Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre still a rarity for the time being, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, May 26 and Thursday, May 27, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Metropolitan Playhouse: One-Acts by Peter Sagal
On Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten works, presents a special benefit performance featuring two one-acts by humorist Peter Sagal, the longtime host of NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. In Mile 22, a marathon runner abruptly stops and discovers a new route. In The Taliban, a controversial art curator woos a conservative congresswoman for her funding. Producing artistic director Alex Roe helms both playlets. Watch for free on the company's website though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Cenerentola
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 Cenerentola, Rossini's charming take on the old Cinderella story, which includes mistaken identities on the royal side, too. Joyce DiDonato stars as the plucky princess-to-be, wooed by Juan Diego Flórez in this 2014 production. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns: Faith
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, MasterVoices presents Faith, the final 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. The other three chapters, Flight, Work and Love, were released earlier this year and can be streamed for free on YouTube. This fourth collection of multimedia musical shorts stars Tony winners Jennifer Holliday and Kelli O'Hara, A Strange Loop's Larry Owens, Mykal Kilgore, The Gospel Soul Children of New York and others. Watch for free on MasterVoices' YouTube channel.
Philadelphia Theatre Company: An Evening with Ali Stroker
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, Philadelphia Theatre Company presents Ali Stroker in a benefit concert for the venue, where she starred in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee back in 2010. After competing on The Glee Project and landing a guest spot on the namesake TV series, the Paper Mill Playhouse-trained performer returned to her first love, the stage, making her Broadway debut in Deaf West Theatre's revival of Spring Awakening in 2015. But it was her fabulous and flirtatious turn as Ado Annie in the 2019 revival of Oklahoma! that turned her into a star and earned her a Tony Award. For this intimate set, which was recently recorded on the theatre's stage, she'll belt out tunes from her career as well as personal favorites. You "Cain't Say No" to this! Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Ars Nova: The (Virtual) Wildness
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, one of Off-Off Broadway's most innovative institutions, 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 Kyle Jarrow and Lauren Worsham's music-filled free-for-all The (Virtual) Wildness, a digital sequel to their smash The Wildness that ran at Ars Nova in 2016. Set five years and one pandemic after the last show, this evening reunites Jarrow and Worsham's art-pop band Sky-Pony for one glorious and interactive night on Zoom. Spouses as well as Broadway vets (she was nominated for a Tony for her performance in A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, he was nominated for a Tony for his book for SpongeBob SquarePants), Jarrow and Worsham have enlisted some of their talented pals for this romp, including Tootsie Tony nominee Lilli Cooper. Tickets are $10 or you can subscribe to the platform for a flat monthly fee of $15.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: The Story of Greenwood
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, to mark the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents The Story of Greenwood featuring footage from Donald Byrd's powerful dance piece Greenwood as well as excerpts from a recent documentary about what happened in Oklahoma 100 years ago. Watch for free on the troupe's YouTube channel.
The Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival 2021
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, every spring since 2015, the Shubert Foundation has invited talented New York City public high schoolers to make their Broadway debuts at this annual one-night-only fest featuring excerpts from their student productions. Due to the pandemic, for the second year in a row the participants will be showcasing their talents on a screen not a stage. Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart will serve as host, and guest presenters Brandon Victor Dixon, Nikki M. James, Zachary Noah Piser, Stephen Schwartz and other pros will cheer on the cast members, who'll perform excerpts from Godspell by Curtis High School on Staten Island; Just Another Day 2.0 by the Bronx's Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and The Arts; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Fordham High School for the Arts in the Bronx; Friday Night Live by Millennium Brooklyn High School; Romeo and Juliet by Manhattan's Professional Performing Arts High School and Diverse Connections by the Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens. Watch for free on the Shubert Organization's website.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Donna del Lago
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents La Donna del Lago, Rossini's retelling of Sir Walter Scott's epic poem The Lady of the Lake. Joyce DiDonato is at the center of this 2015 mounting of the romantic opera, costarring Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Flórez, John Osborn and Oren Gradus. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Prince Igor, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Reading Series: Marvin's Room
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, The Reading Series presents a live performance of Marvin's Room, Scott McPherson's moving play about a dysfunctional family grappling with illness and mortality. Tony nominee Carmen Cusack and Christine Dwyer portray estranged sisters reunited by sickness, and Jack DiFalco reprises his role as a troubled teen from the 2017 Broadway production. Tim Realbuto directs. Watch for free on Broadway on Demand though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Manhattan Theatre Club: The Niceties
Starting on Thursday, Manhattan Theatre Club presents The Niceties, Eleanor Burgess's thought-provoking two-hander about a Black student and her veteran white college professor locking horns over the presentation of American history. The play sparked lots of conversations when it ran Off Broadway at MTC in 2018. This new digital mounting, co-presented by Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, reunites the stars of that production, Lisa Banes and Jordan Boatman, with director Kimberly Senior. RSVP to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, June 13.
The Metropolitan Opera: The Nose
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Shostakovich's The Nose, based on Nikolai Gogol's 1836 satirical short story about a bureaucrat who loses his schnoz. Directed and designed by celebrated South African artist William Kentridge, the 2013 production stars Andrey Popov, Alexander Lewis and Tony winner Paulo Szot. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Donna del Lago, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Joyce Theater: Batsheva Dance Company: YAG
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with the Batsheva Dance Company in YAG, the first piece adapted specifically for the screen by the lauded Israeli troupe. House choreographer Ohad Naharin fuses cinema and movement in collaboration with video artist Roee Shalti and a cast of six dancers. 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 Wednesday, June 2.
The 24 Hour Plays: Together Apart
On Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET, it's a collaboration that could only come out of the pandemic. After attending a Brown University musical theatre department reunion on Zoom, Grammy-winning songwriter Lisa Loeb decided to write a mini-musical about the experience. She then asked her talented college pals if they wanted to pen their own short tuners to present as a benefit for Brown. Co-produced by The 24 Hour Plays, this evening includes pieces by Loeb and her peers performed by Broadway and TV stars including Ann Harada, Julie Bowen, Josh Hamilton and JoBeth Williams. Tickets start at $25.
Theater of War Productions: Philoctetes and Women of Trachis
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, Theater of War Productions, a company that uses classical texts to examine contemporary issues, presents a reading of scenes from Philoctetes and Women of Trachis, followed by a town hall-style discussion with the audience. Three-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Frankie Faison and David Strathairn will perform scenes from Sophocles' tragedies, and then director-adapter Bryan Doerries will facilitate a conversation about how the plays' themes relate to the trauma frontline medical workers are facing during the pandemic. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
ActorTrade: Sex, Love, Death, and Other Improbabilities
On Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET, ActorTrade presents an evening of shorts by David Lewison as a benefit for Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. The cast includes Tony winner Maryann Plunkett, Tony nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson and Roger Guenveur Smith. RSVP to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.
Bristol Old Vic: Touching the Void
On Wednesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, the UK's Bristol Old Vic presents a live performance of Touching the Void that will be streamed to at-home audiences. Based on Joe Simpson's bestselling memoir of the same name, David Greig's thrilling stage adaptation chronicles the mountaineer's near fatal descent with Simon Yates after they climbed the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Tony-winning War Horse director Tom Morris helms the production, and Josh Williams and Angus Yellowlees star. Tickets start at £10, approximately $14.
The Vineyard Theatre: Brutal Imagination
Twenty years after Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination premiered at The Vineyard Theatre, the play returns with original stars Joe Morton and Sally Murphy. Directed by Morton, the drama is inspired by the infamous case of Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina who falsely claimed that a Black man kidnapped her children when, in fact, she had drowned them. A potent examination of dangerous racial stereotyping in America, then and now. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Monday, June 7.
The York Theatre Company: Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose
The York Theatre Company presents Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, Broadway vet Ed Dixon's solo show about his complicated friendship with George Rose, the Tony-winning star of My Fair Lady and The Mystery of Edwin Drood who turned out to have a terrifying dark side. This is a recording of the play's critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run in 2017, which was filmed at The Davenport Theatre. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, July 18.
The Joyce Theater: Tap Family Reunion
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with a Tap Family Reunion featuring three titans of tap, Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant, in The Mayor of Harlem, a celebration of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's birthday and National Tap Dance Day. 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 Thursday, June 3.
Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Three Divas
On Saturday the Metropolitan Opera presented a trio of powerhouse vocalists in a live recital from the Royal Opera of Versailles in France, and you can watch a recording this week. Accompanied by piano and guitar, sopranos Ailyn Pérez and Nadine Sierra and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sing selections from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Bellini's Norma and other beloved operas. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Friday, June 4.
The Tank: Capricorn 29
Indie theatre incubator The Tank presents Capricorn 29, a new hour-long musical by Alex Hare and Julia Izumia about a millennial on the cusp of 29 who uncovers a secret plot by the powers that be to eliminate unsuccessful 30-year-olds. A tuneful skewering of the arbitrary nature of age-based milestones, this show features songs by Laura Galindo, brothers Daniel and Patrick Lazour, Stompcat and Storm Thomas. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Tony-nominated choreographer Lar Lubovitch presents a digital program of highlights from three of his seminal works: the duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two performed by his eponymous dance company; Othello danced by San Francisco Ballet; and The Planets, created for an ensemble of ice-skaters and dancers. RSVP to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Theatre Project: Scenes From 73* Years
Baltimore's Theatre Project and the Medina Theater Collective present Scenes From 73* Years, Hannah Khalil's portrait of the people of Palestine, based on real-life accounts from the playwright's family and friends. Najla Said and Rohina Malik codirected this digital production. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, June 20.
FourthWall Theatrical: This American Wife
On Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Tony-nominated Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris is one of the producers of this virtual reimagining of This American Wife, created by his Yale School of Drama pals Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, the duo behind the digital smash Circle Jerk. Like that production, This American Wife is also a live Internet show as Breslin, Foley and Jakeem Dante Powell present an amusing multimedia meditation on theReal Housewives phenomenon and its cultural influence. Tickets start at $25.
New York City Center: Sutton Foster: Bring Me to Light
It's your last chance to catch two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie) in this uplifting concert, which was recently recorded live on stage at New York City Center. During the hour-long benefit performance, she's joined by some of her talented pals, including Raúl Esparza (Company, The Homecoming), Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) and Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) to sing numbers from Anyone Can Whistle, Camelot, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Violet, The Wild Party and other Broadway musicals. Foster's frequent collaborator, Leigh Silverman, directs this inspirational evening. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Monday.
Top image: Frances McDormand, who's one of the stars participating in Theatre of War Production's reading on Thursday evening.