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 today, Thursday, July 9, from the comfort of your couch for free (or at very low cost).
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene: Zalmen Mlotek Living Room Concert
At 1 p.m. ET, Zalmen Mlotek—the artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, which produced Yiddish Fiddler—performs songs from the Yiddish theatre canon. Even if you don't know the language, the emotions come through loud and clear. Watch for free on Folksbiene's Facebook page.
National Theatre: The Deep Blue Sea
At 2 p.m. ET, London's National Theatre presents its 2016 production of The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Rattigan's devastating portrait of a woman unraveling in 1952 London. Olivier nominee Helen McCrory, known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, stars as Hester Collyer, whose passionate love affair ruins her marriage and her will to live. Watch for free until Thursday, July 16 at 2 p.m. ET on the National Theatre's YouTube channel.
Justin Vivian Bond: Auntie Glam's Happy Hour
At 5 p.m. ET, groundbreaking trans artist and activist Justin Vivian Bond shares their wit, wisdom and singular song stylings in their weekly "live-screamed" show. It's always an enlightening and insightful time. Watch for free on their website though tips are encouraged.
Black Dance Stories
At 6 p.m. ET, Charmaine Warren spotlights African-American artists on her brand-new online series Black Dance Stories. Today's guests are Jamar Roberts, a longtime Alvin Ailey dancer who became the company's first choreographer in residence last year with Ode, and Tiffany Rea-Fisher, the artistic director of Elisa Monte Dance, a troupe that frequently works with the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Expect timely conversations and maybe a few moves if they're so inclined. Watch for free on YouTube.
Black Theatre United: Activating Black Artists and Allies for Racial Justice
At 6:30 p.m. ET, Audra McDonald, one of the founders of the recently launched Black Theatre United, hosts the org's inaugural event: a live conversation with Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, about activating Black artists and allies for racial justice. Register in advance to receive the free viewing link.
Stratford Festival: Romeo and Juliet
At 7 p.m. ET, Ontario's venerable Stratford Festival continues its Shakespeare on Film series with the tragic tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, directed by 25-year fest veteran Scott Wentworth. Watch for free until Thursday, July 30 on the fest's YouTube channel.
Lincoln Center: The School of American Ballet Virtual Workshop Performance Celebration
At 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center presents highlights from the School of American Ballet's annual workshop performance series, complemented by commentary from New York City Ballet's artistic leaders and celebrated alums. The lineup includes Justin Peck's In Creases set to music by Philip Glass, Jerome Robbins' Circus Polka and the pas de deux from George Balanchine's Agon. Watch for free until Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m. ET on Lincoln Center's website.
Virtual Pillow: Limón Dance Company
At 7 p.m. ET, the Berkshires' lauded Jacob's Pillow kicks off its virtual summer season with Limón Dance Company. Recorded at the festival in 2018, this performance features three works created by the late modern master, Chaconne, The Moor's Pavane and Suite from a Choreographic Offering, as well as Colin Connor's Corvidae. Watch for free on Jacob's Pillow's website though donations are encouraged.
Theater in Quarantine: HYPOCHONDRIAC!¹
At 7 p.m. ET, downtown multihyphenate Joshua William Gelb, known for deconstructing complicated classics like The Jazz Singer, presents HYPOCHONDRIAC!¹, the first installment of a new adaptation of Molière's The Imaginary Invalid. The live event was interrupted last week by a falling set piece, but tonight the show will go on. There's an encore performance at 9 p.m. ET and a Q&A with the artist in between. Watch for free on Gelb's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
TRLive!: Troy Anthony
At 7 p.m. ET, 42nd Street's nonprofit complex Theatre Row continues its live concert series with Troy Anthony, a composer and performer specializing in "Black queer joy." The leader of The Public Theater's Public Works Community Choir, he has appeared in shows at the Delacorte Theatre and Joe's Pub, and been commissioned by The Civilians and The Shed. Watch him perform some of his original tunes for free on Theatre Row's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Juba
At 7 p.m. ET, the invaluable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Juba by current artistic director Robert Battle. Inspired by Rite of Spring, it's a thrilling work fusing ritual and folk traditions, set to original percussive music by John Mackey. Watch for free until Thursday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Alvin Ailey's YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Francesca da Rimini
At 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, a tale of tragic passion inspired by an episode in Dante's Inferno. Filmed for the company's Live in HD series in 2013, the production stars Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcello Giordani and Mark Delavan. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Così fan tutte, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Dixon Place: HOT! Festival: Checking In
At 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown staple Dixon Place brings its 29th annual queer culture fest online with four weeks of theatre, dance, music, readings and comedy. Tonight you can stream Checking In, Aine Griffiths' dark comedy about a hotel for dead souls. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available to purchase from the theatre.
Rosie Perez on Stars in the House
At 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome Rosie Perez to Stars in the House. The Oscar-nominated stage and screen star will talk about her colorful career, including appearing with Rudetsky in The Ritz on Broadway, as well as her work as an activist. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Walt and Roy: A Magical New Musical
At 8 p.m. ET, the four-day Allen & Gray Musical Festival continues with a live online reading of Walt and Roy chronicling the early success of the Disney brothers, from the founding of their namesake company in Los Angeles in 1923 through the release of their first feature-length animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 14 years later. Jonah Platt (Ben's brother!) from Broadway's Wicked stars as Roy opposite Payson Lewis as Walt. Tickets are available to purchase from the theatre but TDF members get a discount. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.
Joe's Pub: First Ladies of Disco Holiday Show
At 8 p.m. ET, it's Christmas in July as Joe's Pub presents a trio of divas crooning holiday tunes. Martha Wash ("It's Raining Men"), Linda Clifford ("Runaway Love") and Norma Jean Wright from Chic will make a joyful noise and also sing some of their timeless hits. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.
Muny Magic in Your Home: Our Leading Men
At 9:15 p.m. ET, after 102 years, the shows won't go on at The Muny this summer. Thankfully, the beloved St. Louis institution is sharing some past performances from its intimate cabaret series. Tonight, enjoy a concert by four of the theatre's marvelous male headliners of recent years, as Ben Davis, Mykal Kilgore, Davis Gaines and Jay Armstrong Johnson pay tribute to iconic Muny men of the past. Watch for free on the Muny's YouTube channel.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night's Dream
For the first time since its founding in 1935, the acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival has gone online with Joseph Haj's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which had its run cut short earlier this year due to the pandemic. Recorded in the theatre, the video is available through Wednesday, July 22; tickets are $15.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: The Copper Children
Another offering from the beloved Oregon Shakes: Karen Zacarías' world-premiere play The Copper Children, inspired by the true history of the Orphan Train movement during which hundreds of thousands of immigrant children in Eastern cities were sent to foster homes in the West. This production also had its run cut short by the pandemic, but a recording is available through Wednesday, July 15. Tickets are $15.
Scott Siegel's Great American Songbook Concert: Volume 6
Scott Siegel has been producing starry cabaret concerts at Town Hall and other storied venues for years. Now he brings his talent for assembling crackerjack crooners to YouTube. Today's lineup includes Tony winner Debbie Gravitte, two-time Tony nominee Christine Andreas, Danny Gardner (Dames at Sea) and Allison Semmes (Motown: The Musical). Watch for free on YouTube.
English National Ballet: Cinderella in-the-round
The English National Ballet wraps up its series of dance recordings with its biggest production ever: Christopher Wheeldon's lavish 2019 mounting of Cinderella performed in-the-round to Prokofiev's glorious score. The Tony-winning choreographer transformed London's Royal Albert Hall for the fairy tale with help from scenic designer Julian Crouch, and a cast of more than 130 dancers performs alongside Basil Twist's inventive puppets. A magical experience for ballet lovers of all ages. Watch for free anytime until Friday at 2 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Opera: Roméo et Juliette
Ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. ET. These productions have been specially selected for families, and Zoom education sessions leading up to the screening teach school-age kids about opera. This week's offering is Roméo et Juliette, Charles Gounod's adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy about ill-fated teenage lovers. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher staged this production in 2017, updating the action to decadent 18th-century Verona, and Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau play the star-crossed couple. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents the world premiere of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines docudrama based on interviews with New York City healthcare workers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The married playwrights are masters of the form: their previous plays include The Exonerated, about wrongly convicted inmates on Death Row, and Coal Country, about the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia. The latter had its run cut short at The Public Theater due to the pandemic, and Blank and Jensen almost immediately turned their attention to our city's first responders to craft this one-act for digital consumption. Under Blank's direction, an impressive cast, including Tony winner Santino Fontana, Tony nominee Alison Pill, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint, give voice to these harrowing real-life stories. Watch for free until Tuesday, August 4 on The Public's YouTube channel.
The Old Vic: Mood Music
London's Old Vic shares Mood Music, Joe Penhall's examination of the toxic pop industry, with a veteran producer (Ben Chaplin), a young songwriter (Seána Kerslake) and their lawyers and psychotherapists fighting over who owns a hit tune. Recorded at the venue in 2018, the production was helmed by Roger Michell, who directed the smash movie Notting Hill. Watch for free until Tuesday, July 14 at 2 p.m. ET on the Old Vic's YouTube channel.
The Mint Theater's Summer Stock Streaming Festival
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been resurrecting forgotten plays since 1992, presents a virtual festival featuring professional recordings of three full-length productions from its archives: George Kelly's domestic dramedy The Fatal Weakness, Harold Chapin's comedy of mores The New Morality and Hazel Ellis's suspenseful comedy Women Without Men. Email email@example.com to receive the password to watch the shows for free on The Mint's website. The videos will remain up through Sunday, July 19. Donations are encouraged.
Short North Stage: John & Jen
Columbus, Ohio's Short North Stage presents Jon & Jen, an early Andrew Lippa musical about Jen's relationship with the two Johns in her life: her beloved late brother, a soldier killed in the Vietnam War in the '60s, and her son, who's having trouble growing up in the '80s. The production was filmed remotely and is available to stream until Sunday, July 12. Tickets are $15.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Helen McCrory in The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre. Photo courtesy of the theatre.