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 have been showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this weekend, July 18 to 19, for free or at low cost.
National Theatre: Amadeus
London's National Theatre presents Amadeus, Peter Shaffer's award-winning play about the rivalry between 18th composers Salieri and Mozart. Michael Longhurst directed this critically acclaimed production, which was filmed in 2017 and features live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Lucian Msamati portrays the more successful in life Salieri, who's tortured by the knowledge that the louche Mozart (Adam Gillen) is the true genius who will be remembered. Watch for free until Thursday, July 23 at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel. There's also an audio-described version.
The New Group: The True
Tony nominee Edie Falco headlines a reading of The True, Sharr White's profanity-laden political play about the complex relationship between longtime Albany mayor Erastus Corning II (Michael McKean) and his tough-talking lobbyist Dorothea "Polly" Noonan. The show was a hit at The New Group in 2018 and this performance, which was recorded live on Thursday night, reunites the original Off-Broadway cast, including Peter Scolari and John Pankow. Tickets are $25 and you can watch anytime until Sunday.
MCC Theater: Good As New
Oscar winner Julianne Moore and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) star in Good As New, Peter Hedges' one-act exploring a confrontation between a teenager and her mother while the daughter learns to drive. MCC Theater presented this live performance on Thursday, and a recording is available to watch until Sunday for $30.
Guild Hall: Same Time, Next Year
Last weekend, East Hampton's Guild Hall presented Oscar winner Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin in a reading of Bernard Slade's popular two-hander Same Time, Next Year, which chronicles an extramarital affair over 25 years of rendezvous. The price for the live performance was $100; this weekend you can watch a recording for a $10 on Vimeo.
We Are Freestyle Love Supreme
Hamilton isn't the only Lin-Manuel Miranda stage project getting the streaming treatment. Hulu is showing We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, a documentary about the improvisational hip-hop group that launched Miranda's NYC theatre career in the early '00s. Filmmaker Andrew Fried chronicled Miranda and his fellow rhyme-makers Christopher Jackson and Anthony Veneziale from 2005 through their triumphant Broadway engagement last season. See how the cult of LMM began! Not a Hulu subscriber? You can watch for free by signing up for a one-month trial.
The Royal Opera House: Faust
London's Royal Opera House shares a recording of David McVicar's eye-popping 2019 mounting of Faust, Gounod's adaptation of the first part of Goethe's epic poem about a philosopher who makes a deal with the devil. Michael Fabiano sings the title role, with Erwin Schrott as Méphistophélès and Irina Lungu as Faust's lady love. Watch for free until Wednesday, July 29 on YouTube.
The Public Theater: Richard II
Although The Public Theater had to cancel its free Shakespeare in the Park summer season, the invaluable institution is still giving audiences quality no-cost drama with its radio production of Richard II. A collaboration with WNYC, this four-part audio play is directed by Saheem Ali, who was scheduled to mount the tragedy at the Delacorte Theater before the pandemic hit. André Holland from Moonlight stars as the inept king and the supporting cast includes Oscar winner Estelle Parsons, Tony winner Phylicia Rashad, and Tony nominees John Douglas Thompson and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Listen to all four episodes on WNYC's website.
Stratford Festival: The Taming of the Shrew
Ontario's venerable Stratford Festival continues its Shakespeare on Film series with the Bard's admittedly problematic battle of the sexes Taming of the Shrew, starring real-life husband and wife Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay. Watch for free until Thursday, August 6 on the fest's YouTube channel.
Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Jonas Kaufmann
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera kicks off its brand-new series of live recitals with internationally renowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann. The star will perform a dozen popular arias from the Polling Abbey, located in the picturesque Bavarian countryside outside Munich, Germany. Highlights include "Nessun dorma" from Turandot, "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca and "Ah! lève-toi, soleil" from Roméo et Juliette. Tickets cost $20 and the performance will remain available until Wednesday, July 29.
Martha Graham Dance Company: Clytemnestra
On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Martha Graham Dance Company presents Clytemnestra, which explores the bloody aftermath of the Trojan War. The modern dance pioneer's only full-length work, it's being shown in three sections, with part 2 airing today and part 3 next Wednesday. This 1979 mounting stars Yuriko Kimura as the title queen, and will be complemented by rare archival clips of Graham in the role. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.
So Many Shakespeares: Punchline Loading...Hamlet Update
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, FRIGID New York's So Many Shakespeares festival features four unexpected takes on Hamlet. Tonight, catch NYC sketch comedy troupe Punchline Loading's comic spin on the Bard's tragedy. To tee-hee, or not to tee-hee? That's the question. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
On Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET, Out of the Box Theatrics presents a live performance of Nocturne, an early drama by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp about an aspiring writer who's haunted by the death of his younger sister. Ethan Paulini stars in this searing solo show. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount. Also playing on Sunday at 7:15 p.m. ET.
The Metropolitan Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart's beloved romantic comedy about a day of marriage and madness. Richard Eyre's 2014 production sets the action in a manor house in 1930s Seville, with Ildar Abdrazakov as the wily Figaro, always trying to outwit his womanizing master Count Almaviva, played by Peter Mattei. Amanda Majeski, Marlis Petersen and Isabel Leonard costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Cenerentola, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Dixon Place HOT! Festival: Spanking Machine
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Dixon Place presents the centerpiece of its 29th annual queer culture festival: Marga Gomez's darkly comic memoir Spanking Machine about growing up brown and queer in Washington Heights. A celebrated stand-up comic who's written and performed in 13 solo shows, Gomez recounts the good, the bad and the ugly about her life with insight and raunchy realness. Tickets are $20-$40.
Play-PerView: Heroes of the Fourth Turning
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, see a live-streamed reading of one of the most lauded plays of last season, Will Arbery's Heroes of the Fourth Turning, which sold out its run at Playwrights Horizons, won a number of major awards and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. A drama about conservative intellectuals, the story revolves around four college pals who reunite in Wyoming to celebrate their beloved professor, who just became the president of their tiny Catholic institution. This event reunites the acclaimed Off-Broadway cast: Jeb Kreager, Julia McDermott, Zoë Winters, John Zdrojeski and Tony winner Michele Pawk. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets start at $5. This won't be available after-the-fact.
Rosie O'Donnell and Other Rizzos on Stars in the House
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome a multitude of Rizzos to Stars in the House. All of their guests—Rosie O'Donnell, Joely Fisher, Lucy Lawless, Maureen McCormick, Megan Mullally and Mackenzie Phillips—played the iconic leader of the Pink Ladies in the '90s Broadway revival of Grease, for which Rudetsky played keyboards. Expect a lot of belting and bawdy humor from these badass broads. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Dance Theatre of Harlem: Coming Together
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Dance Theatre of Harlem presents Coming Together, Nacho Duato's powerful and poetic 1991 dance piece set to music Frederic Rzewski that incorporates eight spoken sentences from a letter written by Sam Melville, a political prisoner killed in the 1971 Attica Prison riots. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.
Stars in the House Presents The Show Must Go Online
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House continues its reading series for young audiences with The Show Must Go Online, a one-act children's musical created specifically to be performed remotely. Young thespians from Texas' Amarillo Little Theatre Academy star. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
So Many Shakespeares
FRIGID New York's So Many Shakespeares festival features four unexpected takes on Hamlet. On Sunday you can catch:
The Metropolitan Opera: La Bohème
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: its 1982 production of La Bohème, Puccini's romantic tragedy about love, bromance and art. Teresa Stratas, Renata Scotto, José Carreras, Richard Stilwell and James Morris star in Franco Zeffirelli's original staging, and James Levine conducts. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Isolating Together Online International Toy Theater Festival
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, toy theatre artists from around the globe share shorts in the sixth installment of Great Small Works' virtual Toy Theater Festival. Given how detailed this intimate genre is—often shows are presented on tabletops and feature tiny puppets—watching these pieces online lets you appreciate just how breathtaking they are. Watch for free on the company's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
The Seth Concert Series: Norm Lewis
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily talk show online 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 in Provincetown with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online, and tonight's headliner is Porgy and Bess Tony nominee Norm Lewis. Beloved for his glorious baritone, he has played many iconic theatre roles, including Billy Flynn in Chicago and Javert in Les Misérables, and he was the first Black actor to play the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Rudestky is a master at getting his guests to talk, so we expect lots of stories along with beautiful songs. Tickets are $25.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati in Amadeus at the National Theatre. Photo by Marc Brenner.