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, January 13 and Thursday, January 14, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Encores! Inside the Revival: The Tap Dance Kid
On Wednesday at noon ET, City Center's Encores! continues its behind-the-scenes documentary series with a look at its upcoming mounting of The Tap Dance Kid, about an aspiring tween hoofer. Tony-winning director Kenny Leon and book adaptor Lydia Diamond share a peek at their in-development production, and Dulé Hill, who appeared in the musical on Broadway, performs Jared Grimes' new choreography for "Fabulous Feet." Watch for free on City Center's YouTube channel.
Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival: The Gifts You Gave to the Dark and The Scourge
Since 2008, Origin Theatre Company has presented the annual Origin 1st Irish Festival featuring readings, productions and panels. This year the event goes virtual with daily offerings through the end of the month. On Wednesday, catch two mainstage shows:
The Metropolitan Opera: Der Fliegende Holländer
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 Der Fliegende Holländer, Wagner's ghost story about a sea captain cursed to sail the globe forever unless he finds true love. Evgeny Nikitin, Anja Kampe, Sergey Skorokhodov and Franz-Josef Selig star in this 2020 mounting, which was filmed just before the pandemic shut down the opera house. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns: Flight
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, MasterVoices presents Flight, the first 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. Released as digital chapters conjured by multimedia artists, this first section features the MasterVoices choir, a cappella gospel group Take 6, stage favorite Annie Golden, and Broadway vets Renée Fleming, Joshua Henry, Capathia Jenkins, Mykal Kilgore, Norm Lewis, Jose Llana, Kelli O'Hara and Elizabeth Stanley. Watch for free on MasterVoices' YouTube channel; the other three parts will be released in the coming months.
Ballet Hispánico: Arabesque
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. EST, Ballet Hispánico revives its Wednesday evening watch parties with a screening of Arabesque, choreographer Vicente Nebrada's suite of dances set to the music of Spanish composer Enrique Granados. Watch for free on the dance company's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: Der Rosenkavalier
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss' comedy of love and errors starring Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Christine Schäfer and Kristinn Sigmund. Filmed for the Met's Live in HD series in 2010, it's available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Thaïs, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Myths and Hymns
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome cast members from Myths and Hymns, a four-part theatrical song cycle by Adam Guettel that's being produced digitally by MasterVoices. The first installment, Flight, drops tonight and stars Renée Fleming, Norm Lewis, Jose Llana, Kelli O'Hara and Elizabeth Stanley will pop by Stars in the House to chat about this ambitious project. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Exponential Festival: Double Bill
On Wednesday at 9 p.m. p.m. ET, every January since 2016, The Exponential Festival has showcased cutting-edge stage works mostly on Brooklyn stages. For its sixth annual edition, the event goes virtual with performances by some of the most exciting theatre-makers in the digital space. Tonight, catch a double bill of tantalizingly titled pieces: the comedic cavalcade "Stiff Drink!?" with Dr. Eustice Sissy (Psy.D.), presents: "Corona Cam Show", followed by the pensive Einst träumte ich von dir: A Maybe-Myth of Runny Nuns OR Once, I Dreamed of You. Watch both for free on the fest's YouTube channel.
On Thursday at noon, The Pittsburgh Playhouse presents Ordinary Days, Adam Gwon's chamber musical about four disparate New Yorkers who end up connecting in unexpected ways. The show was a smash at Roundabout Theatre Company a decade ago. This brand-new production, which was filmed during quarantine, is a stage-cinema hybrid conceived by director Dave Solomon and production designer Jason Ardizzone-West, a Broadway vet who won an Emmy for his work on Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. There are two different casts to choose from, and tickets start at $5. The recording is available until Sunday.
Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival: Under the Albert Clock
On Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, since 2008, Origin Theatre Company has presented the annual Origin 1st Irish Festival featuring readings, productions and panels. Today, The Lyric Theatre presents Under the Albert Clock, a quintet of new audio playlets penned by five Irish playwrights, each inspired by a different Belfast landmark and set in 2050. Tickets are $10.
Ars Nova: Showgasm.
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's innovative Ars Nova has served as the launching pad for lots of big things, including the musical The Great Comet, Lin-Manuel Miranda and now its own streaming service, Ars Nova Supra!. Tonight, you can catch a virtual edition of its anything-goes variety show Showgasm. Comedian Chris Murphy hosts some of his hilarious pals, including Catherine Cohen, Jay Jurden and Steve Jeanty.Tickets are $5 or you can subscribe to the platform for a flat monthly fee of $15.
The Metropolitan Opera: Armida
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Mary Zimmerman's eye-popping 2010 mounting of Armida, Rossini's drama about an evil sorceress (Renée Fleming) using black magic to capture a knight's heart. Lawrence Brownlee, Barry Banks, John Osborn and Kobie van Rensburg costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Der Rosenkavalier, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Grey's Anatomy Reunion
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, it's a Grey's Anatomy reunion on Stars in the House! Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome current stars from the long-running TV medical drama, including Broadway vets Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Kelly McCreary, Kim Raver and Greg Germann, who'll honor frontline healthcare workers and stress the importance of being vaccinated. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Lincoln Center Theater: Turning the Page
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center Theater continues its Spotlight Series with some of its favorite artists reading from their non-theatrical works. Participants include actor Andrew Rannells and playwright David Adjmi sharing excerpts from their memoirs, Sarah Ruhl reading her poetry and James Lapine giving a sneak peek at his upcoming book about creating Sunday in the Park with George with Stephen Sondheim. Register for the free Zoom link.
The Exponential Festival: Mga Stasyon
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, every January since 2016, The Exponential Festival has showcased cutting-edge stage works mostly on Brooklyn stages. For its sixth annual edition, the event goes virtual with performances by some of the most exciting theatre-makers in the digital space. Tonight, the duo an_outskirt present Mga Stasyon about the constant reinvention of personal identity. Watch for free on the fest's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival
Since its founding in 2005, The Public's Under the Radar Festival has been a mecca for avant-garde artists from around the globe, showcasing performances by hundreds of trailblazers. This year, the event goes online and all performances are free. This week, you can catch:
HERE Arts Center: Prototype Festival
Since 2013, Prototype, a festival featuring works that fuse opera and theatre, has defied genre expectations. Co-produced by HERE Arts Center and Beth Morrison Projects, the event goes (mostly) digital this year with six eclectic pieces. Five are online and on demand until Saturday; Ocean Body is an in-person, by-appointment-only installation at HERE, so it's not included below. Most offerings are free.
Repertorio Español: La gringa
Venerable Latinx theatre company Repertorio Español presents La gringa, Carmen Rivera's heartwarming tale about a young Nuyorican who travels to Puerto Rico for the first time to connect with her extended family and her heritage. The longest-running Spanish-language production in Off-Broadway history, the play premiered 25 years ago. This production was recorded on stage at Repertorio Español pre-pandemic and is performed in Spanish with English subtitles. Tickets are $10.
TWEED TheaterWorks: 'Taint
Like many NYC nightspots, East Village alt-cabaret club Pangea is in dire financial straits. So, over the holidays, the camp masters at TWEED TheaterWorks put together an irreverent variety show to help see the venue through the new year. The lineup is a who's who of downtown divas, including drag legend Charles Busch, storyteller David Cale, opera singer Joseph Keckler and vocal impressionist Amber Martin. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, January 20.
Fake Friends: Circle Jerk
Fake Friends presents an encore stream of Circle Jerk, a critically acclaimed satire about gay white supremacists. Penned and performed by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, the duo who wrote the book for the viral Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, this is an unsettling examination of right-wing trolling in the queer community. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Red Bull Theater: The African Company Presents Richard III
On Monday, NYC's Red Bull Theater streamed a live reading of The African Company Presents Richard III and you can watch a recording until Friday. Carlyle Brown's fascinating history-inspired drama explores competing NYC productions of Shakespeare's tragedy in 1821 and how a white producer used racist laws to shut a Black troupe down. Carl Cofield directs Clifton Duncan, Edward Gero, Dion Johnstone, Paul Niebanck, Antoinette Robinson, Craig Wallace and Jessika D. Williams. Watch for free on Red Bull's YouTube channel; a $25 donation is suggested.
Parity Productions: Stop-Motion
Parity Productions, a NYC-based company showcasing women, trans and gender-nonconforming artists, presents a reading of Stop-Motion, Liz Kerin's multimedia tragicomedy about a young woman who spent her twenties as her mom's caretaker now navigating the aftermath of a terrible accident. Register to receive the free viewing link; the recording is viewable until Monday, January 18.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Kelli O'Hara, who's part of the cast of Myths and Hymns.