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 Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Give Me Your Hand
On Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, this winter, the venerable Irish Rep is presenting encore streams of its entire digital season. Today, catch a matinee of Give Me Your Hand, a virtual tour of London's National Gallery featuring Tony nominee Dearbhla Molloy and Dermot Crowley reciting Paul Durcan poems as paintings are projected. Directed by Jamie Beamish, this is a digital reimagining of the company's 2012 hit production. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Werther
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, 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 Werther, Massenet's adaptation of Goethe's epistolary novel starring Jonas Kaufmann as the tortured title character, whose passion for Sophie Koch's Charlotte leads to tragedy. Lisette Oropesa, David Bižic and Jonathan Summers costar in Richard Eyre's 2014 mounting. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Ballet Hispánico: Café America
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST, Ballet Hispánico presents a vintage recording of Café America, an exploration of the immigrant experience choreographed by The Wiz Tony winner George Faison, set to music by Rubén Blades and Julio Iglesias. There will be a post-stream conversation with Faison and three of the dancers, Jose Costas, Pedro Ruiz and Eduardo Vilaro, who now serves as Ballet Hispánico's artistic director. Watch for free on the dance company's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: John Cox's sparkling 1988 mounting of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini's comic masterpiece about Figaro, a resourceful barber who helps a couple out of a hairy situation. Leo Nucci stars as the title character and Kathleen Battle and Rowell Blake are the young lovers. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Ernani, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Irish Repertory Theatre: On Beckett / In Screen
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, this winter, the venerable Irish Rep is presenting encore streams of its entire digital season. Tonight, catch Tony winner Bill Irwin in a virtual reimagining of his hit solo show On Beckett. Once again, the acclaimed clown takes the stage at the Chelsea theatre to explore the words and work of the groundbreaking Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Only this time, no one is in the audience, which makes this meditation on Beckett's themes of loneliness, loss and decay even more haunting. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; donations are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Game Night
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsy and James Wesley host one of their popular Game Nights. RuPaul's Drag Race favorite Nina West, Broadway vets Paul Castree and Jerad Bortz and others pop by for fun and games. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Clippy and Ms. U
On Thursday, one of NYC's premier Asian-American theatre companies, Ma-Yi, presents a reading of Clippy and Ms. U, Ohnobu Pelican's theatrical reaction to the 10th anniversary of Japan's triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown). James Yaegashi directs Broadway vets Ann Harada, Jennifer Ikeda, Thom Sesma and Olivia Oguma as strangers searching for a woman and confronting a terrifying reality. Performed in English with Japanese subtitles. Watch for free on Ma-Yi Studio's website.
John Turturro on Classic Conversations
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, Classic Stage Company continues its Classic Conversations with a chat between artistic director John Doyle and John Turturro, who has a long history with the theatre. He appeared in The Cherry Orchard and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at CSC, and also directed A Spanish Play. Watch for free on Classic Stage Company's Facebook page.
DANCE NOW: Chapter 4
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, usually presented over a few jam-packed days at Joe's Pub, this 25th annual dance festival has been reimagined for our virtual world, with monthly online installments through May 2021. Chapter 4 features new short digital commissions from Kate Ladenheim, Maleek Washington, Subject:Matter and Alice Sheppard, alongside archival recordings of pieces by Adam Barruch and Mark Gindick. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 30.
MCC Theater: On Love
On Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET, MCC Theater presents On Love, a sextet of digital poems, playlets and songs by the always ambitious Mfoniso Udofia about the different ways we connect as friends, family and lovers. Awoye Timpo directs a cast that includes Broadway vet Keith David and actors from Udofia's Ufot Cycle, Chiké Johnson and Patrice Johnson Chevannes. Tickets are $7 and a recording is viewable until Saturday.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Meet Me in St. Louis
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, this winter, the venerable Irish Rep is presenting encore streams of its entire digital season. Tonight, catch Meet Me in St. Louis, a charmingly old-fashioned musical based on the cherished MGM movie of the same name. Charlotte Moore, who appeared in the 1989 Broadway mounting of the show, directs a cast led by the honey-voiced Shereen Ahmed in the Judy Garland role, alongside Broadway vets Melissa Errico and Max Von Essen. The glorious score includes "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; donations are encouraged.
Fame 4.0 Benefit
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, New York's prestigious Fame school, aka Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the movie that made turned it into a pop-culture phenomenon. In addition to performances by the school's talented students, the evening features appearances by Debbie Allen, who starred in the movie and TV series Fame, Erica Gimpel from the Fame TV show, Laura Dean from Fame the movie), LaGuardia alums Awkwafina and Isaac Mizrahi, and Samantha Bee and Jason Jones. Remember their names! Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Ars Nova: Showgasm.
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, one of Off-Off Broadway's most innovative institutions, Ars Nova has served as the launching pad for lots of big things, including the musical The Great Comet, Lin-Manuel Miranda and now its own streaming service, Ars Nova Supra! Tonight, you can catch a virtual edition of its anything-goes variety show Showgasm. Stage treasure Joél Pérez (Fun Home, Sweet Charity) hosts this edition, which features Broken Box Mime Theatre, comedian Gabe González and powerhouse vocalist Mykal Kilgore. Tickets are $5 or you can subscribe to the platform for a flat monthly fee of $15.
Lincoln Center Theater: Lileana Blain-Cruz In Conversation: On Directing
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Obie-winning director Lileana Blain-Cruz, who was recently appointed resident director at Lincoln Center Theater, talks about the future of the industry with some of her talented peers: Garrett Allen, Sarah Benson and Lila Neugebauer. Register for the free Zoom link.
The Metropolitan Opera: Un Ballo in Maschera
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: Piero Faggioni's 1991 mounting of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera , with Luciano Pavarotti as a ruler in love with his best friend's wife. Aprile Millo, Leo Nucci and Florence Quivar costar. Watch for FREE for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, soap stars show off their musical theatre talents in the one-night-only ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, a digital reimagining of the benefit concerts presented by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS from 2005 to 2011. Whoopi Goldberg hosts this edition, and the lineup includes Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Vincent Irizarry, Eva La Rue, Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Tonya Pinkins, Eden Riegel, Chrishell Stause and Walt Willey from All My Children; Kristen Alderson, Melissa Archer, Kathy Brier, Kassie DePaiva, BethAnn Fuenmayor, David Gregory, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Catherine Hickland, Mark Lawson, Hillary B. Smith, Jason Tam, Brittany Underwood and Bree Williamson from One Life to Live; and Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Steve Burton, Anthony Geary, Finola Hughes and Laura Wright from General Hospital. Watch for free on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' website though donations are encouraged.
The Reading Series: Reasons to Be Pretty
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, The Reading Series presents Reasons to Be Pretty, Neil LaBute's Tony-nominated play about four dysfunctional not-quite-grown-ups trapped in toxic relationships. Alison Tanney directs Andrew Kober, Jessica Vosk, Kahlil Garcia and Janine DiVita. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Stars in the House: The Love Boat Reunion
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrate Valentine's Day with a reunion of the campiest romance series ever: The Love Boat. Longtime cast members Gavin MacLeod, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Bernie Kopell, Lauren Tewes and Jill Whelan will be joined by frequent guest star Charo and Jack Jones, who'll croon the show's iconic theme song. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Eden Theater Company: The Kitchen Plays
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, the women-led Eden Theater Company wraps up its series of virtual shorts exploring the current state of our homebound world with a trio of playlets that take place in the kitchen: Ginger Bug by Jake Brasch, Passion Project by Cassandra Paras and For the Family by Madison Harrison. Tickets start at $5.
The Tank: Borders
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, indie theatre incubator The Tank presents a live performance of Borders, Nimrod Danishman's timely play exploring the challenges of modern-day virtual romance, as two men from different countries fall for each other on Grindr. Eli M. Schoenfeld and Adrian Rifat star, and Michael R. Piazza directs. Tickets start at $10.
San Francisco Ballet
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, the celebrated San Francisco Ballet continues its digital season with a trio of works. Two are archival recordings: Dwight Rhoden's Let's Begin at the End and Mark Morris's Sandpaper Ballet. The third, Colorforms, is a brand-new piece by troupe soloist Myles Thatcher, known for his politically charged performances. Tickets are $29 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, March 3.
Haley at Therapy
Tony nominees Lilli Cooper and Denée Benton headline Haley at Therapy, a one-act musical comedy about a woman's first session on an analyst's couch. Written by Josh Canfield, who appeared on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 with Benton, the show costars Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Grace McLean and James Scully. Watch for free on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Anna Netrebko
Last Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera presented superstar soprano Anna Netrebko in a live concert and you can watch a recording until Friday, February 19. Filmed at Vienna's gorgeous Spanish Riding School, the performance includes enchanting Russian songs by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov, along with selections by Strauss, Debussy and Fauré, plus a pair of duets with special guest Elena Maximova. Tickets are $20.
New York City Center: Honoring Black History Month
To celebrate Black History Month, New York City Center shares three dance solos by Black artists that premiered as part of its digital Fall for Dance 2020 festival: legendary tap dancer Dormeshia in Lady Swings the Blues; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts in Morani/Mungu (Black Warrior/Black God); and American Ballet Theatre principal Calvin Royal III in to be seen, choreographed by Kyle Abraham. Watch for free until Sunday, February 28 on the venue's website.
French Institute Alliance Française: Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik: Love, Desire & Mystery
Tony-nominated chanteuse Melissa Errico and New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik continue their three-part concert and conversation series exploring what the French call l'amour fou, all-consuming love. In part II, Desire, they delve into sensual pairings such as sex and food, seduction and fashion. Filmed on stage at the French Institute Alliance Française's Florence Gould Theatre, the performance includes songs from Gopnik's musical Our Table, Stephen Schwartz's The Baker's Wife, Funny Face, Coco and the hits of Edith Piaf. Tickets are $15 but you can buy the three-concert package for $30.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Former One Life to Live star Renée Elise Goldsberry, aka Angelica from Hamilton, who's appearing in the benefit concert ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway on Thursday evening. Photo by Justin Bettman.