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, October 2 to 4, for free or at low cost.
The Shows Must Go On!: Michael Ball: Past & Present
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, the Shows Must Go On! presents Michael Ball: Past & Present featuring the beloved British stage and singing star. While Ball is best known on this side of the pond for headlining a pair of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals on Broadway, he's a household name in his homeland. Filled with high notes and hits from Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables and Hairspray, this 2009 recording of his live concert at Royal Albert Hall should earn him new fans stateside. Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Theater of War Productions: Antigone in Ferguson
On Friday at 5 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 by actors and activists with original gospel music by Phil Woodmore sung by a diverse choir. Today's performance features actors Tracie Thoms, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Nyasha Hatendi and Jason Isaacs; pastor Willie Woodmore; New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; 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, an event that inspired this piece as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. 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.
Virtual Halston: BeBe Winans
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Julie Halston, Broadway scene-stealer and longtime friend to TDF, welcomes gospel star and COVID-19 survivor BeBe Winans to her weekly chatfest. Watch for free on YouTube.
New Federal Theatre: Do Lord Remember Me
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, New Federal Theatre, one of NYC's leading Black companies, kicks off a month of readings of important plays from its past. First up is Jim De Jongh's Do Lord Remember Me inspired by the firsthand recollections of former slaves. The cast of the company's 1997 production reunites for this event: Ebony JoAnn, Barbara Montgomery, Roscoe Orman, Kim Sullivan and Glynn Turman. Watch for free on New Federal Theatre's website though donations are encouraged.
Home Again: The Marx Brothers and New York City
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, writer, performer, Groucho impersonator and Marx Brothers expert Noah Diamond presents a multimedia presentation about the comedy clan's relationship to their hometown of NYC. The piece is part of SUNY Fredonia's annual Marx Brothers celebration Freedonia Marxonia, inspired by the name of the fictional nation in Duck Soup. Watch for free on YouTube.
The Metropolitan Opera: Don Giovanni
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Mozart favorites continues with Michael Grandage's striking 2011 staging of Don Giovanni, featuring Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role of the world's most notorious lover. Marina Rebeka, Barbara Frittoli, Mojca Erdmann, Ramón Vargas, Luca Pisaroni and Štefan Kocán 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 Zauberflöte, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Mean Girls Reunion
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley celebrate Mean Girls Day a few hours early with original Broadway cast members from the fetch musical: Erika Henningsen and Tony nominees Kate Rockwell, Grey Henson and Taylor Louderman. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Together LA Festival
On Friday at 10 p.m. ET, 34 diverse Los Angeles theatre companies come together for the three-week Together LA Festival, featuring 10-minute shorts created specifically for digital consumption. Tonight, enjoy Rogue Machine Theatre's African Hyphen American by Dionna Daniel, Chekhov UnScripted by Impro Theatre and Whitefire Theatre's Judgment Day by Juliette Jeffers. This is the perfect way to get a taste of what's happening on stage on the West Coast! Register to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged.
Dramatists Play Service: The Party Hop
On Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, Dramatists Play Service presents a star-studded reading of Natalie Margolin's The Party Hop. A dark comedy set three years into COVID-19 quarantine (oy!), it centers on three Zoom-party hopping college sophomores yearning for in-person contact. The cast includes young Broadway and Hollywood favorites Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein, Ashley Park, Noah Galvin, Kathryn Gallagher, Ayo Edebiri, Kaitlyn Dever and Catherine Cohen. Watch for free on Dramatists Play Service's YouTube channel.
Play-PerView: Title and Deed
On Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a live reading of Title and Deed, a Beckettian solo play by the always thought-provoking Will Eno that was a hit at Signature Theatre Company in 2012. This event reunites the creatives from that production: actor Conor Lovett and director Judy Hegarty Lovett of Gare St Lazare Players Ireland. Tickets start at $5. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
Josh Groban: Greatest Broadway Songs
On Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, international recording sensation and Tony-nominated Great Comet star Josh Groban performs a live concert devoted to Broadway classics. It's the first in a trio of virtual shows planned for this fall, though this is the only one focused exclusively on musical theatre. Tickets start at $25.
John Lloyd Young in Concert
On Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, John Lloyd Young performs a live virtual concert from The Space in Las Vegas. The perpetually boyish actor-singer won a Tony Award for his star-making turn as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. He'll croon tunes from that musical, as well as The Wiz, Les Misérables, Chicago and more. Tickets cost $30.
American Songbook at NJPAC hosted by Brian Stokes Mitchell
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center throws a virtual gala, hosted by Tony-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell and featuring musical performances by his fellow Broadway stars Billy Porter, Jessie Mueller, Christine Ebersole, Jarrod Spector, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana. Watch for free on NJTV though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera's week of Mozart favorites continues with Le Nozze di Figaro, a romantic comedy of marriage and madness with Bryn Terfel as the wily Figaro, who's always trying to outwit his womanizing master Count Almaviva, played by Dwayne Croft. Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli and Susanne Mentzer costar in this 1998 mounting, staged by Jonathan Miller. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Don Giovanni, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Frasier Reunion
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host a Frasier reunion on Stars in the House featuring Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, Bebe Neuwirth and Dan Butler. The sitcom's stars appeared on the show back in April and a lot has happened in the past six months! Since many are Broadway musical vets—Hyde Pierce and Neuwirth have Tony Awards for their tuneful performances—expect a song or two and lots of stories. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Metropolitan Playhouse: The Clod
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten plays, presents a reading of Lewis Beach's 1918 dark comedy The Clod, about the hijinks that ensue when a Northern spy sneaks into a Southern home during a turning point in the Civil War. Watch this curio for free on the company's website though donations are encouraged.
Play-PerView: Title and Deed Starring Will Eno
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a second a live reading of the Beckettian Title and Deed, this time starring the playwright himself, Will Eno. Tickets are pay what you wish; a recording will remain available through Wednesday, October 21.
Together LA Festival
On Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, 34 diverse Los Angeles theatre companies come together for the three-week Together LA Festival, featuring 10-minute shorts created specifically for digital consumption. Tonight, enjoy EST/LA's Camp by Makeda Declet, Open Fist Theatre Company's The Viduy by Wendy Graf, Aja Houston's Terrorist is Spelled K-A-R-E-N presented by The Road Theatre Company and The Birds Are Feeding Me by Rex McGregor from Towne Street Theatre. This is the perfect way to get a taste of what's happening on stage on the West Coast! Register to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Idomeneo
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera wraps up its week of Mozart favorites with Idomeneo, an early work featuring Matthew Polenzani as the King of Crete, who's faced with an impossible dilemma. Elza van den Heever, Nadine Sierra, Alice Coote and Alan Opie costar in Jean Pierre-Ponnelle's 2017 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Seth Concert Series: Orfeh and Andy Karl
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 with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online, and tonight's headliners are one of Broadway's most enviable couples, Tony nominees Orfeh and Andy Karl. The two met while performing in Saturday Night Fever and were married by the time they showed off their palpable chemistry in Legally Blonde the Musical. They'll croon numbers from the shows they've done together, as well as personal favorites. Tickets are $25.
¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Playbill and The Broadway League present ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices, a concert celebrating Latinx artists and theatrical milestones. Sergio Trujillo directs and choreographs the evening, which is hosted by On Your Feet! diva Andréa Burns and features a reunion of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights; sneak peeks at John Leguizamo's musical Kiss My Aztec! and Antonio Banderas' Spanish-language production of A Chorus Line; plus performances by Gloria Estefan, Raúl Esparza, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Ana Villafañe, Ariana DeBose, Shereen Pimentel, Caesar Samayoa and Josh Segarra. Watch for free until Monday on Playbill's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
New York City Ballet: All Balanchine
After taking the summer off, New York City Ballet leaps into fall with five weeks of exhilarating archival recordings. The series kicks off with an all-Balanchine program—Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and The Unanswered Question from Ivesiana, with excerpts from Symphony in C, Liebeslieder Walzer, Episodes and Stravinsky Violin Concerto—featuring some of the company's biggest stars, including Ashley Bouder, Lauren Lovette, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Ask la Cour and Taylor Stanley. Watch for free until Monday on NYCB's YouTube channel.
Len Cariou in Broadway & the Bard: An Evening of Shakespeare & Song
Even though Len Cariou has spent the past decade playing the patriarch on CBS' Blue Bloods, the stage is his first and greatest love. In this charming solo show, he celebrates his five decades on the boards as both a Shakespearean actor and a musical theatre star whose credits include his Tony-winning turn as the title character in Sweeney Todd. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Two River Theater: Romeo and Juliet
New Jersey's Two River Theater teams up with NYC's National Asian American Theatre Company for a reading of an innovative take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. This version was translated into modern verse by Hansol Jung and is directed by Chay Yew, and the all-Asian cast features Be More Chill favorite Stephanie Hsu and Mitchell Winter as the ill-fated couple alongside stage stalwarts Mia Katigbak and Joel de la Fuente. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.
PTP/NYC: Don't Exaggerate
PTP/NYC, known for its insightful mountings of politically charged plays, continues its virtual season with Howard Barker's searing solo Don't Exaggerate, about the spirit of a WWI soldier examining the violent legacy of the 20th century. The company's co-artistic director Richard Romagnoli helms this 30-minute work, which stars Broadway vet Robert Emmet Lunney. Watch for free on the troupe's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Theatre Channel Episode 1
West End stage stars perform classic musical theatre numbers on The Theatre Channel, a brand-new series recorded at London's The Theatre Café. The first 30-minute episode features Olivier winners Matt Henry and Jenna Russell, plus Jodie Steele from Six, Carrie Hope Fletcher from Heathers, Lucie Jones from Waitress and Tarinn Callender from Come From Away. Tickets are £12, approximately $15.50.
Primary Stages: The Tribute Artist
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Primary Stages kicks off its virtual season with camp master Charles Busch headlining a reading of his real estate romp The Tribute Artist. The uproarious tale of a female impersonator who poses as his deceased landlady in order to hold on to her townhouse, this event reunites Busch with two of his regular comedy conspirators, director Carl Andress and funny lady Julie Halston, who both worked on the show's 2014 Off-Broadway production. Tickets are $35.
Barrington Stage Company: Harriet Harris in Eleanor
On Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Pittsfield, Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company presents Tony winner Harriet Harris in Eleanor, an evocative bio play by Mark St. Germain about former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. While Harris is best known for her comedic performances (the villains in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway), she has a lot of experience getting inside Eleanor's more serious skin: She already portrayed the feminist icon on Netflix's Hollywood and in the soon-to-be-released series Atlantic Crossing. Directed by Henry Stram, the solo show was recorded live onstage without an audience. Tickets are $15 but TDF members get a discount.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Josh Groban.