopher Jackson and Nova Y. Payton, and is directed and choreographed by Jared Grimes, who appeared in the show on Broadway. Evocative renditions of Langston Hughes poems provide the framework for eye-popping tap-dance numbers set to the swinging songs of Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and other big band-era greats. 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 Wednesday, August 4.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Corbin Bleu, who's hosting the annual Jimmy Awards on Thursday evening.