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, March 22 and Tuesday, March 23, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Shows Must Go On!: Letters Live
On Monday at 3 p.m. ET, The Shows Must Go On! presents another star-studded edition of Letters Live, featuring well-known actors reading remarkable correspondence on stage. This performance features Taron Egerton, Claire Foy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Asa Butterfield, Olivia Colman and Damian Lewis. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube though donations to Choose Love are encouraged.
Ensemble Studio Theatre: First Light Festival: The Reservoir
On Monday at 4 p.m. ET, throughout March, Off-Off Broadway's innovative Ensemble Studio Theatre is presenting an online edition of its First Light Festival, spotlighting new plays about science. Today, catch a live reading of The Reservoir, Jake Brasch's dramedy about a twentysomething struggling with memory loss, who moves home and unexpectedly bonds with his unpredictable grandparents. Dara Malina directs AJ Clauss, Gilbert Cruz, Michael Cullen, Dawn Evans, Susan Shaloub Larkin, Carolyn Mignini and Martin Shakar. Register to receive the free Zoom link.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Poetic Reflections: Words Upon the Window Pane
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep kicks off Poetic Reflections: Words Upon the Window Pane, a trio of shorts by filmmaker Matthew Thompson featuring writers and actors reading poems from Ireland, the US and England. The first installment, Home and Sense of Place, starts streaming on Monday for free on the theatre's YouTube channel. If you happen to be passing Irish Rep's West 22nd Street home, it will also be projected in the lobby windows.
The Metropolitan Opera: Orfeo ed Euridice
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Mark Morris' acclaimed 2009 staging of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, which updates the ancient legend to the present, with Stephanie Blythe and Danielle de Niese as the heartbreaking title couple. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Agrippina, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Red Bull Theater: Galatea
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for reimagining classics, presents a live reading of MJ Kaufman's Galatea, loosely based on John Lyly's Elizabethan play Gallathea, which the company tackled last week. This contemporary riff is a trans love story set against the backdrop of a climate crisis. Will Davis directs a cast of trans and gender-nonconforming performers, including Ty Defoe, Jo Lampert, Aneesh Sheth and TL Thompson. Watch for free on Red Bull's YouTube channel; a $25 donation is suggested. A recording will be available until Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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 vets Jason Kravits, Joshua Colley and Dee Roscioli, and singer-songwriter Denise Reis. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus: Open Stage Variety Show: Quarantine Edition
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its live weekly variety show hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. Tonight's awe-inspiring lineup includes aerialist Maddie Williams, magician Ilusionista Bismarck, fire master Pyrometheus and dog trainer Johnny Peers. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
George Street Playhouse: Fully Committed
Starting on Tuesday, New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents a new online production of Becky Mode's Fully Committed, a satire of NYC's haute cuisine scene. 30 Rock star Maulik Pancholy plays more than 40 characters in this one-man comedy, including an aspiring actor/harried restaurant reservationist, who's having a really bad day, along with all of his demanding patrons. The 1999 play was initially a smash Off Broadway, and was revamped and revived on Broadway in 2016. With sitcom and stage vet Pancholy as the main ingredient, we expect this digital reimagining will be a delicious tour de farce. Tickets are $33 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 11. Closed captions and audio description are available.
The Art of Reopening: A Virtual Conversation on Reengaging Arts Audiences in Physical Spaces
On Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET, wondering when and how performing arts venues can reopen safely? Dr. Anthony Fauci has some thoughts! The celebrated scientist provides the opening remarks for this free panel, which examines tactics for resuming in-person performances. Register to receive the free Zoom link.
New York City Center: American Theatre Ballet: A Ratmansky Celebration
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, New York City Center presents an evening of works by American Ballet Theatre's celebrated resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The program was recorded live on stage at City Center sans audience and features excerpts from The Seasons, Seven Sonatas and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as the world premiere of Bernstein in a Bubble, set to music by Leonard Bernstein. Tickets are $25 and the recording is available until Sunday, April 18.
Irish Repertory Theatre: The Aran Islands
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep presents The Aran Islands, director Joe O'Byrne's one-man adaptation of John Millington Synge's 1907 novel of the same name. Brendan Conroy stars as Synge, whose time in the grey, mystical landscape of the remote isles inspired many of his writings, including Riders to the Sea. This digital production was filmed primarily at Dublin's New Theatre, with additional footage from (where else?) the Aran Islands. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though a $25 donation is suggested.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Damnation de Faust
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's presents Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, about the title character's ruinous bargain with the devil Mephistopheles and his descent to the depths of hell. Conducted by the late James Levine, Robert Lepage's stunning 2008 production costars Marcello Giordani and Susan Graham. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Orfeo ed Euridice, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Guest Host Krysta Rodriguez
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House continues its celebration of Women's History Month with guest host Krysta Rodriguez, beloved for her performances on Broadway and in NBC's Smash. She'll be joined by three of her fabulous former costars: Mandy Gonzalez and Nina Lafarga, who worked with Rodriguez in In the Heights, and Kathryn Gallagher, who appeared with Rodriguez in the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Mint Theater: Yours Unfaithfully
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been unearthing forgotten plays since 1992, presents a recording of Yours Unfaithfully, Miles Malleson's 1933 dramcom about the cost of free love, centering on an artistic couple trying to embrace open marriage. Tony nominee Max von Essen, Mikaela Izquierdo and Elisabeth Gray star in this production, which was recorded on stage in 2017. Watch for free until Sunday, May 16 on the Mint's website by clicking on the photo and entering your email address, no password required. Donations are encouraged and closed captions are available. You can still watch The Mint's mounting of Katie Roche until Sunday, March 28.
Goodman Theater: How to Catch Creation
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre is presenting recordings of recent shows, beginning with Christina Anderson's How to Catch Creation, about how a couple's drama impacts four artists 50 years later. Acclaimed director Niegel Smith helmed this 2019 production. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday and closed captions are available.
On Monday and Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET, revisit an undersung gem with this virtual production of BKLYN, a modern-day urban fairy tale about five street performers who share their talents and one big story with passersby. Mark Schoenfeld and Barri McPherson's chamber musical enjoyed a brief run on Broadway under the title Brooklyn. This digital reimagining was recorded in London during quarantine and stars West End vets Sejal Keshwala, Emma Kingston, Newtion Matthews, Jamie Muscato and Marisha Wallace. Tickets are £18, approximately $25.
IAMA Theatre Company: Anyone But Me and The Oxy Complex
Los Angeles' IAMA Theatre Company presents a pair of compelling solo shows by Latinx performers. Sheila Carrasco's Anyone But Me explores the personas women create to get by in a patriarchal society. Anna LaMadrid's The Oxy Complex is set on the 500th day of quarantine (!!!) and examines how loneliness, trauma and the lack of oxytocin impact our well-being. Tickets are $15 per show, $20 for both. The recordings are viewable until Sunday, April 18.
Screenwriter Dan Rosen presents a reading of his new comedy Wil, which imagines a young Shakespeare mounting a summer stock production of Romeo and Juliet in 1590, which unexpectedly turns into a murder mystery. Filled with characters and plotlines from multiple Shakespeare plays, the performance stars Oliver Dench (Judi's nephew) as the Bard, Eric McCormack from Will & Grace as his agent Bernie Shylock, Tony nominee Will Swenson as Richard, Ann Harada as Lady Anne and Canadian stage star Geraint Wyn Davies as Falstaff. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Tuesday.
New York City Center: Matthew Bourne's Cinderella
New York City Center continues its New Adventures Festival of Matthew Bourne ballets with Cinderella. The visionary choreographer brings his signature theatrical flair to the old fairy tale, which is reimagined as a World War II romance, with a young woman falling for a dashing young RAF pilot right before they're parted by the Blitz. This production was filmed live at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre during Cinderella's 2017-18 tour, and the dancing and camerawork are absolutely dazzling. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Lincoln Center Theater: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Lincoln Center Theater shares a never-before-seen treat: a recording of Christopher Durang's hilarious Anton Chekhov parody Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The comedy stars Kristine Nielsen, David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver as three squabbling siblings and Billy Magnussen as the latter's young squeeze. The Nicholas Martin-directed production was filmed live on stage at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in 2012 before the show transferred to Broadway. The footage was originally intended to be used for promotional clips, but Lincoln Center Theater is releasing the full recording as the first offering in its Private Reels: From the LCT Archives series. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 11.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Stream a starry, contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and set in our screen-dominated world, this cautionary tale centers on a young influencer who makes a deal ensuring that his social media celebrity will never fade. But his picture-perfect life comes at a terrible cost. Tamara Harvey directs Fionn Whitehead as the title hedonist, alongside Tony nominees Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry and stage favorite Russell Tovey. Tickets are £12, approximately $17. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, March 31 and closed captions are available.
Goodspeed Musicals: Passing Through
Connecticut's acclaimed Goodspeed Musicals presents Passing Through, about a young man traveling across the country on foot, collecting stories and wisdom that he ultimately applies to his own unresolved family issues. Based on Andrew Forsthoefel's best-selling memoir Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time, this heartwarming show features songs by Brett Ryback and a book by Eric Ulloa, and was filmed live on stage in 2019. Max Chernin stars as Andrew, and Broadway vets Jim Stanek and Garrett Long play his parents. Igor Goldin directs. 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, April 4.
Out of the Box Theatrics: The Last Five Years
On Monday and 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 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Maulik Pancholy, who's starring in a digital production of the popular one-man comedy Fully Committed at George Street Playhouse, which begins streaming on Tuesday.