Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
In-person theatre is back in NYC, both on Broadway and beyond. But there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this weekend, Friday, December 3 to Sunday, December 5, for free or at low cost.
Remember the Ribbon: A Tribute to World AIDS Day
Last month, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presented Remember the Ribbon: A Tribute to World AIDS Day, an in-person evening of songs and stories honoring those impacted by HIV/AIDS, and you can watch a recording through this evening. Enjoy performances and presentations by Billy Porter, Chita Rivera, Beth Leavel, Charles Busch, Javier Muñoz, composer Alan Menken and other Broadway bigwigs. Watch for free until midnight on Playbill.com though donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS are encouraged.
Primary Stages: Cut Songs
Off Broadway's venerable Primary Stages presents a virtual concert of numbers cut from beloved musicals including Chicago and Once on This Island. Judy Gold, Joshua Henry, Aisha Jackson, Thom Sesma, Mary Testa and Tony winner Lillias White perform these unsung gems. Watch for free until Saturday at midnight on Primary Stages' YouTube channel.
ONE Archives Foundation: The Normal Heart
On Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. ET, in honor of World AIDS Day, the LGBTQ nonprofit ONE Archives Foundation shares a recording of its starry virtual reading of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer's groundbreaking autobiographical play about the early days of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. Filmed earlier this year, the performance features a predominately BIPOC and LGBTQ cast, including Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, two-time Tony nominee Jeremy Pope, Vincent Rodriguez III, Guillermo Díaz and Jake Borelli. Tickets start at $20.
Betsy Wolfe: The Holiday Show
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Broadway star Betsy Wolfe (Waitress, Falsettos) is performing an in-person holiday cabaret at the Green Room 42 that will also be streamed to at-home audiences. The blonde belter will croon familiar seasonal tunes as well as unexpected songs alongside special guest Andrew Rannells. Tickets are $19.
San Francisco Playhouse: Twelfth Night
On Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, San Francisco Playhouse is currently presenting an in-person production of Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub's enchanting musicalization of Twelfth Night, but you can also watch a recording at home. The show premiered at Shakespeare in the Park a few seasons back and features glorious songs by Taub and a streamlined script that condenses Shakespeare's romantic comedy into 90 heartwarming minutes. This production was directed by Susi Damilano and filmed live on stage last month at the West Coast theatre. Tickets start at $15 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, January 15, 2022.
ALMA NYC: Thank You, Ten
On Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET, choreographer Zanza Steinberg's NYC-based dance company ALMA NYC returns to the stage this weekend at the Paul Taylor Theater and the final performance will also be live-streamed to at-home audiences. Titled Thank You, Ten, the program celebrates the troupe's 10th anniversary and includes Yellow, HOMAGE: An ode to jazz and the premiere of the digital ballet Rhapsody in Blue. Tickets are $30.
St. Ann's Warehouse: Medicine
On Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse is currently presenting the in-person NYC premiere of Medicine, but tonight's performance will also be live-streamed to at-home audiences. Written and directed by Tony winner Enda Walsh (Once), this absurdly comic tale centers on a man desperately trying to make sense of his childhood memories through drama therapy—but those assigned to help him seem more interested in putting on a show. This critically acclaimed UK transfer stars Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars, Ex Machina) as the pitiful patient, with Clare Barrett and Aoife Duffin as his kooky therapists. Tickets are $31.
Something's Coming: West Side Story—A Special Edition of 20/20
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, enjoy an entire hour of ABC's 20/20 devoted to Steven Spielberg's cinematic reimagining of West Side Story, which opens next Friday, December 10. Guests include the Oscar-winning director and the Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter Tony Kushner, who has rewritten the dialog and recontextualized some songs; stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno, who appeared in the 1961 movie of West Side Story as Anita and portrays a brand-new character in the reboot; and the Puerto Rican historians who consulted on the new film. Watch for free on ABC TV or on the network's website.
It's a Wonderful Life LIVE!
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, so, this isn't exactly theatre, but it would be Scrooge-like not to list this live Zoom reading of Frank Capra's classic Christmas film. An incredible cast led by Jason Sudeikis, Rosario Dawson, Mark Hamill, Frances Fisher and Martin Sheen take on this holiday tale of redemption. Tickets start at $25 and proceeds benefit the Ed Asner Family Center.
The Seth Concert Series: Jose Llana
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, even though show-tune savant Seth Rudetsky is back doing shows in person, he hasn't completely abandoned the virtual realm. In fact, he's relaunched his weekly live-streamed concert series! Tonight his guest is Jose Llana, who starred on Broadway in The King and I (two different roles in two different productions 20 years apart!), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Flower Drum Song, and also headlined Here Lies Love about his native Philippines at The Public Theater. Tickets are $25.
Third Rail Projects: Return the Moon
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, endlessly inventive immersive theatre company Third Rail Projects (Then She Fell, The Grand Paradise) presents Return the Moon, a live, interactive, created-for-Zoom theatrical experience that uses a fairy tale about the moon as a way to conjure art and community. Conceived and directed by Zach Morris, the 75-minute piece is performed for a small audience who participate in the evening's outcome and even receive a post-performance gift in the mail. Log on ready to share. Tickets start at $15.
Putting It Together: An Evening With James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim
This past August, The Town Hall presented an intimate Zoom discussion with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine filled with illuminating stories about their longtime collaboration, especially their work on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George. In light of Sondheim's recent passing, this brilliant chat is being restreamed. Christine Baranski moderated the discussion between these two giants, and original Sunday stars Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters also put in appearances. Register to receive the free viewing link; the recording is viewable until Friday, December 24.
National Theatre at Home: War Horse
A year ago, London's lauded National Theatre launched its own streaming service featuring professional stage captures of its productions. While you can subscribe to the service, productions are also available to rent individually for 72 hours. New to the roster is War Horse, the profoundly moving story of a boy searching for his beloved steed against the bloody backdrop of World War I. Based on Michael Morpurgo's novel of the same name and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford in association with the brilliant Handspring Puppet Company, the production was a smash, first at London's National Theatre and then on Broadway where it won five 2011 Tony Awards, including best play. War Horse tickets are $12 and the recording is viewable until Monday, January 31, 2022. Captions and audio description are available. It's just one of many fantastic shows you can stream so be sure to browse the entire list.
New York Theatre Workshop: Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, if you weren't able to catch this hilarious and heartrending solo show during its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run, you can now stream Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord at home. Recorded live on stage at NYTW, this poignant play chronicles how Wong launched a homemade face mask empire during the pandemic by enlisting friends, family (even her own mother!) and strangers to craft PPE for our under-resourced health care system. While much of the show is absolutely uproarious, it's also a scathing debrief on America's failings and how we rely on women of color to save us. Chay Yew directs. Tickets start at $30.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Autumn Royal
Earlier this fall, Irish Rep presented an in-person production of Autumn Royal and now you can stream a recording at home. Kevin Barry's two-hander centers on a pair of siblings looking after their ailing father in Cork, Ireland. But as his illness drags on they start to wonder, is caring for someone until death any kind of life? Ciarán O’Reilly directs Maeve Higgins and John Keating in this dark comedy about mortality and family. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Monday, December 13.
Summoners Ensemble Theatre: A Christmas Carol
Every December, John Kevin Jones stars in this singular solo adaptation of Charles Dickens' holiday classic mounted at the 19th-century Merchant's House Museum in the East Village. In this historic setting, he plays Dickens performing all of the characters in his ghost tale of redemption, just like the Victorian author did back in the day. If you can't make it to the in-person production this season, you can stream a recording at home. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, January 1, 2022.
Mint Theater Company: Hindle Wakes
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been unearthing forgotten plays since 1992, presents a recording of Hindle Wakes, Stanley Houghton's controversial 1912 play about a pair of unmarried young folks who enjoy a fling, much to their parents' chagrin. Gus Kaikkonen directed this 2018 production, which earned a Drama Desk nomination for best revival. Watch for free until Sunday, December 26 on the Mint's website by clicking the video and entering your email address, no password required. Donations are encouraged.
New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
Even though New York City Ballet's Christmas classic The Nutcracker is back on stage at Lincoln Center, you can also stream George Balanchine's legendary version of Tchaikovsky's fantastical ballet at home this holiday season. Recorded in 2019 during NYCB's annual engagement, this production stars principal dancers Maria Kowroski as the Sugarplum Fairy, Tyler Angle as her Cavalier and Megan Fairchild as Dewdrop. A lavish production with gorgeous sets and costumes, it's a must-see for dance lovers. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, January 2, 2022.
Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist
Recorded in 2020 during the shutdown, this musical modern-day take on the old Christmas chestnut comes from John Caird and Paul Gordon, the team behind Broadway's Jane Eyre, and incorporates popular characters and plot lines from multiple Charles Dickens' novels. Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) is the title character, a ruthless real estate mogul, who heads to her hometown for the holidays to foreclose on a hotel for the homeless run by her childhood sweetheart, Philip "Pip" Nickleby (Clifton Duncan). But soon three spirits arrive to scare her sweet. Jagged Little Pill Tony winner Lauren Patten, Moulin Rouge! Tony winner Danny Burstein and Hadestown's Patrick Page costar. Tickets start at $15 and the recording is viewable until Monday, January 31, 2022.
Bard at the Gate: Sonnets for an Old Century
During the shutdown, Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Paula Vogel launched Bard at the Gate, a play reading series showcasing timely, under-the-radar scripts. The initiative is now being presented by New Jersey's lauded McCarter Theatre Center and this weekend you can catch Sonnets for an Old Century. Written and directed by Obie winner José Rivera, this 2000 work features the final testimonies of 18 recently deceased individuals, as their stories, philosophies and confessions are sent out into the universe to circulate among the living. The ensemble cast includes NYC stage favorite Joél Pérez and Vogel herself. Register to receive the free viewing link.
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene: ESN: Songs from the Kitchen Chanukah Edition
Last chance! In honor of the Festival of Lights, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene presents a Hanukkah edition of ESN: Songs from the Kitchen, a celebration of Jewish food through music and cooking demos. The prerecorded performance features Yiddish singer Sarah Mina Gordon, and Sir Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg from The Klezmatics. Watch for free on Folksbiene's website until Monday, the final night of the holiday. English and Yiddish subtitles are available.
PBS Great Performances presents a high-tech reinvention of the classic ballet Coppelia, with Doctor Coppelius trying to steal a human heart to bring his perfect woman to life. Inspired by a 2008 stage mounting by the Dutch National Ballet, this performance is a fusion of live dance and animation starring international ballet stars Michaela DePrince, Daniel Camargo, Darcey Bussell and Irek Mukhamedov performing Ted Brandsen's choreography. Watch for free until Friday, December 24 on PBS' website.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: In the Southern Breeze
On Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, NYC's acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is presenting a hybrid season, with its productions performed in person but also streamed to at-home audiences. The company's current show is Mansa Ra's poetic premiere In the Southern Breeze, about a Black man whose existential crisis magically catapults him back through centuries of racially charged history to reveal the struggles he continues to face today. Christopher D. Betts directs the play, which is billed as "an autobiographical fever dream." Tickets are $40 for both streamed and in-person performances.
All Arts: MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns
Earlier this year, MasterVoices premiered a digital reimagining 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. All Arts is now streaming all four chapters of this multimedia musical featuring a slew of Broadway stars including Norm Lewis, Kelli O'Hara, Renée Fleming, Joshua Henry, Shoshana Bean, Daniel Breaker and Jennifer Holliday. Watch for free on All Arts' website.
HERE Arts Center: 9000 Paper Balloons
HERE Arts Center presents 9000 Paper Balloons, a stunning new multimedia piece inspired by the hard-to-believe secret weapons used by Japan against the US during World War II. Created by Japanese artist Maiko Kikuchi and American puppeteer Spencer Lott, the surreal performance weaves puppetry, animation and masks into a historical tale that also encompasses their own family stories. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Friday, December 31.
Center Theatre Group: Chavez Ravine: In 9 Innings
Last chance! Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group presents Chavez Ravine: In 9 Innings, a virtual reimagining of a 2003 play about the small, tight-knit LA neighborhood that was razed so Dodger Stadium could rise. Devised by the collective Culture Clash, this digital production features scenes from the original script filmed at LA's Kirk Douglas Theatre and on location around the city, incorporating music, archival videos and photos, and new interviews. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Monday.
Lantern Theater Company: Me and the Devil
Renaissance man Steve H. Broadnax III, who's currently making his Broadway debut as the director of Thoughts of a Colored Man, cowrote, costars and helms Me and the Devil, a new play with music about blues great Robert Johnson. According to legend, the guitarist, singer and songwriter made a deal with the Devil for his talents. Broadnax plays Lucifer and Lawrence Stallings is his mark in this show, which finds Johnson trying to extract himself from the contract to save his soul. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, February 27, 2022.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: National Theatre's War Horse, which is streaming until January. Photo by Brinkhoff & Mögenburg.