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, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, for free or at low cost.
Streaming for $10 indefinitely
In 2020, London's lauded National Theatre launched its own streaming service featuring professional recordings of its stage productions. While you can buy a subscription, shows are also available to rent individually for 72 hours. New to the roster is The Book of Dust, a prequel to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials which revisits his fantastical world where waters are out of control. Two young folks find themselves the focus of a terrifying manhunt as they try to protect a tiny child named Lyra Belacqua, who holds the key to the future. As the waters rise around them, powerful adversaries conspire for mastery of Dust: salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others. Tony-winning director Nicholas Hytner helms this critically acclaimed, eye-popping epic, which was filmed at the National in 2021. The Book of Dust costs $10 and captions are available. It's just one of many fantastic National Theatre shows you can stream, so be sure to browse the entire list.
Streaming until Tuesday, October 25 for $6
During the shutdown, Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Paula Vogel launched Bard at the Gate, a play reading series showcasing timely, under-the-radar scripts. The initiative is now being presented by New Jersey's lauded McCarter Theatre Center and its latest offering is Shapeshifter, Laura Schellhardt's contemporary folktale about a young girl on a remote island, grappling with the mysterious loss of her mother. As the truth unfolds, two strangers arrive harboring secrets. Shapeshifter spotlights the consequences of restricting women's agency, whether through laws, legacy or fear of change.
Live-streaming Saturday, October 22 at 7 p.m. ET for $25
Catch 94-year-old cabaret legend Marilyn Maye in a brand-new live concert live-streaming from 54 Below's swanky stage. Backed by her world-class jazz trio, the nifty nonagenarian will put her indelible stamp on American songbook standards and Broadway show tunes while sharing stories from her eight-decade career (she started performing professionally at 14!) If you prefer to attend in person, click here for info.
Live-streaming on Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET for $25
Even though show-tune savant Seth Rudetsky is back doing shows in person, he hasn't completely abandoned the virtual realm. In fact, he's relaunched his weekly live-streamed concert series! Tonight his guest is Ali Ewoldt, who's earned legions of Phans with her glorious Broadway performances as Christine Daaé in Phantom of the Opera and as Cosette in the 2006 revival of Les Misérables. She'll use her shimmering soprano to croon songs from her career, which also includes leading roles in regional mountings of West Side Story, She Loves Me and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Streaming from Sunday, October 23 to Sunday, November 13 for FREE
Ensemble Studio Theatre's 38th Marathon of One-Act Plays kicked off last Sunday offering 11 eclectic shorts penned by BIPOC dramatists. While 10 of the shows are in person, Vera Starbard's Yan Tután is being streamed online at no cost. Directed by and starring Erin Tripp, the one-act centers on the members of an Alaska Native group facing a leadership crisis and wondering whether to abandon their traditions. Both Starbard and Tripp are Alaska Natives and the production is coproduced by the Juneau-based Perseverance Theatre.
Top image: The Book of Dust, which is streaming through National Theatre at Home. Photo by Manuel Harlan.