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 have been showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch Friday through Sunday, July 24 to 26, for free or at very low cost.
The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, London's Royal Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty about a princess with a slumbering problem. Set to Tchaikovsky's romantic score, this was the first work performed by The Royal Ballet when it launched in 1946. Recorded earlier this year, this mounting stars Fumi Kaneko as the title character and Federico Bonelli as her prince, and the choreography is an amalgam of Marius Petipa's 19th-century steps and new movement created for the troupe by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. Watch for free until Thursday, August 6 on YouTube.
The Other Palace: Songs for a New World
On Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET, London's The Other Palace presents Songs for a New World, Tony winner Jason Robert Brown's breakthrough musical revue, a series of insightful numbers featuring an array of characters grappling with pivotal moments in life and love. The four-person cast includes Les Misérables Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo and Rachel Tucker, who had just taken over the role of Capt. Beverley Bass in Broadway's Come From Away when theatres shut down. Tickets are £12.50, approximately $16.
Marilu Henner on Virtual Halston
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, Julie Halston, Broadway funny lady and longtime friend to TDF, welcomes stage and sitcom star Marilu Henner to her weekly chatfest. We can't wait to hear these two divas dish. Watch for free on YouTube.
The New Group: Facing the Rising Tide: Mambo Sauce
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, pioneering Off-Broadway theatre company The New Group partners with the Natural Resources Defense Council for Facing the Rising Tide, a five-day festival of virtual readings of new plays exploring environmental racism and the climate crisis. The final offering is Daniella De Jesús's Mambo Sauce, a surreal allegory about the peculiar inhabitants of Cargill Island. Watch for free on The New Group's YouTube channel.
Black Theatre United: Our Voices. Our Votes. Our Time.
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Black Theatre United presents a Town Hall about the importance of being politically active, moderated by Tony, Emmy and Oscar winner Viola Davis and featuring Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams and her sister Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean, the vice president of Fair Count. Register in advance to receive the free viewing link.
Red Light Winter
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Broadway vets Joe Carroll and Janine DiVita headline a live reading of Red Light Winter, Adam Rapp's Pulitzer Prize finalist play about a very unstable love triangle between a writer, a book editor and a prostitute. After the performance, the actors and playwright will participate in a Q&A. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged. This won't be available after-the-fact.
The Metropolitan Opera: Falstaff
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi's Falstaff featuring a libretto by Arrigo Boito inspired by Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor as well as scenes from Henry IV. Paul Plishka is the lascivious and louche title character, who's outwitted by the clever ladies around him, played Marilyn Horne, Mirella Freni and Susan Graham. Franco Zeffirelli staged this 1992 production, and James Levine conducts. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Roméo et Juliette, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Dixon Place HOT! Festival: Spanking Machine
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Dixon Place presents the centerpiece of its 29th annual queer culture festival: Marga Gomez's darkly comic memoir Spanking Machine about growing up brown and queer in Washington Heights. A celebrated stand-up comic who's written and performed in 13 solo shows, Gomez recounts the good, the bad and the ugly about her life with insight and raunchy realness. Tickets are $20-$40.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization presents the 1957 TV musical Cinderella, starring a luminous Julie Andrews as the title heroine, Edie Adams as her fairy godmother, Jon Cypher as her prince, and the hilarious Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostley as her evil stepsisters. This 75-minute classic marked R&H's first foray into television and features beloved songs such as "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible; It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago." Over the decades, it's been reimagined for the screen and stage many times, including on Broadway in 2013, but this is the magical black-and-white original. Watch for free until 8 p.m. on Sunday on YouTube. For extra engagement, watch on Friday at 8 p.m. and follow the R&H org's Twitter account for trivia and fun facts.
Irish Repertory Theatre: The Weir
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Irish Rep presents The Weir, Conor McPherson's haunting 1997 drama about a quartet of Irishmen sharing ghost stories at a pub in order to impress a comely lass. The venerable Off-Broadway company originally mounted the play in 2013; this virtual adaptation reunites director Ciarán O'Reilly with three cast members from that production, Dan Butler, Sean Gormley and John Keating, along with Amanda Quaid and Tim Ruddy, who appeared in its 2015 encore run. Tickets are a suggested donation of $25 but TDF members get a discount.
Sierra Boggess on Stars in the House
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Sierra Boggess guest hosts Stars in the House, and the Little Mermaid and Phantom of the Opera star is bringing some as-yet-to-be-named pals with her. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Aye Defy: Ole White Sugah Daddy
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, the Aye Defy live reading series presents Ole White Sugah Daddy, written by and starring Obehi Janice as a Black woman coder trying to get her start-up off the ground while staying true to herself. Caitlin Sullivan directs and Alex Esola, Andy Lucien, Natalie Paul, Greg Stuhr and Madeline Wise round out the cast. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds go to Black Girls Code and The Kilroys. This won't be available after-the-fact.
Ice Factory: Beginning Days of True Jubilation
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, the New Ohio Theatre brings its 27th annual Ice Factory festival online with four premieres over four weeks. First up is Beginning Days of True Jubilation by Mona Mansour, whose The Vagrant Trilogy was about to open at The Public Theater when the pandemic hit. In this new ensemble satire, an inventor vows to devise a world-changing product and gets lots of smart folks to join her cult of out-of-control capitalists. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at $1.
Great Performances: She Loves Me
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, PBS Thirteen is airing Roundabout Theatre Company's bewitching mounting of She Loves Me, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's musical about the romantic entanglements and misunderstandings of clerks at a perfume shop in 1934 Budapest. Scott Ellis directed this Tony-nominated 2016 production, which stars Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski and Gavin Creel. Watch for free on TV on PBS Thirteen. If you don't live in NYC, check the schedule of your local PBS station.
Lake Tahoe Dance Festival: Dance Now: Contemporary Works
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, the annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival goes digital this year with three nights exploring different dance genres. The final evening is dedicated to contemporary works. In addition to interviews, performance highlights include Stephen Hanna and Traci Finch in Marco Pelle's T+I; Bryan Arias and Rachel Fallon in Arias' Notice and Ulysse Zangs and Daphne Fernberger in Jacopo Godani's Al di Là. Watch for free on the festival's website though donations of $25 are encouraged.
National Theatre of Greece: The Persians
On Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, the National Theatre of Greece presents a live performance of The Persians, Aeschylus' tragedy about the defeat of Xerxes' navy at the Battle of Salamis. This is the first time an ancient Greek drama will be streamed globally from the theatre of Epidaurus, and the storied venue itself is a real showstopper, which is why they're starting the stream an hour early so you can gawk at the place! The play will be performed in Greek with English subtitles. Watch for free on YouTube.
Stars in the House: Misalliance
On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House continues its popular live play reading series with George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance, a satire about romantic rituals set on an action-packed Saturday afternoon. Master Shaw interpreter David Staller directs a cast that includes Midori Francis, Peter Francis James, Thom Sesma, Ryan Spahn and Sharon Washington. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Irish Repertory Theatre: The Weir
On Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, it's your last chance to see Irish Rep's The Weir, Conor McPherson's haunting 1997 drama about a quartet of Irishmen sharing ghost stories at a pub in order to impress a comely lass. The venerable Off-Broadway company originally mounted the play in 2013; this virtual adaptation reunites director Ciarán O'Reilly with three cast members from that production, Dan Butler, Sean Gormley and John Keating, along with Amanda Quaid and Tim Ruddy, who appeared in its 2015 encore run. Tickets are a suggested donation of $25 but TDF members get a discount.
Play-PerView: Knife to the Heart
On Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, the live reading series Play-PerView presents Knife to the Heart, a culture-clash comedy by a pair of sitcom vets, Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls) and Christian McLaughlin (Married… with Children) about the prickly subject of a bris. TV star Wendie Malick stars as a Jewish mama making decisions for her son (Josh Zuckerman) and pregnant shiksa daughter-in-law (Andrea Bowen). The performance takes place on the free app Zoom, which you'll need to download in advance. Tickets start at $5. This won't be available after-the-fact.
Paul Giamatti in I, My Ruination
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, the Cape Cod Theatre Project presents a starry reading of I, My Ruination, Kevin Artigue's history-inspired drama about director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller, who took different paths when they were called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the communist witch hunts of the 1950s. The performance features Paul Giamatti, Corey Stoll, Arian Moayed, Pedro Pascal and Tony winner Nina Arianda, and is helmed by the company's artistic director Hal Brooks. Tickets are $50. This won't be available after-the-fact.
The Metropolitan Opera: Der Rosenkavalier
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss' comedy of love and errors starring Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Christine Schäfer and Kristinn Sigmund. Filmed for the Met's Live in HD series in 2010, it's available to watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Falstaff, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Dixon Place HOT! Festival: Spanking Machine
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, it's your last chance to see the centerpiece of Dixon Place's 29th annual queer culture festival: Marga Gomez's darkly comic memoir Spanking Machine about growing up brown and queer in Washington Heights. A celebrated stand-up comic who's written and performed in 13 solo shows, Gomez recounts the good, the bad and the ugly about her life with insight and raunchy realness. Tickets are $20-$40.
Dance Theatre of Harlem: Dougla
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Dance Theatre of Harlem presents Dougla, Geoffrey Holder's pageant-like celebration of his Trinidadian heritage centered around a wedding. A longtime company favorite, this performance was recorded at New York City Center in 2018. Watch for free on the dance company's YouTube channel.
A Chorus Line Reunion on Stars in the House
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome cast members from the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line on Stars in the House! The groundbreaking musical bowed on Broadway 45 years ago today, and singular sensations Kay Cole (Maggie), Ronald Dennis (Richie), Trish Garland (Judy), Nancy Lane (Bebe), Baayork Lee (Connie), Don Percassi (Al), Robert LuPone (Zach) and Tony winner Donna McKechnie (Cassie) are ready to reminisce. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Broadway on Demand: John Lloyd Young Concert
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, Broadway on Demand presents John Lloyd Young in a one-night-only concert. The perpetually boyish actor-singer, who won a Tony Award for his star-making turn as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, will perform live from The Space in Las Vegas, crooning a wide variety of tunes from his career. Tickets cost $30.
Ice Factory: Beginning Days of True Jubilation
On Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, the New Ohio Theatre brings its 27th annual Ice Factory festival online with four premieres over four weeks. First up is Beginning Days of True Jubilation by Mona Mansour, whose The Vagrant Trilogy was about to open at The Public Theater when the pandemic hit. In this new ensemble satire, an inventor vows to devise a world-changing product and gets lots of smart folks to join her cult of out-of-control capitalism. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at $1.
Other Than We
On Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Earth Institute at Columbia University presents a live brunch-time reading of Karen Malpede's musical fable Other Than We, a work of climate fiction about a trio of scientists and a linguist who band together to try to save the planet. The cast features Fun Home Tony nominee Beth Malone, George Bartenieff, Emily Fury Daly and Tommie J. Moore. Watch for free on YouTube.
Stars in the House Presents Winter Break
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, Stars in the House continues its reading series for young audiences with A Simpler Time, a series of vignettes written by various emerging playwrights. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to Philadelphia Young Playwrights are encouraged.
Jason Robert Brown and Molly Cate Brown in Concert
On Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, Tony-winning songwriter Jason Robert Brown, whose shows include Parade, 13 and The Bridges of Madison County, plays piano for his very talented daughter, Molly Cate, in a live concert to benefit TADA! Youth Theater, where she is a Resident Youth Ensemble member. The budding singer-actor will perform a wide variety of songs, perhaps a few by her famous dad. (Full disclosure: I can personally vouch for her talent as my daughter is in TADA! with her!) Watch for free on Jason Robert Brown's Facebook page though donations to TADA! Youth Theater are encouraged.
Two River Theater: Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, New Jersey's lauded Two River Theater kicks off its new live play reading series with Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine about a stormy interracial relationship. Written and directed by Tony-winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the drama had its world premiere at the theatre in 2015, and this event reunites original cast members Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Hovelson, Merritt Janson and Roslyn Ruff with the addition of Glynn Turman. Tickets are $25.
Project Y Theatre Company: All Hands on Deck
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, Off-Off Broadway's venerable Project Y Theatre Company brings its 5th annual Women in Theatre Festival online with a quartet of commissioned shorts by Black female-identifying playwrights: Ways and Means by Nikkole Salter, Nanã by France-Luce Benson, Bygone Fruit by Banna Desta and They Live in You by Sienna L. Jones. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Fanciulla del West
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents La Fanciulla del West, Puccini's colorful romance set during the California Gold Rush, as a charming outlaw wins the heart of a gun-toting saloon owner. Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jonas Kaufmann and Željko Lucic star in this 2018 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Der Rosenkavalier, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Seth Concert Series: Megan Hilty
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily talk show online 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 in Provincetown with Broadway stars for the past decade. This summer he brings the show online, and tonight's headliner is Tony nominee Megan Hilty, who became a small-screen sensation on the cult TV musical series Smash. Rudestky is a master at getting divas to dish, so in addition to songs from the shows she's starred in like Wicked and 9 to 5, she's sure to talk about all things Smash. Tickets are $25.
Joe Biden: Celebration for Change
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, a slew of A-list stars will celebrate presidential hopeful Joe Biden at this live-streamed benefit. Jay Leno hosts and the guest list includes lots of Broadway's best, including Renée Elise Goldsberry, Kristin Chenoweth, Jane Krakowski, Sara Bareilles, Tituss Burgess, Raúl Esparza and Rosie Perez, plus Barbra Streisand, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Julianne Moore and many more. Watch for free on Joe Biden's website though campaign donations are encouraged.
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Playdate Theater, a new virtual theatre festival featuring 15-minute world-premiere "screen-plays," kicks off with a pair of playlets. Jack Spagnola's You and Me and the Space Between examines the challenges of online dating and stars Royal Pain's Mark Feuerstein and Michaela Watkins. Lauren D'Errico's Are You Still? explores the addictiveness of screens, especially during quarantine. Tickets start at $5.
Ice Factory: Beginning Days of True Jubilation
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, the New Ohio Theatre brings its 27th annual Ice Factory festival online with four premieres over four weeks. First up is Beginning Days of True Jubilation by Mona Mansour, whose The Vagrant Trilogy was about to open at The Public Theater when the pandemic hit. In this new ensemble satire, an inventor vows to devise a world-changing product and gets lots of smart folks to join her cult of out-of-control capitalism. Pay-what-you-can tickets start at $1.
Christina Bianco Concert for a Cause for TDF
On Thursday, "the girl of a thousand voices," Christina Bianco, performed a benefit for TDF, but if you missed it you can watch it all weekend. The actor, singer and impressionist is best known for her comedic turns in Forbidden Broadway and NEWSical the Musical, and she finished up a critically acclaimed run as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl in Paris earlier this year. During this live variety show, she performs popular show tunes, impression-filled mash-ups and "Unlikely Interpretations" of songs by unexpected singers. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to TDF's Lifeline Campaign are encouraged.
Patrick Page in Shakespeare in Vegas
A pair of West Coast theatre companies present a reading of Shakespeare in Vegas, Suzanne Bradbeer's wacky comedy that reimagines the Bard's poetry as punnery. Hadestown's Patrick Page and Tony winner Karen Ziemba lead the cast as a wise guy from the Vegas Strip and a classical actress from NYC who team up to realize a dream. Watch on TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Blues Suite
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a 1985 recording of Blues Suite, the ballet that launched the invaluable dance troupe in 1958. Ailey was just 27 when he choreographed this half-hour piece, which is set in a sporting house and celebrates Black joy as revelers dance, drink and flirt to blues music. Watch for free until Thursday, July 30 on the troupe's YouTube channel.
The Transport Group: Broadbend, Arkansas
Stalwart NYC theatre company The Transport Group presents Broadbend, Arkansas, a two-person musical about a Black father and daughter grappling with the personal impact of racial oppression three decades apart, first in the '60s, then in the '80s. The show had its world premiere Off Broadway last fall but its themes feel even more urgent in the current moment. Reserve your free ticket to receive the viewing link; donations to the Black Theatre Network are encouraged. The recording is available until August 16.
Graeae Theatre Company: Reasons to Be Cheerful
Back in the '70s and '80s, Ian Dury became one of the first rockers with a disability to break through to mainstream success with his New Wave band The Blockheads. In 2017, London's Graeae Theatre Company, which showcases artists with disabilities, produced a gleefully raucous musical about his life, Reasons to Be Cheerful, filled with songs from his career, including his in-your-face anthem "Spasticus Autisticus." Watch for free until Monday, August 3 on Graeae Theatre Company's YouTube channel. There's also an audio-described version.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Jon Cypher and Julie Andrews in Cinderella.