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 20 to Sunday, November 22 for free or at low cost.
Friday, November 20
The Shows Must Go On!: West End Unplugged Volume 2
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, The Shows Must Go On! presents the second edition of 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. This weekend's lineup includes David Bedella (& Juliet), Hannah Waddingham (Spamalot), Cavin Cornwall (Jesus Christ Superstar), Katie Brayben (Beautiful), Richard Fleeshman (Ghost the Musical) and Celinde Schoemaker (The Phantom of the Opera). Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
Virtual Halston: Gideon Glick and Robert Horn
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Broadway scene-stealer Julie Halston welcomes actor Gideon Glick and writer Robert Horn to her weekly chatfest. Glick is a charmer who earned a Tony nomination for his empathetic turn as Dill Harris in To Kill a Mockingbird. Horn won a Tony for his hilarious book for the musical Tootsie, which included lots of zingers for Halston. Watch for free on YouTube.
The Tank: The Black Queen Screen Tests
On Friday at 6 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's invaluable The Tank presents a workshop of Jerome A. Parker's The Black Queens, a queer musical set to the hits of Dinah Washington, aka the Queen of the Blues. Created, performed and designed by an all-Black team, the surreal show fuses drag, lip-syncing and dance. Tickets start at $15.
La MaMa: Last Gasp WFH
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, La MaMa presents Last Gasp WFH, a series of playful and poignant vignettes about how we're living, creating and caring for each other today, written and performed by Split Britches' Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, two icons of the downtown theatre scene. Tickets start at $5.
Saving Wonderland: A Seize the Show Experience
On Friday at 7 and 9 p.m. ET, go down the rabbit hole with Seize the Show's interactive adventure featuring Lewis Carroll's iconic Alice in Wonderland characters. This family show takes place live on Zoom as audiences solve puzzles to move the story forward. Multiple endings are possible, so log in ready to participate. Tickets start at $13.
Broadway's Great American Songbook: Karen Mason
On Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with Karen Mason, whose 40-year stage career includes tuneful turns in Hairspray, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Mamma Mia and the Kander and Ebb revue And the World Goes 'Round, in which she delivered a thrilling take on "Colored Lights." We suspect that will be one of her soaring songs tonight! Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Birdland: Eva Noblezada in Concert
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, midtown jazz haunt Birdland presents Eva Noblezada in concert. At just 24, she's already a two-time Tony nominee for her captivating turns as a starry-eyed teenage orphan in the 2017 revival of Miss Saigon and the plucky Eurydice in Hadestown. In this intimate set, she'll croon numbers from her career as well as favorite songs. Tickets are $20.
POSTPONED Ma-Yi Theater Company: Final Boarding Call
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, two renowned Off-Off Broadway companies, Ma-Yi Theater and WP Theater, present a live reading of 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. A recording is viewable until Tuesday.
St. Ann's Warehouse: Lou Reed's Berlin
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, St. Ann's Warehouse presents Lou Reed's Berlin, a concert performance of his 1973 masterwork about addicts in love in a divided city. Although Berlin was initially panned, time was kind to the dark concept album, and in 2006 Reed played it through live on stage at St. Ann's, with rock cinematographer Ellen Kuras capturing the event on film. Watch for free until Sunday, November 29 on St. Ann's website though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: Dialogues des Carmélites
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents John Dexter's striking mounting of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, about a young woman (Isabel Leonard) who escapes the violence of the French Revolution by joining a convent of Carmelite nuns. Erin Morley, Adrianne Pieczonka, Karen Cargill, Karita Mattila and David Portillo costar in this 2019 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Traviata, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Beetlejuice Reunion
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, it's a Beetlejuice reunion on Stars in the House! Hosts Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome original cast members Alex Brightman, Kerry Butler, Rob McClure, David Josefsberg and Leslie Kritzer as well as Beetlejuice understudy Will Blum (who's been doing some really cool projects during quarantine) and Presley Ryan, who took over the role of Lydia less than a month before the shutdown. Watch for free on YouTube.
Center Theatre Group: The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro: Mojada
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group presents Mojada, one of Luis Alfaro's three Greek tragedies reset in modern-day Latinx communities. A reinvention of Euripides' Medea, it takes place in a Latin American immigrant community in Queens, where a young, undocumented Mexican mother tries in vain to give her family a better life. Juliette Carrillo directs the reading, which was recorded live on stage at the venue. Watch for free until Wednesday, January 20, 2021 on YouTube though donations are encouraged. Spanish captions are available.
PBS' Great Performances: Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS' Great Performances jump-starts the holiday season with Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, a stage adaptation of the classic Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire movie of the same name, minus its offensive elements (i.e. the blackface number). A backstage musical comedy about the romantic drama among the main players at an inn that mounts lavish holiday spectacles, this Roundabout Theatre Company production features beloved Irving Berlin songs ("Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Easter Parade") and stars Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham and celebrated hoofer Corbin Bleu. Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen, or check the schedule for your local PBS station.
Saturday, November 21
Broadway's Great American Songbook: Karen Mason
On Saturday at 2:30 and 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with Karen Mason, whose 40-year stage career includes tuneful turns in Hairspray, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Mamma Mia and the Kander and Ebb revue And the World Goes 'Round, in which she delivered a thrilling take on "Colored Lights." We suspect that will be one of her soaring songs today! Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount..
Round House Theatre: Sleep Deprivation Chamber
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Maryland's Round House Theatre continues its celebration of avant-garde African-American playwright Adrienne Kennedy with Sleep Deprivation Chamber, an eerily prescient drama from 1996 about a Black man brutalized by a white police officer over a broken taillight. But when the victim is accused of being the aggressor, the family is plunged even deeper into a racist nightmare. Kennedy cowrote this chilling play with her son, Adam, after he was beaten by a cop during a traffic stop. Raymond Caldwell directs an ensemble of 12. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until February 2021.
Play-PerView: The Burdens
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a live reading of The Burdens, Matt Schatz's pitch-black comedy about passive-aggressive siblings trying to deal with deep-rooted family drama via text messages. Tyne Rafaeli directs William Jackson Harper and Ali Ahn. Tickets start at $5 and benefit Pittsburgh's City Theater Company.
New Ohio Theatre: Madeleines: Tell Me What It Was Like
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, indie theatre incubator New Ohio Theatre wraps up its virtual Producers Club series with Madeleines: Tell Me What It Was Like, a lyrical meditation on memory, desire and the roads not taken with poet-performers Mike Lala and Iris McCloughan. Tickets are pay-what-you-can though a $10 donation is suggested.
The Metropolitan Opera: Turandot
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Puccini's final masterwork Turandot, about an aloof princess whose suitors lose their heads over her knotty riddles. This 2019 mounting of Franco Zeffirelli's classic staging stars Christine Goerke as the hard-to-win royal and Yusif Eyvazov as the prince who ultimately succeeds. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Dialogues des Carmélites, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Colt Coeur: America V. 2.1
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's lauded Colt Coeur presents America V. 2.1, Stacey Rose's disturbing play about a group of historical reenactors bringing the tragic story of the extinction of "the American Negro" to life. The work had its world premiere last year at Barrington Stage Company and this live reading reunites that original cast: Ansa Akyea, Jordan Barrow, Kalyne Coleman, Peterson Townsend and Peggy Pharr Wilson. Logan Vaughn directs. Tickets start at $5 and the recording will be viewable until Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET.
Saving Wonderland: A Seize the Show Experience
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, go down the rabbit hole with Seize the Show's interactive adventure featuring Lewis Carroll's iconic Alice in Wonderland characters. This family show takes place live on Zoom as audiences solve puzzles to move the story forward. Multiple endings are possible, so log in ready to participate. Tickets start at $13.
Metropolitan Playhouse: Self-Sacrifice
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Metropolitan Playhouse, an Obie-winning company that revives forgotten plays, presents a reading of Self-Sacrifice, William Dean Howells' sly romantic comedy about social mores as a young woman tries to scare away the seeming philanderer she loves with bad behavior. John Long directs. Watch for free on the company's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
BalaSole Dance Company Virtual Celebration
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Roberto Villanueva's NYC-based BalaSole Dance Company celebrates its 10th anniversary with archival recordings of selected works from the past decade, including pieces featuring Miki Orihara, former principal dancer at the Martha Graham Dance Company, and Stephanie Rae Williams from Dance Theatre of Harlem. Watch for free on the troupe's website.
Sunday, November 22
Theater Mitu: remnant
On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, the high-tech, avant-garde Brooklyn collective Theater Mitu reimagines remnant, its 2018 multimedia meditation on war, death and loss for digital consumption. Crafted out of extensive interviews and research with doctors, soldiers and other experts, the show is helmed by the company's artistic director Rubén Polendo, and co-presented by New York Theatre Workshop. Tickets are $10.
New Ohio Theatre: Madeleines: Tell Me What It Was Like
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, indie theatre incubator New Ohio Theatre wraps up its virtual Producers Club series with Madeleines: Tell Me What It Was Like, a lyrical meditation on memory, desire and the roads not taken with poet-performers Mike Lala and Iris McCloughan. Tickets are pay-what-you-can though a $10 donation is suggested.
The Metropolitan Opera: Wozzeck
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Berg's Wozzeck about a tormented soldier whose madness drives him to violence. South African artist William Kentridge designed and directed this 2020 production, which stars Peter Mattei as the title character alongside Elza van den Heever, Tamara Mumford, Christopher Ventris, Gerhard Siegel, Andrew Staples and Christian Van Horn. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Turandot, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
POSTPONED The Seth Concert Series: Adam Pascal
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 Adam Pascal. With his shaggy sex appeal and raspy rock tenor, Pascal rocketed to fame as Roger in the original production of Rent, and went on to star in Broadway's Aida, Cabaret and Chicago. Expect numbers from his career as well as rock songs, perhaps from the campy jukebox Disaster!, which Rudetsky co-wrote and Pascal appeared in. Tickets are $25.
Center Theatre Group: The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro: Electricidad
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group presents Electricidad, one of Luis Alfaro's three Greek tragedies reset in modern-day Latinx communities. A reinvention of Sophocles' Electra, it centers on the title character as she enlists her brother to avenge their mother, who was murdered by their father in the Los Angeles barrio. Laurie Woolery directs the revenge tragedy, which was recorded live on stage at the venue. Watch for free until Wednesday, January 20, 2021 on YouTube though donations are encouraged. Spanish captions are available.
Broadway's Best Shows: Alan Cumming in Uncle Vanya
Broadway's Best Shows continues its star-studded virtual season with Neil LaBute's new adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, starring Tony winner Alan Cumming as the disillusioned and disappointed title character, forever pining for Yelenah (Constance Wu), who's unhappily married to a retired professor (K. Todd Freeman). Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, Anson Mount, Samira Wiley, Manik Choksi and Mia Katigbak round out the cast. Danya Taymor directs this heartbreaking tale of loneliness and longing. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds go to The Actors Fund. The recording is viewable until Monday.
Patrick Stewart in Macbeth
Something wickedly good this way comes—Patrick Stewart in Macbeth! Rupert Goold's haunting mounting of Shakespeare's tragedy was seen on Broadway in 2008 and nominated for several Tony Awards. This recording was filmed in 2009 for PBS' Great Performances and reunites Stewart with most of the cast, notably Kate Fleetwood as a chilling Lady Macbeth. Watch for free on PBS' website.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Bill Irwin in On Beckett/In Screen
On Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, the intrepid Irish Rep presents Tony winner Bill Irwin in a virtual reimagining of his hit solo show On Beckett. Once again, the acclaimed clown takes the stage at the Chelsea theatre to explore the words and work of the groundbreaking Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Only this time, no one is in the audience, which makes this meditation on Beckett's themes of loneliness, loss and decay even more haunting. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link but a $25 donation is suggested.
Primary Stages: The Night Watcher
On Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Primary Stages continues its virtual season with a digital reimagining of Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical solo show The Night Watcher, about how she's served as a maternal figure to many beloved folks in her life. A Tony nominee for Ain't Misbehavin' and a star of TV's Pose, Woodard originally performed this show at Primary Stages in 2009. It's a wise and empathetic exploration of what it means to mother. Tickets are $35.
TheaterWorks Hartford: The Who & the What
TheaterWorks Hartford presents The Who & the What by Disgraced playwright Ayad Akhtar. Like that Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this one-act wrestles with questions of faith and fidelity as a brilliant, Pakistani-American Muslim woman struggles to balance her father's approval with her own happiness. Directed by Aneesha Kudtarkar, the production stars Rajesh Bose, Jessica Jain, Sanam Laila Hashemi and Stephen Elrod, and was filmed on the Connecticut theatre's stage to an empty house. Tickets are $25 and a recording with closed captions is available. Viewable until Saturday, November 28.
Black Lives, Black Words International Project: Plays for the People: The Emancipation of Yankee Oluwale
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Black Lives, Black Words International Project presents Wole Oguntokun's devastating drama The Emancipation of Yankee Oluwale. Based on the true story of a teenage Nigerian stowaway who arrived in the United Kingdom in 1949 full of hope, it chronicles his downfall due to mental illness, racism and police brutality. Harry Waters Jr. directs this world premiere. Tickets start at $10.
This Is Not a Theatre Company: Readymade Cabaret 2.0
On Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 2 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 if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at 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.
New York City Children's Theater: A Band of Angels
New York City Children's Theater produces some of the finest shows for young audiences in town, meaning they're just as engaging for adults as kids. Directed by Broadway vet Colman Domingo, the company's 2015 mounting of A Band of Angels was particularly powerful, and a recording is being streamed this month. Based on Deborah Hopkinson's book of the same name, the musical celebrates the historic Fisk Jubilee Singers, a choir founded shortly after the Civil War at one of the first schools for emancipated African Americans. It's a timely and tuneful history lesson filled with soaring spirituals. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets are $10 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, November 29.
TADA! Youth Theater: Princess Phooey
TADA!, NYC's 35-year-old, Drama Desk Award-winning youth company whose alums include Jordan Peele and Kerry Washington, is sharing recordings of its original shows for families. Recorded in 2015, Princess Phooey is the heartwarming tale of a spirited tomboy who refuses to be constrained by her royal rank. With songs by Lisa Diana Shapiro and Eric Rockwell of The Musical of Musicals—The Musical! fame, the production stars talented tykes ages 8 to 18 who are members of TADA!'s Resident Youth Ensemble. Watch for free on TADA!'s YouTube channel.
Al Hirschfeld: A National Insanity: 75 Years of Searching for NINA
So this is an online exhibition, not a performance, but we couldn't resist sharing this wonderful collection of Al Hirschfeld caricatures. The theme: searching for NINA, the name of the artist's daughter, which he frequently hid within his whimsical illustrations. Try to find the NINAs in his depictions of the Broadway casts of Showboat, Born Yesterday, The Sound of Music and other productions. Check out the art for free online.
Top image: The company of Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn, produced on Broadway by Roundabout Theatre Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.