Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
While in-person theatre is back in NYC, there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Friday, January 14 to Monday, January 17, for free or at low cost.
Signature Theatre: Everybody Rise: Signature Remembers Stephen Sondheim
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, a few weeks after the legendary Stephen Sondheim passed away, Virginia's lauded Signature Theatre presented the in-person tribute concert Everybody Rise, which is streaming all weekend at no cost. Signature regulars, including Broadway vet Natascia Díaz, croon iconic and lesser-known Sondheim tunes such as "Marry Me a Little," "Our Time," "What More Do I Need," "Sooner or Later," "Children Will Listen" and "Send in the Clowns." Watch for free until Monday at 5 p.m. on Signature's YouTube channel. Closed captions are available.
PBS: Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse: Shoshana Bean in Concert
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS continues its Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse series, featuring recordings of recent concerts performed by Broadway favorites at the Connecticut theatre. Tonight, catch Shoshana Bean, beloved for her performances as Elphaba in Wicked and Jenna in Waitress, and a Billboard-charting singer-songwriter, too. In this intimate evening of stories and songs, she unleashes her powerhouse vocals on an eclectic selection of tunes. Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen or on the channel's website. The recording is available online until Sunday, February 20. Closed captions are available.
The Seth Concert Series: Christy Altomare
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 Broadway's Christy Altomare, beloved for her belt and her enthusiastic stage door interactions. While she's best known for playing the title role in the musical Anastasia, she's also a singer-songwriter in her own right, so expect numbers from her indie albums as well as her theatre roles. Tickets are $25.
The Exponential Festival: Departure Study of Mother/land Fabric
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, every January since 2016, The Exponential Festival has showcased cutting-edge works mostly on Brooklyn stages. Due to COVID-19, the fest goes virtual this year, with performances by some of the most exciting experimental theatre-makers in the digital space. Tonight, catch Annie Heath's multimedia piece Departure Study of Mother/land Fabric about searching for memories of an unknown mother. Watch for free on The Exponential Festival's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
New Ohio Theatre: Petunia's Big Day
On Monday at 10 a.m. ET, New Ohio Theatre presents Petunia's Big Day, a new musical for young audiences inspired by the self-care web series Petunia's Playhouse. With songs by Billy Recce (A Musical About Star Wars) and creatures by Eric Wright of Puppet Kitchen, this hour-long show centers on Petunia as she preps for her first day of school. But will an unexpected visitor derail her dreams for the perfect day? Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, February 6.
BAM's 36th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET, BAM's annual MLK Day celebration will be a hybrid affair this year, with in-person performances that are also streamed to at-home viewers. The lineup includes a keynote speech by Dr. Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, and performances by Nona Hendryx, Sing Harlem and a recorded dance piece by choreographer Kyle Marshall. Watch for free on BAM's website.
Theater of War Productions: The Drum Major Instinct
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, Theater of War Productions, a company that uses classical texts to examine contemporary issues, presents a reading of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "The Drum Major Instinct" speech, which he delivered in February 1968 at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. A cautionary sermon about the oppressive outcome of always wanting to be first, the text will be read by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, New York Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Tony winner Jeffrey Wright, with soloists De-Rance Blaylock, Duane Foster and John Leggette singing original music by Dr. Philip Woodmore. After the performance, director Bryan Doerries will facilitate a community conversation about racism, inequality and social justice. Register to receive the free viewing link.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: 54 Celebrates Mel Brooks
On Monday at 9:45 p.m. ET, even though Feinstein's/54 Below has reopened for in-person performances, the swanky cabaret club continues to stream select shows live from its stage. Tonight, enjoy Broadway vets performing Mel Brooks' hilarious tunes from his musicals and his movies. The lineup of crooning cutups includes Tony nominees Andy Karl and Lee Roy Reams; Nik Walker and Jelani Remy from Ain't Too Proud; Eric Ulloa from On Your Feet! and Annie Golden from Hair. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
Second Stage Theater: Clyde's on Broadway
Last chance! On Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, in an exciting and savvy move, Second Stage Theater is streaming the final two weeks of performances of Lynn Nottage's critically acclaimed comedy Clyde's live from Broadway. While many theatres in the UK and other regions have been doing this for months, this is the first Broadway production to give audiences who can't catch Clyde's in person a chance to experience this uplifting play online. Two-time Emmy winner Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) is the hard-boiled and fabulously dressed title character, the owner of a truck-stop sandwich shop who attempts to stomp on the dreams of her kitchen staffers, all formerly incarcerated individuals. But under the guidance of Zen chef Montrellous (two-time This Is Us Emmy winner Ron Cephas Jones), they just may make it out of hell's kitchen. Nottage's frequent collaborator, Kate Whoriskey, directs. Tickets are $59. If you're a TDF member and want to see Clyde's in person on Broadway, log in to buy discount tickets.
PBS: American Masters: Ailey
PBS kicks off the 36th season of its American Masters series with a new documentary about groundbreaking dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey, whose namesake troupe continues to dazzle today. Director Jamila Wignot uses previously unheard audio interviews recorded in the last year of Ailey's life to let him narrate his own story, from being raised by a single mother in Jim Crow Texas, to the founding of his company at age 27, to his mentoring of generations of diverse artists exploring the Black experience through dance. The film includes evocative archival footage and interviews with those close to him as well as a peek at the troupe today. Watch for free until Tuesday, February 8 on PBS' website. Closed captions are available.
Apple TV+: The Tragedy of Macbeth
Joel Coen's critically acclaimed adaptation of the Bard's Macbeth begins streaming this weekend. Tony winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star as the bloody aspirational couple who won't let anything stand in their way... save for guilt and a ghost. Free to stream for Apple TV+ subscribers. Not a subscriber? You can get a seven-day free trial.
New York Live Arts: Virtual Artery
Although Bill T. Jones' New York Arts Live had to cancel its in-person Live Artery fest due to COVID-19, the dance haven is streaming recordings of recent performances. The lineup includes pieces by Christopher Williams, Raja Feather Kelly and poet-musician Saul Williams. Tickets are $5 for each performance, or $15 for all five.
Baryshnikov Arts Center: Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith in gloria rehearsal (excerpt)
The dance-centric Baryshnikov Arts Center kicks off its 2022 season with the new digital commission gloria rehearsal (excerpt) from longtime collaborators Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith. This full-length (despite the title) world premiere features the creators conjuring recognizable images of female objectification, only to deconstruct and reconstitute these forms through movement. Register to receive the free viewing link; the recording is viewable until Monday, January 24 at 5 p.m. ET.
The Joyce Theater: Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic
Due to the current COVID-19 surge, The Joyce was forced to cancel Ayodele Casel's in-person run this month. Thankfully, the Chelsea dance haven is restreaming the tap master's Bessie-winning digital performance Chasing Magic, which was filmed on The Joyce's stage last year. An evening of pieces about the power of reconnecting, the program features a new collaboration with choreographer Ronald K. Brown as well as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Cheek to Cheek," both co-choreographed by Anthony Morigerato. Casel is joined by Morigerato, Naomi Funaki, Amanda Castro and John Manzari, with music provided by Grammy-winning pianist Arturo O'Farrill, singer-songwriter Crystal Monee Hall and percussionist Senfu Stoney. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, January 23.
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: Addressless
On Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m., and Monday at 8 p.m. ET, NYC's acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater continues its hybrid season with a thought-provoking online exploration of the challenges of being homeless. Created and directed by Martin Boross and written by Jonathan Payne, Addressless is an interactive, virtual theatrical game in which audiences make a series of decisions that impact their housing stability, life expectancy and physical well-being. Log in ready to participate. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.
Origin 1st Irish Festival
Every January since 2008, Origin Theatre Company has presented the annual 1st Irish Festival featuring readings, productions and panels. This year is a hybrid event, with both in-person and online offerings. This weekend you can stream:
Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab: Witness
On Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m. ET, critically acclaimed experimental digital theatre lab Zero Gravity presents Witness, a docudrama about Jewish immigration in the face of anti-Semitism. Inspired by the journey of the MS St. Louis, which left Hamburg in 1939 with more than 900 Jewish refugees but was turned away by Cuba, the United States and Canada, the show features an international cast sharing stories of Jewish immigrants through a hybrid of live performance and film. Tickets are $25.
PBS: Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse: Gavin Creel in Concert
Last week, PBS kicked off a brand-new series, Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse, featuring recordings of recent concerts performed by Broadway favorites at the Connecticut theatre. Gavin Creel was the inaugural star, a charmer who's beloved for his work in Thoroughly Modern Millie, She Loves Me, Hair and his Tony-winning turn in Hello, Dolly! In this intimate evening of stories and songs, Creel croons an eclectic lineup of tunes backed by a small band, though he accompanies himself on piano for a few numbers. Watch for free until Sunday, February 20 on PBS' website. Closed captions are available.
The Huntington: Teenage Dick
Although Boston's Huntington Theatre was forced to cut its in-person run of Teenage Dick short due to COVID-19, the good news is the production was captured on film before closing. Mike Lew's modern-day, darkly comic take on Richard III is set in a high-pressure high school, where a bullied adolescent with cerebral palsy mounts a ruthless campaign to become student body president. How far will he go to win? Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God) directs and Gregg Mozgala and Shannon DeVido reprise the roles they originated Off Broadway in the play's critically acclaimed world premiere. Tickets start at $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday. Closed captions and ASL interpretation are available.
The Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest
Although the in-person Orlando Fringe was canceled this month due to COVID-19, many of its shows are streaming online. The 20-plus offerings include a solo show about opera diva Maria Callas; a two-hander about a convict seeking redemption; a live-streamed interactive magic show; and Peter Michael Marino's charming toy theatre epic Planet of the Grapes. Browse the full schedule to see what piques your interest. Tickets are $10 per show and most productions can be watched anytime until Sunday, January 23, though a few are streamed live at specific times.
PBS: 20 Years of Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir
Broadway favorite Brian Stokes Mitchell hosts this glorious retrospective of starry performances by Salt Lake City's The Tabernacle Choir. Enjoy classic clips featuring legends such as Angela Lansbury, Kristin Chenoweth, Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald, Santino Fontana and Stokes himself backed by the celebrated 360-member chorus. Watch for free until Wednesday on PBS' website.
San Francisco Playhouse: Twelfth Night
San Francisco Playhouse recently presented an in-person production of Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub's enchanting musicalization of Twelfth Night, and now you can watch a recording online. 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 at the West Coast theatre. Tickets start at $15 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, January 29.
Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist
Recorded in 2020 during the shutdown, this modern-day musical 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.
Donmar Warehouse: Constellations
London's acclaimed Donmar Warehouse presents Nick Payne's Constellations, a time-bending two-hander that explores the notion of the multiverse by replaying key moments in one couple's romance. Michael Longhurst, who helmed the play on Broadway, directed this production, which was filmed on stage with four different casts alternating in this trippy tale. The pairings are Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah; Peter Capaldi and Zoë Wanamaker; Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey; and Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O'Dowd. Tickets are £7.50 for each cast, approximately $10. Or you can watch all four for £20, approximately $27. The recording is viewable until Monday, January 31, and closed captions and audio description are available. You must create a Donmar Warehouse account to watch.
National Theatre at Home: War Horse
In 2020, London's lauded National Theatre launched its own streaming service featuring professional stage captures of its productions. While you can buy a subscription, shows 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. Closed 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.
PBS: In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season
Late last year, the White House hosted this festive concert, hosted by Jennifer Garner and featuring performances by an eclectic array of music stars, including Tony winner Billy Porter, opera great Andrea Bocelli and a cappella group Pentatonix. Watch for free on PBS' website.
HERE: 9000 Paper Balloons
HERE 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 Monday, January 31.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Revelations, which is featured in the brand-new American Masters: Ailey documentary streaming on PBS. Photo by Bill Hebert.