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Top 5 Stage Performances to Stream This Weekend May 24-27

By: Raven Snook
Date: May 20, 2024
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Even though in-person theatre and dance are back in full swing, in the name of accessibility we're continuing to round up performances to watch online from the comfort of home. Our curated list spotlights the five best options to stream this Memorial Day weekend, Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27, all for FREE. 


PBS Great Performances: Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Airing on TV on PBS Thirteen on Friday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET for FREE. Streaming online until Friday, July 19.

Last fall, this long overdue Broadway revival of Ossie Davis' 1961 satire about racism earned raves. Now Purlie Victorious has been nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Revival, Best Director for Kenny Leon and acting nods for stars Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young. If you missed this production or just want to revisit this wonderful play, PBS Great Performances is streaming a recording starting this Friday. Subtitled "A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch," this politically charged comedy centers on a Black preacher (Odom) who returns to his rural Georgia home hell-bent on winning back his church and freeing his people from an exploitative overseer (Jay O. Sanders). Witty, wise and timelier than ever.

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PBS Great Performances: Richard III

Streaming Friday, May 24 to Sunday, June 30 for FREE.

Since The Public Theater is doing a massive renovation of the Delacorte Theater, there is no Shakespeare in the Park this summer. Happily, you can enjoy some fantastic productions from seasons past courtesy of PBS Great Performances. In addition to Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives, which are already streaming, starting this Friday you can watch Danai Gurira in Robert O'Hara's radically inclusive Richard III. The Black Panther star is riveting as the power-hungry and ruthless title villain, who's determined to become king at all costs. The diverse ensemble also includes Oklahoma! Tony winner Ali Stroker as Richard's conquest Anne, Heather Alicia Simms as Queen Elizabeth and Tina Tony nominee Daniel J. Watts.

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PBS: National Memorial Day Concert

Airing on TV on PBS Thirteen on Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m. ET for FREE. Available to stream online until Sunday, June 9.

PBS presents the annual National Memorial Day Concert honoring the military service and sacrifice of all our folks in uniform. Streamed live from Washington, DC, the evening features a starry lineup of Broadway favorites, including Tony winners Cynthia Erivo, Patina Miller, Bryan Cranston, Ruthie Ann Miles and BD Wong alongside various military bands.

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PBS Great Performances: Keeping Company with Sondheim

Streaming until Sunday, June 30 for FREE.

PBS Great Performances presents Keeping Company with Sondheim, a documentary about director Marianne Elliott's gender-swapped revival of Company, which won the 2022 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Filmed over two years, the doc features rehearsal and performance footage from pre- and post-shutdown, plus interviews with Elliott, the late, great Stephen Sondheim, stars Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, and members of the musical's original 1970 cast.

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American Masters: Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life

Streaming all month for FREE.

Less than a year before we lost the prolific playwright Terrence McNally to COVID, this wonderful documentary about his six-decade career premiered on PBS American Masters. Learn about his groundbreaking plays, including the Tony-winning Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, and the many books he wrote for musicals, including Ragtime, The Full Monty and Kiss of the Spider Woman. His LGBTQ activism and triumph over addiction are also explored in this jam-packed, 90-minute portrait.

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Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her on Facebook at @Raven.Snook. Follow TDF on Facebook at @TDFNYC.