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, December 2 and Thursday, December 3. from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Wednesday, December 2
Old Vic: Three Kings
On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, over the past few months, London's Old Vic has streamed a series of impressive shows performed live on stage to an empty auditorium. Now the theatre is presenting recordings of those productions, starting with Stephen Beresford's solo piece Three Kings, about a man recounting his complicated relationship with his estranged father. Fleabag's Hot Priest, Andrew Scott, stars and Matthew Marchus directs. Tickets start at £10.00, approximately $13.50. Audio description and closed captions are available.
The Metropolitan Opera: Le Comte Ory
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 Rossini's rarely staged comedy Le Comte Ory. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher helmed this charming 2011 production starring Juan Diego Flórez as the title character, a philandering count whose lust life is complicated by Diana Damrau's virtuous Countess Adèle and his page, played by Joyce DiDonato. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: Ben Vereen and Klea Blackhurst
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with a dynamic duo: Ben Vereen and Klea Blackhurst. He's a Broadway legend who won a Tony for his iconic performance in Pippin. She's a cabaret star who does a mean Ethel Merman. We can't wait to hear these two harmonize! Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Opening Night Gala Benefit
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's annual holiday season goes online this year, with a rich lineup of performances, family programming and conversations. The festivities kick off tonight with an opening night gala celebrating the impact of Ailey's seminal work Revelations, a chronicle of African American history set to spirituals, gospel, jazz and blues. The evening includes excerpts from a recorded performance of the piece at the Bronx’s Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center, a new virtual performance by current troupe members and a virtual dance party. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Parsifal
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Parsifal, François Girard's 2013 mounting of Wager's final work, with Jonas Kaufmann as the title character who recaptures the Holy Spear and restores the land of the Holy Grail. Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei, Evgeny Nikitin and René Pape costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Aida, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens Reunion
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, last night, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS revived Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, a groundbreaking 1989 song cycle inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Tonight, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome some of the actors who participated in the virtual production, including Jayne Houdyshell, J. Harrison Ghee, Marisha Wallace, Robin Lord Taylor and Vicki Lewis. Find out how it came together for free on YouTube.
Theater Mitu: remnant
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, the high-tech, avant-garde Brooklyn collective Theater Mitu reimagines remnant, its 2018 multimedia meditation on war, death and loss for digital consumption. Crafted out of extensive interviews and research with doctors, soldiers and other experts, the show is helmed by the company's artistic director, Rubén Polendo. Tickets are $10.
Carmen Cusack: Therapy
On Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, after years of performing regionally, Carmen Cusack made an auspicious Broadway debut in 2016's Bright Star, earning critical accolades and a Tony nomination for her spirited turn as a woman searching for her long-lost son. Tonight she performs a live concert, brilliantly titled Therapy, from Las Vegas' The Space. Expect numbers from her stage roles, which include Elphaba in Wicked and Clare Boothe Luce in the upcoming Broadway musical Flying Over Sunset, plus favorite songs that have kept her from going crazy during the pandemic. Tickets are $30.
Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes — At Home Holiday Special
On Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET, for the first time since its 1933 debut, Radio City Music Hall's annual Christmas Spectacular is not going on... not on stage at least. Tonight, NBC is airing an hour-long special featuring archival recordings of the show's most beloved segments starring the legendary, leggy Radio City Rockettes. In between numbers such as the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Groban, John Legend and other celebrities will share personal season's greetings. For even more holiday cheer, tune in early at 8 p.m. ET for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, which includes performances by Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast of Ain't Too Proud. Watch for free on TV on NBC or stream throughout the season on NBC's online service Peacock, which is free to join.
Thursday, December 3
A Freestyle Love Supreme Conversation
On Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, enjoy a rap session with four stars of the improvisational hip-hop group Freestyle Love Supreme. Broadway cast members James Monroe Iglehart, Andrew Bancroft, Chris Sullivan and Aneesa Folds join TDF for a freewheeling conversation about their most memorable stage moments, their Hulu documentary and how you can pick up some of their impressive skills in their FLS Academy classes. Watch for free on TDF's Facebook page.
Old Vic: Three Kings
On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET, over the past few months, London's Old Vic has streamed a series of impressive shows performed live on stage to an empty auditorium. Now the theatre is presenting recordings of those productions, starting with Stephen Beresford's solo piece Three Kings, about a man recounting his complicated relationship with his estranged father. Fleabag's Hot Priest, Andrew Scott, stars and Matthew Marchus directs. Tickets start at £10.00, approximately $13.50. Audio description and closed captions are available.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: Ben Vereen and Klea Blackhurst
On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with a dynamic duo: Ben Vereen and Klea Blackhurst. He's a Broadway legend who won a Tony for his iconic performance in Pippin. She's a cabaret star who does a mean Ethel Merman. We can't wait to hear these two harmonize! Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Faith Prince on Classic Conversations
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, Classic Stage Company wraps up its Classic Conversations with a chat between artistic director John Doyle and Guys and Dolls Tony winner Faith Prince. Doyle directed her in the musical A Catered Affair on Broadway 12 years ago, so the two are sure to have lots to talk about. Watch for free on Classic Stage Company's Facebook page.
Theater of War Productions: Antigone in Ferguson
On Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Theater of War Productions, a company that uses classical texts to illuminate contemporary issues, presents Antigone in Ferguson, a Black Lives Matter-infused take on Sophocles' tragedy, which was previously mounted in Harlem, Brooklyn and Missouri. The production fuses dramatic readings of passages from Antigone with original gospel music by Phil Woodmore sung by a diverse choir. Today's performance features actors Moses Ingram, Corey Hawkins, Tate Donovan and Marjolaine Goldsmith; pastor Willie Woodmore; New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; St. Louis police officer John Leggette; singers Marcelle Davies-Lashley and Gheremi Clay; and De-Rance Blaylock and Duane Foster, both former teachers of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teen killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the event that inspired this piece. After the performance, director-adapter Bryan Doerries will co-moderate a discussion with Missouri social worker De-Andrea Blaylock Johnson about racialized violence, structural oppression and social justice. Register to receive the free viewing link. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
Birdland: Reeve Carney in Concert
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, midtown jazz haunt Birdland presents Hadestown heartthrob Reeve Carney in concert. In addition to playing the honey-voiced Orpheus, he originated the title role in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and played Dorian Gray in Showtime's Penny Dreadful. But he's also an accomplished indie singer-songwriter and he'll share his many talents in this intimate one-man performance. Tickets are $20.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Old Friends New Works Benefit
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Manhattan Theatre Club enlists some of its famous collaborators for an evening of brand-new pieces. The hour-long program includes Edie Falco performing a monologue by Simon Stephens; Laura Linney reprising her Tony-nominated turn as Lucy Barton in a follow-up monologue by Elizabeth Strout; and Jeremy Pope crooning a new tune by Jason Michael Webb. Watch for free until Monday, December 7 on MTC's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: Lockdown
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents a live reading of Lockdown, Cori Thomas' drama based on interviews with people serving life sentences at California's San Quentin State Prison. This event reunites the director of the theatre's 2019 production, Kent Gash, with actor Keith Randolph Smith alongside new additions Lillian Andrea De León, Reynaldo Piniella, Travis Raeburn and Heather Alicia Simms. Watch for free on Rattlestick's YouTube channel. A recording will be viewable until Monday, December 7.
I Miss the Music - Broadway Salutes the Erie Playhouse
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell hosts this concert fundraiser for Pennsylvania's Erie Playhouse. The lineup of performers includes his fellow Tony winners Beth Leavel and Alice Ripley as well as local performers. Iain Armitage, Tamara Tunie, Paige Davis and Stephen Schwartz are also set to appear. Watch for free on Erie Playhouse's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Live with Carnegie Hall: Global Ode to Joy
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Carnegie Hall commemorates Beethoven's 250th birthday with a concert celebrating the "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony. The live lineup includes conductor Marin Alsop, violinist Bonn Daniel Hope, opera star Joyce DiDonato and the Stay at Home Choir with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, plus archival performances by Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma, The Philadelphia Orchestra and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Watch for free on Carnegie Hall's YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Macbeth
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi's Macbeth featuring Željko Lucic and Anna Netrebko as an aspirational couple with blood on their hands. Joseph Calleja and René Pape costar in this 2014 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Parsifal, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Broadway's Best Shows: Time Stands Still
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Broadway's Best Shows continues its virtual season with Time Stands Still, Donald Margulies' poignant drama about a Brooklyn couple, a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent, trying to heal after a traumatic war experience. This performance reunites the original Broadway cast of this Tony-nominated play, Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James, Alicia Silverstone and Eric Bogosian, with director Daniel Sullivan. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds go to The Actors Fund. The recording will remain viewable until Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, yes, there are a lot of virtual Christmas Carols this season. But the one by Manual Cinema, a company acclaimed for combining shadow puppetry and filmic elements, may be the most unconventional. Performed live from the troupe's Chicago studio, the production features hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and a live original score. You've never seen Charles Dickens' seasonal ghost story presented like this! Tickets start at $15.
Theater Mitu: remnant
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, the high-tech, avant-garde Brooklyn collective Theater Mitu reimagines remnant, its 2018 multimedia meditation on war, death and loss for digital consumption. Crafted out of extensive interviews and research with doctors, soldiers and other experts, the show is helmed by the company's artistic director, Rubén Polendo. Tickets are $10.
Available to Watch Both Days
Dylan McDermott in Night of the Iguana
La Femme Theatre Productions presents Night of the Iguana, Tennessee Williams' steamy tale of an Episcopal priest turned tour guide, who gets into love trouble south of the border. Dylan McDermott stars as the struggling reverend, and Phylicia Rashad, Roberta Maxwell, Carmen Berkeley and Jean Lichty are some of the ladies who complicate his life. Emily Mann directs this prerecorded reading. Tickets start at $10 and all proceeds go to The Actors Fund.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presents Janet Hood and Bill Russell's groundbreaking 1989 song cycle Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt. A starry cast, including Broadway favorites Brooks Ashmanskas, Robin de Jesús, Lena Hall, Lisa Howard, James Monroe Iglehart, Cherry Jones, Nathan Lane, Norm Lewis, Jessie Mueller, Anthony Rapp, Krysta Rodriguez, Alysha Umphress and Cynthia Nixon, performs poignant songs and monologues about some of the loved ones lost during the early days of the epidemic. Watch for free until Saturday, December 5 on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Nice List
When Santa's away, the elves will play! That's the premise of Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz's new one-act holiday musical The Nice List starring Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart as Kris Kringle, who leaves his underlings in charge when he goes to check on his mall stand-ins. Broadway vets Telly Leung, Julia Mattison, Ann Harada, Jennifer Barnhart, Nick Kohn and Don Darryl Rivera play his eager if inefficient elfin employees. Watch for free until Thursday, December 31 on the show's website.
TheaterWorks Hartford: Christmas on the Rocks
Deck the halls with tales of folly with Christmas on the Rocks, TheaterWorks Hartford's irreverent holiday staple. Conceived and directed by Rob Ruggiero, it's a cavalcade of Christmas jeer as iconic kid characters from holiday movies and specials share their woes in satirical shorts. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31. Closed captions are available.
MNM Theatre Company: Closer Than Ever
Florida's MNM Theatre Company presents Closer Than Ever, Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire's witty musical revue of insightful songs about love and life. Propelled by theme not plot, the show features a cast of four and was filmed live on stage during quarantine in an empty theatre. Director Jonathan Van Dyke's clever blocking delivers a sense of intimacy while keeping actors socially distant. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31.
Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique
Puppet master Basil Twist presents a recording of his breakthrough show Symphonie Fantastique, an underwater ballet danced by vibrant pieces of fabric, sheets of plastic and other inanimate objects to Berlioz's title composition. A one-of-a-kind spectacle, this production was filmed during the show's 20th anniversary run at HERE Arts Center in 2018 and includes behind-the-scenes moments illustrating how the magic is made. Tickets are $20 for a 48-hour rental.
Top image: Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. Photo courtesy of MSG.