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 24 and Thursday, February 25, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Love, Noël
On Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, this winter, the venerable Irish Rep is presenting encore streams of its entire digital season. Today, catch Love, Noël, a virtual reinvention of its 2019 celebration of playwright, songwriter and sparkling wit Noël Coward. Barry Day devised this two-person tribute featuring seasoned cabaret stars Steve Ross and KT Sullivan singing Coward's songs, such as "Mad About the Boy," "Together with Music" and "I'll Follow My Secret Heart," and channeling his famous friends, including Gertrude Lawrence, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Elaine Stritch. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; donations are encouraged.
Virtual Halston: Nathan Lane
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, Broadway funny lady Julie Halston moves her weekly gabfest to Wednesday this week in honor of an extra-special guest: Nathan Lane. They've been pals for decades, in fact, Halston made her Broadway debut alongside the three-time Tony winner in the 2000 revival of The Man Who Came to Dinner. We are laughing just thinking about these two talking. Watch for free on YouTube.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Bohème
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 are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is La Bohème, Puccini's romantic tragedy about love, bromance and art. Kristine Opolais, Susanna Phillips, Vittorio Grigolo, Massimo Cavalletti, Patrick Carfizzi and Oren Gradus star in this 2014 mounting. 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 Work, the second 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 chapter, Flight, was released last month and can be streamed for free on YouTube. I was absolutely enchanted by the inaugural collection of multimedia musical shorts and I expect just as much charm from part II, which stars Broadway favorites Shoshana Bean, Daniel Breaker, Broadway Inspirational Voices founder Michael McElroy and John Lithgow. Watch for free on MasterVoices' YouTube channel; the final two parts will be released in the coming months.
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene: Hava Tequila Cabaret
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene presents a Hava Tequila Cabaret starring performers from the company's hit productions of Yiddish Fiddler and The Sorceress. Expect Yiddish standards as well as songs in celebration of Purim, a Jewish holiday that takes place this week. Watch for free until Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on Folksbiene's website.
Ballet Hispánico: Caravanserai
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST, Ballet Hispánico presents an archival recording of Caravanserai, choreographer Talley Beatty's lyrical meditation on the cycle of life, set to music by Carlos Santana. After the screening, stick around for a conversation with the troupe's artistic director Eduardo Vilaro, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's artistic director Robert Battle, and dancers Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims. Watch for free on the dance company's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: Eugene Onegin
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tchaikovsky's romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky as the title character, the object of affection for Renée Fleming's Tatiana. Ramón Vargas costars in this 2007 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 Queen of Spades, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: William Finn's Birthday
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrate William Finn's birthday on Stars in the House! The Tony-winning songwriter behind Falsettos, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and A New Brain will be feted by stars of his shows, including Alison Fraser, Mary Testa and Chip Zien along with Broadway favorites Norm Lewis and Lillias White. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Give Me Your Hand
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, this winter, the venerable Irish Rep is presenting encore streams of its entire digital season. Tonight, catch 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.
LAByrinth Theater Company: Barn Series 2021
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, NYC's LAByrinth Theater Company continues its weeklong Barn Series 2021 with readings of fresh plays by its talented members. Tonight, catch a collection of timely shorts, including The Zookeepers about how the lockdown is affecting an elephant; The Rave about how white folks are impacting the Black Lives Matter movement and the meta Hail Elisha depicting LAByrinth company members rehearsing on Zoom. This is a chance to get a behind-the-scenes peek at one of Off-Off Broadway's hottest theatre companies. Register to receive the free Zoom link, which remains the same for all readings this week.
MCC Theater: The Things Are Against Us
On Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET, MCC Theater continues its LiveLabs: One Acts series with The Things That Are Against Us, a new drama by the prolific Susan Soon He Stanton about a young man trying to excavate his family's murky past. Ellie Heyman directs Juan Castano, Babak Tafti, Susannah Flood, Danny Wolohan and the fabulous Emily Davis from Is This A Room. Tickets are $7 and a recording is viewable until Sunday.
Theatre for a New Audience: First Love
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Brooklyn's Theatre for a New Audience presents a stage adaptation of Samuel Beckett's haunting short story First Love, about a loquacious loner who has an unexpected awakening of the heart. Tony nominee Bill Camp brings this literary classic to life under the guidance of Obie-winning director JoAnne Akalaitis. Register to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Monday, March 1 at 7 p.m. ET.
Broadway Smashes COVID!
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, stage stars raise their voices for Health Care Without Walls in the benefit concert Broadway Smashes COVID! The lineup includes opera great Renée Fleming, Tony winners Laura Benanti, Heather Headley and John Lloyd Young; and Tony nominees Orfeh and Adam Pascal. Tickets start at $50 and will help Health Care Without Walls provide free medical services to homeless women and children in Boston. The recording is viewable until Friday, March 26.
Irish Repertory Theatre: On Beckett / In Screen
On Thursday at 7 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.
The Metropolitan Opera: Ernani
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi's Ernani, starring Marcello Giordani in the title role of the wronged nobleman turned bandit, and Angela Meade as his lady love. Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto costar in this 2012 production. 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.
New York City Ballet: Prodigal Son
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, New York City Ballet kicks off its digital spring season with Prodigal Son, George Balanchine's biblically inspired 1929 ballet set to Sergei Prokofiev's score. Daniel Ulbricht and Teresa Reichlen star in this archival recording. Watch for free until Thursday, March 4 on NYCB's YouTube channel.
Center Theatre Group: The Gaze...No Homo
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, LA's Center Theatre Group presents Larry Powell's The Gaze...No Homo, about a Black queer artist trying to create new work at an overwhelmingly white American theatre festival. Sharon Lawrence, Galen J. Williams, Devere Rogers, Jason Greene, Yvette Cason, Eugene Byrd and TC Carson star in a dozen digital episodes released simultaneously, directed by the playwright, Joanna Strapp, Zhailon Levingston, Satya Bhabha, Reginald L. Douglas, Amber A. Harris, Jonathan McCrory, Bianca Laverne Jones and Lelund Durond Thompson. Watch for free until Sunday on Center Theatre Group's website.
Stars in the House: As the Curtain Rises Game Night
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome stars from Broadway Podcast Network's recently launched online soap opera As the Curtain Rises for a drama-filled Game Night! Guests include Broadway favorites James Monroe Iglehart, Andrew Barth Feldman, Bonnie Milligan, Leslie Margherita and Alex Brightman. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
LAByrinth Theater Company: Barn Series 2021
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, NYC's LAByrinth Theater Company continues its weeklong Barn Series 2021 with readings of fresh plays by its talented members. Tonight, catch Wherever You Go, Elizabeth Canavan's drama about a desperate woman who's lost her son... or is it her mind? This is a chance to get a behind-the-scenes peek at one of Off-Off Broadway's hottest theatre companies. Register to receive the free Zoom link, which remains the same for all readings this week.
George Street Playhouse: Bad Dates
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents a new digital production of Theresa Rebeck's one-woman comedy Bad Dates, about a single mom recounting all the duds she's endured on her quest for Mr. Right. Peter Flynn directed his wife, the effervescent Andréa Burns (Broadway's In the Heights, On Your Feet!) in this romp, which was filmed in their real-life bedroom. Their son, filmmaker Hudson Flynn, serves as cinematographer, making this is a funny family affair. Tickets are $33 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, March 14. Closed captions and audio description are available.
Songs for a New World
Catch a virtual reimagining of Jason Robert Brown's breakthrough musical revue Songs for a New World, a series of insightful numbers featuring a wide array of characters grappling with pivotal moments in life and love. Filmed remotely last summer, the show was directed by Séimí Campbell and the four-person cast includes Les Misérables Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo and Rachel Tucker, who had just taken over the role of Capt. Beverley Bass in Broadway's Come From Away when theatres shut down. Tickets are £18, approximately $25. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Crossroads Theatre Company: The Colored Museum
New Jersey's Crossroads Theatre Company presents an archival recording of The Colored Museum, a scathing satire by George C. Wolfe organized as a series of "exhibits" about African-American culture. The landmark play premiered at Crossroads in 1986 and soon transferred to New York's Public Theater. In 1991, Crossroads restaged the piece with Wolfe directing many members of the original cast, including Loretta Devine and the late, great Danitra Vance, so it could be filmed for PBS' Great Performances series. Four decades later, it's more potent than ever. Watch for free until Sunday on Crossroad's website though donations are encouraged.
Red Bull Theater: The Belle's Stratagem
NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for reinvigorating forgotten classics, presented a live reading of The Belle's Stratagem on Monday, and you can watch a recording until Friday. Hannah Cowley's 1780 comedy of manners and courtship centers on a clever young woman who hatches a plan to beguile her condescending fiancé. Former Tootsie costars Lilli Cooper and Santino Fontana headline this romp of mistaken identity and comeuppance; Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs. Watch for free on Red Bull's YouTube channel though a $25 donation is suggested.
The Mint Theater: Women Without Men
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been unearthing forgotten plays since 1992, presents a recording of Women Without Men, Hazel Ellis' workplace dramedy about the competition between teachers at a girls' boarding school in Ireland in the 1930s. Produced in 2016, the production marked the play's U.S. premiere and featured an all-women cast directed by Jenn Thompson. Fill out this Google Form in order to receive the password to watch the show for free until Sunday, March 21 on The Mint's website. You can still watch The Mint's mounting of Katie Roche until Sunday, March 28. Donations are encouraged.
Manhattan Theatre Club: The Past Is the Past
Manhattan Theatre Club spotlights important plays from its five-decade history in the new Curtain Call reading series. First up is The Past Is the Past, an early drama by Richard Wesley produced by MTC in 1975, about two seeming strangers, one middle-aged, the other in college, who end up grappling with the past while shooting pool. This Is Us Emmy winner Ron Cephas Jones and Jovan Adepo (Watchmen, When They See Us) star, and Oz Scott directs. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
BAM: Riz Ahmed's The Long Goodbye: Livestream Edition
BAM presents Emmy-winning actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed in a digital reimagining of his solo show The Long Goodbye, which was originally scheduled to play the Brooklyn venue last year. Inspired by his album of the same name, the piece blends music and storytelling as Ahmed dissects the United Kingdom's fraught relationship with South Asians and British Asians, using an abusive relationship as a metaphor for racism and anti-immigrant sentiment. Tickets start at £5, approximately $7, and the recording is viewable until Monday, March 1.
Primary Stages: The Night Watcher
Primary Stages presents an encore stream of Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical solo show The Night Watcher, about how she's served as a maternal figure to many loved ones in her life. A Tony nominee for Ain't Misbehavin' and a star of TV's Pose, Woodard originally performed this show at Primary Stages in 2009 and then reimagined it as a virtual theatre piece last year. It's a wise and empathetic exploration of what it means to mother. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Sunday at 11 p.m. ET.
TheaterWorks: Talkin' to This Chick Sippin' Magic Potion
Hartford's TheaterWorks presents Talkin' to This Chick Sippin' Magic Potion, a new play by up-and-comer James Anthony Tyler about a professional cuddler whose experience with an isolated client inspires her to reach out to her estranged teenage daughter. Awoye Timpo directs Miriam A. Hyman, Sheria Irving, Jules Latimer, Darius McCall and Mateo Ferro in this digital production. 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, and ASL interpretation and closed captions are available.
All Arts: Isolation to Creation
Since 1984, the Guggenheim Museum has given audiences behind-the-scenes peeks at upcoming shows in its Works & Process series. But when the pandemic hit, the program changed its focus and began commissioning digital shorts from music, dance and theatre artists. All Arts' four-part documentary series Isolation to Creation explores how the pieces were created in our new abnormal. Featured artists include Ephrat Asherie, Les Ballet Afrik, Tony-nominated choreographer Joshua Bergasse, Sara Mearns from New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey's Jamar Roberts and singer Justin Vivian Bond. Watch all episodes for free on All Arts' website.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Daniel Ulbricht in George Balanchine's Prodigal Son, which kicks off New York City Ballet's digital spring season on Thursday. Photo by Paul Kolnik.