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 Friday, March 12 to Sunday, March 14, for free or at low cost.
The Studios of Key West: Smithtown
It's your last chance to watch Smithtown, a decade-old play by Drew Larimore about miscommunication that's taken on new resonance during the pandemic. Structured as a series of monologues, the drama explores how a text message about a tragedy kicks off an intense chain reaction that upends lives in a small college town. The impressive cast consists of Broadway regulars Michael Urie, Ann Harada, Colby Lewis and Constance Shulman, and Stephen Kitsakos directs. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Saturday.
Women's Day on Broadway 2021
On Friday at 1 p.m. ET, Disney on Broadway presents a virtual edition of its annual Women's Day on Broadway, featuring a series of brief panels by female-identifying movers and shakers. The two-hour event includes a talk with Broadway moms such as Laura Benanti and Karen Olivo, a session on increasing representation of BIPOC women on Broadway, and the introduction of the Lynn Nottage and the Lorraine Hansberry Initiative. Watch for free online.
New York City Center: Matthew Bourne's The Car Man
On Friday at 6 p.m. ET, New York City Center continues its New Adventures Festival of theatrical ballets by choreographer Matthew Bourne with The Car Man. Set in a small-town greasy spoon in the '60s Midwest, this tale of lust, adultery and murder fuses Georges Bizet's score for Carmen with plot points from the classic film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice. Christopher Trenfield, Zizi Strallen, Dominic North, Kate Lyons and Alan Vincent star in this cinematic spectacle, which was filmed live on stage at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2015. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, March 21.
Broadway Belts for PFF!
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, stage stars lift their voices in song to raise funds for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Produced and cohosted by Broadway funny lady Julie Halston, who lost her husband to the disease, this virtual benefit features performances by two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole, two-time Tony nominee Andrew Rannells, Tony nominee Max Von Essen, Frozen's Robert Creighton and legendary vocalist Darlene Love. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Fedora
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Beppe De Tomasi's lush mounting of Fedora, Giordano's rarely staged tragedy about a Russian princess who falls for the man who murdered her fiancé. Mirella Freni and Plácido Domingo star in this 1997 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Francesca da Rimini, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Game Night
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley host one of their popular Game Nights. Players include three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello and Broadway vets David Josefsberg, Abby Mueller and Michael James Scott. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Wild Project: Happy Days
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, East Village mainstay The Wild Project presents a digital production of Happy Days, Samuel Beckett's bittersweet tragicomedy about the toll life inevitably takes. Despite being a two-hander, the play is essentially a monologue delivered by Winnie, a woman who's literally trapped but still strives to remember the good times and greet each day with optimism. Although Beckett wrote this masterpiece 60 years ago, it takes on new resonance during these time-warped pandemic days. Nico Krell directs Tessa Albertson and Jake Austin Robertson. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre: [hieroglyph]
Starting Saturday, California's Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and San Francisco Playhouse present [hieroglyph], Erika Dickerson-Despenza's devastating drama about a family struggling to move forward after being torn apart by Hurricane Katrina. The play examines the impact of environmental racism, sexual violence and displacement on society's most vulnerable individuals, specifically a teenager grappling with PTSD after an assault at the Superdome. The production was filmed on stage at The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre during quarantine and was directed by the company's new artistic director, Margo Hall. Tickets start at $16.50 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, April 3.
The Wild Project: Happy Days
On Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, East Village mainstay The Wild Project presents a digital production of Happy Days, Samuel Beckett's bittersweet tragicomedy about the toll life inevitably takes. Despite being a two-hander, the play is essentially a monologue delivered by Winnie, a woman who's literally trapped but still strives to remember the good times and greet each day with optimism. Although Beckett wrote this masterpiece 60 years ago, it takes on new resonance during these time-warped pandemic days. Nico Krell directs Tessa Albertson and Jake Austin Robertson. Tickets are free but required to receive the viewing link; a $25 donation is suggested.
Keen Company: The Year of Magical Thinking
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's acclaimed Keen Company presents a reading of The Year of Magical Thinking starring the incomparable Kathleen Chalfant, one of NYC's busiest and most beloved stage performers. Adapted from Joan Didion's best-selling memoir, this one-woman play traces the author's journey of grief following the sudden death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, while caring for their ill daughter. It's an insightful heartbreaker with unexpected wit and loads of wisdom. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
New Federal Theatre: Hospice
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, in honor of Women's History Month, Woodie King Jr.'s half-century-old New Federal Theatre presents readings of important plays from its past by women dramatists. Tonight, enjoy Pearl Cleage's Hospice, originally produced by the company in 1983. The two-hander explores the reckoning between Jenny, who's 30 and pregnant, and her ailing mother Alice, who abandoned the family decades earlier to be a poet in Paris. Awoye Timpo directs Petronia Paley and Margaret Odette. Watch for free until Monday on New Federal Theatre's website though donations are encouraged.
Tonight at the London Coliseum: Sharon D Clarke
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, last fall, the London Coliseum hosted a series of live solo concerts showcasing West End stars. Now Broadway on Demand is sharing recordings of those musical evenings. Tonight, marvel at Sharon D Clarke, a three-time Olivier Award-winning performer who was poised to make her Broadway debut in a revival of Caroline, or Change when the pandemic hit. That production is tentatively rescheduled for this fall, but this intimate set offers a preview of Clarke's breathtaking talents. Tickets are $13.
The Metropolitan Opera: Andrea Chénier
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Andrea Chénier, Giordano's romantic tragedy set during the French Revolution about a poet who's hopelessly in love with a pampered aristocrat. Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Guleghina star as the ill-fated lovers in this 1996 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Fedora, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Metropolitan Playhouse: The Silent Waiter
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten works, presents a reading of The Silent Waiter, Alfred Kreymborg's two-hander about a groom-to-be and his best man parsing their past with the bride under the gaze of a watchful waiter. Laura Livingston directs Kyle Maxwell and Kevin Melendez. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Daylight saving time begins today, so remember to turn clocks forward one hour!
The Seth Concert Series: Emily Skinner
On Sunday at 3 and 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, musical 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 today's headliner is Emily Skinner. A Broadway favorite who earned a Tony nomination for her turn as a lovesick conjoined twin in the original production of Side Show, Skinner has played supporting parts in Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Cher Show, The Full Monty and other musicals. She's toured the world as a sought-after concert singer and she'll be showing off her powerful pipes on numbers from her career. Tickets are $25. Note: the 3 p.m. ET concert is performed live, the replay is at 8 p.m. ET.
The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Sir David McVicar's striking 2018 staging of Puccini's Tosca, starring Sonya Yoncheva as the title diva, Vittorio Grigolo as her artist lover and Željko Lucic as the man who stands in the way of their happiness. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Andrea Chénier, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Love Letter to Liza: A 75th Birthday Tribute
On Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, stage stars celebrate a legend in A Love Letter to Liza Minnelli: a 75th All-Star Birthday Tribute. Collaborators and friends scheduled to perform include her Cabaret costar Joel Grey; fellow Broadway Tony winner Ben Vereen; Lily Tomlin; Lea DeLaria; Michael Feinstein and Billy Stritch. There will also be fabulous stories and tributes by Andrea Martin, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Jason Alexander, John Cameron Mitchell, John Kander, Jonathan Groff, Michael York, Nathan Lane and Sandra Bernhard. Frank DiLella from NY1's On Stage hosts this once-in-a-lifetime party for the inimitable Liza with a Z! Tickets are $30 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Three Days of Rain
Manhattan Theatre Club continues its Curtain Call series spotlighting important plays from its past with a reading of Three Days of Rain starring the original Off-Broadway cast. Just as he did in 1997, Evan Yionoulis directs Patricia Clarkson, John Slattery and Bradley Whitford in Richard Greenberg's time-hopping, Obie-winning drama about a brother and sister and their childhood friend trying to uncover the truth about the complex relationship between their parents. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, March 21 and closed captioning is available.
The Shows Must Go On!: Letters Live
The Shows Must Go On! presents a special International Women's Day edition of Letters Live. Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson, Daisy Ridley, Rose McGowan, Adwoa Aboah and other illustrious ladies read remarkable correspondence by a diverse array of women. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube though donations to The WOW Foundation are encouraged.
New York City Ballet: Stravinsky Violin Concerto
New York City Ballet presents George Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto, the choreographer's 1972 neoclassical masterpiece set to Stravinsky's iconic composition. Sterling Hyltin, Ask la Cour, Sara Mearns and Taylor Stanley perform a pair of breathtaking pas de deux in this archival recording. Watch for free until Thursday, March 18 on NYCB's YouTube channel.
WP Theater: Final Boarding Call
Two renowned Off-Off Broadway companies, Ma-Yi Theater and WP Theater, present Final Boarding Call, a new drama by Stefani Kuo about the current antigovernment unrest in Hong Kong as seen through the eyes of seven disparate characters. Mei Ann Teo directs. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and the recording is viewable until Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
The Joyce Theater: Paris Opera Ballet: Swan Lake
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with an archival recording of Paris Opera Ballet's Swan Lake. Originally choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev in 1984, this psychologically complex take on Tchaikovsky's iconic ballet is one of the troupe's signature productions. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, March 24.
Smock Alley Theatre: Daddy Long Legs
On Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 3:30 and 8 p.m. ET, Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre presents Daddy Long Legs, a charming two-person sung-through musical about a wealthy benefactor who anonymously sends an orphan to college on the condition she write to him. Their passionate correspondence blossoms into an unexpected romance. Paul Gordon and John Caird based their show on Jean Webster's 1921 novel of the same name. This production was recorded live on stage at Smock Alley Theatre in 2018 and stars Eoin Cannon and Róisín Sullivan. Tickets are £18, approximately $25.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: The Magical New Musical
On Friday at 2 p.m.; Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET, it's your last chance to watch the new British musical The Sorcerer's Apprentice inspired by Goethe's poem of the same name about an aspiring wizard who makes all spells break loose. In Richard Hough and Ben Morales' take on the tale, the title character is actually the conjurer's rebellious daughter, but the pair mend their relationship to save a troubled town. Filmed at London's Southwark Playhouse earlier this month, the production was directed by Charlotte Westenra and stars Dawn Hope, David Thaxton and newcomer Mary Moore. Tickets are £18, approximately $25.
Irondale: if there is breakage you will find chips
Friday to Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Brooklyn's Irondale presents if there is breakage you will find chips, part of its monthlong On Women Festival. Makaela (Mak) Shealy-Sachot's two-hander examines how we impact each other in both large and small ways. Abigail Jean-Baptiste directs Sagan (Diane) Chen and Liz Neitge. Tickets are $15.
Theater Breaking Through Barriers: VPI4: TRANS(4)MISSIONS
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, one of the country's leading companies showcasing artists with disabilities, presents 10 plays in 10 days starting Friday evening. These shorts were developed in the troupe's Virtual Playmakers' Intensive and mark the one-year anniversary of the shutdown. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel. Live captioning and audio description are available.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield in The Car Man, which is streaming until March 21. Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou.