Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre a rarity 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, April 14 and Thursday, April 15, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Metropolitan Opera: Carmen
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. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is Richard Eyre's thrilling mounting of Bizet's Carmen, featuring Elina Garanca as the title character, who captivates all the men around her. Filmed in 2010, the production was choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon and costars Barbara Frittoli, Roberto Alagna and Teddy Tahu Rhodes. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, MasterVoices presents Love, the third installment of the four-part theatrical song cycle Myths and Hymns by Light in the Piazza Tony winner Adam Guettel. Inspired by Greek myths and 19th-century Presbyterian hymns, the 1998 work explores the nature of faith and longing in our secular society. The first two chapters, Flight and Work, were released earlier this year and can be streamed for free on YouTube. This third collection of multimedia musical shorts stars Tony winner Victoria Clark, Waitress's Drew Gehling, West Side Story's Shereen Pimentel, Broadway favorite Cheyenne Jackson, Disney star Dove Cameron and others. Watch for free on MasterVoices' YouTube channel; the final installment will be released on May 26.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Night Creature
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a recording of Night Creature, an effervescent work celebrating those who come alive after dark, choreographed by the troupe's founder and set to Duke Ellington's evocative jazz music. Watch for free until Tuesday, April 27 at 5 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
Theater of War Productions: The Suppliants Project
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Theater of War Productions, a company that uses classical texts to examine contemporary issues, presents excerpts from Aeschylus' The Suppliants, an ancient Greek tragedy about 50 women seeking asylum in the city of Argos, followed by a town hall-style discussion about immigration and the current refugee crisis. Actors David Denman, Frankie Faison, David Zayas, Andrea Patterson and Daphne Rubin-Vega will perform the passages, and director-adaptor Bryan Doerries will facilitate the conversation with community panelists. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link.
The Metropolitan Opera: Die Zauberflöte
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tony winner Julie Taymor's eye-popping, puppet-filled staging of Die Zauberflöte, a fantastical fable starring Golda Schultz, Kathryn Lewek, Charles Castronovo, Markus Werba, Christian Van Horn and René Pape. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's double bill of one-act operas, Iolanta and Bluebeard's Castle, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Cagney & Lacey Reunion
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host a Cagney & Lacey reunion on Stars in the House. Theatre lovers will of course recognize lead Tyne Daly from her Broadway performances, including her Tony-winning turn in Gypsy. She'll be joined by Martin Kove and Sharon Gless. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
CLI Studios: A New Stage
Starting on Thursday, New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck curated this program of digital dance, featuring eclectic pieces by Emmy nominee Chloe Arnold and Jennifer Weber alongside a world premiere by Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon. Performers include Peck, Lil Buck, Broadway favorite Sierra Boggess and the Syncopated Ladies. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Neat
On Thursday at noon ET, Manhattan Theatre Club continues its Curtain Call series spotlighting important plays from its past with a reading of Neat. This autobiographical coming-of-age tale by the multitalented Charlayne Woodard examines the impact of racism on her family, notably her disabled aunt Neat. MTC presented the play back in 1997 and Woodard reprises her critically acclaimed performance, complemented by original music by Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 25 and closed captions are available.
St. Ann's Warehouse: The Broken Ear Setlist: Songs from Ohio
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Brooklyn's invaluable St. Ann's Warehouse reopens with a live in-person performance by folky singer-songwriter spouses The Bengsons. Though tickets to be in the room where it happens have long been sold out, you can catch them from home via Zoom. The duo behind Off-Broadway hits such as Hundred Days and The Lucky Ones have been impressively busy during the pandemic, debuting two new virtual shows during the shutdown. For The Broken Ear Setlist: Songs from Ohio, which is directed by Anne Kauffman and Caitlin Sullivan, they'll be sharing new songs and "incantations" of loss, healing and faith. Tickets are $14 though there is a pay-what-you-can donation option.
Jazz at Lincoln Center: The Innovation + Soul Performance
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, although Jazz at Lincoln Center's virtual 2021 gala premieres on Wednesday night, you can watch a recording of the evening's Innovation + Soul Performance beginning tonight. Grammy and Tony winner Dee Dee Bridgewater hosts the affair, featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guests including vocalist Veronica Swift and percussionist Pedrito Martinez. Tickets start at $30 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 25.
WP Theater: Weightless
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, WP Theater wraps up its digital spring season with Weightless, a theatrical rock musical by married duo The Kilbanes inspired by the ancient myth of devoted sisters Philomela and Procne from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Helmed by Tamilla Woodard, Yale Repertory Theatre's newly appointed resident director, and filmed outdoors in the Bay Area, this production is a multimedia hybrid of live concert, storytelling and visual art. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish. The recording is viewable until Sunday, May 30.
The Metropolitan Opera: Hansel and Gretel
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, with Frederica von Stade and Judith Blegen as the mischievous siblings who have a tasty run-in with Rosalind Elias's witch. Nathaniel Merrill directed this English-language 1982 production, which features eye-popping design by Robert O'Hearn. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Die Zauberflöte, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Classic Stage Company: Tell the Story: Celebrating Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, last March when theatres shut down, Classic Stage Company was in the middle of rehearsals for its buzzy revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins. Artistic director John Doyle, who was set to helm the production, is committed to mounting the show at some point in the future. In the meantime, he's bringing together casts from multiple productions of Assassins for an evening of stories about and songs from the landmark musical. The guest list features actors from the show's 1990 premiere at Playwrights Horizons, such as Victor Garber, Terrence Mann, Greg Germann, Patrick Cassidy, Annie Golden and Debra Monk; cast members from the 2004 Roundabout Theatre Company mounting on Broadway, like Becky Ann Baker, Mario Cantone, Michael Cerveris, Marc Kudisch and Denis O'Hare; plus the entire CSC company, including Steven Pasquale, Ethan Slater, Adam Chanler-Berat, Tavi Gevinson, Judy Kuhn, Will Swenson, Wesley Taylor and Brandon Uranowitz. There will also be special appearances by André De Shields, Raúl Esparza, Audra McDonald, George Takei and other friends of CSC. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations to CSC are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Monday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
The Joyce Theater: Ephrat Asherie Dance: Odeon
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with Odeon, a buoyant new work from choreographer Ephrat Asherie fusing breaking, hip-hop, house and vogue, set to music by 20th-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth. Filmed on the Joyce stage, the performance features a group of dynamic dancers accompanied by live musicians. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 28.
On Wednesday and Thursday at 1, 4, 7 and 10 p.m. ET, everybody say, "Yeah, yeah!" Catch the exuberant West End production of Kinky Boots, starring Olivier Award winner Matt Henry as drag diva Lola, who helps shoe manufacturer Charlie (Killian Donnelly) inject some fabulousness into his factory. Although the musical examines serious subjects such as homophobia and father-son estrangement, it's mostly a celebration of friendship and being true to yourself, with catchy songs by Cyndi Lauper and a heartfelt book by Harvey Fierstein. Filmed live on stage in London, the show is streaming to benefit independent cinemas around the US. Tickets are $15.
Old Vic: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
On Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, London's Old Vic presents David Greig and Charlie Fink's acclaimed adaptation of The Lorax, Dr. Seuss' classic picture book about one creature's magical quest to save his environment. This inventively staged and song-filled family show features a cast of humans and puppets, and will be performed live on stage to an empty auditorium and streamed to an at-home audience. Tickets cost £20 to £40, approximately $27 to $55, and must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance. Audio description and closed captions are available.
American Conservatory Theatre: Arms and the Man
San Francisco's lauded American Conservatory Theater continues its A.C.T. Out Loud reading series spotlighting prescient plays with George Bernard Shaw's 1894 comedy Arms and the Man, about a love triangle set against the backdrop of the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Tony nominee Colman Domingo directs Phillip James Brannon, Allen Darby, Allie Marie Evans, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Danny Scheie, Ariel Shafir, Avanthika Srinivasan and Liam Vincent. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Red Bull Theater: Paradise Lost Part I: The Fall of Lucifer
On Monday, NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for reimagining classics, presented a theatricalization of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost and you can watch a recording until Friday. Michael Barakiva adapted and directed the production, which is being performed in two parts, beginning with The Fall of Lucifer. Watch for free on Red Bull's YouTube channel though a $25 donation is suggested. The recording is viewable until Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Part II, Eve and Adam, premieres Monday, April 26.
TheaterWorks: The Sound Inside
TheaterWorks in Hartford presents a digital reimagining of The Sound Inside, Adam Rapp's enigmatic Tony-nominated play about an ailing literature professor who forms an unexpected relationship with a precocious but mysterious student. Maggie Bofill and Ephraim Birney star in this twisty two-hander, which was directed by Rob Ruggiero and Pedro Bermudez. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Friday, April 30 and ASL interpretation is available.
Goodman Theater: Smokefall
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of Smokefall, Noah Haidle's surreal play about unborn twins contemplating their future lives, and the family drama taking place outside the womb. Anne Kauffman directed this singular 2013 production. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday, April 25. Closed captions are available.
The Shows Must Go On!: Julius Caesar
The Shows Must Go On! presents a powerful mounting of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar about a political assassination with deadly consequences. Based on the Royal Shakespeare Company's acclaimed stage production and set in post-colonial Africa, this film is directed by Gregory Doran and stars Paterson Joseph, Jeffry Kissoon, Cyril Nri and Ray Fearon. Watch for free until Friday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
John Cullum: An Accidental Star
Two-time Tony winner John Cullum reflects on his 65-year career in An Accidental Star. He'll croon songs from the shows he's known for, such as Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, The Scottsboro Boys and Urinetown, and share never-before-heard stories about working with stars like Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Coproduced by three theatres he has longstanding relationships with—The Vineyard Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House and Irish Rep where it was filmed—this intimate and inspiring solo show is a must-see for theatre history buffs. Tickets start at $28.75 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Thursday, May 6.
The Joyce Theater: Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with tap master Ayodele Casel's Chasing Magic, an evening of works about the power of reconnecting. The program features a new collaboration with choreographer Ronald K. Brown as well as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Cheek to Cheek," both co-choreographed by Anthony Morigerato. Casel is joined on the Joyce stage by Morigerato, Naomi Funaki, Amanda Castro and John Manzari. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 21.
Roundabout Theatre Company: Reverb Theatre Arts Festival
Roundabout Theatre Company presents its inaugural Reverb Theatre Arts Festival showcasing artists with disabilities. A few months ago, the venerable nonprofit put out a call inviting artists with disabilities to submit original monologues, dance pieces, spoken word and musical works. The result is 24 short collaborations between emerging artists and pros, including Tony-winning performer Ali Stroker, Tony-nominated director Scott Ellis, Tony-nominated performer Lauren Ridloff, choreographer Chase Brock and songwriter Adam Gwon. Watch for free until Thursday, May 20 on Roundabout's website. ASL interpretation, closed captions and audio description are available.
Out of the Box Theatrics: The Last Five Years
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Jason Robert Brown's musical dissection of a romance, The Last Five Years, has proven to be a pandemic favorite, with multiple productions in the UK and stateside. It makes sense since the two-hander is about disconnection, as the man tells his side of their love story chronologically while the woman recalls their relationship in reverse. This digital reimagining of the show was coproduced by Out of the Box Theatrics and Holmdel Theatre Company and filmed inside a New York City apartment, giving it an air of verisimilitude. Nasia Thomas and Nicholas Edwards star as the ill-fated couple, and celebrated musical director Jason Michael Webb helmed the production. Tickets start at $29.
ABT Incubator: Death and Life
American Ballet Theatre continues its Incubator series showcasing brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. This week's premiere is Death and Life by company member Sung Woo Han, a pas de deux set to Bach's Adagio from Concerto No. 3 in D Minor featuring his fellow ABTers Joo Won Ahn and SunMi Park. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: The original Playwrights Horizons cast of Assassins. Many of those actors will reunite on Thursday for Classic Stage Company's Tell the Story: Celebrating Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins.