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 11 to 12, for free or at very low cost.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel
Lincoln Center shares a recording of the New York Philharmonic's 2013 concert staging of Carousel, starring Tony winner Kelli O'Hara as Julie Jordan and opera star Nathan Gunn as Billy Bigelow. The supporting cast is just as impressive, with Tony winner Shuler Hensley as the villainous Jigger, Tony winner Jessie Mueller (a future Julie Jordan) as Carrie Pipperidge opposite Jason Danieley's Enoch Snow, Kate Burton as Mrs. Mullin, Tony winner John Cullum (a former Billy Bigelow) as the Starkeeper and Dr. Seldon, and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck in the Act II dream ballet. Watch for free until Tuesday, September 8 on Lincoln Center's YouTube channel.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
The Shows Must Go On! wraps up three and a half months of programming with an encore screening of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that started the series: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This direct-to-video 1999 film version stars Donny Osmond as the title character and Maria Friedman as the belting narrator, with cameos by Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins (and you thought Cats was kitschy!). Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
National Theatre: The Deep Blue Sea
London's National Theatre presents its 2016 production of The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Rattigan's devastating portrait of a woman unraveling in 1952 London. Olivier nominee Helen McCrory, known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, stars as Hester Collyer, whose passionate love affair ruins her marriage and her will to live. Watch for free until Thursday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Bernadette Peters: A Special Concert
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids shares a never-before-seen recording of a Bernadette Peters concert. Filmed at the Minskoff Theatre in 2009, the performance features beloved songs from the three-time Tony winner's 60-year career, including numbers by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim. There's also a special appearance by the late Mary Tyler Moore, who co-founded the annual pet adoption event Broadway Barks with Peters. Watch for free until Tuesday, July 14 on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids YouTube channel.
The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents the world premiere of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines docudrama based on interviews with New York City healthcare workers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The married playwrights are masters of the form: their previous plays include The Exonerated, about wrongly convicted inmates on Death Row, and Coal Country, about the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia. The latter had its run cut short at The Public Theater due to the pandemic, and Blank and Jensen almost immediately turned their attention to our city's first responders to craft this one-act for digital consumption. Under Blank's direction, an impressive cast, including Tony winner Santino Fontana, Tony nominee Alison Pill, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint, give voice to these harrowing real-life stories. Watch for free until Tuesday, August 4 on The Public's YouTube channel.
The Old Vic: Mood Music
London's Old Vic shares Mood Music, Joe Penhall's examination of the toxic pop industry, with a veteran producer (Ben Chaplin), a young songwriter (Seána Kerslake) and their lawyers and psychotherapists fighting over who owns a hit tune. Recorded at the venue in 2018, the production was helmed by Roger Michell, who directed the smash movie Notting Hill. Watch for free until Tuesday, July 14 at 2 p.m. ET on the Old Vic's YouTube channel.
The Mint Theater's Summer Stock Streaming Festival
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been resurrecting forgotten plays since 1992, presents a virtual festival featuring recordings of three full-length productions from its archives: George Kelly's domestic dramedy The Fatal Weakness, Harold Chapin's comedy of mores The New Morality and Hazel Ellis's suspenseful comedy Women Without Men. Email email@example.com to receive the password to watch the shows for free on The Mint's website. The videos will be available until Sunday, July 19. Donations are encouraged.
The Royal Ballet: Romeo and Juliet
London's Royal Ballet shares a recording of Kenneth MacMillan's iconic staging of Romeo and Juliet, with Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball as Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers dancing to Sergei Prokofiev's lush score. Watch for free until Wednesday, July 22 on YouTube.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Juba
The invaluable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Juba by current artistic director Robert Battle. Inspired by Rite of Spring, it's a thrilling work fusing ritual and folk traditions, set to original percussive music by John Mackey. Watch for free until Thursday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Alvin Ailey's YouTube channel.
Stratford Festival: Romeo and Juliet
Ontario's venerable Stratford Festival continues its Shakespeare on Film series with the tragic tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, directed by 25-year fest veteran Scott Wentworth. Watch for free until Thursday, July 30 on Stratford's YouTube channel.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night's Dream
The acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival has gone online with Joseph Haj's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which had its run cut short earlier due to the pandemic. Recorded in the theatre, the video is available through Wednesday, July 22; tickets are $15.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: The Copper Children
Another offering from the beloved Oregon Shakes: Karen Zacarías' world-premiere play The Copper Children, inspired by the true history of the Orphan Train movement during which hundreds of thousands of immigrant kids in Eastern cities were sent to foster homes in the West. This production also had its run cut short by the pandemic, but a recording is available until Wednesday, July 15. Tickets are $15.
HERE Arts Center: A Series of Landscapes
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, HERE Arts Center presents the world premiere of A Series of Landscapes, an avant-garde opera-theatre piece created for digital consumption by thingNY. Enter into a Zoom call where seven performers sing about the intense mixed emotions of this moment. Tickets start at $5 and there will be an encore performance at 6 p.m. ET.
Play-PerView: The Few
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, the live-streamed reading series Play-PerView presents The Few, Samuel D. Hunter's poetic drama about three staffers working at a magazine for truckers. This event reunites the cast of the 2014 Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production: Tony nominee Gideon Glick, Michael Laurence and Tasha Lawrence. The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds benefit Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
New Victory Theater: Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's premier family theater, the New Victory, presents a recording of its 2018 holiday hit Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams. The troupe was founded by a pair of Ethiopian brothers and features jaw-dropping contortion, aerial, acrobatic and juggling acts performed by their countrymen, complemented by live music. Watch for free on the New Victory Theater's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Madama Butterfly, Puccini's tragic tale of a young geisha (Hui He) abandoned by her lover, a callous American naval officer (Bruce Sledge). Anthony Minghella's staging was filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2019, and also features Elizabeth DeShong and Tony winner Paulo Szot. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Eugene Onegin, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Works & Process at the Guggenheim Celebrates 50 Years of Dance Theatre of Harlem
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, last September, the Dance Theatre of Harlem marked its 50th anniversary with a performance in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum. Tonight, the company shares a recording of that event, featuring Tones II, a restaging of co-founder Arthur Mitchell's iconic Tones set to music by Tania León; the first three themes from George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments with music by Paul Hindemith; and resident choreographer Robert Garland's Nyman String Quartet No. 2 with music by Michael Nyman. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.
Stars in the House: Andréa Burns
At 8 p.m. ET, On Your Feet! diva Andréa Burns guest hosts Stars in the House and she's bringing some of her In the Heights costars with her: Janet Dacal, Mandy Gonzalez and Tony winner Karen Olivo. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Joe's Pub: The Loser's Lounge Tribute to Aretha Franklin
At 8 p.m. ET, for decades, Joe McGinty & The Loser's Lounge, a collective of fabulous NYC musicians and performers, have been celebrating pop music from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Last year, they presented a tribute to Aretha Franklin at Joe's Pub with a powerhouse lineup of singers crooning the Queen of Soul's hits and B-sides. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.
Stars in the House Presents Winter Break
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House continues its reading series for young audiences with Winter Break, Joe Calarco's dramedy about nine disparate teenagers grappling with friendship, romance, loss and identity in an increasingly complicated world. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to Seattle's Red Eagle Soaring are encouraged.
No One Called Ahead
On Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, Playbill streams a new movie musical featuring songs by Jane Eyre Tony nominee Paul Gordon about a young artist named Ben (Justin Matthew Sargent) who communes with the spirits of several notable women during a weekend retreat. The ladies he learns from are played by Broadway vets Lora Lee Gayer, Storm Lever, Morgan Weed, Pamela Winslow Kashani and the hilarious Ann Harada. Tickets are $4.99 and the recording is available to watch for 72 hours.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tristan und Isolde
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, it's viewers' choice night at the Metropolitan Opera, and this evening's winner is a 1999 production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde featuring Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen as the title couple whose all-consuming love defies the law. Katarina Dalayman, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen and René Pape costar, 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, Madama Butterfly, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
She Kills Monsters
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the University of Pittsburgh presents a live performance of She Kills Monsters, a geektastic adventure by Qui Nguyen about Agnes, who gets to know her deceased little sister through her Dungeons and Dragons journal. Find out why this action-and-emotion-packed show is one of the most produced plays in the country. Reserve your free tickets in advance to receive the viewing link.
The Seth Concert Series: Audra McDonald
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 Audra McDonald. In addition to being a six-time Tony winner with powerhouse pipes, she's an activist who recently co-founded Black Theatre United. Rudestky is a master at getting divas to dish, so in addition to songs from the shows she's starred in (Ragtime, Carousel, 110 in the Shade, Porgy and Bess, to name just a handful), she's sure to talk about her work to make Broadway more diverse. Tickets are $25.
The Brick: Periscope and OUT (123.73)
At 8 p.m. ET, one of Brooklyn's most adventurous theatres, The Brick, presents a pair of new short works created for online consumption: Ryan William Downey's Periscope, an experimental meditation on memory, and the dance piece OUT (123.73), a tribute to choreographer Mary Overlie who passed away last month. This is your chance to see boundary-pushing, outer-borough performance without having to take the subway! Watch for free on twitch.tv
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Audra McDonald. Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein.