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 weekend, Friday, January 21 to Sunday, January 23, for free or at low cost.
Young Vic: Best of Enemies
On Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET, London's lauded Young Vic live-streams its critically acclaimed production of Best of Enemies directly from its London stage. Written by James Graham (Ink, Quiz) and directed by Jeremy Herrin, the play is a verbatim reenactment of the fiery 1968 debate between conservative pundit William F. Buckley and iconoclastic liberal Gore Vidal. Inspired by the 2015 documentary of the same name, Best of Enemies stars Charles Edwards as Vidal and David Harewood (yes, the Black British actor of Homeland and Supergirl fame) as Buckley. The multi-camera broadcast lets you decide which angles to watch, or, if you're indecisive, you can choose the Director's Cut. Tickets start at £15, approximately $20. Closed captions and audio description are available.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: 54 Sings Liza
On Friday at 7 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 54 Sings Liza, a tribute to the famous diva who spells her name with a Z! Consummate Liza impersonator Christine Pedi of Forbidden Broadway fame will be joined by Broadway regulars to croon songs introduced by Liza Minnelli on stage and screen, including "Cabaret," "Maybe This Time" and "New York, New York." Cabaret impresario Scott Siegel created the show and serves as host. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
On Site Opera: Lesson Plan
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, On Site Opera, a NYC-based company that produces site-specific productions, premieres Lesson Plan, a live, interactive chamber piece about an internationally renowned diva who accidentally ends up teaching a Zoom class of community college students. Inspired by Telemann's Der Schulmeister with additional material by Rachel J. Peters, this made-for-Zoom work features Metropolitan Opera star Stephanie Blythe. Tickets are $30.
PBS: Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse: Brandon Victor Dixon 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 Brandon Victor Dixon, whose smooth presence and powerhouse vocals have stolen many a musical, both on stage (Broadway's The Color Purple, Hamilton, Shuffle Along) and on screen (TV's Rent: Live and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert). Backed by a live band and a trio of singers, he'll croon an eclectic lineup of tunes, including lots of soul classics. 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.
Young Vic: Best of Enemies
On Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET, London's lauded Young Vic live-streams its critically acclaimed production of Best of Enemies directly from its London stage. Written by James Graham (Ink, Quiz) and directed by Jeremy Herrin, the play is a verbatim reenactment of the fiery 1968 debate between conservative pundit William F. Buckley and iconoclastic liberal Gore Vidal. Inspired by the 2015 documentary of the same name, Best of Enemies stars Charles Edwards as Vidal and David Harewood (yes, the Black British actor of Homeland and Supergirl fame) as Buckley. The multi-camera broadcast lets you decide which angles to watch, or, if you're indecisive, you can choose the Director's Cut. Tickets start at £15, approximately $20. Closed captions and audio description are available.
On Site Opera: Lesson Plan
On Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. ET, On Site Opera, a NYC-based company that produces site-specific productions, premieres Lesson Plan, a live, interactive chamber piece about an internationally renowned diva who accidentally ends up teaching a Zoom class of community college students. Inspired by Telemann's Der Schulmeister with additional material by Rachel J. Peters, this made-for-Zoom work features Metropolitan Opera star Stephanie Blythe. Tickets are $30.
The Exponential Festival: Flow My Tears
On Saturday 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 Braulio Cruz and John-Philip Faienza's Flow My Tears, a series of songs and monologues about mourning, as a funeral service is streamed to an audience of digital ghosts. Watch for free on The Exponential Festival's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Hypokrit Productions: Running
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Hypokrit Productions premieres Running, an autobiographical cinema-stage hybrid by sitcom star Danny Pudi (Community) about his quest to learn about the father he never knew. With some scenes filmed in a theatre, others in the real world, this is a moving documentary journey of self-discovery. Arpita Mukherjee directs. Tickets are $30 for the premiere, which includes a live virtual conversation with Pudi. For $20, you can watch a recording on demand until Monday, February 28.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: Jenn Colella: You Are Here
On Saturday 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 Jenn Colella's Feinstein's/54 Below solo concert debut You Are Here. The show traces her unusual career path, from stand-up comedian to rocker to charmingly quirky Broadway leading lady. Her tuneful autobiographical tale includes songs from her career, such as her Tony-nominated turn in Come From Away, alongside pop and rock songs. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
Live from Feinstein's/54 Below: Sondheim Unplugged
On Sunday at 7 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 the latest installment of Sondheim Unplugged, cabaret impresario Phil Geoffrey Bond's stripped-down concert series celebrating the songwriting legend. Since this is the first edition since Sondheim's passing, expect it to be extra emotional. Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd's original Johanna), Kate Loprest (Broadway's First Date, Wonderland) and other performers croon Sondheim tunes accompanied solely by piano. Tickets are $25. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
The Seth Concert Series: Ciara Renée
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 Ciara Renée, who played a princess in Frozen, a superhero on TV (Hawkgirl in two DC Comics series) and a baker in Waitress until the show abruptly shut down before Christmas. Expect songs and stories from her career as well as personal favorites. Tickets are $25.
PBS Great Performances: Reopening: The Broadway Revival
It's hard to believe that just six months ago, Broadway was completely closed due to the pandemic. This inspiring hour-long documentary follows some of Broadway's biggest blockbusters as they turned their lights back on after 18 months of darkness. Frank DiLella of NY1's On Stage hosts this behind-the-scenes look at how Wicked, Aladdin, Tina, The Phantom of the Opera and other musicals started singing again, with exclusive interviews with Adrienne Warren, Aaron Tveit, Sara Bareilles, Elizabeth Stanley, Alexandra Billings, Jawan M. Jackson, Andrew Rannells, Norm Lewis, Sharon D. Clarke, Lea Salonga, Kristin Chenoweth, Chita Rivera, Laura Benanti and other stage stars. Watch for free until Tuesday, February 15 on PBS' website. Closed captions are available.
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.
PBS: Stars on Stage From Westport Country Playhouse
In January, 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. New episodes debut on Friday evenings at 9 p.m. ET, and all the concerts are viewable for free until Sunday, February 20. Currently, you can watch hour-long sets by:
Baryshnikov Arts Center: Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith in gloria rehearsal (excerpt)
Last chance! 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 at 5 p.m. ET.
The Joyce Theater: Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic
Last chance! 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
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: Addressless
On Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 5 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
Last chance! On Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 and 5 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.
The Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest
Last chance! 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, though a few are streamed live at specific times.
New Ohio Theatre: Petunia's Big Day
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.
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.
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.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Brandon Victor Dixon performing in Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse, which streams on PBS beginning Friday evening. Photo by Carol Rosegg.