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 Friday through Sunday, August 28 to 30, for free or at low cost.
Hope Mill Theatre: Godspell
Apparently, Stephen Schwartz's musical Godspell is what's going to get us through COVID-19. Not only is the Berkshire Theatre Group mounting it outdoors in Pittsfield, Massachusettes, but across the pond Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre is presenting the parable-packed musical as an online concert. The cast features a slew of West End vets including Ruthie Henshall, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Darren Day and Sally Ann Triplett. It's an uplifting show when we need it most. Tickets are £15, approximately $20. Today's performance has passed, but you can buy tickets for tomorrow at 4 a.m. ET. Don't worry! The recording remains viewable for 24 hours so you'll have all day Saturday to watch.
Virtual Halston: Linda Lavin
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Julie Halston, Broadway scene-stealer and longtime friend to TDF, welcomes fellow funny lady Linda Lavin to her weekly chatfest. A Tony-winning actor and singer revered for her punchline-perfect performance as the title character in the sitcom Alice, Lavin is always a no-holds-barred hoot (I know, I've interviewed her!). We can't wait to hear these two divas dish. Watch for free on YouTube.
BOLD 2020: Ten-Minute Play Festival
On Friday at 6 p.m. ET, BOLD 2020, a festival of shorts written and directed by Black women, wraps up with Jazmine Stewart's Queen Nanny and Kristen Adele Calhoun's The Oldest Town in Texas, directed by Bianca LaVerne Jones and Tavia Jefferson. Watch for free on YouTube.
The Fountain Theatre: The Ballad of Emmett Till
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' The Fountain Theatre presents a live reading of Ifa Bayeza's searing The Ballad of Emmett Till about the world-changing murder of a Black 14-year-old, which happened 65 years ago today. This performance reunites director Shirley Jo Finney and the cast of the theatre's 2010's production, including Bernard K. Addison, Rico E. Anderson, Lorenz Arnell, Adenrele Ojo and Karen Malina White. Tickets are $20; a recording will be available from Sunday until the end of the year.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's Verdi week continues with one of his most beloved works, La Traviata, a romantic tragedy about a courtesan whose chance at true love is thwarted by bourgeois mores. Tony winner Michael Mayer directed this dazzling 2018 mounting, with Diana Damrau as the consumptive heroine, Juan Diego Flórez as her lover and Quinn Kelsey as his disapproving father. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Un Ballo in Maschera, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Shaina Taub
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome up-and-coming songwriters to Stars in the House. Singer-songwriter Shaina Taub is the genius behind The Public Theater's Shakespeare musicalizations As You Like It and Twelfth Night, and she's currently working on the Broadway-aimed The Devil Wears Prada. Meanwhile, law professor Peter M. Shane and composer Johnny Butler teamed up to create "The Constitution Song," a catchy ditty that gives you the 411 on one of the US's founding documents in six minutes! Watch for free on YouTube.
Latino Theater Co.: August 29
On Friday at 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Latino Theater Co. presents a live reading of August 29, a devised drama named for the date when civil rights activist and Los Angeles Times reporter Ruben Salazar was killed while covering a Chicano-led anti-war protest in 1970. Alberto Barboza directs the play, which focuses on a college professor who's magically transported back in time to witness resistance in action. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel.
Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Lise Davidsen
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera continues its series of live recitals with Lise Davidsen. The Norwegian soprano will perform some of her signature arias and songs, including selections from Wagner's Tannhäser and Puccini's Manon Lescaut as well as works by Sibelius and Grieg. James Baillieu accompanies her on piano from Oslo's stunning Oscarshall. Tickets cost $20 and a recording of the performance will remain available until Thursday, September 10.
Coney Island USA: Mermaid Parade 2020: The Tail-a-Thon
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, although Coney Island was unable to host its iconic Mermaid Parade in June, the shindig goes online this Saturday as a "Tail-a-Thon" fundraiser. Participants and celebrity guests, including folk legend Arlo Guthrie and psychobilly great Mojo Nixon, will Zoom in from all over, showing off their costumes and performing music and comedic bits. The event has always felt like street theatre, so it's fitting that this year's King Neptune and Queen Mermaid are groundbreaking playwrights Lynn Nottage and Jeremy O. Harris. Watch the eye-popping, eight-hour celebration for free on Coney Island USA's website though donations to designated charities, including NYC's WOW Café Theatre and the Lorraine Hansberry Statue Initiative, are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Regional Theatre Spotlight on Uptown Players
On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House welcomes creatives from Dallas, Texas' Uptown Players, which was founded in 2001 and focuses on contemporary and LGBTQ-centric material. Associate artist B. J. Cleveland hosts this episode and welcomes frequent collaborators Walter Lee, Janelle Lutz, Linda Leonard and Alex Ross. Learn more about this venerable institution for free on YouTube.
Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Broadway on Demand presents Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical based on Jane Austen's witty romantic drama. Written by Jane Eyre Tony nominee and classic lit lover Paul Gordon, the production was filmed last year at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in Palo Alto. Tickets are $6.
The Seeing Place Theater: A Midsummer Night's Dream
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's Seeing Place Theater presents a queer take on Shakespeare's bewitching romantic comedy about lovesick humans manipulated by some very naughty fairies. The show will be performed live on Zoom and proceeds benefit the Ali Forney Center for LGBTQ youth. Tickets start at $10. There will be a final performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
The Metropolitan Opera: Don Carlo
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's Verdi week continues with Don Carlo about how the romance between the title Spanish crown prince (Roberto Alagna) and the daughter of the King of France (Marina Poplavskaya) is derailed by Don Carlo's father, King Philip II (Ferruccio Furlanetto), who wants the lady for himself. Tony-winning director Nicholas Hytner made his Met debut with this 2010 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Traviata, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Dixon Place: Deb Margolin: Just Give Me One Half Hour With My Mother
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown staple Dixon Place presents Just Give Me One Half Hour With My Mother, a darkly comic theatrical memoir by performer and playwright Deb Margolin about grief, loss and learning where we come from. Margolin made her name as a member of the women-led troupe Split Britches in the '80s, and has since become a revered solo artist, celebrated for her humor and insight. Tickets start at $30 and all proceeds benefit Dixon Place.
Dunvegan Productions: Dracula
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Dunvegan Productions presents a timely take on Dracula, with the title vampire descending on Victorian England to make the country great again by ridding it of intellectuals, feminists and foreigners. TDF's very own Tyler Riley stars in this biting adaptation of Bram Stoker's horror classic, which will be performed live online. Watch for free on Dunvegan Productions's Facebook page. There will be a second performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
New York Neo-Futurists: CyberWrench
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, the New York Neo-Futurists bring their short-form skills online with CyberWrench, a digital adaptation of their monthly show featuring 30 playlets in under an hour. The vignettes can be presented in any order with rotating cast members, so you never see the same performance twice. Tickets start at $5.
The Tank: A Play about Doing a Play about Jared Kushner on Zoom!
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, indie theatre incubator The Tank presents A Play about Doing a Play about Jared Kushner on Zoom! as part of its annual LimeFest, which showcases work by women, nonbinary and gender nonconforming creators. Originally, Stephanie Swirsky's romp about a Jewish woman traveling back in time to break Jared Kushner's penis was meant to be performed in person at the theatre. But this online adaption is about all the things that can go wrong when mounting an outrageous comedy on Zoom. Tickets are $10.
Laguna Playhouse Annual Gala
On Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, like all theatres, California's 100-year-old Laguna Playhouse has been hit hard by the pandemic, so the venue is getting support from some of its famous friends for its virtual gala. The lineup of performers includes opera star Nathan Gunn, Tony winners Joe Mantegna and Tony Shalhoub, and the comic music duo The Skivvies. Donate any amount to receive the viewing link.
Stars in the House Presents The Smell of the Kill
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House presents a live reading of Michele Lowe's dark comedy The Smell of the Kill, which ran on Broadway in 2002. Adrienne Campbell-Holt directs Krysta Rodriguez, Courtney Reed and Olivia Puckett as three friends who think their husbands might be better off dead. Watch for free on YouTube.
SummerStage: Brooklyn Dance Festival
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, SummerStage presents a virtual edition of the Brooklyn Dance Festival, curated by the fest's executive director Tamia Santana and hosted by Kings County's own dance star Dwana Smallwood. After a live intro, enjoy recordings of performances by New York City Ballet, Ballet Hispánico, Diversity of Dance, Urban Dance League, Maria Torres Dance Company and other homegrown troupes. Watch for free on SummerStage's Instagram page.
Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories of Fanny Brice
On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, if you only know Fanny Brice as Barbra Streisand's character in Funny Girl, time to get schooled! Kimberly Faye Greenberg portrays the legendary Jewish singer, comedian and Ziegfeld Follies star in this live solo show, which delves into her incredible career and dramatic life. Expect torch songs, old-school shtick and Baby Snooks! (No relation to yours truly.) Tickets are $10.
The Metropolitan Opera: Falstaff
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's Verdi week wraps up with Falstaff, featuring a libretto by Arrigo Boito inspired by Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor as well as scenes from Henry IV. Ambrogio Maestri is the lascivious and louche title character, who's outwitted by the clever ladies around him, played by Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe and Jennifer Johnson Cano in this 2013 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Don Carlo, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Seth Concert Series: Sierra Boggess
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 Sierra Boggess, who earned a Drama Desk nomination as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and has played the iconic role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera and its sequel Love Never Dies. We expect a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs, especially since she also starred in his School of Rock. Tickets are $25.
Women in Theatre: A Centennial Celebration
If you missed Playbill's star-studded celebration of 100 years of theatrical milestones by women and gender nonconforming artists on Wednesday, you can watch a recording until Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Tony-nominated actress Rebecca Naomi Jones and Tony-nominated playwright-performer Heidi Schreck host the evening, which includes musical performances by Sara Bareilles, Daphne-Rubin Vega, Jessie Mueller, Nikki M. James, Shoshana Bean, Charlotte d'Amboise, Ann Harada, L Morgan Lee, Beth Malone, Ashley Park, Solea Pfeiffer, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Saycon Sengbloh and Alysha Umphress, along with appearances by playwrights and directors such as Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel, Lynn Ahrens, Jocelyn Bioh, Linda Cho, Dominique Morisseau, Sarah Ruhl, Leigh Silverman, Susan Stroman, Shaina Taub and Whitney White. There are also sneak peeks at upcoming projects led by women, including Jeannette and Gun & Powder, as well as a new song from the creators of Six. Watch this incredible lineup for free on Playbill.com though donations to Broadway Advocacy Coalition's Artivism Fellowship are encouraged.
The New Group: The Jacksonian Starring Ed Harris
If you missed The New Group's live reading of The Jacksonian on Thursday, you can watch a recording until Sunday. Beth Henley's drama about a down-on-his-luck dentist who moves into a seedy motel was a hit for the Off-Broadway theatre in 2013, and this performance reunites the cast of that production: Ed Harris, his real-life wife Amy Madigan as his estranged stage spouse, Juliet Brett as their daughter and Bill Pullman as a bartender, with Carol Kane taking over the role originated by the late Glenne Headly. Tickets are $25.
Scott Siegel's Great American Songbook Concert: Volume 9
Scott Siegel has been producing starry cabaret concerts at Town Hall and other storied venues for years. Now he brings his talent for assembling crackerjack crooners to YouTube. This edition's lineup includes Come From Away Tony nominee Jenn Colella, Broadway regulars Farah Alvin and Cooper Grodin, and jazz singer-pianist Tony DeSare. Watch for free on YouTube.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: No Longer Silent
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents No Longer Silent, an epic ensemble work by the troupe's artistic director, Robert Battle, set to Erwin Schulhoff's percussive score as dancers participate in a mysterious, militaristic ritual. The composer died in a Nazi concentration camp, and the 2015 Ailey debut of this work was timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. Watch for free until Thursday, September 3 on the troupe's YouTube channel.
The Joyce Theater: Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Bach 25
Dance haven The Joyce Theater wraps up its virtual summer season with Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Bach 25, choreographed by Dwight Rhoden and set to works by Baroque masters Johan Sebastian Bach and his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Created for the troupe's 25th anniversary season, this performance was recorded at the Joyce back in January. Watch for free until Tuesday, September 8 at 10 a.m. ET on The Joyce's YouTube channel.
Jelani Alladin in Goodnight, Tyler
Frozen star Jelani Alladin produces and headlines a reading of B.J. Tindal's thought-provoking ghost story Goodnight, Tyler, about a young Black man killed by police who wants to be remembered for how he lived rather than how he died. This is the inaugural offering from Alladin's new production company Dumont Millennial Productions, and costars Johanna Braddy, Danielle Deadwyler, Jack Quaid, Alex Gibson and Tony nominee Michele Shay. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The National Black Theatre are encouraged.
Black Lives, Black Words International Project: Plays for the People: Cell Surface
Friday through Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Black Lives, Black Words International Project presents Cell Surface, Dominic Taylor's subversion of a bio play about two undersung African-American scientists and associates, Dr. Ernest Everett Just and Dr. Roger Arliner Young, and how difficult it is to pack their accomplishments and relationship into a Zoom show. Jerrell Henderson directs. Tickets are $17.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Rico E. Anderson, Karen Malina White and Bernard Addison in The Ballad of Emmett Till in 2010. Photo by Photo by Ed Krieger.