Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre still a rarity, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, June 23 and Thursday, June 24, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
TDF: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori in Conversation
On Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, TDF presents a thoughtful conversation with playwright and lyricist David Henry Hwang and composer Jeanine Tesori, who collaborated on Soft Power, which ran at The Public Theater in 2019. The two became quite close as they wrote (and rewrote) this ambitious "musical within a play," which started out as a reverse The King and I but evolved into a much more personal piece as real-life events were incorporated, including Donald Trump's 2016 election and Hwang being stabbed in a seemingly racially motivated attack. After a long pandemic separation, TDF is bringing these two friends together for an intimate online chat. Watch for free on TDF's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Fille du Régiment
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. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is La Fille du Régiment, Donizetti's beloved romantic comedy about an orphan girl raised by French soldiers who ends up falling for a rebel. This 2019 production stars Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Javier Camarena and Maurizio Muraro, and Oscar-nominated actor Kathleen Turner makes a non-singing cameo as the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Metropolitan Opera: Maria Stuarda
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents David McVicar's acclaimed 2012 mounting of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda about Mary, Queen of Scots. Joyce DiDonato stars as the tragic title character, with Elza van den Heever as Queen Elizabeth and Matthew Polenzani as Leicester. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Rusalka, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
I'm Still Here: A Virtual Benefit for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Billy Rose Theatre Division
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts presents a starry benefit in support of its Billy Rose Theatre Division, aka the department behind the invaluable Theatre on Film and Tape Archive. In addition to classic clips from legendary stage productions featuring the likes of Angela Bassett, Glenn Close, Tim Curry, Savion Glover, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Lansbury, Rebecca Luker, Bette Midler, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O'Hara and Meryl Streep, there will also be brand-new performances and appearances by a jaw-dropping lineup of Broadway superstars, including Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Stephanie J. Block, Alex Brightman, Matthew Broderick, Victoria Clark, André De Shields, Harvey Fierstein, Joel Grey, Neil Patrick Harris, Baayork Lee, Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Tonya Pinkins, Phylicia Rashad, Ben Vereen and so many more. Tickets are pay what-you-wish (scroll to the bottom for that option) but a minimum donation of $19.31 is suggested.
Stars in the House: The Making of Broadway for Orlando
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, five years ago, in the wake of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley produced an all-star video of "What the World Needs Now Is Love" in order to raise funds for the victims. Five years later, Stars in the House is reuniting some of the famous folks from that Broadway in Orlando project, including Wayne Brady, Keala Settle, Liz Callaway, Ann Hampton Callaway, Rosie O'Donnell and Orfeh. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Playwrights Horizons' 50th Anniversary Virtual Gala
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, one of Off Broadway's most exciting destinations for new work, Playwrights Horizons, throws a virtual gala in honor of its milestone birthday. The evening will celebrate acclaimed productions past, with Carla R. Stewart performing "Lifted" from Tori Sampson's If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka; Mykal Kilgore singing "Memory Song" from Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop, Ali Stroker crooning a surprise tune and Heather Christian performing "Recessional" from PRIME. There will also be stories from Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Reed Birney, Sarah DeLappe, Larissa FastHorse, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Peter Friedman, Lucas Hnath, Taylor Mac, Kelli O'Hara, Pedro Pascal and Lois Smith. Register to receive the free viewing link.
Starting on Thursday, the terrific enfant terrible of the American stage, Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris, presents Off Broadway, a scathing satire of racism in the theatre industry by Torrey Townsend centering on a nonprofit institution struggling to reinvent itself during the pandemic. The always inventive Robert O'Hara, who earned a Tony nomination for helming Slave Play, directs a cast that includes Broadway vets Dylan Baker, Becky Ann Baker, Hal Linden and Richard Kind. This is must-see virtual theatre folks. Watch for free until Sunday online.
Flushing Town Hall: Pride Trilogy: Part III - Darius de Haas Sings Billy Strayhorn
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Queens' Flushing Town Hall celebrates Pride Month with a trio of out and proud performances. The final offering is Broadway vet Darius de Haas' tribute to Billy Strayhorn, the composer behind standards such as "Take the 'A' Train", "Lush Life" and "Something to Live For." Known during his lifetime as one of Duke Ellington's most prolific collaborators, he has become a historical icon for his contributions to the Great American Songbook and for being an out gay Black man in the pre-Stonewall era. Streamed live from the venue's stage. Tickets are $6.
Lincoln Center Theater: Lileana Blain-Cruz In Conversation: On Directing
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center Theater's resident director Lileana Blain-Cruz talks about the future of the industry with some of her talented peers: Raja Feather Kelly, Seret Scott and Tyler Thomas. Register for the free Zoom link.
The Queerly Festival, an annual showcase of cutting-edge LGBTQ artists, is being held in person at both the Kraine Theater and Under St. Marks in the East Village, but all performances are also being streamed to at-home audiences. Tonight there are three separate shows:
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Baltimore Center Stage presents The Garden, a moving new play written by and starring Tony nominee Charlayne Woodard about the complex relationship between a Black woman and her estranged adult daughter, who shows up unexpectedly at her mother's garden gate attempting to reconcile old wounds. Patricia McGregor directs this world premiere, which costars Caroline Stefanie Clay. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
The Ailey Spring Gala
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater hosts a virtual gala celebrating hope, promise and the future. The evening includes performances by the company's members as well as students from The Ailey School, plus special guests Congressman James E. Clyburn and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Watch for free online though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tosca, Puccini's thrilling love triangle starring Patricia Racette as the title singer, Roberto Alagna as her artist lover and George Gagnidze as the chief of police who wants Tosca for himself. Luc Bondy staged 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, Maria Stuarda, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Night of a Thousand Judys
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Judy, Judy, Judy... Garland that is. This concert celebrates the life and career of the legendary singer-actor, who was born in a trunk in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and traveled over the rainbow to become a movie musical icon. Writer, performer and raconteur Justin Sayre presides over an online edition of this annual favorite, and the lineup of crooners includes Tony winner Alan Cumming, Tony nominees Sam Harris, Vivian Reed and Mary Testa, and stage favorites Karen Mason, Nathan Lee Graham, Jose Llana, Grace McLean and Margo Seibert. Watch for free until Saturday, July 24 online though donations to The Ali Forney Center are encouraged.
Playbill: Glimmer of Light
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, last week, Playbill produced Glimmer of Light, an epic, in-person Pride concert at Queens' Radial Park, and now it's being streamed online through the end of the month. The lineup includes on stage performances by Ezra Menas, Jo Ellen Pellman, Max Crumm, Jan Sport from RuPaul's Drag Race and Sis along with virtual contributions from Alex Newell, Ariana DeBose, Felicia Fitzpatrick, L Morgan Lee and Peppermint. Watch for free on Playbill's YouTube channel until Tuesday, June 30.
Joe's Pub: Jaime Lozano and the Familia: Songs by an Immigrant
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, up-and-coming Latinx musical theatre composer Jaime Lozano and some of his talented pals, such as On Your Feet's Mauricio Martínez, perform his tunes in Songs by an Immigrant. The concert was recorded at Joe's Pub in August 2019 and features numbers about settling into a new home, learning a new language and grappling with discrimination. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.
Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab: chekhovOS / an experimental game/
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab presents chekhovOS / an experimental game/, an interactive online workshop by virtual performance innovator Igor Golyak that fuses film, theatre and video game technology to explore Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard as well as the Russian dramatist's life. Tony nominee Jessica Hecht stars and actor and ballet icon Mikhail Baryshnikov appears as Chekhov. This offbeat offering just got a rave review in The New York Times. Log on ready to participate. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged.
Shakespeare Center LA: Macbeth: A Virtual Live-Action Graphic Novel
On Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET, Shakespeare Center LA presents a colorful new take on the Bard's Macbeth, with kinetic comic book panels complementing the performances of seasoned classical actors, including Tony nominee Keith David as the title villain. A Shakespeare tragedy reimagined as an animated experience? This is the kind of innovative virtual theatre the pandemic made possible. Tickets are $30.40 and a recording will be viewable until Friday, July 30.
Patrick Page in All the Devils Are Here
Hadestown Tony nominee Patrick Page shows off his mellifluous voice and classical acting training in his solo show All the Devils Are Here, an exploration of Shakespeare's villains. A medley of scenes and monologues that trace the evolution of the Bard's baddies, the one-person play was originally presented in 2017. This production was filmed during the shutdown at Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company on the same stage where Page previously played Prospero, Coriolanus, Iago and Macbeth. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
All for One Theater: Open
In honor of Pride Month, All for One Theater presents the queer love story Open by award-winning playwright and longtime TDF teaching artist Crystal Skillman. Filmed live on stage during its critically acclaimed 2019 run at Off Broadway's The Tank, this one-woman play stars Megan Hill as Kirsten, an aspiring writer and amateur magician trying to save the life of her lover Jenny. Initially presented as a magic show, with Kirsten miming various feats and encouraging the audience to believe in things we cannot see, the show transforms into an exploration of how romance opens you up and leaves you both stronger and more vulnerable. Jessi D. Hill directed this heartrending tale. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link. Donations are encouraged and the recording is viewable until Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Ghosting
On Wednesday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep presents Ghosting, Anne O'Riordan and Jamie Beamish's tragicomedy about a disconnected young woman who awakens to find the ex who abandoned her years earlier standing at the foot of her bed. O'Riordan stars in this one-woman play about revisiting the past in order to carve out a future. Directed by Aidan Kelly, the production was recorded at Theatre Royal in April 2020. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
American Conservatory Theater: Tales of the City
San Francisco's lauded American Conservatory Theater celebrates Pride Month by streaming a never-before-seen recording of its 2011 smash Tales of the City, a musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's series of novels chronicling LGBTQ life in San Francisco in the late 20th century. With a book by Avenue Q Tony winner Jeff Whitty and songs by John Garden and Jake Shears from the glam-rock band Scissor Sisters, the production stars Waitress' Betsy Wolfe as San Fran newcomer Mary Ann Singleton, Tony winner Judy Kaye as her eccentric landlady Anna Madrigal, Mary Birdsong as her bisexual hippie neighbor Mona Ramsey and Wesley Taylor as Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gay man living with HIV. Tony nominee Jason Moore directed the show, one of the highest-selling productions in the theatre's history. Tickets start at $19 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Broadway Bares: Twerk from Home
For the second year in a row, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' most seductive annual fundraiser Broadway Bares goes virtual, with more than 170 stage performers showing off their sexy sides in socially distant stripteases. Creator and Tony-winning director Jerry Mitchell oversees this online ogling fest featuring brand-new numbers recorded all across NYC—even on the red steps at our TKTS Booth! Special guests include Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots' J. Harrison Ghee, Jay Armstrong Johnson from The Phantom of the Opera and Tony nominee Robyn Hurder from Moulin Rouge! It's the steamiest stream in town. Watch for free on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Everybody say, "Yeah, yeah!" Catch the exuberant West End production of Kinky Boots starring Olivier Award winner Matt Henry as drag diva Lola, who helps shoe manufacturer Charlie (Killian Donnelly) inject some fabulousness into his factory. Although the musical examines serious subjects such as homophobia and father-son estrangement, it's mostly a celebration of friendship and being true to yourself, with catchy songs by Cyndi Lauper and a heartfelt book by Harvey Fierstein. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 2.
Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway! Catch the acclaimed West End revival of 42nd Street about a spunky chorus girl who goes out a youngster but comes back a star after the leading lady gets injured. Filmed at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2018, the lavish production features jaw-dropping tap numbers and iconic Broadway songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, including "We're in the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway" and the title tune. Bonnie Langford plays the sidelined star Dorothy Brock and Clare Halse is Peggy Sawyer, the nobody who doesn't throw away her shot. The ultimate backstage musical! Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 2.
George Street Playhouse: It's Only a Play
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents It's Only a Play, Terrence McNally's popular comedy set at a dramatic party where a Broadway producer, playwright, director and cast anxiously await their opening night reviews. Funnyman Kevin Cahoon directed this mounting, which was filmed live on stage at the theatre. Tootsie Tony nominee Andy Grotelueschen, Greg Cuellar, Julie Halston, Doug Harris, Christine Toy Johnson, Triney Sandoval and Zach Shaffer star. 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, July 4. Closed captions and audio description are available.
Signature Theatre: After Midnight
Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presents After Midnight, an enthralling celebration of the legendary Cotton Club that was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards. Recorded on stage during quarantine, this new production is headlined by Hamilton Tony nominee Christopher Jackson and Nova Y. Payton, and is directed and choreographed by Jared Grimes, who appeared in the show on Broadway. Evocative renditions of Langston Hughes poems provide the framework for eye-popping tap-dance numbers set to the swinging songs of Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and other big band-era greats. Tickets are $35 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, August 4.
Lincoln Center Theater: Marys Seacole
Lincoln Center Theater presents Marys Seacole, Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies Drury's critically acclaimed play about an ambitious Jamaican woman whose adventures span many countries and eras, from the Crimean War to a modern-day nursing home. A profound exploration of women who are paid to look after others, this fantasia is inspired by the real-life 19th-century nurse and healer Mary Seacole as well as all the caregivers who came after her. This Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production was recorded on stage in 2019, with Lileana Blain-Cruz directing Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Gabby Beans, Marceline Hugot, Karen Kandel, Ismenia Mendes and Lucy Taylor. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, July 4.
North Coast Repertory Theatre: Becoming Dr. Ruth
California's North Coast Repertory Theatre presents four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh in Becoming Dr. Ruth, Mark St. Germain's inspiring one-woman bio play about the cheery sex therapist and her compelling past, including losing her family in the Holocaust, working as a sniper for the Haganah and finally finding Mr. Right after two divorces. David Ellenstein directs the production, which was filmed live on stage at Bay Street Theater, a co-producer of the show. Tickets start at $35 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, July 11.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Matt Henry and cast in Kinky Boots on the West End, which is streaming all Pride Month. Photo by Matt Crockett.