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 performers from Broadway and beyond are sharing their talents online. Below are performances you can watch this weekend, Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10 for free (or at very low cost), including some star-studded Mother's Day celebrations.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore
See a starry performance of Nora and Delia Ephron's long-running Off-Broadway smash Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a collection of witty, moving and cathartic stories inspired by real-life women. In 2017, the 92nd Street Y hosted a one-night only reading of the play featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Carol Kane, Natasha Lyonne and Lucy DeVito, and the recording is available to watch for three weeks as a fundraiser for the culture hub. Tickets are $10.
Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo
London's National Theatre shares its acclaimed 2018 production of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, starring Tony winners Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the Roman general and the Egyptian queen torn between love and war. Simon Godwin directs this politically charged epic, which you can watch for free through Thursday, May 14 at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's By Jeeves
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On! series continues with a lesser-known title, By Jeeves, based on P.G. Wodehouse's cherished stories about a wealthy innocent and his ridiculously capable valet. A collaboration with British playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the show bombed in 1975 and the pair rewrote it two decades later, which led to runs in London and, briefly, on Broadway in 2001. That production was recorded for Canadian television, and you can catch it for free through Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
The King and I with Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe
BroadwayHD is streaming Lincoln Center Theater's Tony-winning revival of The King and I at no cost this weekend. A tuneful tale of a 19th-century culture clash that blossoms into understanding and affection, the production stars Ken Watanabe as the obstinate King of Siam opposite Kelli O'Hara's Tony-winning turn as Anna, the British schoolteacher who changes his life. Watch for free on BroadwayHD's site.
Tiny Beautiful Things with Nia Vardalos
Earlier this week, Stars in the House hosted a live reading of Tiny Beautiful Things, Nia Vardalos' adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's inspirational advice book, and the recording stays up through the weekend. Just as she did in The Public Theater's hit productions (it was so popular, there were two), Vardalos stars as the empathetic Sugar, who helps strangers by divulging her own troubles. It's an incredibly moving and spiritually uplifting play—make sure you have tissues handy! Watch for free on YouTube.
Macbeth at the Stratford Festival
Ontario's venerable Stratford Festival continues its Shakespeare on Film series with Macbeth featuring Canadian stage stars Ian Lake and Krystin Pellerin as the bloodthirsty aspirational couple. Watch for free on the Stratford Festival's YouTube channel.
New York City Ballet: Concerto DSCH
NYCB continues its online spring season with Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH, set to Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2. The ballet was filmed in 2018 and features Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, Ashley Bouder, Gonzalo Garcia and Joaquin De Luz. Watch for free on NYCB's YouTube channel
Cry by Alvin Ailey
The invaluable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a 1972 recording of Cry, the namesake choreographer's iconic 16-minute solo created for his muse, Judith Jamison. Ailey gifted this dance to his mother for her birthday, so its resurrection Mother's Day weekend is impeccably timed. Watch for free on the troupe's website.
Acquanetta at the Fisher Center
Visionary director Daniel Fish unveiled his dark take on Oklahoma! at the Fisher Center at Bard College years before the production made its way to Broadway. Now you can watch him work his magic on a new show, Acquanetta, a multimedia tribute to a kitschy '40s horror goddess that fuses cinema, opera and theatre elements. The production was recorded at the Fisher Center last summer, and you can watch for free on the culture spot's website.
The Two Noble Kinsmen at Shakespeare's Globe
London's Shakespeare's Globe shares a recording of its 2018 mounting of The Two Noble Kinsmen, a tragicomic love triangle written by the Bard in collaboration with John Fletcher. Watch for free anytime through Saturday, May 17 on the theatre's YouTube channel.
The Wooster Group
Pioneering avant-garde theatre troupe The Wooster Group is posting recordings of some of its seminal works online, including Rumstick Road, Spalding Gray's response to his mother's suicide; To You, the Birdie!, the company's riff on Racine's Phèdre; and House/Lights, a mash-up of Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights and the 1964 B-movie Olga's House of Shame. If you've never seen a show by this influential and iconoclastic company, prepare for nudity, obscurity, multimedia experimentation and Willem Dafoe, who was in many early productions. Watch for free on the Wooster Group's website.
Mabou Mines: Dead End Kids: A Story of Nuclear Power
More groundbreaking theatre! Founded 50 years ago, venerable experimental troupe Mabou Mines is sharing recordings of some of its landmark performances online. Its latest offering is playwright-director JoAnne Akalaitis' Dead End Kids, which fuses text by Goethe, Jorge Luis Borges and Marie Curie with '80s reports on nuclear weapons. Music is by David Byrne and Philip Glass, one of the company's cofounders. Watch for free on Mabou Mines' Vimeo channel.
The Homebound Project
The Homebound Project has released its first edition of playlets, and the lineup is stellar. Enjoy new shorts by big-name dramatists including Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok, Sarah Ruhl, Qui Nguyen and Lucy Thurber, featuring Broadway vets such as Jessica Hecht, Marin Ireland, Alison Pill and Thomas Sadoski. The brainchild of playwright Catya McMullen and director Jenna Worsham, this initiative is raising money to support food insecure kids during the pandemic. Tickets start at $10.
Saturday, May 9
Stars in the House Presents Blithe Spirit
On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House presents a reading of Noël Coward's effervescent comedy Blithe Spirit, and the cast is jaw-dropping: Memphis Tony nominee Montego Glover, Hamilton's Renée Elise Goldsberry, William Jackson Harper, Kiss Me, Kate Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell and the incomparable Leslie Uggams as the marvelous medium Madame Arcati. Watch for free on YouTube.
Martha Graham Dance Company: Chronicle
On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Martha Graham Dance Company presents Chronicle, a searing, all-female piece created by the choreographer after she refused the Nazis' invitation to dance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. In addition to archival clips of the work's original cast, there will be a recording of the entire dance performed by her namesake troupe at Jacob's Pillow last August. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.
Sarah Brightman: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
On Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, the original Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, Sarah Brightman, shares a recording of her 1997 concert featuring classical staples alongside musical theatre standards. The soprano is accompanied by the English National Orchestra as she sings works by Puccini, Gershwin, Bernstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Special guests include Andrea Bocelli and her ex-husband, Lloyd Webber, who accompanies her on piano. Watch for free anytime through Tuesday at 3 p.m. on YouTube.
Broadway Dreams Concert
On Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, arts education program Broadway Dreams hosts a benefit concert featuring Tituss Burgess, Jeremy Jordan, Ryann Redmond and other Rialto regulars. Watch for free on the nonprofit's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
Storm Large at Feinstein's/54 Below
On Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Feinstein's/54 Below shares a recording of Storm Large's solo concert, a raucous, no-holds-barred account of her rock 'n' roll journey, from competing on CBS’s Rock Star: Supernova to fronting punk bands to her genre-defying solo career, which includes cabaret concerts with an indie edge. Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
The Opera House at the Met
On Saturday on 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera mixes things up tonight. Instead of a full-length stage production, it's screening The Opera House, a three-year-old documentary about the creation and opening of the new Met at Lincoln Center in 1966. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can also stream yesterday's opera, La Bohème starring Renata Scotto and Luciano Pavarotti, until 6:30 p.m. today.
ABCirque at The Muse
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, The Muse in Brooklyn hosts an online revue featuring some of NYC's best variety performers. Amazing mentalist and magician Eric Walton hosts and the lineup includes Cardone the Magician, aerialist and contortionist Elena Sanders, drag diva Nina West, pole performer Ivory Fox and more. Watch for free on The Muse's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Chita Rivera on Stars in the House
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Broadway legend Chita Rivera reunites with some of her costars from the 1984 cult favorite The Rink on Stars in the House, including Rob Marshall and Scott Ellis (they were performers before they became award-winning directors!) and Tony winner Jason Alexander. (Sadly, no Liza. Can't have everything!) Hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, this twice daily show benefits The Actors' Fund. You can watch for free on YouTube.
Sunday, May 10
Broadway Does Mother's Day
On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, treat mom (or yourself!) to an all-star virtual variety show. The A-list lineup includes Annaleigh Ashford, Victor Garber, Jennifer Holliday, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, Kate Baldwin, Laura Benanti, Betty Buckley, Carolee Carmello, Victoria Clark, Chuck Cooper, Harvey Fierstein, James Monroe Iglehart, Judy Kaye, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Vanessa Williams and LaChanze (some joined by their progeny), plus sketches from the Broadway casts of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Jagged Little Pill, Company, Beetlejuice, Tina, Mean Girls, Six, Sing Street and more. Watch for free on the event's website though donations to Broadway Cares' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund are encouraged.
A Very Broadway Mother's Day at Feinstein's/54 Below
On Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Feinstein's/54 Below celebrates mamas with A Very Broadway Mother's Day concert, featuring stage moms singing alongside their kids. An annual Feinstein's/54 Below tradition since 2015, this event will mix archival footage from that very first Mother's Day concert with new remotely recorded performances by Jessica Hendy (both productions of Cats on Broadway) with her son Beckett Hendy, legendary comedian and singer Marilyn Michaels with her son Mark Wilk, Janet Metz (Fiddler on the Roof, On the Town) with her daughter Phoebe Unger, and lots of other family pairings. Watch for free on the club's YouTube channel.
The Disney Family Sing-Along Volume II
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, ABC's Disney Family Sing-Along special was a smash last month, so it makes sense the network is mounting a second installment. Watch a cavalcade of stars croon Disney tunes from their homes alongside their families, including Broadway powerhouses Idina Menzel, Ben Platt, Anika Noni Rose, Josh Gad, Heather Headley, Adam Jacobs and Caissie Levy, plus screen stars Keke Palmer, Seth Rogen, Rebel Wilson and many more. Watch for free on ABC. If you don't have a TV, you can watch highlights on YouTube after-the-fact.
Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci at the Met
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a double bill of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. The production was filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2015, and is available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's offering, the documentary The Opera House about the building of the new Met, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Andrea Martin Guest Hosts Stars in the House
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, talented moms take over Stars in the House! Guest host Andrea Martin welcomes fellow Broadway mamas (and divas) Sutton Foster, LaChanze and Charlotte d'Amboise. We can't wait to hear what these ladies talk—and sing!—about. This twice daily show benefits The Actors' Fund, and you can watch for free on YouTube.
Top image: Broadway stars LaChanze and Celia Rose Gooding, who happens to be her daughter. Photo by Tim Yates.