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 this Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10 from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Shows Must Go On: Fiona Shaw in Richard II
On Monday at 2 p.m. ET, since theatres shut down, the UK-based The Shows Must Go On series has been screening musicals on weekends. But for the month of November, they're adding weekly streams of starry Shakespearean productions. This week's gem is a 1997 recording of the brilliant Fiona Shaw as the peevish title monarch in the rarely mounted tragedy Richard II, helmed by her frequent collaborator Deborah Warner. Watch for free until Sunday, November 15 on YouTube.
The Seth Concert Series: Jessie Mueller
On Monday at 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, musical director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts with Broadway stars for the past decade. This year he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Jessie Mueller and you can watch a recording today. A beloved musical theatre star who was in the midst of making her Broadway dramatic acting debut in The Minutes when the shutdown hit, she performs numbers from the shows that made her famous, including Waitress, Carousel and her Tony-winning turn in Beautiful. Tickets are $25.
On Monday at 5 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce Theater continues its virtual season with four eclectic recordings available for four weeks: Michela Marino Lerman's troupe Love Movement in Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon; Louis Mofsie and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers in concert; Gimp Gait and an excerpt from Reprise by Pioneer Winter Collective, and Sankofa Danzafro's Fecha Limite about the violence against and displacement of Afro-Colombian and Native communities. Watch for free until Sunday, December 6 on The Joyce's website.
92nd Street Y: Lyrics & Lyricists: Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt: Simple Little Things
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, the 92nd Street Y's popular Lyrics & Lyricists concert series goes virtual with a program dedicated to the songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, whose shows include 110 in the Shade, I Do! I Do! and the longest running Off-Broadway musical of all time, The Fantasticks. The performers celebrating their oeuvre include Broadway regulars Brandon Victor Dixon, Telly Leung, Kara Lindsay, Zachary Noah Piser and Mariand Torres. Tickets are $15 and the recording remains available through Wednesday, December 9.
Rockers on Broadway: Band Together
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, the annual benefit concert Rockers on Broadway goes virtual this year, with an impressive lineup of performers straddling the ever-thinning line between theatre and rock 'n' roll. The roster includes Tony winners Michael Cerveris and LaChanze; Rent heartthrob Adam Pascal; Rock of Ages star Constantine Maroulis; Jersey Boys' J. Robert Spencer, and special appearances by Cyndi Lauper and Joan Jett. Tickets start at $20 and proceeds benefit a variety of organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Irish Repertory Theatre: A Beggar Upon Horseback: The Context, From Frederick Douglass to Today
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, Irish Rep commemorates the 175th anniversary of Frederick Douglass' historic trip to Ireland with a dramatic reading of his "Letter from Belfast" by Tony nominee John Douglas Thompson, followed by a panel exploring the complicated history between African Americans and Irish Americans. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged. There's a follow-up program on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET about the role of Irish cultural institutions in dismantling racism.
Iolanta and Bluebeard's Castle at the Met
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a double bill of one-acts inspired by folk tales: Tchaikovsky's final opera Iolanta starring Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, and Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle starring Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko, both conducted by Valery Gergiev. The productions were filmed in 2015 for the company's Live in HD series and are available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers at Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular weekly Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for years. Tonight's lineup includes American Idol runner-up-turned-Broadway performer Justin Guarini, Sweden's "Queen of Swing" Gunhild Carling, cultural critic and crooner Michael Musto and stage vet Aisha de Haas. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Emerging Artists Theatre: Boys Don't Wear Lipstick
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, Ridiculous Theatrical Company legend Everett Quinton directs a fabulous cast in a reading of Boys Don't Wear Lipstick, Brian Belovitch's autobiographical play about his incredible gender journey. The ensemble includes gender-queer TV star Jonny Beauchamp; Broadway divas Lena Hall and Daphne Rubin Vega; comedian Margaret Cho; and Peppermint and Yuhua Hamasaki from RuPaul's Drag Race. Tickets start at $10 and proceeds benefit Emerging Artists Theatre and the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.
Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus leaps into fall with a new season of its weekly live-streamed variety show. Hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson, this evening's cavalcade includes belly dancer Rasa Vitalia, jugglers Anni Küpper and Fly by Night, and clown Rich Potter. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Brenda Braxton
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, Smokey Joe's Cafe Tony nominee and Chicago vet Brenda Braxton guest hosts Stars in the House, and Moulin Rouge! Tony nominee Robyn Hurder is dropping by to talk Broadway. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Long
On Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET, Manhattan Theatre Club kicks off its fall virtual reading series with Long, Charlie Oh's cheeky tale of an Asian-American porn actor reassessing his role-playing. Dustin Wills directs the piece, which examines colonialism, stereotyping and homophobia in Asian-American culture. Watch for free until Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on MTC's YouTube channel.
On Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, in 2018, Shakespeare's Globe commissioned Morgan Lloyd Malcolm to write a play inspired by the life of Emilia Bassano, the 17th-century poet and feminist rumored to have been the Bard's Dark Lady, the subject of some of his bawdiest sonnets. Titled Emilia, the empowering, all-women work was such a critical and commercial hit, it transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre on the West End, and a recording of that production is being streamed for two weeks beginning tonight. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at £1, approximately $1.30. Closed captioned and audio described recordings are available.
Play-PerView: Toni Stone
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a live reading of Toni Stone, Lydia R. Diamond's rousing play about the title Black athlete, the first woman to play big-league professional baseball alongside men when she joined the Negro American League in 1953. A potent examination of racism and misogyny in America, the show was a hit for the Roundabout Theatre Company last year. This event reunites that production's director, Pam MacKinnon and cast, led by April Matthis in her superb Obie-winning turn as Toni Stone. Tickets start at $5 and benefit the Negro League Baseball Museum.
Bedlam: The Machine Stops
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Bedlam, a NYC theatre company celebrated for its reinventions of classics (Sense & Sensibility, The Crucible), presents a live reading of The Machine Stops, David Keohane's theatrical adaptation of E.M. Forster's eerily prescient sci-fi story about a machine-controlled world of isolation. The troupe's MVP, the brilliant Zuzanna Szadkowski, stars alongside Awesta Zarif and Miguel Long. The evening kicks off with a half hour of live music at 6:30 p.m. ET. Watch for free on the company's Facebook page though donations to the nonprofit Climate Justice Alliance are encouraged.
Salome at the Met
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares its 2008 mounting of Strauss' Salome, starring Karita Mattila in an acclaimed performance as the lusty title character. Ildikó Komlósi, Kim Begley, Joseph Kaiser and Juha Uusitalo costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's program, a double bill of Iolanta and Bluebeard's Castle, until 6:30 p.m today.
Club Cumming: Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Alan Cumming, who hosted downtown divas at his eponymous East Village club pre-COVID, is now sharing their fabulousness online. Tonight, internationally renowned German chanteuse Ute Lemper stars in Rendezvous with Marlene, a celebration of Marlene Dietrich inspired by a three-hour conversation she had with the Hollywood icon back in 1988. Directed by Daniel Nardicio as a cinematic cabaret, the performance features some of Dietrich's signature numbers as well as secrets divulged during that long-ago chat. Tickets are $30.
The American Dance Guild Performance Festival: 10 Years Over 10 Weeks
Each year, the American Dance Guild produces a festival that includes salutes to iconic dance-makers. Since the event is virtual this year, the organizers are transforming it into a retrospective of the last decade of honorees, with archival recordings released every Monday. The fifth features tributes to 2014's masters Joan Myers Brown, Douglas Dunn and Bill Evans. Watch for free until Sunday on Vimeo though donations are encouraged.
Great Performances: James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors
PBS Great Performances presents James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors, Richard Bean's uproarious swinging '60s adaptation of a commedia dell'arte classic about a not-so-smooth operator trying to juggle two jobs. Don't miss Corden in his hilariously exhausting Tony-winning performance. Watch for free until Friday, December 4 on PBS' website.
New Ohio Theatre: The self-combustion of a 30-something-year-old Chet or, Icarus tries to catch the Sun
On Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, indie-theatre incubator New Ohio Theatre kicks off a virtual edition of its annual Producers Club series with Keenan Tyler Oliphant's The self-combustion of a 30-something-year-old Chet or, Icarus tries to catch the Sun, an hour-long performance piece about jazz icon Chet Baker going on a drug-and-myth-induced trip. Tickets are pay-what-you-can though a $10 donation is suggested.
Stage Aurora Theatrical Company: Broadway Celebrates Veterans Day
Broadway veterans salute veterans of the Armed Forces in Stage Aurora's benefit concert. The lineup includes Tony winners Ben Vereen and Cady Huffman, Tony nominees Vanessa Williams and Robert Cuccioli, plus Darius de Haas, Jarrod Emick, Darryl Reuben Hall, Janet Hubert, Renee Lawless, N'Kenge, Randy Redd, Cody Renard Richard, Desmond Richardson, Angela Robinson, Justin Matthew Sargent, Bethaney Wellings-Davies and Natasha Yvette Williams. Watch for free until Wednesday on Stage Aurora's YouTube channel though a $25 donation is suggested. Proceeds go to the theatre and the Northeast Florida Women Veterans of Jacksonville.
Play-PerView: Armie Hammer in Sundogs
On Saturday, Play-PerView presented a live reading of Howard Emanuel's drama Sundogs and you can watch a recording until Thursday. Armie Hammer stars as a US Army sergeant haunted by the sound of drums beating in his head. Heather Arnson directs, and Jordan Bridges, Jenn Gambatese, Maurice Jones, Tobias Segal and Grace Porter costar. Tickets are $25 and benefit The WDA and Stop Soldier Suicide.
Peak Performances: Martha Graham Dance Company
Montclair State University's Peak Performances series has long been a go-to destination for adventurous New Jersey audiences. Now avant-garde lovers everywhere can watch these cutting-edge performances on the recently launched Peak HD platform. This month, catch two works by the Martha Graham Dance Company: the classic Appalachian Spring choreographed by the troupe's founder and set to music by Aaron Copland, and Troy Schumacher's The Auditions, which had its world premiere last year. Watch for free online.
Top image: April Matthis in Toni Stone. Photo by Joan Marcus..