20+ Stage Performances to Watch This Weekend June 4-6
By RAVEN SNOOK
Friday, June 04, 2021  •  
Fri Jun 4, 2021  •  
Broadway  •   1 comment Share This

With in-person theatre still a rarity for the time being, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this weekend, Friday, June 4 to Sunday, June 6, for free or at low cost.

Friday, June 4

Rising Stars 2021: Behind the Mask
On Friday at 4 p.m. ET, NYC's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, better known as the "Fame" school, presents its jaw-dropping talent show. This year, the annual event goes online so you can catch a wide array of performances by talented teens who are attending the school that gave us Timothée Chalamet, Awkwafina, Nicki Minaj and Michael Che. Watch for free all weekend on All Arts.

Mike Daisey: A Really Ordinary Misery
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, even the pandemic can't keep master monologist Mike Daisey down! The performer-playwright (The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, If You See Something Say Something) returns to The Kraine in the East Village for his third searing solo piece in as many months: A Really Ordinary Misery. Performed live on stage to an all-vaccinated audience but also streamed to at-home viewers, this new work is an exploration of happiness, misery and the space we spend most of our time occupying in between. Daisey's no-holds-barred shows are frequently funny and always insightful. Tickets are $15.

Playwrights Horizons: The KILL ONE Race
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, equal parts theatre, reality TV competition and documentary, this online series from the multitalented Raja Feather Kelly follows participants in an arduous contest to be crowned the most ethical. The prize? Death. Filmed at Playwrights Horizons, this dystopian exploration of morality versus media will unfold in seven episodes over the next week, starting with installments one and two this evening. Watch for free online.

Songs for Our City
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Broadway Sessions host Ben Cameron is behind the Songs for Our City competition, a week of live Times Square concerts that will also be streamed online, featuring brand-new NYC-centric numbers written by Broadway actors and composers. On Friday, enjoy tunes by é boylan, Jaime Cepero, Jasmine Forsberg, Max Sangerman, and Will Van Dyke & Jeff Talbott. The finalists will face off on Saturday in a concert judged by Jack Phillips Moore from The Public Theater, theatre critic and TDF Stages contributor Jose Solís and Cambodian Rock Band playwright Lauren Yee. Watch for free on Times Square Alliance's website.

The Metropolitan Opera: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents James Robinson's lauded production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which was recorded at the venue just a month before the shutdown. Eric Owens and Angel Blue star as the title couple trying to find happiness on Catfish Row, and the supporting cast includes Alfred Walker, Frederick Ballentine, Latonia Moore, Golda Schultz and Donovan Singletary. This is a breathtaking mounting of a classic, with a Tony-winning creative team and choreography by Camille A. Brown. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Fille du Régiment, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Barrington Stage Company: Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company presents Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back, a surreal dark comedy about the insidiousness of colonization. Daniella De Jesús' fantasia alternates between a modern-day Dominican-American student grappling with her identity, and a young woman on the isle of Hispaniola who comes face-to-face with Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1492. Wicked alum Gizel Jimenez and Jessica Pimentel from Orange Is the New Black star. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Sunday.

Dixon Place: Bill's 44th
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown's invaluable Dixon Place presents Andy Manjuck and Dorothy James' coming-of-middle-age puppet comedy Bill's 44th, about a high-strung man whose birthday goes awry. Tickets start at $12.

Broadway Stories & Songs: Victoria Clark
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Tony-winning orchestrator and musical director Ted Sperling continues his live online concert series Broadway Stories & Songs, showcasing the talents and tales of New York stage favorites. Tonight's guest is his college pal Victoria Clark, a celebrated Broadway soprano who earned Tony nominations for her melodious turns in Sister Act, Cinderella and Gigi, and a Tony Award for her heartrending performance as a concerned mother in The Light in the Piazza, a production Sperling also worked on. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.

Saturday, June 5

Broadway Stories & Songs: Victoria Clark
On Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, Tony-winning orchestrator and musical director Ted Sperling continues his live online concert series Broadway Stories & Songs, showcasing the talents and tales of New York stage favorites. Tonight's guest is his college pal Victoria Clark, a celebrated Broadway soprano who earned Tony nominations for her melodious turns in Sister Act, Cinderella and Gigi, and a Tony Award for her heartrending performance as a concerned mother in The Light in the Piazza, a production Sperling also worked on. Tickets are $25. Note: this is a replay of Friday night's live concert.

Songs for Our City
On Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, Broadway Sessions host Ben Cameron is behind the Songs for Our City competition, a week of live Times Square concerts that will also be streamed online, featuring brand-new NYC-centric numbers written by Broadway actors and composers. Tonight is the finale, with the eight finalists chosen earlier this week facing off in a performance judged by Jack Phillips Moore from The Public Theater, theatre critic and TDF Stages contributor Jose Solís and Cambodian Rock Band playwright Lauren Yee. There will be two winners, one chosen by the judges, the other picked by the audience. Watch for free on Times Square Alliance's website.

Play-PerView: How to Raise a Freeman
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a live reading of How to Raise a Freeman, Zakiyyah Alexander's powerful drama about what it takes for an American family to make sure their Black son doesn't become a devastating statistic. Susan Dalian directs Karla Mosley, Brandon Scott, John Chaffin, Aric Floyd and Desean Terry. Tickets start at $5 and net proceeds go to JusticeLA. Can't make the live performance? For $20, you can watch a recording until Wednesday, June 9.

The Metropolitan Opera: Macbeth
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi's Macbeth featuring Željko Lucic and Anna Netrebko as an aspirational couple with blood on their hands. Joseph Calleja and René Pape costar in this 2014 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Porgy and Bess, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Dixon Place: Bill's 44th
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown's invaluable Dixon Place presents Andy Manjuck and Dorothy James's coming-of-middle-age puppet comedy Bill's 44th, about a high-strung man whose birthday goes awry. Tickets start at $12.

Broadway on Demand: We Have to Hurry
On Saturday at 7:40 p.m. ET, three-time Tony nominee Alfred Molina headlines We Have to Hurry, a bittersweet romance by TV vet Dorothy Lyman about two septuagenarian neighbors in a Florida retirement community who just might have a chance at love... if only mandatory isolation weren't keeping them apart. The playwright herself costars in this two-hander and Patricia Vanstone directs. Tickets are $17. For $10 more you can also attend a post-performance talkback with the artists.

Stars in the House: Aida Reunion
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, it's an Aida reunion on Stars in the House! Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome original cast members from this Elton John-Tim Rice smash, including the Tony-winning star Heather Headley, alongside Adam Pascal, Sherie Rene Scott, Tyrees Allen, John Hickok, Daniel Oreskes and Schele Williams, who's slated to direct the musical's upcoming revival. "Every Story Is a Love Story" indeed. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

Sunday, June 6

The Show Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre
On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, ever since the pandemic began, the UK-based The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel has been keeping the magic of musicals alive by streaming recordings of popular shows for free. But this week, the presenters traded the screen for the stage by producing a series of in-person concerts at London's Palace Theatre, with the final performance also live-streamed to an at-home audience. Enjoy intimate numbers, mostly solos and duets, from some of the West End's biggest blockbusters, including Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, SIX, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Matilda the Musical, & Juliet, Les Misérables, The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Come From Away, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia!, Back to the Future the Musical and Pretty Woman the Musical. Watch for free until Friday, June 11 at 2 p.m. on YouTube though donations to the Theatre Support Fund+ are encouraged.

Broadway on Demand: We Have to Hurry
On Sunday at 2:40 p.m. ET, three-time Tony nominee Alfred Molina headlines We Have to Hurry, a bittersweet romance by TV vet Dorothy Lyman about two septuagenarian neighbors in a Florida retirement community who just might have chance at love... if only mandatory isolation weren't keeping them apart. The playwright herself costars in this two-hander and Patricia Vanstone directs. Tickets are $17. For $10 more you can also attend a post-performance talkback with the artists.

The Seth Concert Series: Alex Newell
On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, musical director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts with Broadway stars for the past decade. This year he brings the show online and today's headliner is the fabulous Alex Newell. The singer-actor came to fame as a teen, vying for a guest spot on Glee on the reality competition The Glee Project. Newell was named first runner-up, but their character Wade "Unique" Adams was so popular, they had a multi-season arc. Although Newell has only appeared on Broadway once in Once on This Island, they brought down the house with their rousing rendition of "Mama Will Provide", which showed off their jaw-dropping range. Proudly gender nonconforming, Newell is currently playing Mo, the stylish BFF of the title character on NBC's musical series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. What will they sing tonight with Seth? Honestly, anything they want—there's no song Newell can't slay! Tickets are $25. The 3 p.m. performance is live; 8 p.m. is the replay.

The Metropolitan Opera: Akhnaten
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares Akhnaten, Philip Glass' epic opera inspired by the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. This production was a sold-out smash in 2019, with jugglers and acrobats performing alongside stars Dísella Lárusdóttir, J'Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein and Zachary James. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Macbeth, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab: chekhovOS / an experimental game/
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, Zero Gravity (zero-G) Lab presents chekhovOS / an experimental game/, an interactive online workshop by virtual performance innovator Igor Golyak that fuses film, theatre and video game technology to explore Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard as well as the Russian dramatist's life. Tony nominee Jessica Hecht stars and actor and ballet icon Mikhail Baryshnikov appears as Chekhov. This offbeat offering got a rave review in The New York Times just this week! Log on ready to participate. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link; donations are encouraged.

All Weekend

Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays: Ohio State Murders
Since spring of 2020, Broadway's Best Shows has presented performances of important plays featuring big stars acting from their respective homes. The series continues with six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald in Ohio State Murders. When writer Suzanne Alexander is invited to her alma mater to talk about the violence in her work, a dark mystery begins to unravel. Written by acclaimed dramatist Adrienne Kennedy, Ohio State Murders is a powerful examination of the destructiveness of racism in the US. Warner Miller, Lizan Mitchell and Ben Rappaport costar, and Tony winner Kenny Leon directs. Tickets are $19 and the recording is viewable until Monday at 6 p.m. ET.

Bard at the Gate: Bulrusher
Last year, 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 the new season kicks off with an encore stream of Eisa Davis' Bulrusher, a sexual and political coming-of-age tale about a multiracial girl with clairvoyant gifts struggling to belong in her predominantly white town in 1955 California. But when a Black girl from Alabama arrives, everything shifts. Recorded remotely in fall 2020, the performance stars Corey Stoll, Kara Young, André Holland, Edmund Donovan, Sydney Elisabeth and Tanis Parenteau, and is directed by the playwright. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Wednesday.

New York City Ballet: George Balanchine's Vienna Waltzes
New York City Ballet wraps up its digital spring season with George Balanchine's 1977 epic Vienna Waltzes, set to music by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehár and Richard Strauss and featuring more than 50 dancers. This performance was filmed in 2013 and stars Rebecca Krohn, Tyler Angle, Megan Fairchild, Anthony Huxley, Erica Pereira, Sean Suozzi, Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Maria Kowroski and Jared Angle weaving through Rouben Ter-Arutunian's evolving scenery. Watch for free until Thursday, June 17 on NYCB's YouTube channel.

The Joyce Theater: RUBBERBAND: Vic's Mix
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with Canadian company RUBBERBAND, known for fusing street dance with classical movement. Founded by choreographer Victor Quijada in 2002, this Vic's Mix program features highlights from two decades of boundary-blurring dance. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 16.

Manhattan Theatre Club: The Niceties
Manhattan Theatre Club presents The Niceties, Eleanor Burgess' thought-provoking two-hander about a Black student and her veteran white college professor locking horns over the presentation of American history. The play sparked lots of conversation when it ran Off Broadway at MTC in 2018. This new digital mounting, co-presented by Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, reunites the stars of that production, Lisa Banes and Jordan Boatman, with director Kimberly Senior. RSVP to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, June 13.

The Vineyard Theatre: Brutal Imagination
It's your last chance to watch Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination at The Vineyard Theatre, featuring Joe Morton and Sally Murphy reprising their roles from 20 years ago. Directed by Morton, the drama is inspired by the infamous case of Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina who falsely claimed that a Black man kidnapped her children when, in fact, she had drowned them. A potent examination of dangerous racial stereotyping in America, then and now. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Monday.

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

Top image: Alex Newell, who's performing a live concert on Sunday. Photo by Ricky Middlesworth Photography.




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1 Comment:
Kate H said:
Thank you for keeping us informed during Covid--all the free things have helped keep me sane! KH, San Francisco
Posted on 6/4/2021 at 11:39 PM
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