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 holiday weekend, Friday through Monday, October 9 to 12, for free or at low cost.
Friday, October 9
The Shows Must Go On!: The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, the Shows Must Go On! presents the 25th-anniversary mega-mounting of The Phantom of the Opera, filmed live at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2011. Ramin Karimloo plays the complicated title character, Sierra Boggess is Christine Daaé, and they're backed by hundreds of singers and musicians. Even if you've seen the musical on Broadway, you've never experienced it like this! Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
New Federal Theatre: Dr. DuBois & Miss Ovington
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, New Federal Theatre, one of NYC's leading Black companies, continues its Friday night reading series of important plays from its past with Clare Coss' historical drama Dr. DuBois & Miss Ovington, about two of the founders of the NAACP. Peter Jay Fernandez plays the groundbreaking Black civil rights legend W.E.B. DuBois and Kathleen Chalfant is white suffragist Mary White Ovington, two activists who weren't always simpatico. Gabrielle Kurlander, who helmed the company's 2014 production with Chalfant, directs. Watch for free until Sunday on New Federal Theatre's website though donations are encouraged.
St. Ann's Warehouse: Julius Caesar
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, throughout October, Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse will present director Phyllida Lloyd's acclaimed Donmar Warehouse Shakespeare Trilogy, starring Tony nominee Harriet Walter and an all-female ensemble as inmates mounting the Bard's plays in prison, a framing that provides a fresh perspective on familiar works. All three productions were filmed in front of live audiences in 2016, with handheld and GoPro footage edited in to give them a kinetic feel. The series kicks off this weekend with Julius Caesar featuring Walter as Brutus. Watch for free until Thursday, October 15 on St. Ann's website though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Siegfried
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Wagner favorites continues with its 1990 mounting of Siegfried, the third opera in the iconic Ring cycle centered on the tragic title hero (played by Siegfried Jerusalem) who's trapped by fate. Hildegard Behrens and James Morris costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Die Walküre, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Joe's Pub: Venus Smiles Not in the House of Tears
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, The Public Theater's always inventive Joe's Pub presents its first made-during-the-pandemic performance, Venus Smiles Not in the House of Tears, a fusion of songs and stories about love, loss and memory by Samora Pinderhughes and Jack DeBoe. There's will be a post-performance talkback with the creators after the premiere. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Jasper in Deadland
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, escape the land of the living with Jasper in Deadland, a rock musical based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice about a teenager who plunges himself into the underworld in search of his best friend. Written by Ryan Scott Oliver and Tony-nominated actor Hunter Foster, the tuner was developed around the same time that Mitchell put out her Orpheus and Eurydice-inspired Hadestown concept album. Great minds! Brandi Chavonne Massey directs, and Michael Taylor Robinson, Diana Huey and Michael Coale Grey star. There will be a post-performance Q&A with the cast and creatives. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Saturday, October 10
New York City Ballet Family Matinee: All Balanchine
On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, New York City Ballet presents a trio of works by its legendary cofounder George Balanchine: Tarantella danced by Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz; Scherzo à la Russe with Olivia Boisson and Claire Von Enck; and the first movement of Western Symphony featuring Abi Stafford and Taylor Stanley. Watch for free until next Saturday, October 17 at 2 p.m. ET on NYCB's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Six Stars: The Reunion
On Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET, the original West End stars of Six, the pop musical juggernaut about Henry VIII's wives, come together for a live London concert that will also be streamed to their fans around the globe. Aimie Atkinson, Alexia McIntosh, Jarneia Richard-Noel, Maiya Quansah-Breed, Millie O'Connell, Natalie Paris and royal swing Grace Mouat will perform a variety of solos and group numbers, plus surprises for Six devotees. Tickets are £15, approximately $19, and a recording will be available until Monday.
Play-PerView: Next Fall
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a 10th anniversary reunion reading of Next Fall , Geoffrey Nauffts' beautiful portrait of a gay couple struggling with issues of faith, family and mortality. Originally seen at Playwrights Horizons, the show transferred to Broadway where it earned a 2010 Tony nomination for best play. Sheryl Kaller once again directs Patrick Breen, Maddie Corman, Sean Dugan, Patrick Heusinger, Connie Ray and Cotter Smith in this heartrending work. Tickets start at $5 and benefit Teens for Food Justice.
Virtual Hudson Valley Dance Festival
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, this annual Catskills fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS goes virtual this year, with an hour-long program featuring new works recorded during quarantine and archival footage from past editions. Participating dance-makers include Stephen Petronio, Caleb Teicher, Ayodele Casel, Billy Griffin, Jamar Roberts, Peter Walker and Adam Weinert. Watch for free on the Hudson Valley Dance Festival's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Götterdämmerung
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Wagner favorites continues with the final installment in his Ring cycle, Götterdämmerung. Recorded in 1990, Otto Schenk's staging features Günther Schneider-Siemssen's striking design and stars Hildegard Behrens, Christa Ludwig, Siegfried Jerusalem and Matti Salminen. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Siegfried, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Annette Bening in Coastal Disturbances
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House continues its popular live play reading series with Annette Bening reprising her 1987 Tony-nominated turn in Tina Howe's Coastal Disturbances, a bittersweet meditation on romance set on a private Massachusetts beach. Bening, who also directs, is joined by the surviving cast of the Broadway mounting, Tim Daly, Jonas Abry, Jean DeBaer, Angela Goethals, Ronald Guttman and Heather MacRae, and new additions Mary Kay Place and Ed Begley Jr. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged. A recording will remain available through Tuesday.
Radio Free Birdland: Jessica Vosk
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, midtown jazz haunt Birdland presents Jessica Vosk in a freewheeling concert featuring songs from her album Wild & Free along with pop covers. A former Elphaba, she's joined by two of her erstwhile Broadway costars: Michael Di Liberto, who appeared with her in Wicked, and strong>Marissa Rosen, who sang alongside her in Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls. Tickets are $20.
People: The Carousel of Hope Ball
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, The Carousel of Hope Ball, which benefits the Children's Diabetes Foundation, goes virtual this year, with an insane lineup of talent. Jay Leno hosts the shindig, which includes performances or appearances by Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli, George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Cynthia Erivo, Jane Fonda, Josh Groban, Samuel L. Jackson, Adam Lambert, Barry Manilow, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Winkler, Michael Caine, David Copperfield, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Hudson. Watch for free on People's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Sunday, October 11
Mark Ruffalo in Hold on to Me Darling
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, Mark Ruffalo headlines a live reading of Kenneth Lonergan's Hold on to Me Darling, about a narcissistic country music star thrown into an existential crisis after his mother dies. Ruffalo and Lonergan are longtime collaborators: the Tony-nominated actor and playwright made their concurrent Off-Broadway debuts with This Is Our Youth in 1996, and Ruffalo went on to star in the movie You Can Count on Me, which Lonergan wrote and directed. Two other Lonergan vets, Michael Cera and Gretchen Mol, costar. Tickets start at $10 and include a post-performance Q&A with the cast, playwright and director, Neil Pepe. Proceeds benefit the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, where Ruffalo studied.
The Metropolitan Opera: Parsifal
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Wagner favorites wraps up with François Girard's 2013 mounting of his final work Parsifal, 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, Götterdämmerung, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center: Moving People, Moving Mountains
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Berkshires' Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center hosts an online benefit featuring beloved theatre, dance and music stars. The lineup of performers includes Broadway favorites Brian Stokes Mitchell and Jason Danieley, American Songbook master Michael Feinstein, classical pianist Emanuel Ax, jazz couple John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. Watch for free on Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Seth Concert Series: Beth Leavel
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show 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 with Broadway stars for the past decade. This year he brings the show online, and tonight's headliner is Beth Leavel. Beloved for her powerful pipes and impeccably delivered punch lines, Leavel has starred in a baker's dozen Broadway musicals, including The Prom, Young Frankenstein, Elf and her boozy Tony-winning turn in The Drowsy Chaperone. Her boisterousness, backstage stories and belt are sure to blow you away. Tickets are $25.
Peak Performances: Falling & Loving
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Montclair State University's Peak Performances series has long been a go-to destination for adventurous New Jersey theatregoers. Now avant-garde lovers everywhere can watch these cutting-edge performances on the newly launched Peak HD platform. Kicking things off is Falling & Loving, a singular collaboration between experimental theatre-maker Anne Bogart and pioneering dancer-choreographer Elizabeth Streb, inspired by the revolutionary plays of Charles Mee. In this work of physical theatre, a dozen performers storm the stage and launch into the air with the aid of one of Streb's contraptions, as ideas and objects collide in this genre-defying mash-up. Watch for free online.
Monday, October 12
The American Dance Guild Performance Festival: 10 Years Over 10 Weeks
Each year, the American Dance Guild produces a festival that includes salutes to two iconic dance-makers. Since the event is virtual this year, the organizers are transforming it into a retrospective of the last decade of honorees, with archival recordings released every Monday. The first episode features tributes to 2009's masters Donald McKayle and Erick Hawkins. Watch for free until Sunday, October 18 on Vimeo though donations are encouraged.
The Seth Concert Series: Beth Leavel
On Monday at 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show 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 with Broadway stars for the past decade. This year he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Beth Leavel and you can watch a recording today. Beloved for her powerful pipes and impeccably delivered punch lines, Leavel has appeared in a baker's dozen Broadway musicals, including The Prom, Young Frankenstein, Elf and her boozy Tony-winning turn in The Drowsy Chaperone. Her boisterousness, backstage stories and belt are sure to blow you away. Tickets are $25.
Red Bull Theater: American Moor
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, NYC's Red Bull Theater, known for reinvigorating classics, presents a live reading of Keith Hamilton Cobb's thought-provoking American Moor, an almost-solo show about a Black actor deconstructing Shakespeare's Othello, a character too often misunderstood by white directors and audiences. Part of the company's Othello 2020 season, this event reunites Cobb with costar Josh Tyson and director Kim Weild, who collaborated with him on Red Bull's Off-Broadway production last year. Reserve your free ticket to receive the viewing link; a recording will remain available until Friday, October 16. Donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera kicks off a week of Donizetti favorites with Tony winner Mary Zimmerman's mounting of Lucia di Lammermoor, starring Anna Netrebko as the tragic title character, who's driven mad because she cannot marry the man she loves. Piotr Beczala, Mariusz Kwiecien and Ildar Abdrazakov costar. 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.
Stars in the House: Brenda Braxton
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, Smokey Joe's Cafe Tony nominee Brenda Braxton guest hosts Stars in the House, and she's bringing her Broadway pals Bobby Daye, Tamara Tunie, Monica L. Patton and Ramona Keller with her. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers at Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for years. Tonight's lineup includes Hairspray songwriter Marc Shaiman, Rocky star Margo Seibert and two-time Grammy-nominated singer Karina Nuvo. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Bindlestiff Open Stage: Quarantine Edition
At 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues to delight with its anything-goes, weekly variety show. Hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson, this evening's cavalcade includes trapeze artist Juanita Cardenas, aerialist Shayna Golub, contortionist Daniella Jack, wire walker Arielle Ebacher, and trick riders Maddy Gatrel and Karla Spitzer. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America
AIDS nonprofit amfAR presents pivotal scenes from Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America and the cast is jaw-dropping as well as delightfully unexpected. Glenn Close gets to sink her teeth into Roy Cohn, the closeted lawyer and influencer who succumbs to the disease. S. Epatha Merkerson is his nurse Belize. Black actor Brian Tyree Henry plays the quintessential WASP Prior Walter, the drug-addicted Mormon housewife Harper Pitt is portrayed by octogenarian legend Lois Smith, and the title Angel is a composite of Patti LuPone, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Nikki M. James and Linda Emond. Laura Linney, Andrew Rannells, Paul Dano, Jeremy O. Harris, Vella Lovell, Larry Owens and Brandon Uranowitz round out the ensemble. Downtown director Ellie Heyman and her designers have reimagined these moments for the digital space, with socially distanced actors brought together through the magic of technology. Truly a must-see, this hour-long program will remain viewable until Thursday, October 15. Watch for free on Broadway.com's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
WNET's All Arts: Under the Greenwood Tree
In 2017, The Public Theater presented a musical production of As You Like It as part of its Public Works program, which stages exuberant theatrical pageants starring a handful of professional actors alongside hundreds of everyday New Yorkers. With songs by Shaina Taub and direction by Laurie Woolery, that magical mounting of Shakespeare's intoxicating romance was scheduled to be part of The Public's Shakespeare in the Park season this summer before COVID-19 hit. This documentary Under the Greenwood Tree chronicles the creation of the show and how the community participants came together during the health crisis. Watch for free on WNET's All Arts' website.
New York City Ballet: Modern Innovation
New York City Ballet continues its virtual fall season with innovative classics. This week's stream features two works by George Balanchine, Kammermusik No. 2 (First Movement) and Movements for Piano and Orchestra; a pair of pieces by Jerome Robbins, Opus 19/The Dreamer (First Movement) and Glass Pieces (Third Movement); Chiaroscuro by Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Red Angels by Ulysses Dove. Dancers include principals Sara Mearns, Maria Kowroski, Teresa Reichlen, Jared Angle, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Gonzalo Garcia, Ask la Cour and Andrew Veyette. Watch for free until Monday on NYCB's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
CalArts Center for New Performance: The Carolyn Bryant Project
In 1955, the shocking murder of a Black 14-year-old named Emmett Till marked a turning point for our country and for the civil rights movement. Many works of art have examined his killing and its aftermath. But few explore the inciting event between Till and Carolyn Bryant, the white mother of two whose lies led to his slaying. Created by theatre-makers Nataki Garrett and Andrea LeBlanc, The Carolyn Bryant Project, which was filmed on stage n 2018, fuses historical transcripts, projections and reimagined encounters to expose the racism of 1955 and today. Watch for free until Thursday, October 22 on CalArts Center for New Performance's website though donations are encouraged.
Top image: Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess in The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo courtesy of the Really Useful Group.