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 performers from Broadway and beyond are sharing their talents online. Below are performances you can watch this weekend, April 25 and 26, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On! series continues with Love Never Dies, his sequel to The Phantom of the Opera set in 1907 Coney Island (!) starring Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Anna O'Byrne as Christine. Although the romantic musical played on the West End and toured the world as well as the U.S., it never made it to Broadway, much to the chagrin of New York-area Lloyd Webber lovers. Now Phans everywhere can catch it for free on YouTube through Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Earlier this week, New York City Ballet kicked off its digital spring season, streaming performances from its archives every Tuesday and Friday. This weekend, you can catch Justin Peck's Rotunda, a work for a dozen dancers that had its world premiere earlier this year, set to a score by composer Nico Muhly. Watch for free on NYCB's YouTube channel through Monday at 8 p.m. ET
London's National Theatre shares a recording of its mounting of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's beloved comedy of mistaken identity. The production was recorded for the National's NT Live series, and Tamsin Greig is hilarious as Malvolia, a female take on the classic buffoon Malvolio. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel anytime through Wednesday, April 30.
Shakespeare's Globe in London shares a recording of its 2009 mounting of Romeo & Juliet, directed by Dominic Dromgoole and starring Ellie Kendrick and Adetomiwa Edun. Watch for free anytime through Sunday, May 3 on the theatre's YouTube channel.
Dave Malloy, the Tony-nominated creator of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, keeps sharing recordings of his early musicals online, and we are so thankful for his generosity. In addition to videos of Ghost Quartet from 2015 and Beardo from 2011, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, a raucous riff on the epic poem, is now online. The show was mounted by Berkeley's Shotgun Players in 2008 and the nonprofit theatre is using this as a fundraiser. The suggested ticket price is $20 though there are less expensive options.
One of NYC's most celebrated Latinx theatre companies, Repertorio Espanol, is streaming its hit production of Valor, agravio y mujer, a delicious revenge comedy filled with deceit, seduction and cross-dressing written by 17th-century Spanish playwright Ana Caro. Performed in Spanish without subtitles, the show is available to watch for free through Sunday on the theatre's Vimeo channel with the password VALOR2020.
New York-based theatre company spit & vigor presents Casey Wimpee's The Brutes about the renowned theatrical Booth family: brothers Edwin, Junius Jr. and John Wilkes, whose legacy took a murderous turn. This performance was recorded at the Gramercy Park social club The Players (once home to Edwin Booth) and members of the Booth family were in attendance! Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m., mark a new milestone in our strange surreality as the adventurous HERE Arts Center presents a live performance of all decisions will be made by consensus, the first opera written for Zoom. Created by composer Kamala Sankaram, librettist Rob Handel and director Kristin Marting, it's billed as a "15-minute operatic experiment" and centers on a group of activists holding a drama-filled video meeting. Watch for free on the theatre's Facebook page.
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents a live-streamed gala, with more than 40 stars singing from their homes around the globe. The stellar lineup includes Angel Blue, Renée Fleming, Sonya Yoncheva and Michael Volle, and you can peruse the full list of luminaries on the Met's website. This is truly a one-of-a-kind, can't-miss event for opera lovers! Watch for free on the Metropolitan Opera's website. A recording of the event will be available to watch until 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House presents a live reading of George Bernard Shaw's anti-war satire Arms and the Man in conjunction with the Gingold Theatrical Group, which specializes in the playwright's oeuvre. The cast includes Tony nominees Daniel Davis, Alison Fraser, Tom Hewitt and Phillipa Soo alongside Tony winner Santino Fontana. Watch for free on The Actors Fund's YouTube channel. Note: this performance won't be available after-the-fact so you have one chance to watch.
On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Martha Graham Dance Company shares a recording of the troupe's namesake performing her 1930 solo Lamentation as well as modern pieces influenced by that classic. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, songwriter Drew Gasparini hosts a live concert in support of his new album, We Aren't Kids Anymore, featuring Tootsie Tony nominee Lilli Cooper, Colton Ryan from Girl From the North Country and the phenomenal Bonnie Milligan, who stole the show in Head Over Heels. Watch for free on Playbill's website.
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, veteran Broadway stage manager J. Jason Daunter welcomes the legendary Chita Rivera to his online talk show Projects with Jason. In addition to a live interview with the three-time Tony winner, Daunter will share performances by talented middle and high school students from around the country that celebrate Rivera's storied theatre career. Watch for free on the series' YouTube channel.
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Tribeca's The Flea brings its popular SERIALS series online. Every Saturday night, five emerging playwrights will premiere shorts created to be performed online by The Bats, The Flea's resident ensemble. Viewers will vote for their favorites and, next week, the top three will return with new installments with the same characters. Watch the playlets for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host a celebration of Sondheim on Stars in the House. This is not the big one—scroll down to 8 p.m. to see the starry guest list for Broadway.com's shindig. But this fete should still be great fun, with original Company cast member Pamela Myers, Into the Woods' original Little Red Riding Hood Danielle Ferland and other old-school Sondheim interpreters sharing songs and stories. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.
On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, if you've been longing to get in on the virtual action, Off-Broadway's Primary Stages is launching an intriguing experiment: fan read-alongs. This Sunday, you can watch or perform in a virtual reading of Kate Hamill's spirited adaptation of Little Women. The event takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Register to get the link and to indicate whether you want to be an actor or an audience member!
On Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below shares a recording of Alice Ripley & Emily Skinner: Unattached!, a 2016 concert by the former Broadway costars and lifelong pals. The duo was nominated for a joint 1998 Tony Award for their intertwined performances as conjoined twins in the musical Side Show, and they've been singing together on and off ever since. Expect duets from that show, as well as solos from projects they've done on their own, including The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, The Rocky Horror Show and Next To Normal, for which Ripley finally won that Tony! Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel. Note: this performance won't be available after-the-fact so you have one chance to watch.
On Sunday at 7 p.m. EST, the live-streamed theatre series Play-PerView presents a reading of The Other Place, Sharr White's Broadway drama about a successful neurologist who may be losing her mind. The cast is lead by Kate Walsh from Grey's Anatomy opposite Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets start at $5, and proceeds benefit The Actors Fund and The Dramatists Guild.
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EST, the Metropolitan Opera presents Rossini's La Cenerentola, starring Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez, and conducted by Fabio Luisi. The 2014 production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series, and is available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream Saturday's star-studded Metropolitan Opera gala until 6:30 p.m. ET
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, a jaw-dropping roster of Broadway and Hollywood stars come together for Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration. Although his big day was technically last month, no one's going to quibble when Tony winners such as Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O'Hara, Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Kuhn, Linda Lavin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Katrina Lenk, Michael Cerveris and Ben Platt are saluting him in song alongside Meryl Streep, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal and others. The brainchild of host Raúl Esparza, who's starred in multiple Sondheim shows, the event marks the 50th anniversary of the opening night of Company. Watch for free on Broadway.com's YouTube channel.
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, GLAAD presents Together in Pride: You Are Not Alone, a benefit concert for LGBTQ community centers across the country. Hosted by the riotous Billy Eichner (I've adored him ever since I reviewed him in a New York Fringe Festival comedy 14 years ago!) and Lilly Singh, the event features appearances by lots of theatre stars, including Billy Porter, Matt Bomer, Mj Rodriguez, Wilson Cruz, Sean Hayes, Javier Muñoz, George Salazar and Alex Newell, plus the cast of Jagged Little Pill. Watch for free on GLAAD's YouTube channel.
Remember to check out our roundup of performances you can watch online anytime.
Top image: Anna O'Byrne and Ben Lewis in Love Never Dies. Photo by Jeff Busby.