Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
While in-person theatre is back in NYC, there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this weekend, Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22, for free or at low cost.
The Green Room 42: Micaela Diamond: I Got Me Babe
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, lauded cabaret club The Green Room 42 is now streaming many of its in-person performances to at-home audiences. Tonight, catch The Cher Show star Micaela Diamond, who was plucked from NYC's prestigious LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts for the musical. In this intimate concert, she'll talk about navigating stardom and adulthood simultaneously while crooning tunes by Stephen Sondheim, The Beatles and Cher. Tickets are $19. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
PBS Great Performances: Merry Wives
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS Great Performances presents Merry Wives, Jocelyn Bioh's fabulous one-act adaptation of the Bard's The Merry Wives of Windsor, filmed live on stage at Shakespeare in the Park's Delacorte Theater last summer. Set in modern-day Harlem with ladies' man Falstaff (Broadway vet Jacob Ming-Trent) attempting to woo two married West African immigrants, the show is an exuberant romp that celebrates broad comedy and Black joy. Saheem Ali directs an all-Black cast in this laugh-out-loud comedy, which I absolutely loved and can't wait to revisit! Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen or on the website. The recording is viewable online until Friday, June 17.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: Ann Hampton Callaway: Fever! The Peggy Lee Century
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, even though Feinstein's/54 Below has reopened for in-person performances, the swanky cabaret club continues to stream select events live from its stage. Tonight, catch Tony-nominated jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway in her tribute to one of the greatest vocalists of all time: Miss Peggy Lee. In honor of the late crooner's 100th birthday, Callaway celebrates this trailblazing artist who gave the world "Fever" throughout her six-decade career, from her Big Band days to her movie performances to her lauded recordings. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
That Golden Girls Show - A Puppet Parody
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the title says it all. This long-running and loving send-up of the beloved sitcom The Golden Girls is currently enjoying its farewell engagement at Theatre Row in person, but Saturday night's performance will also be live-streamed to at-home audiences. Get ready for camp, quips and cheesecake! Tickets start at $20.
The Seth Concert Series: Morgan James
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 guest is Morgan James, a versatile soul singer whose viral YouTube videos have earned her almost a quarter of a million subscribers. Marvel at her powerhouse pipes and eclectic song selections in this intimate concert. Tickets are $25.
MCC Theater: Miscast22
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, get ready for an evening of unexpected songs with MCC Theater's Miscast22 benefit. Every year, the Off-Broadway theatre hosts a gala featuring stage stars performing numbers from roles they would never play. In years past, videos of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Raúl Esparza singing "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story and Tina Fey and Tituss Burgess one-upping each other in "You're Nothing Without Me" from City of Angels have gone viral. While the in-person event took place last month at Hammerstein Ballroom, beginning tonight you can watch a recording of the entire Miscast22 revue plus backstage interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. This year's stellar lineup includes Uzo Aduba, Shoshana Bean, Raúl Esparza, Joshua Henry, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Lea Michele, Steven Pasquale and Aaron Tveit. This is a surprise-filled must-see for musical lovers. Tickets start at $30 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, May 28.
Classical Theatre of Harlem: Antigone
Classical Theatre of Harlem presents a politically charged, Afropunk-styled staging of Sophocles' tragedy Antigone, which was filmed in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park in 2018. Set in a dystopian future, the play opens with the death of two warring brothers. The new king proclaims one a hero and the other a usurper, leaving his limp body lying in the street as an example to those who dare act against the state. But the sister of the slain young men decides to stand up to tyranny. Carl Cofield directs this powerful reinvention of a classic that evokes the Black Lives Matter movement. Watch for free on the company's website.
Red Bull Theater: Mac Beth
Writer-director Erica Schmidt's radical, all-female reinvention of Shakespeare's Macbeth enjoyed two hit runs Off Broadway, and now you can watch a recording courtesy of Red Bull Theater. Portraying high schoolers who are putting on the Bard's bloody tragedy for their own amusement, Sharlene Cruz, Isabelle Fuhrman, Sophie Kelly-Hedrick, Ismenia Mendes, AnnaSophia Robb, Lily Santiago and Ayana Workman are fierce, funny and frightening. Be warned: this take is giggly, gruesome and unforgettable. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, May 29.
Alvin Ailey: The Hunt
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Robert Battle's iconic The Hunt, featuring six men indulging in a breathtaking primal ritual, set to a thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx. Watch for free until Sunday on Ailey's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Roe v. Wade 2.0
Earlier this week, Margaret Vandenburg presented a reading of her "theatrical rallying cry" Roe v. Wade 2.0, and you can watch a recording through June. A satire about women's reproductive rights (or lack thereof), the play dramatizes the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization oral arguments from December 2021 that may be used to overturn Roe v. Wade as early as next month. Carrie Preston (True Blood), Joel de la Fuente (The Man in the High Castle) and Florencia Lozano (One Life to Live) lead the cast. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 1.
The Show Must Go On
The documentary The Show Must Go On chronicling the herculean efforts to save theatre during the pandemic comes to Apple TV+. The brainchild of celebrated theatre director Sammi Cannold and Emmy and Tony-winning filmmaker and producer Dori Berinstein, the film focuses on artists involved in two stage productions, the international tour of The Phantom of The Opera and the South Korean tour of Cats, which went on in 2020 and inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber's COVID-19 safety protocols for UK theatre. Apple TV+ subscribers can watch for free or you can rent it for $5.
PBS Great Performances: Sutton Foster in Anything Goes
PBS Great Performances presents Sutton Foster in P.G. Wodehouse and Cole Porter's effervescent musical comedy Anything Goes, which was recorded live on stage in London last year. After winning a 2011 Tony Award for her brassy performance as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall's critically acclaimed revival of this classic, Foster reprised her role on the West End opposite Tony winner Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot. Marshall again oversaw this zany tale of romance and intrigue aboard the high seas featuring iconic songs including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top" and the title tune. Watch for free until Friday, June 10 on PBS's website.
Universal Access Productions Fest
From Friday through Sunday, you can watch a variety of eclectic shows for free courtesy of Universal Access Productions, an organization dedicated to making theatre accessible through streaming. Seven different productions will be available on the org's YouTube channel, including Lisa Wolpe's acclaimed solo show Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender, L Martina Young's ARTICULATING BODIES: a meditation and the vaudevillian romp The Shneedles. Watch all of the shows for free on YouTube.
TheaterWorks Hartford: New Works Festival
Connecticut's TheaterWorks Hartford presents a weekend of readings of new works, and three can be watched online: James Anthony Tyler's The Drop Off, about a mother and daughter navigating their relationship and the challenges of Alzheimer's; Melissa Crespo and Sarah Saltwick's Egress, a psychological thriller about an architecture professor; and Terry Guest's Andy Warhol Presents: The Cocaine Play, which reimagines the pop artist and his acolytes as Black characters. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link. The readings are viewable all weekend, but there are also live-streamed talkbacks at specific times.
All Arts: Lea Salonga in Concert
All Arts is streaming Lea Salonga's epic 2019 concert recorded live at the Sydney Opera House. Backed by a lavish orchestra, the Tony winner belts out numbers from her three-decade career, including "On My Own" from Les Misérables, "Why, God, Why?" from Miss Saigon and "A Whole New World" from Disney's animated movie Aladdin. Watch for free on All Arts' website.
Broadway on Demand: Allegiance
Broadway on Demand presents Allegiance, a landmark musical about an American family forced by the US government into a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The show was loosely based on the life of Star Trek's George Takei, who stars alongside Katie Rose Clarke, Telly Leung and Tony winner Lea Salonga. A 48-hour rental costs $12 and the recording is viewable until Tuesday, July 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Colt Coeur: The Goddamn Tooney Lunes: Part One (A New Musical)
Last chance! During the shutdown, innovative indie theatre company Colt Coeur (Eureka Day, Hatef**k) put out a call for unique digital projects. This month, they're streaming one of those pieces: The Goddamn Tooney Lunes: Part One (A New Musical). Coproduced and devised by Rat Queen Theatre Company and presented as a visual concept album, this tuner centers on the members of a New Hampshire teenage punk band grappling with infamy and impending adulthood. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is available until Wednesday.
HBO Max: Spring Awakening: Those You've Known
More than 15 years after the critically acclaimed, Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening bowed on Broadway, the original cast and creative team reunited for a one-night-only concert in November 2021 to benefit The Actors Fund. This new documentary chronicles their dramatic journey back to the stage as the performers, including Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, reconnect and rediscover the musical that catapulted them to stardom. HBO Max subscribers can watch for free.
All Arts: King Lear Starring James Earl Jones
Here's a gem from the vaults: All Arts is streaming a 1974 mounting of King Lear headlined by James Earl Jones! Filmed live on stage at the Delacorte Theater for the New York Shakespeare Festival (now known as Shakespeare in the Park), the production also features Raul Julia, Rosalind Cash and Paul Sorvino. A great way to get psyched for the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park season! Watch for free on All Arts' website.
Ma-Yi Theater Company: Vancouver
The innovative Ma-Yi Theatre Company presents Vancouver, a timely new play written and directed by the troupe's producing artistic director, Ralph B. Peña. Centering on a mixed race family portrayed by breathtaking puppets, the one-act examines their move from Japan to the Pacific Northwest as they search for a place that feels like a welcoming home. Watch for free until Tuesday, May 31 on Ma-Yi's website.
Donmar Warehouse: Constellations
Last chance! London's acclaimed Donmar Warehouse presents Nick Payne's Constellations, a time-bending two-hander that explores the notion of the multiverse by replaying key moments in one couple's romance. Michael Longhurst, who helmed the play on Broadway, directed this production, which was filmed on stage with four different casts alternating in this trippy tale. The pairings are Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah; Peter Capaldi and Zoë Wanamaker; Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey; and Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O'Dowd. Tickets are £7.50 for each cast, approximately $9.50. Or you can watch all four for £20, approximately $25. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, and closed captions and audio description are available. You must create a Donmar Warehouse account to watch.
The New Victory Theater: Step Afrika!: Stono
Last chance! NYC's premiere family theatre, The New Victory, was supposed to present an in-person production of Stono this month, but COVID had other ideas. The good news is you can stream this powerful dance performance. Originally conceived for digital consumption during the shutdown, the piece uses Step Afrika!'s signature blend of percussive, traditional African and contemporary dance to evoke the Stono slave rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina. A great way to learn about this undertaught history. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
National Theatre at Home: Trouble in Mind
In 2020, London's lauded National Theatre launched its own streaming service featuring professional stage captures of its productions. While you can buy a subscription, shows are also available to rent individually for 72 hours. New to the roster is Trouble in Mind, which was staged last fall in London at the same time Alice Childress' 1955 play was having its belated Broadway debut. A prescient examination of racism in the theatre industry, it centers on a Black actress starring in an anti-lynching drama on Broadway who challenges the show's white director. Talk about timely! Trouble in Mind costs $10. Captions are available. It's just one of many fantastic National Theatre shows you can stream, so be sure to browse the entire list.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Jacob Ming-Trent and Angela Grovey in Merry Wives, which is streaming on PBS. Photo by Joe Sinnott.