Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Thanksgiving weekend, from Thursday, November 26 to Sunday, November 29, for free or at low cost.
Broadway Musicals at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
On Thursday at 9 a.m. ET, kick off your holiday with performances by the casts of Hamilton, Ain't Too Proud, Mean Girls and Jagged Little Pill as NBC broadcasts Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual celebration won't look the same this year: the parade is only going one block and all of the numbers were recorded earlier this month. Still, after eight months of darkness, it will be thrilling to see Broadway back in action! For even more Broadway, click over to the CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration featuring numbers from the casts of Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away. Watch both specials on TV for free.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: George Abud
On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with George Abud, who was a quiet charmer in The Band's Visit and earned a Drama Desk nomination for his adorkable performance as Nerd Face in Emojiland The Musical. Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Josh Groban: An Intimate Concert to Celebrate Harmony
On Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, top off your Thanksgiving feast with the rich voice of international recording sensation Josh Groban. The Tony-nominated Great Comet star is performing a live online concert in honor of his new album Harmony. Expect songs from that release plus perennial favorites. Tickets start at $25 and a recording will be available until Sunday.
The Metropolitan Opera: Elektra
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Elektra, Strauss' adaptation of the ancient Greek myth featuring Nina Stemme in the title role. Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier and Eric Owens costar in this 2016 mounting of the tragedy. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Hamlet, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Thanksgiving Gathering on Stars in the House
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, spend Thanksgiving night with Stars in the House! Hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley will welcome some of their Broadway pals for turkey and tea (gossip, that is)! Enjoy the no-calorie dish for free on YouTube.
The Shows Must Go On!: An American in Paris
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, The Shows Must Go On! presents An American in Paris, director-choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's lovely stage adaptation of the adored Gene Kelly movie, about an American WWII vet and aspiring artist wooing a gamine dancer in the City of Lights. Filmed in London, the production stars ballet greats Robbie Fairchild and Leanne Cope reprising their Tony-nominated Broadway performances. The score includes the Gershwin classics "'S Wonderful," "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "But Not for Me," but the breathtaking dance sequences are the show's raison d'être. Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
National Theatre: Death of England: Delroy
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, earlier this month, London's lauded National Theatre presented the first live show on its stage since the pandemic: Clint Dyer and Roy Williams's Death of England: Delroy. The searing one-man play centers on Delroy, a working-class British Black man (Michael Balogun) grappling with overt and unconscious racism on the day his child is born. Because of new lockdown measures, the production's opening performance turned out to be its closing night. Thankfully a recording was made and the theatre is streaming it at no cost for 24 hours, with a promise to revive the show in person next spring. Watch for free until Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: George Abud
On Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with George Abud, who was a quiet charmer in The Band's Visit and earned a Drama Desk nomination for his adorkable performance as Nerd Face in Emojiland The Musical. Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor starring Natalie Dessay as the tragic title character, who's driven mad because she cannot marry the man she loves. Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier and Kwangchul Youn costar in this 2011 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Elektra, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Broadway Stars and Their Pets
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, prepare for canine and cat cuteness on Stars in the House as hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome Broadway stars and their furry, four-legged family members. Sierra Boggess, Lilli Cooper, Andy Karl, Jose Llana, Jesse Mueller, Orfeh, Kate Rockwell, Doug Sills and Will Swenson will drop by with their pets. You know what they say: never work with animals... they're sure to steal the spotlight! Watch for free on YouTube though donations to the Humane Society of New York are encouraged.
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Tony nominee Rob McClure is the mutinous Long John Silver and his real-life wife, Broadway's Maggie Lakis, plays young Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, a new live audio play from Resounding. This hour-long, family-friendly adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate adventure is a feast for your ears as an immersive soundscape conjures the high seas, cannon blasts and sword fights. Victoria Huston-Elem, Rolonda Watts, Kurt Uy, Christian Elán Ortiz and Stuart Williams round out the cast. Tickets are $20 but TDF members get a discount.
PBS' Great Performances: Lea Salonga in Concert
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS' Great Performances presents Lea Salonga in concert at the Sydney Opera House. Backed by a lavish orchestra, the Tony winner belts out numbers from her three-decade career, including "On My Own" from Les Misérables, "Why, God, Why?" from Miss Saigon and "A Whole New World" from Disney's animated movie Aladdin. Watch for free until Friday, December 25 on PBS' website.
POSTPONED Metropolitan Opera Stars Live in Concert: Sonya Yoncheva
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera continues its series of live recitals with Sonya Yoncheva performing from the stunning Baroque library of the Schussenried Cloister in Germany. The powerhouse soprano will sing popular arias from operas such as Verdi's Aida, Bizet's Carmen and Puccini's La Bohème, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau on piano. Tickets are $20 and a recording is viewable until Friday, December 11.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: George Abud
On Saturday at 2:30 and 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with George Abud, who was a quiet charmer in The Band's Visit and earned a Drama Desk nomination for his adorkable performance as Nerd Face in Emojiland The Musical. Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
The Metropolitan Opera: Die Walküre
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Die Walküre, the second opera in Wagner's "Ring" cycle, with Brünnhilde defying her god father Wotan. Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley and Günther Groissböck star in this 2019 mounting of Robert Lepage's high-tech staging. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Brickman for Broadway Christmas Live
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Grammy-nominated pianist and songwriter Jim Brickman enlists some of his Broadway BFFs for Brickman for Broadway Christmas, his new holiday album and live concert. Kelli O'Hara, Megan Hilty, Santino Fontana, Adrienne Warren, Sierra Boggess and Norm Lewis are just some of the singers who croon Christmas classics on the CD, and they'll also join Brickman for this one-night-only live concert. Singing along is encouraged and inevitable. Tickets start at $20 and proceeds go to The Actors Fund.
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Tony nominee Rob McClure is the mutinous Long John Silver and his real-life wife, Broadway's Maggie Lakis, plays young Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, a new live audio play from Resounding. This hour-long, family-friendly adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate adventure is a feast for your ears as an immersive soundscape conjures the high seas, cannon blasts and sword fights. Victoria Huston-Elem, Rolonda Watts, Kurt Uy, Christian Elán Ortiz and Stuart Williams round out the cast. Tickets are $20 but TDF members get a discount.
Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Jefferson Mays is a master at playing multiple characters in the same show. He won a Tony Award for doing just that in I Am My Own Wife (40 different roles!), and earned a nomination for portraying eight members of the ill-fated D'Ysquith family in A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. He's at it again in this solo adaptation of A Christmas Carol in which he plays everyone from Scrooge to Tiny Tim. Originally mounted at LA's Geffen Playhouse in 2018, the production was reimagined for digital consumption by director Michael Arden (Once on This Island) and costume and set designer Dane Laffrey, who restaged and recorded it during quarantine at the stunning United Palace theatre in Washington Heights. The result is a fresh and intimate take on Dickens' timeless tale featuring Mays in a tour-de-force performance—make that performances. Tickets are $50 and a portion of the proceeds goes to TDF! The recording is viewable until Sunday, January 3.
Lockdown Theatre: For One Knight Only
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, get ready to bow down when UK's Lockdown Theatre brings together legendary actors Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench for a live chat about, well, whatever they want! Sir Kenneth Branagh serves as host, but we have a feeling it's going to be a fabulous free-for-all. Tickets are £45, approximately $60, and proceeds go to UK arts workers.
The Metropolitan Opera: Simon Boccanegra
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, featuring Plácido Domingo as a man in love with the daughter (Kiri Te Kanawa) of his sworn enemy, the doge of Genoa (Vladimir Chernov). Giancarlo Del Monaco staged this 1995 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Die Walküre, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Seth Concert Series: Patti Murin and Colin Donnell
On Sunday at 8 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, music 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, and tonight's headliners are one of Broadway's most adorable couples, Patti Murin and Colin Donnell. The two met in 2013 while costarring in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic comedy Love's Labour's Lost at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. Since then she's gone on to star as Princess Anna in Frozen, while Donnell's been busy alternating between the small screen (Chicago Med, Arrow) and the stage. This summer they premiered their favorite collaboration, daughter Cecily. We're hoping she makes a cameo! Tickets are $25.
Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist
A tuneful, modern-day take on the old Christmas chestnut, this new holiday musical 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. Broadway favorites Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill), Patrick Page (Hadestown), Carolee Carmello (Parade) and Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge!) costar. Tickets start at $25 and the recording is available until Thursday, December 31.
San Francisco Ballet: Nutcracker Online
From Friday at 3 p.m. ET on, experience this holiday staple on stage and backstage with this interactive program from San Francisco Ballet. In addition to streaming a high-definition 2008 recording of choreographer Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker, audiences can take a virtual tour of the troupe's glorious opera house home and enjoy digital activities like taking seasonal selfies and learning dance steps. A great way to introduce youngsters to Tchaikovsky's enchanting ballet. Tickets are $50 and the recording is available until Thursday, December 31.
92nd Street Y: Lyrics & Lyricists: Rodgers, Rodgers, & Guettel: Statues and Stories
The 92nd Street Y's popular Lyrics & Lyricists concert series goes virtual with a program dedicated to three generations of talented Broadway creators: composer Richard Rodgers, renowned for his shows with Oscar Hammerstein (The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music). His daughter, composer Mary Rodgers, best known for the musical fairy tale Once Upon a Mattress. And her son, Adam Guettel, who penned the songs for A Light in the Piazza. The performers celebrating their oeuvre include Broadway regulars Allison Blackwell, Nikki Renée Daniels, Telly Leung, Julia Murney, Zachary Noah Piser, Pearl Sun and Mariand Torres. Tickets are $15 and the recording remains available until Wednesday, December 23.
The Shows Must Go On!: Shakespeare's Sonnets
Since theatres shut down, the UK-based The Shows Must Go On! has been screening musicals on weekends. But for the month of November, they added weekly streams of starry Shakespearean productions. The series wraps up with passionate readings of Shakespeare's sonnets—all 154 of them—by Fiona Shaw, Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Simon Callow, Simon Russell Beale, Dominic West, Harriet Walter, Ruth Negga, Stephen Fry and other talented Bard interpreters. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube.
Atlantic for Kids: She Persisted: The Musical
Earlier this year, Atlantic for Kids was performing She Persisted: The Musical when the shutdown hit. Now the theatre has reunited the cast for a virtual mounting of this empowering show based on Chelsea Clinton's picture book celebrating inspirational women. The hour-long tuner centers on a young student, who goes on a class trip to a Women's History Museum and magically meets abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, astronaut Sally Ride and other real-life figures. An excellent choice for families raising feminists of any gender. Tickets start at $5 and closed captioning is available. The recording is available until Thursday, January 21, 2021.
Joe's Pub: The Liz Swados Project
To celebrate the release of the new album The Liz Swados Project, featuring songs by the late Runaways Tony nominee, Joe's Pub presents a virtual concert with performances by Broadway vets Sophia Anne Caruso, Damon Daunno, Amber Gray, Stephanie Hsu, Grace McLean and Ali Stroker. There will also be archival footage of the multitalented Swados herself: a performer, composer, lyricist, director and teacher. Watch for free until Tuesday, December 8 on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.
The Fire This Time Festival Alumni Spotlight: Roger Q. Mason
The Fire This Time Festival, which showcases emerging Black dramatists, kicks off its alumni spotlight series with a look at the work of Roger Q. Mason. Wayne Brady, Larry Owens, Gillian Williams, Pierre Jean Gonzalez, Ianne Fields Stewart, Adam Hyndman and the playwright himself will perform a selection of his pieces. Watch for free until Sunday on the Fire This Time Festival's YouTube channel though a $10 donation is suggested.
Southwark Playhouse: The Last Five Years
From Friday at 7 p.m. ET on, Jason Robert Brown's musical dissection of a romance, The Last Five Years, has proven to be a pandemic favorite with multiple productions in the UK and stateside. It makes sense since the two-hander is about disconnection, as the man tells his side of their love story chronologically while the woman recalls their relationship in reverse. This mounting was filmed live on stage earlier this fall at London's Southwark Playhouse with a pair of actor-pianists, Oli Higginson and Molly Lynch, as the star-crossed couple. Tickets are $18 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol at LA's Geffen Playhouse in 2018. Photo by Chris Whitaker.