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 companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch today, Thursday, July 23, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella Broadway Cast Reunion
At noon ET, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization brings together cast members from the Tony-nominated revival of Cinderella. Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark, Ann Harada and Greg Hildreth will reminisce about the production and also talk about Friday's screening of the original 1957 TV musical of Cinderella starring Julie Andrews, the basis for the Broadway show. Watch for free on YouTube.
Live with Carnegie Hall: Audra McDonald
At 2 p.m. ET, Carnegie Hall welcomes the legendary Audra McDonald, a six-time Tony winner with powerhouse pipes who recently co-founded Black Theatre United. Today she performs an eclectic selection of theatre and classical songs, and also chats with CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca about her celebrated career and her work to make Broadway more diverse. Watch for free on Carnegie Hall's YouTube channel.
The Other Palace: Songs for a New World
At 2:30 p.m. ET, London's The Other Palace presents Songs for a New World, Tony winner Jason Robert Brown's breakthrough musical revue, a series of insightful numbers featuring a wide array of characters grappling with pivotal moments in life and love. The four-person cast includes Les Misérables Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo and Rachel Tucker, who had just taken over the role of Capt. Beverley Bass in Broadway's Come From Away when theatres shut down. Tickets are £12.50, approximately $16.
Christina Bianco Concert for a Cause for TDF
At 3 p.m. ET, "the girl of a thousand voices," Christina Bianco, performs a benefit concert for TDF! The actor, singer and impressionist is best known for her comedic turns in Forbidden Broadway and NEWSical the Musical, and earlier this year she finished up a critically acclaimed run as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl in Paris. During this live variety hour, she'll perform popular show tunes, impression-filled mash-ups, "Unlikely Interpretations" of songs by unexpected singers and even do some trivia and take requests. Watch for free on YouTube or join our watch party on TDF's Facebook page. Donations to TDF's Lifeline Campaign are encouraged.
André De Shields on Classic Conversations
At 6 p.m. ET, Classic Stage Company continues its Classic Conversations with a chat between artistic director John Doyle and Hadestown Tony winner André De Shields, who starred in the theatre's 2017 mounting of As You Like It. With almost 50 years of stage performances under his fabulous belt, he's certainly got a lot to talk about! Watch for free on Classic Stage Company's Facebook page.
Paul Giamatti in I, My Ruination
At 7 p.m. ET, the Cape Cod Theatre Project presents a starry reading of I, My Ruination, Kevin Artigue's history-inspired drama about director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller, who took different paths when they were called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. The performance features Tony winner Nina Arianda, Paul Giamatti, Corey Stoll, Arian Moayed and Pedro Pascal, and is helmed by the company's artistic director Hal Brooks. Tickets are $50.
Virtual Pillow: Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE
At 7 p.m. ET, the Berkshires' lauded Jacob's Pillow continues its virtual summer season with a selection of works by Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, a Brooklyn-based troupe that fuses African dance with contemporary choreography and storytelling. This compilation includes In Gratitude, Brown's tribute to Katherine Dunham, Grace and highlights from New Conversations set to Afro-Cuban jazz by Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill. Watch for free on Jacob's Pillow's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Irish Repertory Theatre: The Weir
At 7 p.m. ET, Irish Rep presents The Weir, Conor McPherson's haunting 1997 drama about a quartet of Irishmen sharing ghost stories at a pub in order to impress a comely lass. The venerable Off-Broadway company originally mounted the play in 2013; this virtual adaptation reunites director Ciarán O'Reilly with three cast members from that production, Dan Butler, Sean Gormley and John Keating, along with Amanda Quaid and Tim Ruddy, who appeared in its 2015 encore run. Tickets are a suggested donation of $25 but TDF members get a discount.
The New Group: Facing the Rising Tide: Mother of Exiles
At 7 p.m. ET, pioneering Off-Broadway theatre company The New Group partners with the Natural Resources Defense Council for Facing the Rising Tide, a five-day festival of virtual readings of new plays exploring environmental racism and the climate crisis. Tonight's offering is Jessica Huang's Mother of Exiles, an epic chronicle of one immigrant family's journey through America over 200 years, which climaxes in our not-so-distant environmentally compromised future. Watch for free on The New Group's YouTube channel.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Blues Suite
At 7 p.m. ET, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a 1985 recording of Blues Suite, the ballet that launched the invaluable dance troupe in 1958. Ailey was just 27 when he choreographed this half-hour piece, which is set in a sporting house and celebrates Black joy as revelers dance, drink and flirt to blues music. Watch for free until Thursday, July 30 on the troupe's YouTube channel.
TRLive!: Maya Sharpe
At 7 p.m. ET, 42nd Street's nonprofit complex Theatre Row continues its live concert series with Maya Sharpe, an actor and musician who starred in Hair on Broadway. Watch her perform covers as well as some of her original tunes for free on Theatre Row's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
Out of the Box Theatrics: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
At 7:15 p.m. ET, Charles M. Schulz's cartoon Peanuts gang comes to life in the beloved musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Out of the Box Theatrics is presenting the 1999 Broadway version of the show, with Michael Mayer and Andrew Lippa fleshing out Clark Gesner's original material. Laugh along during an ordinary yet eventful day for these wise-beyond-their-years characters, including Lucy, Sally, Linus, Charlie and the most imaginative dog in the world Snoopy. Tickets are available from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: Roméo et Juliette
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Roméo et Juliette, Charles Gounod's adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy about ill-fated teenage lovers. Roberto Alagna and Anna Netrebko play the star-crossed couple in this 2007 production, which costars Nathan Gunn and Robert Lloyd and is conducted by Plácido Domingo. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Verdi's Macbeth, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Dixon Place HOT! Festival: Basement
At 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown staple Dixon Place brings its 29th annual queer culture fest online with four weeks of theatre, dance, music, readings and comedy. Tonight catch Kallan Dana's one-act Basement about a couple of hoarders. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available to purchase from the theatre.
Stars in the House: Fame Reunion
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host a Fame reunion on Stars in the House in honor of the 40th anniversary of the iconic movie about students at NYC's High School of the Performing Arts. Cast members Debbie Allen, Lee Curreri, Laura Dean and Antonia Franceschi will be joined by composer Michael Gore and lyricist Dean Pitchford of "remember my name" fame for stories and songs about this cultural phenomenon. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Patrick Page in Shakespeare in Vegas
At 9 p.m. ET, a pair of West Coast theatre companies present a reading of Shakespeare in Vegas, Suzanne Bradbeer's wacky comedy that reimagines the Bard's poetry as punnery. Hadestown's Patrick Page and Tony winner Karen Ziemba lead the cast as a wise guy from the Vegas Strip and a classical actress from NYC who team up to realize their middle-aged night's dream. Watch on TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's website though donations are encouraged.
Lake Tahoe Dance Festival: Mid-Century Modern Dance
At 9 p.m. ET, the annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival goes digital this year with three nights exploring different dance genres. Night two is dedicated to mid-century modern dance. In addition to interviews, performance highlights include Martha Graham Dance Company principal Lloyd Knight and former New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan in Graham's duet Moon; Paul Taylor Modern American Dance company member Kristin Draucker in Taylor's Cascade; and Erick Hawkins Dance Company principal Kristina Berger in Hawkins' Greek Dreams. Watch for free on the festival's website though donations of $25 are encouraged.
The Muny: Summer Variety Hour
At 9:15 p.m. ET, after 102 years, the shows won't go on at The Muny this summer. But the beloved St. Louis institution is hosting a new online variety show featuring clips from past mainstage productions as well as brand-new virtual performances. The lineup for week one includes production numbers from the Muny's mountings of The Little Mermaid, The Wiz, Singin' in the Rain and The Music Man; performances by Broadway vets Ken Page, Hunter Foster and Ashley Brown; and a game show with stage stars such as Ann Harada and Christopher Sieber. Watch for free on the Muny's YouTube channel.
Available to Watch All Day
The Metropolitan Opera: The Merry Widow
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 at 5 p.m. ET. These productions have been specially selected for families, and Zoom education sessions leading up to the screening teach school-age kids about opera. This week's offering is the Met's 2015 mounting of Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow, helmed by Tony-winning director Susan Stroman, and starring opera legend Renée Fleming as the title character, who's wooed by Nathan Gunn's Danilo, an old flame with ulterior motives. Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara costars. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Transport Group: Broadbend, Arkansas
Stalwart NYC theatre company The Transport Group presents Broadbend, Arkansas, a two-person musical about a Black father and daughter grappling with the personal impact of racial oppression three decades apart, first in the '60s, then in the '80s. The show had its world premiere Off Broadway last fall but its themes feel even more urgent in the current moment. Reserve your free ticket to receive the viewing link; donations to the Black Theatre Network are encouraged. The recording is available until August 16.
Graeae Theatre Company: Reasons to Be Cheerful
Back in the '70s and '80s, Ian Dury became one of the first rockers with a disability to break through to mainstream success with his New Wave band The Blockheads. In 2017, London's Graeae Theatre Company, which showcases artists with disabilities, produced a gleefully raucous musical about his life, Reasons to Be Cheerful, filled with songs from his career, including his in-your-face anthem "Spasticus Autisticus." Watch for free until Monday, August 3 on Graeae Theatre Company's YouTube channel. There's also an audio-described version.
Top image: Christina Bianco. Photo by William Ernst.