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 28 and Thursday, April 29, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Wednesday, April 28
TDF: Titanique Stars in Conversation
On Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, TDF presents a hilarious conversation with Constantine Rousouli and Marla Mindelle, the cocreators and costars of Titanique, a send-up of James Cameron's 1997 Oscar-winning epic Titanic as seen through the eyes, songs and vibrato of Céline Dion. Before the show's maiden virtual voyage this Sunday, TDF is bringing these Broadway BFFs together for a riotous conversation about turning this romantic tragedy into a buoyant comedy. Watch for free on TDF's Facebook page. TDF members, log in to your account to purchase Titanique tickets at a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: Hansel and Gretel
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 an eye-popping, English-language production of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel featuring oversize cartoon chefs, singing trees and an unforgettable witch's kitchen. Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer star as the title siblings in this 2008 production. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
New York City Center: Sutton Foster: Bring Me to Light
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie) headlines this uplifting concert, which was recently recorded live on stage at New York City Center. During the hour-long benefit performance, she's joined by some of her talented pals, including Raúl Esparza (Company, The Homecoming), Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) and Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) to sing numbers from Anyone Can Whistle, Camelot, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Violet, The Wild Party and other Broadway musicals. Foster's frequent collaborator, Leigh Silverman, directs this inspirational evening. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Monday, May 31.
The York Theatre Company: The Creation of Fiddler on the Roof
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company welcomes theatre historian Charles Troy for a multimedia presentation about the creation of Fiddler on the Roof. He'll share stories about and prerecorded songs from the musical to show how director-choreographer Jerome Robbins turned it into an unlikely megahit. Austin Pendleton and Joanna Merlin, who originated the roles of Motel and Tzeitel in the inaugural Broadway production, will also drop by to reminisce about their experiences. Tickets are $12.
Symphony Space: This Is New York: John Benjamin Hickey in Conversation with George C. Wolfe
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Symphony Space presents an intimate conversation between Tony-winning actor John Benjamin Hickey and visionary playwright and director George C. Wolfe. The two collaborated on the 2011 Broadway production of The Normal Heart, which earned Hickey his first Tony Award. Tonight, Hickey will be asking Wolfe about his incredible body of work, from his breakthrough play The Colored Museum to his Broadway mounting of Angels in America to his 2020 film adaptation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Tickets are $15 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Members Don't Get Weary
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a recording of Members Don't Get Weary about what it's like to have the blues, choreographed by longtime troupe dancer Jamar Roberts and set to music by legendary jazzman John Coltrane. Watch for free until Tuesday, May 11 at 5 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
Amas Musical Theatre: Found in Translation
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Amas Musical Theatre presents Found in Translation, Luis Santeiro's autobiographical solo musical about emigrating from Cuba as a child and how he rediscovered his Latin past while trying to become an all-American. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, May 5.
The Metropolitan Opera: Andrea Chénier
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Andrea Chénier, Giordano's romantic tragedy set during the French Revolution about a poet who's hopelessly in love with a pampered aristocrat. Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Guleghina star as the ill-fated lovers in this 1996 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, The Merry Widow, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Thursday, April 29
Waterwell: Red Rainbow
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, every year, civic-minded NYC theatre company Waterwell commissions a new full-length play by an emerging dramatist written specifically for senior drama students at the Professional Performing Arts School. This year, Waterwell tapped Azure D. Osborne-Lee to craft a fantastical piece about NYC teens who go on an unexpected adventure during the pandemic. Who knows? You may be seeing an early performance by the next Claire Danes or Jesse Eisenberg, both alums of the school. Tickets start at $5.
Theater in Quarantine: All The Different Ways That Commodore Matthew Perry Could Have Died Before Opening Japan But Didn't
On Thursday at 7 and 9 p.m. ET, Theater in Quarantine and New Georges present the world premiere of All The Different Ways That Commodore Matthew Perry Could Have Died Before Opening Japan But Didn't, Julia Izumi's alternate history play about what would have happened if the title U.S. naval officer hadn't forced Japan into trade and diplomatic relations with the West in the mid-19th century. Theater in Quarantine cocreators Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin codirect the production, which stars Gelb performing from his closet. Watch for free on Gelb's YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Manon
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Massenet's Manon, based on Antoine François Prévost's controversial 18th-century novel about a tragic romance. Filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2019, the production stars Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, Carlo Bosi, Artur Rucinski, Brett Polegato and Kwangchul Youn. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Andrea Chénier, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays: The Baltimore Waltz
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, since spring of 2020, Broadway's Best Shows has presented performances of important plays featuring big stars acting from their respective homes. The series continues with Paula Vogel's dramedy The Baltimore Waltz chronicling the amusing adventures of devoted siblings Anna and Carl, even as one of them faces a terminal illness. Tony winner Mary-Louise Parker (The Sound Inside, Proof, Weeds) and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) star in this touching piece inspired by the playwright's real-life relationship with her brother. Obie winner Lileana Blain-Cruz directs. Tickets are $15 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Monday at 6 p.m. ET and proceeds benefit The Actors Fund.
Stars in the House: Celebrating Becca: A Tribute to Rebecca Luker
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrate the late, great Rebecca Luker, a beloved Broadway performer who passed away last December at age 59 from ALS. To honor her life and legacy, her longtime husband, Danny Burstein, and some of her dearest costars and friends, including Howard McGillin, Laura Benanti and Sally Wilfert, come together to talk about their upcoming tribute concert to Luker next Tuesday, May 4. Watch for free on YouTube.
The Joyce Theater: Trisha Brown Dance Company
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with a program of innovative works from the Trisha Brown Dance Company. The evening includes an archival recording of the troupe's Geometry of Quiet danced at the Joyce in 2017, as well as brand-new performances of Locus Trio, Watermotor and The Decoy Project, a digital reimagining of the 1979 work Glacial Decoy. 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, May 12.
The Reading Series: Reasons to Be Pretty Happy
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, The Reading Series presents Reasons to Be Pretty Happy, the final installment in Neil LaBute's trilogy about two dysfunction couples who are hopelessly intertwined. Five years after Reasons to Be Happy, the pairs reunite for a night of drinking and truth-telling. Alison Tanney directs Broadway vets Andrew Kober, Jessica Vosk and Janine DiVita, along with Kahlil Garcia. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Berkeley Rep: The Waves in Quarantine
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, California's Berkley Rep presents The Waves in Quarantine, a theatrical experiment in six movements inspired by Virginia Woolf's The Waves. Conceived by Tony-nominated performer Raúl Esparza and adventurous director Lisa Peterson, this collection of cinematic shorts examines art in isolation, as Broadway favorites Carmen Cusack, Nikki Renée Daniels, Darius de Haas, Manu Narayan, Alice Ripley and Esparza perform David Bucknam's emotional songs. RSVP to receive the free Zoom link for opening night.
Available to Watch Both Days
Irish Repertory Theatre: Little Gem
On Wednesday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Irish Rep presents Elaine Murphy's Little Gem about three North Dublin women from different generations, each facing a major life change. Brenda Meaney, Lauren O'Leary and four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason reprise their critically acclaimed performances from the theatre's hit 2019 production, with each actor taping her part remotely. Marc Atkinson Borrull once again directs. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though a $25 donation is suggested. Closed captions are available.
New York Theatre Workshop: Brother, Brother
New York Theatre Workshop presents Brother, Brother, a new music-filled audio drama by award-winning playwright Aleshea Harris (Is God Is, What to Send Up When It Goes Down) about two songwriting siblings traveling Appalachia by bicycle on their way to make it big in Tennessee. But on their journey they're confronted by ghosts from the past. Shayok Misha Chowdhury directs Tony winner André De Shields, To Kill a Mockingbird's Gbenga Akinnagbe, Amari Cheatom and Owen Tabaka in this haunting production. Tickets are $10 and you can listen until Sunday, July 25.
American Conservatory Theatre: The Matchmaker
San Francisco's lauded American Conservatory Theater wraps up its A.C.T. Out Loud reading series spotlighting prescient plays with Thornton Wilder's 1954 comedy The Matchmaker, a reinvention of two earlier works that served as the basis for the beloved musical Hello, Dolly! Dawn Monique Williams directs a multicultural cast in this 19th farce about widow Dolly Levi looking to make her own perfect match. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
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.
The Civilians: Black Feminist Video Game
On Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, The Civilians presents a live online performance of Black Feminist Video Game, Darrell Alejandro Holnes' inventive and interactive show about Jonas, a biracial teen on the autism spectrum attempting to win a classic 2D game along with the girl of his dreams. His journey unfolds on Twitch with the audience helping (or hindering) Jonas' progress along the way. Christon Andell, Kyla Jeanne Butts and Starr Kirkland star and Victoria Collado directs. Log in ready to join the action! Tickets are $11.50.
Goodman Theater: Measure for Measure
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of its 2013 production of Measure for Measure, helmed by artistic director Robert Falls. See how he tackled one of the Bard's notorious problem plays! Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday, May 9. Closed captions are available.
The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents an encore stream of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines 2020 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 on The Public's YouTube channel.
The Shows Must Go On!: Border Tales
The Shows Must Go On! presents Border Tales, an emotional dance-theatre piece by Luca Silvestrini's troupe Protein. An exploration of multicultural Britain, this production features dynamic movement, live music and dialogue inspired by the international cast's real-life experiences. Watch for free for the rest of the year on YouTube.
PBS Great Performances: Romeo & Juliet
PBS Great Performances presents a new mounting of Romeo & Juliet from London's National Theatre. The production was initially planned as an in-person experience, but the pandemic forced the artists to film the show. In this contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, a group of actors quarantined in the theatre bring the play to life. Josh O'Connor and Jessie Buckley portray the star-crossed lovers. Watch for free on PBS Thirteen's website.
New Normal Rep: Two Sisters and a Piano
New Normal Rep presents Two Sisters and a Piano by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, about two sisters under house arrest in Cuba in 1991. Maria Celia is a writer whose works led to the pair's imprisonment, and Sofia is a pianist. Passion and politics collide when the lieutenant assigned to the sisters' case visits their home. Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent) and Gary Perez originally appeared in this drama at Off Broadway's Public Theater in 2000. For this digital production directed by the playwright, they're joined by Jimmy Smits (L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, God of Carnage) and Florencia Lozano. 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 Sunday, May 23.
Lincoln Center Theater: The Royale
Lincoln Center Theater shares a recording of The Royale, Marco Ramirez's powerful pugilist play inspired by the real-life experiences of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world champion. Rachel Chavkin won a well-deserved Obie Award for her visionary direction of the show at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 2016, and Khris Davis earned kudos for his breathtaking performance as a boxer who's always fighting—even outside the ring. Montego Glover, John Lavelle, McKinley Belcher III and Clarke Peters costar. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, May 16.
Signature Theatre: Daniel J. Watts' The Jam: Only Child
Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presents Daniel J. Watts in his autobiographical solo show The Jam: Only Child. A 2020 Tony nominee for his searing turn as Ike Turner in the Broadway musical Tina, Watts recounts being raised by a single mom in this genre-defying show, which fuses poetry, tap dance and personal insights. Lileana Blain-Cruz directed the production, which was filmed at Signature Theatre sans audience. Tickets are $35 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Friday, May 7.
ABT Incubator: Thread of Memories
American Ballet Theatre continues its Incubator series showcasing brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. This week's premiere is Thread of Memories by ABT dancer Luigi Crispino. Set to music by Joe Hisaishi, the trio stars Crispino's fellow ABTers Virginia Lensi, Rachel Richardson and Nathan Vendt. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
Top image: Sutton Foster, whose new concert to benefit New York City Center begins streaming on Thursday.