Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
In-person shows have been back for over a year now, but sometimes we want to get our theatre fix at home. Thankfully, there are still wonderful stage performances to watch online. Our carefully curated list spotlights the five best performances to stream this weekend, Friday, August 12 to Sunday, August 14, for free or at low cost.
Streaming for FREE to Netflix subscribers
Jason Robert Brown's short-lived Broadway musical 13 about an ambitious bar mitzvah boy gets a new life as a Netflix movie. Featuring an overhauled story by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, a few additional songs by Brown and a fresh-faced cast of diverse teens, this coming-of-age tale centers on Evan (Eli Golden), a geeky New Yorker who moves to Indiana with his mom after his parents split. Once there, he sets out to throw the best bar miztvah ever... and become popular in the process. Such chutzpah! The adult cast includes funny folks such as Debra Messing and Rhea Perlman as his mother and bubbe respectively, and former child star Josh Peck as a rabbi.
Streaming for FREE
Recorded live on stage in 2005, Druid Theatre Company's acclaimed production of John Millington Synge's The Playboy of the Western World is Irish theatre at its most lyrical. Helmed by the troupe's Tony-winning artistic director Garry Hynes, this comic masterpiece is set at the turn of the 20th century and centers on Christy Mahon, who wanders into a public house in County Mayo claiming he killed his father, a tale that captures the romantic attention of many women in the town. Obie winner Aaron Monaghan stars.
Streaming through Monday, August 29, many shows are FREE
The world's largest arts festival, Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is back in person this year, but many offerings are also being streamed to adventurous at-home audiences. Check out performances from artists around the world, including cutting-edge comedy, experimental theatre, wacky musicals and the indefinable. Some shows cost money, others are free; some are available on demand, others have specific start times. Browse the streaming options to see what piques your interest.
Streaming Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 at 7 p.m. ET for FREE
The 41st annual Battery Dance Festival is a hybrid event, with all in-person performances streamed directly from Robert F. Wagner Park in lower Manhattan. The nine-day fest kicks off on Saturday with Young Voices in Dance, celebrating choreographers and dancers ages 15 to 22. The Sunday evening program features a half dozen eclectic companies, including Dancing Wheels, an integrated troupe of disabled and nondisabled dancers; Ballet Nepantla, which fuses Mexican folk and contemporary ballet; Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and world dance experts The Vanaver Caravan. Links will be posted on the fest's website a few hours before showtime.
Streaming through Tuesday, August 16 for $7-$12
Grace Aki's hilarious and harrowing autobiographical solo show just finished up a run at the East Village's Connelly Theater as part of the SheNYC Theater Festival, but you can stream a recording at home this weekend. Developed with frequent Mike Birbiglia collaborator Seth Barrish, To Free a Mockingbird chronicles Aki's upbringing as a petite, Japanese-American Southerner grappling with bipolar disorder, sexual abuse and an alcoholic father. A combination of confessional storytelling and very dark stand-up.
Top image: The cast of Netflix's 13. Photo courtesy of Netflix.