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, November 13 to Sunday, November 15 for free or at low cost.
Friday, November 13
The Shows Must Go On!: West End Unplugged Volume 1
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, The Shows Must Go On! presents West End Unplugged featuring London stage stars performing in an intimate cabaret setting. Since the shutdown began, this concert series has been raising money for charities helping unemployed theatre pros. Today's lineup includes Alice Fearn (Wicked, Come From Away), Tim Howar (Rent, Rock of Ages), Sandra Marvin (Waitress, Chicago), Aisha Jawando (Tina, The Lion King), Ben Goddard (Sweeney Todd) and Mazz Murray (Fame, Mamma Mia!). Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
London Coliseum: [title of show]
On Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the London Coliseum presents a digital reimagining of Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen's Tony-nominated meta musical [title of show], about two pals named Hunter and Jeff trying to write a tuner on an insanely tight deadline. London stage vets Marc Elliot, Tyrone Huntley, Jenna Russell and Lucie Jones star. Tickets start at £14.75, approximately $20.
Virtual Halston: Amanda Green
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Broadway scene-stealer Julie Halston welcomes Tony-nominated songwriter Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody, Bring It On the Musical) to her weekly chatfest. The daughter of legendary lyricist Adolph Green and actress Phyllis Newman, Green is veritable Broadway royalty! Watch for free on YouTube.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: Lee Roy Reams
On Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams, whose 50-plus-year career includes scene-stealing turns in Hello, Dolly!, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street and The Producers. He choreographs and directs, too! Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20.
Birdland: Sierra Boggess in Concert
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, midtown jazz haunt Birdland presents Sierra Boggess in concert, accompanied by her sister, cellist Summer Boggess, and pianist and music director Brian Hertz. A beloved Broadway leading lady whose credits include Little Mermaid, It Shoulda Been You and Master Class, her crystalline soprano has been put to particularly impressive use in musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber—she's played Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera and its sequel, Love Never Dies. Enjoy songs from her career and stories about her outdoorsy Colorado upbringing as Boggess performs on stage for the first time since March. Tickets are $20.
New Ohio Theatre: Currently Untitled (Another Karamazov Project)
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, indie-theatre incubator New Ohio Theatre continues the virtual edition of its annual Producers Club series with Currently Untitled (Another Karamazov Project), a wild take on Dostoevsky's 19th-century novel grafted onto a modern-day tale about race, trauma and romance. The show was running at the theatre when the shutdown hit and has now been reimagined for digital consumption. Tickets are pay-what-you-can though a $10 donation is suggested.
St. Ann's Warehouse: Songs for Drella: A Fiction
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, St. Ann's Warehouse presents Songs for Drella, a song cycle by former Velvet Underground bandmates Lou Reed and John Cale about their longtime friend and producer, pop-art pioneer Andy Warhol. It was the first time the musicians had collaborated in decades, and the performance, filmed at BAM in 1989 by Ed Lachman, is emotional and passionate as they pay tribute to their mentor, dubbed Drella, an evocative portmanteau of Dracula and Cinderella. Watch for free until Thursday, November 19 on St. Ann's website though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Peter Grimes
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tony winner John Doyle's moving mounting of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, about an outcast fisherman (Anthony Dean Griffey) unjustly believed to be a murderer by his neighbors. Patricia Racette and Anthony Michaels-Moore costar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Lulu, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Center Theatre Group: The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro: Oedipus El Rey
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, over the next few weeks, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group is presenting Luis Alfaro's trilogy of plays based on Greek tragedies, with the action reset in modern-day Latinx communities. First up is Oedipus El Rey, his reinvention of Sophocles' tale of patricide and incest as an ex-con tries tries to change his fate in South Central L.A. Alfaro's longtime collaborator, Chay Yew, directs the performance, which was recorded live on stage at the venue. Watch for free until Wednesday, January 20, 2021 on the Center Theatre Group's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged. Spanish captions are available.
Stars in the House: Best of the Vote-a-Thon Part 2
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley share best-of clips from their Election Day Vote-a-Thon with help from their pal, Broadway vet Darius de Haas. Relive that emotional day (which already feels so long ago!). Watch for free on YouTube.
The Tank: Harsh Cacophonies I & II
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's invaluable The Tank presents Harsh Cacophonies I & II, an autobiographical solo piece by Kev Berry about the insidiousness of body-shaming in the queer community. Streamed live from the empty theatre, this is the first show being performed on the venue's stage since March. Tickets start at $10.
Great Performances: Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS Great Performances presents Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, Max Lewkowicz's 2019 documentary about Fiddler on the Roof, a beloved musical about family and tradition created against all odds during the social upheaval of the 1960s. The movie features interviews with famous fans, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as theatre artists who've performed in or directed the show, including Joel Grey, Topol, Danny Burstein, Austin Pendleton and Harvey Fierstein. The only surviving member of the show's creative team, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, also shares words of wisdom. Watch for free until Friday, December 11 on PBS' website.
Saturday, November 14
On Saturday, in honor of Veterans Day, Broadway on Demand is screening Bandstand, an underrated Broadway musical starring Laura Ones and Corey Cott about WWII vets trying to win a music contest while grappling with PTSD. Tickets are $6.99 for a 48-hour rental.
London Coliseum: [title of show]
On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, the London Coliseum presents a digital reimagining of Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen's Tony-nominated meta musical [title of show], about two pals named Hunter and Jeff trying to write a tuner on an insanely tight deadline. London stage vets Marc Elliot, Tyrone Huntley, Jenna Russell and Lucie Jones star. Tickets start at £14.75, approximately $20.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: Lee Roy Reams
On Saturday at 2:30 and 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams, whose 50-plus-year career on Broadway includes scene-stealing turns in Hello, Dolly!, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street and The Producers. He choreographs and directs, too! Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20.
Jazz at Lincoln Center: Ella - Forever the First Lady of Song
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Jazz at Lincoln Center streams Ella - Forever the First Lady of Song, a starry centennial celebration of the late, legendary vocalist Ella Fitzgerald that was recorded in 2017. Harry Connick Jr. hosts the evening, which features performances by Audra McDonald, Renée Fleming, Diana Krall, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and many other famous Fitzgerald fans. Tickets are available from Jazz at Lincoln Center but TDF members get a discount.
Round House Theatre: He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Maryland's Round House Theatre celebrates the work of avant-garde African-American playwright Adrienne Kennedy with a series of readings of her groundbreaking works. First up is her most recent play, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, seen at Theatre for a New Audience in 2018 about the relationship between two teens in the Jim Crow South: a white boy and a biracial girl. Although it's set in 1941, the jam-packed one-act touches on lots of timely topics, including racism and Nazis. Maya Jackson and Michael Sweeney Hammond star; Nicole A. Watson directs. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until February 2021.
New Ohio Theatre: Currently Untitled (Another Karamazov Project)
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, indie-theatre incubator New Ohio Theatre continues the virtual edition of its annual Producers Club series with Currently Untitled (Another Karamazov Project), a wild take on Dostoevsky's 19th-century novel grafted onto a modern-day tale about race, trauma and romance. The show was running at the theatre when the shutdown hit and has now been reimagined for digital consumption. Tickets are pay-what-you-can though a $10 donation is suggested.
The Metropolitan Opera: Akhnaten
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Akhnaten, Philip Glass' epic opera inspired by the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. This production was a sold-out smash last year, with jugglers and acrobats performing alongside stars Dísella Lárusdóttir, J'Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein and Zachary James. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Peter Grimes, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway: Laura Benanti
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Broadway leading lady and social media maven Laura Benanti will perform a live concert direct from Shubert Virtual Studios in Midtown Manhattan. Beloved for her turns in She Loves Me, My Fair Lady and Gypsy, which earned her a Tony, the diva will share numbers from her signature roles along with unexpected songs and backstage stories. The event is part of the Women of Broadway series benefiting 20 nonprofit theatres across the country. Tickets are $30 and a recording will remain viewable until Tuesday.
Stars in the House: Pippin Players
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, after a last-minute postponement last weekend, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley finally welcome a trio of Pippins to Stars in the House. John Rubenstein, Michael Rupert and Dean Pitchford all played the title character in the original Broadway production of the iconic musical by Stephen Schwartz, who'll also drop by. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Tank: Harsh Cacophonies I & II
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's invaluable The Tank presents Harsh Cacophonies I & II, an autobiographical solo piece by Kev Berry about the insidiousness of body-shaming in the queer community. Streamed live from the empty theatre, this is the first show being performed on the venue's stage since March. Tickets start at $10.
Metropolitan Playhouse: The Rector
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten plays, presents a reading of The Rector, an early work by pioneering feminist playwright Rachel Crothers about a lovesick small-town pastor. The theatre's artistic director Alex Roe helms the one-act. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Sunday, November 15
All Arts: Until the Flood
On Sunday at noon ET, All Arts presents Dael Orlandersmith's searing solo show Until the Flood, about the 2014 killing of Black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Inspired by real-life interviews Orlandersmith conducted with people from the community, the show features eight disparate characters struggling to come to terms with what happened. This performance was recorded in 2018 during the play's critically acclaimed run at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Watch for free through the end of the year on the All Arts website.
The Metropolitan Opera: The Exterminating Angel
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents The Exterminating Angel, Thomas Adès' adaptation of filmmaker Luis Buñuel's surrealist masterpiece of the same name, about wealthy guests at a lavish dinner party who realize they're unable to leave. Librettist Tom Cairns directs a large ensemble cast. 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. ET today.
The Seth Concert Series: Lillias White
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 headliner is Lillias White. A show-stopping diva who won a Tony Award for her delightfully world-weary turn as a prostitute in The Life, White is a veteran of a 11 Broadway shows, including Fela!, the original Once on This Island and two different mountings of Dreamgirls. She'll be using her powerful pipes to perform songs from her career and her charming cabaret shows. Tickets are $25.
Broadway's Best Shows: Boston Marriage
Broadway's Best Shows, which presented powerhouse readings of plays such as Love Letters and November in the spring, continues its virtual season with Boston Marriage, an uncharacteristic comedy by David Mamet centering on the power struggles between two lesbians (Patti LuPone and Rebecca Pidgeon) in Victorian-era New England. Sophia Macy rounds out the threesome as their maid and the playwright himself directs. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds go to The Actors Fund. The recording is viewable until Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
Center Theatre Group: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
On Friday at 11 p.m., Saturday at 5 and 11 p.m., and Sunday at 4 and 9:30 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group presents Matthew Bourne's bold take on Swan Lake, featuring a sensual ensemble of menacing male swans. The production was a Tony-winning hit on Broadway two decades ago, but Bourne and his longtime collaborator, set and costume designer Lez Brotherston, updated elements of the production for its 2018 run at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre. You can watch a recording of that mounting five times this weekend. Tickets are $10.
The Shows Must Go On!: Fiona Shaw in Richard II
Since theatres shut down, the UK-based The Shows Must Go On! series has been screening musicals on weekends. But for the month of November, they're adding weekly streams of starry Shakespearean productions. This week's gem is a 1997 recording of the brilliant Fiona Shaw as the peevish title monarch in the rarely mounted tragedy Richard II, helmed by her frequent collaborator Deborah Warner. Watch for free until Sunday on YouTube.
Syracuse Stage: Talley's Folly
Real-life spouses Jason O'Connell and Kate Hamill, known for costarring in her clever stage adaptations of classic literature, headline Talley's Folly, Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander about an unlikely romance in rural Missouri in 1944. The production was recorded live at Syracuse Stage to an empty house, and the lighting design is by TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project mentor Dawn Chiang! Tickets start at $30.
Shakespeare's Globe commissioned Morgan Lloyd Malcolm to write a play inspired by the life of Emilia Bassano, the 17th-century poet and feminist rumored to have been the Bard's Dark Lady, the subject of some of his bawdiest sonnets. Titled Emilia, the empowering, all-women work was such a critical and commercial hit, it transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre on the West End, and a recording of that production is being streamed until Wednesday, December 2. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at £1, approximately $1.30. Closed captioning and audio description are available.
George Street Playhouse: Conscience
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents an encore streaming of Conscience about US Senator Margaret Chase, who heroically denounced McCarthyism in her 1950 "Declaration of Conscience" speech. Written by Memphis Tony winner Joe DiPietro, this play was running at the New Brunswick theatre when the shutdown hit. Director David Saint reunites castmates Mark Junek, Lee Sellars, Cathryn Wake and Tony winner Harriet Harris as the courageous Chase for this virtual production. Tickets are pay-what-you-can but a $25 donation is suggested. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce Theater continues its virtual season with four eclectic recordings available for four weeks: Michela Marino Lerman's troupe Love Movement in Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon; Louis Mofsie and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers in concert; Gimp Gait and an excerpt from Reprise by Pioneer Winter Collective, and Sankofa Danzafro's Fecha Limite about the violence against and displacement of Afro-Colombian and Native communities. Watch for free until Sunday, December 6 on The Joyce's website.
ACT of Connecticut: The Last Five Years
On Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 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 mounting comes courtesy of ACT of Connecticut and is performed live on stage to a small in-person audience with many more watching online. Tickets are available from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
Primary Stages: Soil Beneath: An Empirical Decay
On Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's Primary Stages kicks off its virtual Living Room Commissions series with Soil Beneath: An Empirical Decay, a choreopoem created by and starring Chesney Snow, set to music by Obie-winning composer Diedre Murray. An actor, singer and beatboxer, Snow appeared in Primary Stages' subway-set musical In Transit. This new one-act delves deep into urgent issues, including race, class and American politics. Tickets are available from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
This Is Not a Theatre Company: Readymade Cabaret 2.0
On Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 8 p.m. ET, the boundary-busting This Is Not a Theatre Company presents Readymade Cabaret 2.0, an interactive, Dada-inspired experience that can't go on without you. That's because the audience decides which sequences of drama, art, poetry and music will happen by rolling dice. Take a chance on art—literally! Tickets are available from the theatre but TDF members get a discount.
PlayCo: Read Subtitles Aloud
Daily at 5 p.m. ET, PlayCo and Media Art Xploration debut the interactive online series Read Subtitles Aloud featuring an unlikely star: you. Not only are you the main character, you're the only live actor in this mind-bending exploration of control, submission and isolation created by Onur Karaoglu and Kathryn Hamilton, who appear in prerecorded segments. No idea what to expect? That's the point! Register to receive the free viewing link; new episodes are released daily through Monday, November 23.
Top image: Danny Burstein in Fiddler on the Roof, the subject of the documentary Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles. Photo by Joan Marcus.