Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre a rarity for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
New Light Theater Project: The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests
On Monday at noon ET, Off-Off Broadway's inventive New Light Theater Project presents Michael Aguirre's genre-defying The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests. A man named Allen plays the sole album by folk singer Jackson C. Frank, whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and depression. In between tracks, Allen shares the story of his older brother, who disappeared for an entire year. Sarah Norris directs Aguirre in this one-man meditation on isolation, mental illness and the power of music. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $15 donation is suggested. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 11.
ABT Incubator: The Unforeseen
On Monday at noon ET, American Ballet Theatre kicks off its Incubator series, featuring brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. First up is The Unforeseen by ABT soloist Zhong-Jing Fang, a haunting pas de deux set to Camille Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre starring company members Andrii Ishchuk and Fangqi Li. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
The Seth Concert Series: Ashley Spencer
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 Ashley Spencer and you can watch a recording today. The former ballerina initially gained national fame as a contestant on NBC's reality competition Grease: You're the One That I Want! Although she was the runner-up to Laura Osnes, she still ended up on Broadway, playing leading roles in Hairspray, Rock of Ages and even taking over for Osnes in Grease. In this intimate concert, Spencer croons some of her favorite songs, including a few duets with two special guests: her husband, Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, and his Newsies costar Kara Lindsay. Tickets are $25.
Ensemble Studio Theatre: First Light Festival: Good Hair
On Monday at 3 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's innovative Ensemble Studio Theatre wraps up its First Light Festival, spotlighting new plays about science. The final reading is Phaedra Michelle Scott's Good Hair, which tangles together the lives of four women with the question: Does the cost of beauty outweigh the proof of science? Kimille Howard directs Arshia Panicker, Dolores Avery Pereira, Yvonne Jessica Pruitt and Kedren Spencer. Register to receive the free Zoom link.
Broadway's Future Songbook Series: Billy Recce
On Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts presents a concert of songs by Billy Reece, a cabaret mainstay who also penned comic numbers for Off-Broadway's NEWSical the Musical and A Musical About Star Wars. Register to receive the free viewing link.
Amas Musical Theatre: Home Sweet Homeland
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, Amas Musical Theatre presents Home Sweet Homeland, a one-act by performer-playwright Joana Rush inspired by her experiences on September 11. A family watches the horrifying events of that day unfold while trapped in a building across the street from the World Trade Center. Little do they know that the Angel of Stand-Up Comedy is watching over them, helping to get them through. Lynne Taylor-Corbett directs a cast that includes real-life Broadway couple Robert Cuccioli and Laila Robins. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.
SCOWL: Digital Defenestration
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, TDF's multitalented Tyler Riley is one of the theatre artists behind SCOWL, a queer NYC-based stage combat and comedy troupe that presents monthly Digital Defenestration smackdowns. Expect punches, punch lines and plenty of puns in the ongoing saga of John Jacob "Formerly The Jingle Hammer" Schmidt, who's being plagued by mimes. Plus, local everyman Steve goes on his first date with SCOWL's horrifying spider lady Tarantulass. Watch for free on SCOWL's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: Norma
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Bellini's Norma featuring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja and Matthew Rose costar in this 2017 staging by Sir David McVicar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Der Fliegende Holländer, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Maestra Music: Amplify 2021
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, Maestra Music, a nonprofit founded by songwriter Georgia Stitt to promote female-identifying and gender-nonconforming music makers in theatre, presents a virtual fundraiser. Broadway vets Brooks Ashmanskas and Andréa Burns host, and the lineup of performers includes Ashley Park, Nikki M. James, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kenita Miller, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Virtual doors open at 7 p.m. ET for those who want to mingle and learn more about Maestra's important work. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party One-Year Anniversary
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, for the past year, cabaret maven Jim Caruso has welcomed renowned singers and up-and-comers to his Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular weekly Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for decades. So, who will perform for this special anniversary show? No one knows... not even Caruso! His coproducer, Ruby Locknar, is the only one privy to the guest list. Since Caruso literally knows everyone on Broadway and beyond, we expect lots of big names. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
Dance Lab New York: First Try
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, Dance Lab New York, an organization that fosters the creation of new choreography, presents a digital program following the journeys of three disparate dance makers: Tilly Evans-Krueger, Ja' Malik and Ariel Rivka. Dance Lab founder, Josh Prince, and other alum add their thoughts about the future of the art form. Register to receive the free viewing link.
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus: Open Stage Variety Show: Quarantine Edition
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its live weekly variety show hosted by adorkable ringmaster Keith Nelson. Tonight's awe-inspiring lineup includes aerialist Heather Meyer, clown Bill Robison, the Acrobatics Circus Family and hand balancer Anna Kaye. Watch for free on Bindlestiff's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
American Conservatory Theatre: Trouble in Mind
On Monday at 9 p.m. ET, San Francisco's lauded American Conservatory Theater kicks off its A.C.T. Out Loud reading series spotlighting prescient plays with Alice Childress's Trouble in Mind. A groundbreaking examination of racism in the theatre industry, the 1955 satire centers on a Black actress starring in an anti-lynching drama on Broadway who challenges the show's all-white creative team. NYC's Roundabout Theatre Company is scheduled to mount the Broadway premiere of Trouble in Mind later this year, but you can get a taste of this play's brilliance with this virtual presentation, headlined by NYC stage stalwart Patrice Johnson Chevannes and Tony nominee David Harbour. The busy Awoye Timpo directs. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Blues Suite
On Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a 1985 recording of Blues Suite, the ballet that launched the invaluable dance troupe in 1958. Ailey was just 27 when he choreographed this half-hour piece, which is set in a rural Texas Depression-era sporting house, as revelers dance, drink and flirt to blues music. Watch for free until Tuesday, April 13 at 5 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Capriccio
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents John Cox's roaring '20s-set Capriccio, Strauss' love triangle featuring Renée Fleming as a countess courted by a composer (Joseph Kaiser) and a poet (Russell Braun). Sarah Connolly, Morten Frank Larsen and Peter Rose costar in this 2011 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Norma, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presents a virtual edition of its annual fundraiser Broadway Backwards, featuring stage stars performing songs originally written for someone of a different gender. Brand-new numbers and archival recordings will be integrated into a fantastical story about an isolated New Yorker (Broadway vet Jay Armstrong Johnson) who goes on an imaginary journey guided by a late-night TV host, played by Tony nominee Jenn Colella. Catch new performances by Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox, Lea Salonga, James Monroe Iglehart, Cheyenne Jackson, L Morgan Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Ruthie Ann Miles, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Kelli O'Hara, Karen Olivo and Bernadette Peters, as well as vintage numbers from Broadway Backwards past with Tituss Burgess, Len Cariou, Carolee Carmello, Darren Criss, Ariana DeBose, Cynthia Erivo, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Michael McElroy, Bonnie Milligan, Debra Monk, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Lillias White and Tony Yazbeck. Watch for free until Saturday on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' website though donations are encouraged.
Dance On! An Evening with the Mark Morris Dance Group Part 3
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Mark Morris presents a quartet of video dances created remotely by the choreographer. One is a reinvention of a preexisting piece, Lonely Fugue, featuring 16 dancers from four different points of view. The three premieres are Flesh Study set to Philip Glass' Victor's Lament; Kitten Lake, which features dancers with their pets; and Fandango, which was created in person in a studio with social distance. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $20 donation is suggested.
Stars in the House: Guest Host Brenda Braxton
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House wraps up its celebration of Women's History Month with guest host Brenda Braxton, who'll be joined by her former Cougar the Musical castmates. They'll chat about their experiences performing the crowd-pleasing Off-Broadway musical and also pay tribute to the late B. Smith, whose namesake restaurant was their go-to post-performance spot. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Goodman Theater: Pedro Páramo
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of Pedro Páramo. Based on Juan Rulfo's influential 1955 novel of the same name, the production was created by Cuba's Teatro Buendía and presented at the Goodman in 2013 featuring a cast of Chicago and Cuban actors. A pioneering work of magical realism, the play centers on a young man who travels to his recently deceased mother's hometown to track down his long-lost father. The show is performed in Spanish with closed captioning in English and Spanish. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday, April 11.
New York City Center: Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet
New York City Center continues its New Adventures Festival of Matthew Bourne ballets with Romeo and Juliet. The visionary choreographer presents a powerful take on the old tragedy, set in a not-too-distant dystopian future with the star-crossed couple stuck as inmates in the oppressive Verona Institute. Cordelia Braithwaite and Paris Fitzpatrick headline the production, which was filmed on stage at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London in 2019. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
George Street Playhouse: Fully Committed
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents a new online production of Becky Mode's Fully Committed, a satire of NYC's haute cuisine scene. 30 Rock star Maulik Pancholy plays more than 40 characters in this one-man comedy, including an aspiring actor/harried restaurant reservationist, who's having a really bad day, along with all of his demanding patrons. The 1999 play was initially a smash Off Broadway, and was revamped and revived on Broadway in 2016. With sitcom and stage vet Pancholy as the main ingredient, this digital reimagining is a delicious tour de farce. 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, April 11. Closed captions and audio description are available.
New York City Center: American Theatre Ballet: A Ratmansky Celebration
New York City Center presents an evening of works by American Ballet Theatre's celebrated resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The program was recorded live on stage at City Center sans audience and features excerpts from The Seasons, Seven Sonatas and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as the world premiere of Bernstein in a Bubble, set to music by Leonard Bernstein. Tickets are $25 and the recording is available until Sunday, April 18.
IAMA Theatre Company: Anyone But Me and The Oxy Complex
Los Angeles' IAMA Theatre Company presents a pair of compelling solo shows by Latina performers. Sheila Carrasco's Anyone But Me explores the personas women create to get by in a patriarchal society. Anna LaMadrid's The Oxy Complex is set on the 500th day of quarantine (!!!) and examines how loneliness, trauma and the lack of oxytocin impact our well-being. Tickets are $15 per show, $20 for both. The recordings are viewable until Sunday, April 18.
Giles Terera: Black Matter
British actor and singer-songwriter Giles Terera, who won an Olivier Award for his powerful performance as Aaron Burr in the West End production of Hamilton, presents his new song cycle Black Matter, his response to the upheaval of the pandemic and the demands for social justice. The concert was filmed during lockdown at London's Crazy Coqs cabaret, with Giles capturing the intense emotions of the past year, singing alone on stage with his piano and guitar. Tickets are £12, approximately $17 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Stream a starry, contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and set in our screen-dominated world, this cautionary tale centers on a young influencer who makes a deal ensuring that his social media celebrity will never fade. But his picture-perfect life comes at a terrible cost. Tamara Harvey directs Fionn Whitehead as the title hedonist, alongside Tony nominees Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry and stage favorite Russell Tovey. Tickets are £12, approximately $17. The recording is viewable until Saturday, April 17 and closed captions are available.
Goodspeed Musicals: Passing Through
Connecticut's acclaimed Goodspeed Musicals presents Passing Through, about a young man traveling across the country on foot, collecting stories and wisdom that he ultimately applies to his own unresolved family issues. Based on Andrew Forsthoefel's best-selling memoir Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time, this heartwarming show features songs by Brett Ryback and a book by Eric Ulloa, and was filmed live on stage in 2019. Max Chernin stars as Andrew, and Broadway vets Jim Stanek and Garrett Long play his parents. Igor Goldin directs. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday and closed captions are available.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Darren Criss and Ward Billeisen in the 2019 edition of Broadway Backwards. Photo by Curtis Brown.