Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
In-person theatre is back in NYC, both on Broadway and beyond. But there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this weekend, Friday, December 10 to Sunday, December 12, for free or at low cost.
Taylor Mac's Holiday Sauce... Booster!
On Friday at 3 p.m. ET, if you're in need of glitter, guffaws and radical joy, try playwright-performer Taylor Mac's virtual edition of their annual seasonal extravaganza Holiday Sauce, which was filmed in person on stage earlier this month and is being streamed by London's Barbican Centre. The MacArthur genius and Pulitzer finalist (A 24-Decade History of Popular Music) blends music, film, burlesque and indescribable fabulousness for a jaw-dropping, NC-17-rated holiday revue. Backed by a full band, Mac slays songs and welcomes colorful special guests. The costumes alone—designed by Mac's longtime collaborator Machine Dazzle—are worth tuning in for. Tickets are £10, approximately $13. Can't make it? The show will be restreamed the next two Fridays at 3 p.m. ET and then on demand starting December 24.
Ars Nova: Isaac Oliver's Lonely Christmas
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, one of Off-Off Broadway's innovative institutions, Ars Nova has served as the launching pad for lots of big things, including the musical The Great Comet and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Tonight, the venue presents an in-person benefit performance of the holiday favorite Isaac Oliver's Lonely Christmas that will also be streamed to at-home audiences. Helmed by Ars Nova's artistic director Jason Eagan and written and performed by Isaac Oliver, it's a hilarious evening of stories and songs about the ghosts of sad holidays past. Expect many starry Ars Nova regulars to gift the stage with their presence. Tickets are $10. Prefer to attend in person? Click here for info.
Third Rail Projects: Return the Moon
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, endlessly inventive immersive theatre company Third Rail Projects (Then She Fell, The Grand Paradise) presents Return the Moon, a live, interactive, created-for-Zoom experience that uses a fairy tale about the moon as a way to conjure art and community. Conceived and directed by Zach Morris, the 75-minute piece is performed for a small audience who participate in the evening's outcome and even receive a post-performance gift in the mail. Log on ready to share. Tickets start at $15 and this is the final performance!
The Seth Concert Series: Orfeh and Andy Karl (the Jessica Vosk concert has been rescheduled for January 2, 2022)
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, even though show-tune savant Seth Rudetsky is back doing shows in person, he hasn't completely abandoned the virtual realm. In fact, he's relaunched his weekly live-streamed concert series! Tonight his guests are married Tony nominees Orfeh and Andy Karl. The two met while performing in Saturday Night Fever and were married by the time they showed off their palpable chemistry in Legally Blonde the Musical. This intimate set features numbers from the shows they've done together, as well as personal favorites. Tickets are $25.
San Francisco Playhouse: Twelfth Night
San Francisco Playhouse is currently presenting an in-person production of Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub's enchanting musicalization of Twelfth Night, but you can also watch a recording at home. The show premiered at Shakespeare in the Park a few seasons back and features glorious songs by Taub and a streamlined script that condenses Shakespeare's romantic comedy into 90 heartwarming minutes. This production was directed by Susi Damilano and filmed live on stage last month at the West Coast theatre. Tickets start at $15 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, January 15, 2022.
Putting It Together: An Evening With James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim
This past August, The Town Hall presented an intimate Zoom discussion with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine filled with illuminating stories about their longtime collaboration, especially their work on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George. In light of Sondheim's recent passing, this brilliant chat is being restreamed. Christine Baranski moderated the discussion between these two giants, and original Sunday stars Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters also put in appearances. Register to receive the free viewing link; the recording is viewable until Friday, December 24.
Paddington Saves Christmas
Jonathan Rockefeller is a whiz at translating kid-lit classics from the page to the stage. His previous puppet musicals for young audiences include The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Winnie the Pooh, which is currently running Off Broadway. Paddington Saves Christmas is his first foray into filmed content and is an adaptation of his stage production Paddington Gets in a Jam, in which the beloved bear attempts to help his curmudgeon neighbor, Mr. Curry, who needs to clean his home for holiday visitors. Of course Paddington's good intentions wreak havoc, as always. Tickets are $10 and the recording is viewable until Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
The Nice List
When Santa's away, the elves will play! That's the premise of Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz's one-act musical The Nice List, which was filmed remotely and debuted last December. It's back for a second helping of heartwarming holiday spirit and stars Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart as Kris Kringle, who leaves his underlings in charge when he goes to check on his mall stand-ins. Broadway vets Telly Leung, Julia Mattison, Ann Harada, Jennifer Barnhart, Nick Kohn and Don Darryl Rivera play his eager if inefficient elfin employees. Make a donation of any amount to Feeding America to watch the show, which is viewable until Saturday, January 15, 2022.
The Joyce Theater: AXIS Dance Company
Although dance mecca The Joyce has reopened and is presenting many fabulous companies in person, it's also offering streaming content. This weekend you can see the digital premiere of Roots Above Ground, a 50-minute piece by AXIS Dance Company choreographed by Marc Brew that explores his life as an immigrant and a disabled gay man. Six other dancers, both disabled and non-disabled, join him in this powerful work. Watch for free until Sunday on The Joyce's website. Audio description is available.
National Theatre at Home: War Horse
A year ago, London's lauded National Theatre launched its own streaming service featuring professional stage captures of its productions. While you can subscribe to the service, shows are also available to rent individually for 72 hours. New to the roster is War Horse, the profoundly moving story of a boy searching for his beloved steed against the bloody backdrop of World War I. Based on Michael Morpurgo's novel of the same name and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford in association with the brilliant Handspring Puppet Company, the production was a smash, first at London's National Theatre and then on Broadway where it won five 2011 Tony Awards, including best play. War Horse tickets are $12 and the recording is viewable until Monday, January 31, 2022. Captions and audio description are available. It's just one of many fantastic shows you can stream so be sure to browse the entire list.
New York Theatre Workshop: Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord
Last weekend! On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, if you weren't able to catch this hilarious and heartrending solo show during its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run, you can now stream Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord at home. Recorded live on stage at NYTW, this poignant play chronicles how Wong launched a homemade face mask empire during the pandemic by enlisting friends, family (even her own mother!) and strangers to craft PPE for our under-resourced health care system. While much of the show is absolutely uproarious, it's also a scathing debrief on America's failings and how we rely on women of color to save us. Chay Yew directs. Tickets start at $30.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Autumn Royal
Last weekend! Earlier this fall, Irish Rep presented an in-person production of Autumn Royal and now you can stream a recording at home. Kevin Barry's two-hander centers on a pair of siblings looking after their ailing father in Cork, Ireland. But as his illness drags on they start to wonder, is caring for someone until death any kind of life? Ciarán O’Reilly directs Maeve Higgins and John Keating in this dark comedy about mortality and family. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Monday.
Summoners Ensemble Theatre: A Christmas Carol
Every December, John Kevin Jones stars in this singular solo adaptation of Charles Dickens' holiday classic mounted at the 19th-century Merchant's House Museum in the East Village. In this historic setting, he plays Dickens performing all of the characters in his ghost tale of redemption, just like the Victorian author did back in the day. If you can't make it to the in-person production this season, you can stream a recording at home. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, January 1, 2022.
Mint Theater Company: Hindle Wakes
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been unearthing forgotten plays since 1992, presents a recording of Hindle Wakes, Stanley Houghton's controversial 1912 play about a pair of unmarried young folks who enjoy a fling, much to their parents' chagrin. Gus Kaikkonen directed this 2018 production, which earned a Drama Desk nomination for best revival. Watch for free until Sunday, December 26 on the Mint's website by clicking the video and entering your email address, no password required. Donations are encouraged.
New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
Even though New York City Ballet's Christmas classic The Nutcracker is back on stage at Lincoln Center, you can also stream George Balanchine's legendary version of Tchaikovsky's fantastical ballet at home this holiday season. Recorded in 2019 during NYCB's annual engagement, this production stars principal dancers Maria Kowroski as the Sugarplum Fairy, Tyler Angle as her Cavalier and Megan Fairchild as Dewdrop. A lavish production with gorgeous sets and costumes, it's a must-see for dance lovers. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, January 2, 2022.
Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist
Recorded in 2020 during the shutdown, this musical modern-day take on the old Christmas chestnut comes from John Caird and Paul Gordon, the team behind Broadway's Jane Eyre, and incorporates popular characters and plot lines from multiple Charles Dickens' novels. Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) is the title character, a ruthless real estate mogul, who heads to her hometown for the holidays to foreclose on a hotel for the homeless run by her childhood sweetheart, Philip "Pip" Nickleby (Clifton Duncan). But soon three spirits arrive to scare her sweet. Jagged Little Pill Tony winner Lauren Patten, Moulin Rouge! Tony winner Danny Burstein and Hadestown's Patrick Page costar. Tickets start at $15 and the recording is viewable until Monday, January 31, 2022.
PBS Great Performances presents a high-tech reinvention of the classic ballet Coppelia, with Doctor Coppelius trying to steal a human heart to bring his perfect woman to life. Inspired by a 2008 stage mounting by the Dutch National Ballet, this performance is a fusion of live dance and animation starring international ballet stars Michaela DePrince, Daniel Camargo, Darcey Bussell and Irek Mukhamedov performing Ted Brandsen's choreography. Watch for free until Friday, December 24 on PBS' website.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: In the Southern Breeze
Last weekend! On Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, NYC's acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is presenting a hybrid season, with its productions performed in person but also streamed to at-home audiences. The company's current show is Mansa Ra's poetic premiere In the Southern Breeze, about a Black man whose existential crisis magically catapults him back through centuries of racially charged history to reveal the struggles he continues to face today. Christopher D. Betts directs the play, which is billed as "an autobiographical fever dream." Tickets are $40 for both streamed and in-person performances.
All IN(clusive) All-City Theatre Teen Ensemble: Beloved Land
Watch talented NYC public school students in action in Beloved Land, a new virtual musical devised and performed by members of the All IN(clusive) All-City Theatre Teen Ensemble. Participants worked with a team of industry professionals to develop and record their material over Zoom and the result is a raw examination of the challenges adolescents are facing today. Watch for free on Playbill's website.
All Arts: MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns
Earlier this year, MasterVoices premiered a digital reimagining of the four-part theatrical song cycle Myths and Hymns by Light in the Piazza Tony winner Adam Guettel. Inspired by Greek myths and 19th-century Presbyterian hymns, the 1998 work explores the nature of faith and longing in our secular society. All Arts is now streaming all four chapters of this multimedia musical featuring a slew of Broadway stars including Norm Lewis, Kelli O'Hara, Renée Fleming, Joshua Henry, Shoshana Bean, Daniel Breaker and Jennifer Holliday. Watch for free on All Arts' website.
HERE Arts Center: 9000 Paper Balloons
HERE Arts Center presents 9000 Paper Balloons, a stunning new multimedia piece inspired by the hard-to-believe secret weapons used by Japan against the US during World War II. Created by Japanese artist Maiko Kikuchi and American puppeteer Spencer Lott, the surreal performance weaves puppetry, animation and masks into a historical tale that also encompasses their own family stories. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Friday, December 31.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Broadway spouses Andy Karl and Orfeh, who are performing a live-streamed concert on Sunday.