Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
In-person theatre is back in NYC, both on Broadway and beyond. But there are still wonderful shows to stream at home. Below are performances you can watch online this weekend, Friday, September 24 to Sunday, September 26, for free or at low cost, including the Tony Awards and the star-studded Broadway's Back! concert.
Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays: Stupid Kids
Throughout the shutdown, Broadway's Best Shows presented virtual performances of important plays featuring big stars acting from their respective homes. Even though in-person theatre has resumed, the series has one more treat for us: the undersung teenage dramedy Stupid Kids. Written by the late John C. Russell, the play was staged Off Broadway in 1998 by an emerging director named Michael Mayer. Now an acclaimed Tony winner, Mayer is revisiting this personal favorite about four students at Joe McCarthy High School in the '80s struggling to navigate their way through the gauntlet of adolescence. I saw this back in 1998 and I still remember it fondly. It's an authentic and amusing portrait of youth. Tony winner Ali Stroker, Tony nominee Lauren Patten, John Clay III and Taylor Trensch star. Watch for free until Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
El Centro del Sur Latinx Theater Festival: Womxn in Herstory
On Friday at 10 p.m. ET, in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, LA's A Place Called Home presents El Centro del Sur Latinx Theater Festival featuring six plays, each mounted by a local company. Tonight, catch Womxn In Herstory, an evening of shorts by Latina artists curated by Casa 0101 Theater and Chicanas, Cholas, y Chisme. Register to receive the free viewing link. Spanish subtitles are available.
Third Rail Projects: Return the Moon
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, endlessly inventive immersive theatre company Third Rail Projects (Then She Fell, The Grand Paradise) presents Return the Moon, a live, interactive, created-for-Zoom theatrical experience that uses a fairy tale about the moon as a way to conjure art and community. Conceived and directed by Zach Morris, the 75-minute piece is performed for a small audience who participate in the evening's outcome and even receive a post-performance gift in the mail. Log on ready to share. Tickets start at $15.
El Centro del Sur Latinx Theater Festival: Alice in Slasherland
On Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, LA's A Place Called Home presents El Centro del Sur Latinx Theater Festival featuring six plays, each mounted by a local company. This fest wraps up tonight with A Place Called Home's mounting of Qui Nguyen's gloriously gory comedy Alice in Slasherland, about a young Latino student who accidentally resurrects the soul of a brutally slain girl, unleashing a literal hell on Earth. Register to receive the free viewing link. Spanish subtitles are available.
2020 Tony Awards and Broadway's Back! Concert
Tonys! Tonys! Tonys! Sunday night is all about the long-delayed celebration of the truncated 2019-2020 Broadway 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:
Third Rail Projects: Return the Moon
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, endlessly inventive immersive theatre company Third Rail Projects (Then She Fell, The Grand Paradise) presents Return the Moon, a live, interactive, created-for-Zoom theatrical experience that uses a fairy tale about the moon as a way to conjure art and community. Conceived and directed by Zach Morris, the 75-minute piece is performed for a small audience who participate in the evening's outcome and even receive a post-performance gift in the mail. Log on ready to share. Tickets start at $15.
Primary Stages: BadAss GalBoss Power Hour (Mandatory Meeting – 11/18/2020)
Primary Stages plans to return to in-person productions next spring. In the interim, the renowned Off-Broadway theatre is presenting some intriguing virtual fare, starting with BadAss GalBoss Power Hour (Mandatory Meeting – 11/18/2020), written by and starring the fabulous Kate Hamill. Celebrated for her witty page-to-stage adaptations (Sense and Sensibility, Little Women), Hamill crafted this new hour-long comedy specifically for Zoom as a multi-level marketing company attempts to use a feminist agenda to sell defective beauty products. Hand to God Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs a crackerjack ensemble cast. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, October 13.
PBS: Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes
PBS Great Performances 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 live on stage at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. Watch for free until Friday October 15 on PBS' website.
Ian McKellen on Stage
Enjoy a glorious two and a half hours with the incomparable Ian McKellen as he shares behind-the-scenes stories about his incredible career on stage and screen, as well as excerpts from some of his legendary performances in this solo tour de force. Directed by Sean Mathias and recorded live on stage by London's National Theatre, this enchanting reminiscence includes recreations of scenes from Shakespeare as well as The Lord of the Rings. The man's got range! Tickets are $30 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to theatres. The recording is viewable until Sunday, October 3.
Alvin Ailey: Jamar Roberts' A Jam Session for Troubling Times
The incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents A Jam Session for Troubling Times created last year by resident choreographer Jamar Roberts. Fashioned for digital consumption and set to music by jazz greats Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, the piece uses the uplifting sounds of bebop to raise our spirits during this challenging moment. Watch for free until Tuesday, October 5 on Ailey's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
Center Theatre Group: Canyon
LA's Center Theatre Group presents Canyon, a timely new play by Jonathan Caren about a thirtysomething couple whose progressive ideals are challenged when they hire a Mexican father and son to renovate a deck and the job goes awry. Filmed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and directed on stage by rising star Whitney White, the show was coproduced by IAMA Theatre Company and The Latino Theater Company. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Friday, October 22.
Nick Cordero Memorial Tribute
Although multiple Broadway artists lost their lives to COVID-19, the death of Nick Cordero was particularly shocking. Just 41 years old and a new dad, the Bullets Over Broadway Tony nominee battled the virus for three months before passing away in July of 2020. Over the past decade, he had been a commanding yet affable presence on New York stages, with starring roles in A Bronx Tale, Waitress and the Off-Broadway cult favorite The Toxic Avenger. Last year, his family, friends and costars celebrated his life and career in a moving tribute filled with songs, personal stories, archival photographs and videos. In honor of his September birthday, the special is being restreamed for free until Friday, October 1 on Broadway on Demand.
Lantern Theater Company: Me and the Devil
Renaissance man Steve H. Broadnax III, who's poised to make his Broadway debut as the director of Thoughts of a Colored Man, cowrote, costars and helms Me and the Devil, a new play with music about blues great Robert Johnson. According to legend, the guitarist, singer and songwriter made a deal with the Devil for his talents. Broadnax plays Lucifer and Lawrence Stallings is his mark in this show, which finds Johnson trying to extract himself from the contract to save his soul. Tickets are $20 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, October 17.
New York Theatre Workshop: Semblance
Last month, Off Broadway's invaluable New York Theatre Workshop reopened with Semblance, a filmed theatrical experience by Obie-winning writer-director Whitney White examining how Black women are perceived. Now a streaming version of the show is available, challenging viewers to consider how they see and interact with Black women. Nikiya Mathis (Skeleton Crew) embodies all the characters. Tickets are $10 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, October 24.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Audra McDonald, who's hosting the Tony Awards on Paramount+ on Sunday. Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein.