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 19 to Sunday, March 21, for free or at low cost.
On Friday at 3 p.m. ET, screenwriter Dan Rosen presents a reading of his new comedy Wil, which imagines a young Shakespeare mounting a summer stock production of Romeo and Juliet in 1590, which unexpectedly turns into a murder mystery. Filled with characters and plotlines from multiple Shakespeare plays, the performance stars Oliver Dench (Judi's nephew) as the Bard, Eric McCormack from Will & Grace as his agent Bernie Shylock, Tony nominee Will Swenson as Richard, Ann Harada as Lady Anne and Canadian stage star Geraint Wyn Davies as Falstaff. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Tuesday, March 23.
Virtual Halston: Paul Rudnick and Peter Bartlett
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Broadway funny lady Julie Halston welcomes two of the most hilarious men in theatre to her chatfest: Obie-winning playwright Paul Rudnick and invaluable character actor Peter Bartlett, who's appeared in many of Rudnick's comedies, including The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Jeffrey and Rude Entertainment. We are laughing just thinking about these three talking. Watch for free on YouTube.
New York City Center: Matthew Bourne's Cinderella
On Friday at 6 p.m. ET, New York City Center continues its New Adventures Festival of Matthew Bourne ballets with Cinderella. The visionary choreographer brings his signature theatrical flair to the old fairy tale, which is reimagined as a World War II romance, with a young woman falling for a dashing young RAF pilot right before they're parted by the Blitz. This production was filmed live at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre during Cinderella's 2017-18 tour, and the dancing and camerawork are absolutely dazzling. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, March 28.
The Metropolitan Opera: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini's comic masterpiece about Figaro, a resourceful barber who helps a couple out of a hairy situation. Tony winner Bartlett Sher directed this 2007 mounting, which stars Peter Mattei as the title character and Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez as the young lovers. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Akhnaten, until 6:30 p.m. today.
Stars in the House: West Wing Reunion
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, it's a West Wing reunion on Stars in the House! Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome cast members from the long-running TV series, including Tony nominees Martin Sheen, Allison Janney and Mary McCormack, and Broadway vets Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff and Jimmy Smits. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Donmar Warehouse: Assembly
On Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, London's lauded Donmar Warehouse presents Assembly, a digital performance exploring how we rebuild post-pandemic. Mixing live actors with animation and sound, the piece was written by Nina Segal, directed by Joseph Hancock and features members of the Donmar Local Company, which is made up of folks who live in the theatre's vicinity. Watch for free on Donmar Warehouse's YouTube channel.
New Federal Theatre: Ma Rose
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 the past by women dramatists. Tonight, enjoy Cassandra Medley's 1986 drama Ma Rose, about an ailing matriarch sparring with women from other generations. Will her descendants learn from her mistakes? Eileen Morris directs Denise Burse, Elain Graham, Nambi E. Kelley, Lizan Mitchell and Kim Sullivan. Watch for free until Monday on New Federal Theatre's website though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Eugene Onegin
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tchaikovsky's romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky as the title character, the object of affection for Renée Fleming's Tatiana. Ramón Vargas costars in this 2007 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Metropolitan Playhouse: Winter's Night
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten works, presents a reading of Winter's Night, Neith Boyce's 1916 drama about a newly widowed woman who envisions a freer future. But her brother-in-law has other ideas. Rachael Langton directs Erinn Holmes, Jammie Patton and Eric Emil Oleson in this century-old feminist play. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Stars in the House: Thirtysomething Reunion
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, it's a Thirtysomething reunion on Stars in the House! Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome cast members from the long-running TV series, including Broadway alums Ken Olin, Melanie Mayron, Timothy Busfield and Polly Draper. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
TDF: Little B's Big Idea
On Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, TDF premieres the one-act family musical Little B's Big Idea, created specifically for children on the autism spectrum. Join Little B and her pals as they explore some of the challenges we're navigating during the pandemic, like missing friends, remote learning and big feelings. Little B aims to ease these experiences through interactive songs, art and her greatest idea yet. Register to receive the free Zoom link.
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene: The Third Seder, a Yiddish Passover celebration
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, kick off Passover early with National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's The Third Seder, a longtime tradition that transforms the religious holiday into a celebration of Yiddish culture. This song-filled event features Yiddish theatre performers from around the globe, including Tony nominee Eleanor Reissa, Folkbiene's artistic director Zalmen Mlotek and Yiddish Fiddler star Steven Skybell. Register to receive the free viewing link.
The Seth Concert Series: Jackie Hoffman
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 Jackie Hoffman. A perennial scene-stealer who earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in Feud, Hoffman is uproarious and irreverent. Expect songs from her career, including parts in Hairspray, The Addams Family and Xanadu on Broadway, along with outrageous numbers from her one-of-a-kind cabaret shows like Jackie's Valentine's Day Massacre and The Kvetching Continues. Tickets are $25. Note: the 3 p.m. ET concert is performed live, 8 p.m. ET is the replay.
NewYorkRep: CivilWrights Part II: Shot: Caught a Soul
On Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, New York Rep presents its second installment of CivilWrights, evenings of anti-racist plays by BIPOC dramatists. Tonight, catch Gloria J. Browne-Marshall's one-act Shot: Caught a Soul, which explores the epidemic of cops killing unarmed Black people. The performance will be followed by a Town Hall-style talkback. Register to receive the free viewing link.
Eryc Taylor Dance: Uncharted Territory: Dancers in Isolation
On Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, Eryc Taylor Dance presents Uncharted Territory: Dancers in Isolation, a digital performance featuring new work created via Zoom over eight months. The five-part piece was conceived by Taylor and features Nicole Baker, Chris Bell, Taylor Ennen, AJ Guevara and Alex Tenreiro-Theis. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish.
The Metropolitan Opera: Agrippina
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Agrippina, Handel's satirical take on the games the people surrounding Roman emperor Claudius play, including his wife, portrayed by Joyce DiDonato. Sir David McVicar's mounting was recorded in early 2020 and costars Brenda Rae, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock and Matthew Rose. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Eugene Onegin, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Lincoln Center Theater: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Lincoln Center Theater shares a never-before-seen treat: a recording of Christopher Durang's hilarious Anton Chekhov parody Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The comedy stars Kristine Nielsen, David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver as three squabbling siblings and Billy Magnussen as the latter's young squeeze. The Nicholas Martin-directed production was filmed live on stage at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in 2012 before transferring to Broadway the next year. The footage was originally intended to be used for promotional clips, but Lincoln Center Theater is releasing the full recording as the first offering in its Private Reels: From the LCT Archives series. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 11.
Center Theatre Group: Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes
On Friday at 11 p.m.; Saturday at 8 and 11 p.m.; and Sunday at 4 and 8 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group presents Matthew Bourne's Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of the legendary 1948 movie The Red Shoes, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. An eye-popping examination of obsession, possession and the hard choices artists make in their pursuit of perfection, the production stars Ashley Shaw as a rising ballerina torn between Adam Cooper's imperious impresario and Dominic North's intense composer. The dance production was filmed on stage at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. Tickets are $10.
Irish Repertory Theatre: The Aran Islands
On Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NYC's venerable Irish Rep presents The Aran Islands, director Joe O'Byrne's one-man adaptation of John Millington Synge's 1907 novel of the same name. Brendan Conroy stars as Synge, whose time in the grey, mystical landscape of the remote isles inspired many of his writings, including Riders to the Sea. This digital production was filmed primarily at Dublin's New Theatre, with additional footage from (where else?) the Aran Islands. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though a $25 donation is suggested.
The Public Theater: Romeo y Julieta
Although The Public Theater just announced the return of Shakespeare in the Park this summer, if you can't wait until July, consider tuning in to this bilingual audio adaptation of the Bard's famous romantic tragedy. A collaboration with WNYC Radio, Romeo y Julieta was co-adapted and directed by The Public's associate artistic director Saheem Ali and stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and Juan Castano as the star-crossed lovers. Nyong'o actually made her professional acting debut as Juliet in a stage production of the play in Kenya when she was 14 years old, so this is an exciting return to the role. Listen for free on YouTube.
Gutenberg! The Musical!
Bobby Conte Thornton (A Bronx Tale: The Musical) and Alex Prakken star in Gutenberg! The Musical!, about a pair of enthusiastic but inept songwriters prepping for a backers' audition for their new show about Johannes Gutenberg, the 15th-century inventor who gave us the mechanical movable-type printing press. Written by Beetlejuice Tony nominees Scott Brown and Anthony King and packed with uproarious inside jokes for theatre lovers, the musical was a cult hit that transferred from Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to Off Broadway. This mounting was recorded during the shutdown at Manhattan's Open Jar Studios with live piano accompaniment. Watch for free until Sunday on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Shows Must Go On!: Letters Live from the Archive: Freemasons' Hall
The Shows Must Go On! presents a star-studded edition of Letters Live, featuring well-known actors reading remarkable correspondence on stage. This installment features Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Jude Law, Carey Mulligan and Miriam Margolyes. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube though donations to Choose Love are encouraged.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Stream a starry, contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and set in our screen-dominated world, this cautionary tale centers on a young influencer who makes a deal ensuring that his social media celebrity will never fade. But his picture-perfect life comes at a terrible cost. Tamara Harvey directs Fionn Whitehead as the title hedonist, alongside Tony nominees Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry and stage favorite Russell Tovey. Tickets are £12, approximately $17. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, March 31 and closed captions are available.
Goodspeed Musicals: Passing Through
Connecticut's acclaimed Goodspeed Musicals presents Passing Through, about a young man traveling across the country on foot, collecting stories and wisdom that he ultimately applies to his own unresolved family issues. Based on Andrew Forsthoefel's best-selling memoir Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time, this heartwarming show features songs by Brett Ryback and a book by Eric Ulloa, and was filmed live on stage in 2019. Max Chernin stars as Andrew, with Broadway vets Jim Stanek and Garrett Long as his parents. Igor Goldin directs. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 4.
Out of the Box Theatrics: The Last Five Years
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, 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 digital reimagining of the show was coproduced by Out of the Box Theatrics and Holmdel Theatre Company and filmed inside a New York City apartment, giving it an air of verisimilitude. Nasia Thomas and Nicholas Edwards star as the ill-fated couple, and celebrated musical director Jason Michael Webb helmed the production. Tickets start at $29 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, March 28.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Three Days of Rain
It's your last chance to watch Manhattan Theatre Club's 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 and closed captions are available.
The Tank: Glass Town
On Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET, indie theatre incubator The Tank presents Glass Town, a new musical by Miriam Pultro that imagines the literary Brontë siblings as a four-person rock band. This staged concept album explores family, grief and isolation, which certainly speaks to this moment! Tickets start at $10.
HERE Arts Center: Swell
On Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, one of Off-Off Broadway's most innovative theatres, HERE Arts Center, presents Swell, a live online song cycle featuring ten new compositions by ten composers inspired by their immigrant family backgrounds. Tickets start at $5. Captions and ASL interpretation are available.
TheaterWorks: Mr. Parent
Hartford's TheaterWorks presents Mr. Parent, a one-man play by Melinda Lopez about the experiences of Maurice Emmanuel Parent, an actor whose day job as a Boston public school teacher changed his perspective and his life. Parent stars as himself is this funny, dramatic and inspiring story. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Friday, March 26 and ASL interpretation is available.
Nuyorican Poets Cafe: The Slave Who Loved Caviar
On Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, the East Village's Nuyorican Poets Cafe presents a reading of the latest work from provocateur Ishmael Reed, The Slave Who Loved Caviar, about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Well-known for his Hamilton takedown The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright turns his critical eye to the meteoric rise and tragic death of Basquiat, a graffiti artist turned neo-expressionist darling championed by Andy Warhol who overdosed on heroin at 28. Who profited off his talent and how? Watch for free on the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Signature Theatre: Simply Sondheim
Catch Signature Theatre's critically acclaimed revue Simply Sondheim showcasing the oeuvre of the Pulitzer Prize-winning songwriter. Featuring more than 30 numbers from Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Follies and Sweeney Todd as well as lesser-known musicals, the performance was filmed on stage at the venue sans audience and stars Broadway vets Norm Lewis, Solea Pfeiffer, Conrad Ricamora and Emily Skinner. Tickets are $35 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, March 26.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne's stage adaptation of The Red Shoes, which streams this weekend. Photo by Johan Persson.