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, including many full-length productions, you can watch this weekend, April 18 and 19, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On! series continues with The Phantom of the Opera. This isn't the 2004 movie with Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler; it's a recording of the 25th-anniversary mega-mounting in 2011 at London's Royal Albert Hall starring Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess backed by hundreds of singers and musicians. Even if you've seen Broadway's longest running musical, you've never experienced it quite like this! Watch it for free on YouTube through Sunday at 2 p.m.
London's National Theatre shares a recording of its dynamic stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Olivier winner Patsy Ferran (a celebrated actress across the pond who was scheduled to make her Broadway debut in the now-cancelled Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and Dr. Who's Arthur Darvill star in the play, which was recorded for the National's NT Live series. Watch it for free on the theatre's YouTube page through Wednesday, April 22.
London's Royal Court Theatre shares a recording of Cyprus Avenue, David Ireland's violent drama about an angry not-so-young man played by Tony nominee Stephen Rea. The production was a smash in London and played briefly at New York's Public Theater in 2018. Now you can watch it on Royal Court's website through April 26.
Dave Malloy, the Tony-nominated creator of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, posted a full-length recording of the 2015 mounting of his musical Ghost Quartet on YouTube. Now he's sharing another one from his archives, the original 2011 Shotgun Players production of Beardo, which he describes as "a surreal retelling of the Rasputin myth." Clearly Russia is his muse. Watch it for free on Vimeo.
London's Hampstead Theatre continues its #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series with a recording of its 2013 production of Drawing the Line, Harold Brenton's historical epic about the behind-the-scenes drama leading to the world-changing Partition of India in 1947. Watch it for free anytime on the company's website through Sunday.
Cutting-edge theatre collective Manual Cinema is streaming two of its eye-popping, genre-defying hour-long shows online: Ada/Ava, which was a hit Off Broadway back in 2015, and The Magic City. Watch them for free on the company's website through Sunday.
Amazon Prime is streaming National Theatre's live recording of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's critically acclaimed solo stage show Fleabag, the basis for her award-winning TV series of the same name. See how the uproariousness began on Amazon Prime anytime through Friday, April 24 for $5. Proceeds benefit front-line healthcare workers and creative freelancers.
Shakespeare's Globe in London is streaming its 2018 production of Hamlet featuring artistic director Michelle Terry in the title role. Watch it for free on the theatre's YouTube channel through Sunday.
At 8 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday, Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre shares a recording of its production of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, Jocelyn Bioh's shrewd comedy about the pecking order at an elite boarding school in Ghana. The play was a hit in New York, with two Off-Broadway runs. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
At 8 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday, one of the most acclaimed regional theatres in the country, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, shares a recording of Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by lauded playwright Jeff Augustin (Little Children Dream of God at Roundabout Theatre Company, The New Englanders at Manhattan Theatre Club) with songs by The Bengsons (Hundred Days). An exploration of the complicated relationship between a Haitian immigrant and his American-born son, the show was commissioned by the theatre for its Humana Festival of New American Plays. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
At 8 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday, Actors Theatre of Louisville shares a recording of Are You There?, a trio of new short works about socializing in the digital age that were commissioned for its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. EST, Stars in the House presents a live reading of Bakersfield Mist, a comedy about an unemployed bartender living in a trailer park who thinks she's found a painting by Jackson Pollock. Inspired by a true story, Stephen Sachs' two-hander stars Brooke Adams and her real-life husband, Tony winner Tony Shalhoub as a snooty art appraiser. Watch it for free on The Actors Fund's YouTube channel.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. EST, Global Citizen hosts the massive, star-studded concert One World: Together At Home in honor of front-line workers. A slew of famous rockers and actors are scheduled to appear and perform, including Broadway stars Ben Platt, Jennifer Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Lupita Nyong'o, Matt Bomer and Sarah Jessica Parker. Watch the eight-hour event on Facebook, or tune in at 8 p.m. to NBC for the final two celebrity-filled hours.
On Saturday at 4 p.m. EST, parents, do you need a break? (Of course you do.) Then check out Peter Michael Marino's Show Up, Kids!, a live-streamed interactive family romp. The solo artist has been performing this comedy for years in cities around the globe, and he's spent weeks figuring out how it will work online. The show can't go on without the kids, since they help determine everything from the story to the set design. Tickets are available online but TDF members get a discount.
On Saturday at 6:30 p.m. EST, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below continues its #54BelowatHome series with Steppin' Out with Ben Vereen, a 2017 concert by the legendary Pippin Tony winner filled with songs and stories from his multi-decade career. Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel.
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST, the Metropolitan Opera presents Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, Piotr Beczala and Ambrogio Maestri, and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. The 2019 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 Friday's opera, Madama Butterfly, until 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday at 2 p.m. EST, it's a Les Misérables reunion on Stars in the House. Hosts Seth Rudetsky and his husband James Wesley welcome original Broadway cast members John Caird, Randy Graff, Judy Kuhn, Michael Maguire, Terrence Mann and Frances Ruffelle. Yes, you do hear the people sing. 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. EST, marvel at a 22-foot puppet baby in Zara, an epic collaboration between three U.K. theatres about a mother with developmental disabilities fighting to protect her child. Staged outside of London's Imperial War Museum last year, this one-of-a-kind spectacle features hundreds of everyday Britons alongside professional actors, musicians and puppeteers. Watch this singular production for free on YouTube.
On Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST, cabaret haven Feinstein's/54 Below continues its #54BelowatHome series with a recording of Ann Hampton Callaway: The Linda Ronstadt Songbook. The inimitable jazz singer pays tribute to the versatile Grammy winner, whose diverse catalog included rock, country and Latin tunes. Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel.
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EST, the Metropolitan Opera presents Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, starring Renée Fleming, Elina Garanca, Erin Morley and Günther Groissböck, and conducted by Sebastian Weigle. The 2017 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 opera, Adriana Lecouvreur, until 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday at 8 p.m. EST, the hilarious Michael Urie reprises his award-winning turn in Buyer & Cellar, Jonathan Tolins' uproarious solo comedy about an out-of-work actor who lands an insane job curating the tchotchkes in Barbra Streisand's basement. I saw this Off-Broadway hit twice and can't wait to revisit! Urie is performing the show live from his living room, and you can watch for free on Broadway.com's YouTube channel, though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund are encouraged.
On Sunday at 8 p.m. EST, Seth Rudetsky and his husband James Wesley welcome the legendary Chita Rivera to Stars in the House. What will the Tony-winning diva do? Why, anything she wants. This twice daily series supports The Actors Fund, and you can watch for free on the organization's YouTube channel.
Remember to check out our roundup of performances you can watch online anytime.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess in The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary. Photo courtesy of the Really Useful Group.