Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
While in-person theatre is back in NYC, there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this weekend, Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12, for free or at low cost.
Ars Nova ANT Fest: Rip Her to Shreds
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Ars Nova's annual ANT Fest showcases exciting emerging artists (remember, this is where Lin-Manuel Miranda started!). This year's edition takes place in person at Ars Nova's Midtown theatre, but you can also live-stream the performances online. Tonight, catch Isabelle Barbier's Rip Her to Shreds, a dark comedic journey through the roller-coaster ride of girlhood that explores friendship, consent and bullying. Tickets are $10 for streaming, $15 for in person.
Fake Friends: Circle Jerk
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the virtual premiere of Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley's Circle Jerk was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize. Now the playwright-performers are mounting an in-person production of their critically acclaimed satire at the Connelly Theater that will also be streamed to at-home audiences. A cavalcade of pop and Internet culture references fly in this romp about two white gay Internet trolls plotting to take back what isn't theirs by creating total chaos via cancellations, meme schemes, and political and erotic machinations. The cast of three plays nine kooky roles in this live-streamed descent into online hell. Tickets start at $5. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
Ars Nova ANT Fest: untitled Waifu play.
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Ars Nova's annual ANT Fest showcases exciting emerging artists (remember, this is where Lin-Manuel Miranda started!). This year's edition takes place in person at Ars Nova's Midtown theatre, but you can also live-stream the performances online. Tonight, catch Char Nakashima-Conway's untitled Waifu play. about an anime-loving outcast who thinks he's finally found an online community where he fits in. A play about love, fetishization, loneliness and the challenges of dating when you suffer from self-loathing. Jonathan Chang directs. Tickets are $10 for streaming, $15 for in person.
Fake Friends: Circle Jerk
On Saturday at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. ET, the virtual premiere of Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley's Circle Jerk was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize. Now the playwright-performers are mounting an in-person production of their critically acclaimed satire at the Connelly Theater that will also be streamed to at-home audiences. A cavalcade of pop and Internet culture references fly in this romp about two white gay Internet trolls plotting to take back what isn't theirs by creating total chaos via cancellations, meme schemes, and political and erotic machinations. The cast of three plays nine kooky roles in this live-streamed descent into online hell. Tickets start at $5. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
2022 Tony Awards
Tonys! Tonys! Tonys! Sunday night is all about Broadway's historic 2021-2022 reopening season. The ceremony itself is split into two parts on two different channels, and TDF will be reacting to all the drama in real time. Here's how to watch:
On Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, there are two ways to experience The Orchard, theatre director Igor Golyak's mind-blowing riff on Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. In-person audiences at the Baryshnikov Arts Center will see Mikhail Baryshnikov and Tony nominee Jessica Hecht in this classic tale of a Russian family contemplating the demise of their estate and way of life. Streaming audiences experience the play in a totally different way, with Baryshnikov portraying Chekhov, who takes you on a virtual tour of the theatre where each space holds a different memory. Oh, and did I mention the 12-foot robotic arm that's programmed to cater to the characters? If this all sounds confounding, I encourage you to read the feature in The New York Times, which gives a nice backstory on Golyak and his Massachusetts-based Arlekin Players Theatre, which has been creating exciting virtual works through its Zero Gravity (zero-G) lab throughout the pandemic. Golyak is a Russian theatre trained Ukrainian immigrant, so his take on this Chekhov classic is personal, political and heartbreaking. Tickets for the streaming experience are $29. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
PBS: True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs
Celebrate Pride Month with a colorful concert and LGBTQ+ history lesson featuring Broadway stars André De Shields and Peppermint performing alongside the Indigo Girls, Glee's Chris Colfer and other out-and-proud artists. Two-time Tony winner Cynthia Nixon also appears. Watch for free until Saturday, July 2 on PBS' website. Captions are available.
Becoming Dr. Ruth
The Museum of Jewish Heritage presents Bay Street Theater's production of Becoming Dr. Ruth starring four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh. Mark St. Germain's inspiring one-woman bio play about the cheery sex therapist chronicles her compelling past, including losing her family in the Holocaust, working as a sniper for the Haganah and finally finding Mr. Right after two divorces. David Ellenstein directs the production, which was filmed live on stage. Tickets are $24 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
The New Victory Theater: Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster
The New Victory Theater is currently presenting an in-person production of Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster but you can also stream a recording at home. Officially, this hour-long romp inspired by Mo Willems' popular picture book of the same name is aimed at theatregoers ages 4 to 7. But fans of the endlessly inventive multimedia collective Manual Cinema won't want to miss this eye-popping piece of theatre for young audiences, even if they fall outside the target demo. Using surprisingly expressive paper puppets, projections and live music, the troupe conjures the tale of a monster who's terrified he's not scary enough. So, he sets out to find the most sensitive kid in the world. But will he end up frightening him or befriending him? Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, June 30. If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Revelations
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents the namesake choreographer's enduring masterpiece Revelations. Recorded live on stage at last year's opening night gala, this breathtaking piece explores African-American history, grief and joy through movement set to spirituals, song-sermons, gospel and blues. Watch for free until Sunday, June 19 on Ailey's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Alley Theatre: Born with Teeth
Houston's celebrated Alley Theatre recently presented the world premiere of Born with Teeth and now you can stream a recording online. Written by Liz Duffy Adams, the two-hander centers on a pair of Elizabethan poets, the legendary Christopher Marlowe and up-and-comer William Shakespeare, as they meet in the backroom of a pub to collaborate on a history play cycle, navigate the challenges of art under a totalitarian regime and flirt mercilessly. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, June 19.
PBS: American Masters: Joe Papp in Five Acts
American Masters profiles the inimitable Joseph Papp, founder of The Public Theater and Free Shakespeare in the Park. A champion of bringing the performing arts to everyone who produced groundbreaking shows such as Hair, A Chorus Line and for colored girls..., Papp was a cultural change agent for half a century. This 90-minute documentary features rare footage of the man and the artists he loved, as well as interviews with James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Larry Kramer, Mandy Patinkin, Martin Sheen, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken and George C. Wolfe. Watch for free until Saturday, July 2 on PBS' website. Captions are available.
PBS: National Memorial Day Concert
Last chance! PBS presents the annual National Memorial Day Concert honoring the military service and sacrifice of all our folks in uniform. Recorded live in Washington, DC, the evening features a starry lineup, including Broadway vets such as Lea Salonga, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Norm Lewis as well as Joe Mantegna, Gary Sinise, Pia Toscan and various military bands. Watch for free until Sunday on on PBS' website.
PBS Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim
PBS Great Performances presents Keeping Company with Sondheim, a new documentary about director Marianne Elliott's gender-swapped revival of Company, which is nominated for nine 2022 Tony Awards. Filmed over two years, the doc features rehearsal and performance footage from pre- and post-(fingers crossed!) pandemic, plus interviews with Elliott, the late, great Stephen Sondheim, stars Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, and members of the musical's original 1970 cast. Watch for free until Friday, June 24 on PBS' website.
PBS Great Performances: Merry Wives
PBS Great Performances presents Merry Wives, Jocelyn Bioh's fabulous one-act adaptation of the Bard's The Merry Wives of Windsor, filmed live on stage at Shakespeare in the Park's Delacorte Theater last summer. Set in modern-day Harlem with ladies' man Falstaff (Broadway vet Jacob Ming-Trent) attempting to woo two married West African immigrants, the show is an exuberant romp that celebrates broad comedy and Black joy. Saheem Ali directs an all-Black cast in this laugh-out-loud comedy, which I absolutely loved. Watch for free until Friday, June 17 on on PBS' website.
Roe v. Wade 2.0
Last month, Margaret Vandenburg presented a reading of her "theatrical rallying cry" Roe v. Wade 2.0, and you can watch a recording through June. A satire about women's reproductive rights (or lack thereof), the play dramatizes the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization oral arguments from December 2021 that may be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. Carrie Preston (True Blood), Joel de la Fuente (The Man in the High Castle) and Florencia Lozano (One Life to Live) lead the cast. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Friday, July 1.
Broadway on Demand: Allegiance
Broadway on Demand presents Allegiance, a landmark musical about an American family forced by the US government into a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The show is loosely based on the life of Star Trek's George Takei, who stars alongside Katie Rose Clarke, Telly Leung and Tony winner Lea Salonga. A 48-hour rental costs $12 and the recording is viewable until Tuesday, July 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
All Arts: King Lear Starring James Earl Jones
Here's a gem from the vaults: All Arts is streaming a 1974 mounting of King Lear headlined by James Earl Jones! Filmed live on stage at the Delacorte Theater for the New York Shakespeare Festival (now known as Shakespeare in the Park), the production also features Raul Julia, Rosalind Cash and Paul Sorvino. A great way to get psyched for the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park season! Watch for free on All Arts' website.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Ariana DeBose, who is hosting the 75th annual Tony Awards on Sunday evening. Photo by John Russo.