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Bernadette Peters in concert (2009)
Photograph: Peter James Zielinski Bernadette Peters

The best live theater to stream online on July 9 and July 10

Theaters are closed for now, but you can find great stage stars and events live online today

By Adam Feldman
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The current crisis has had a devastating effect on the performing arts. Broadway has shut down for at least the rest of 2020, and the ban on gatherings in New York extends to all other large performance spaces as well. So the show must go online—and streaming video makes that possible. Here are some of the best theater, opera, dance and cabaret events you can watch today without leaving home, many of which will help you support artists and charities. Performances that go live today are at the top of the list; scroll down past the daily listings to find events you can still watch for a limited time and, below that, a bonus section of videos that have no expiration. We update this page daily, so bookmark it for the latest information. 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Now (available through July 22)
Located in Ashland, Oregon, the OSF has had more than 20 million visitors since it was established back in 1935. On its new streaming service, Shows on O!, the company is now sharing a video of director Joseph Haj’s pre-closure 2020 production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which a bossy Bottom falls into a wild world of drugged-up fairy sex. Also currently available for streaming (through July 15) is Karen Zacarias’s The Copper Children, which looks at a crisis that erupted in 1904 when orphans from New York were sent to live with Mexican families in Arizona. Each recording can be rented for 48 hours for $15.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Photograph: Jenny Graham

National Theatre: The Deep Blue Sea
Now (available for one week)
Thanks to its NT Live series, London’s venerable National Theatre has a treasure trove of excellent recordings of past productions—and now it is streaming one play per week for free on YouTube in a series that comes to an end on July 16. This next-to-last offering, filmed in 2016, is director Carrie Cracknell’s highly acclaimed revival of Terence Rattigan’s melancholy 1952 drama The Deep Blue Sea, starring Helen McCrory as a woman trying to piece her life together after an unsuccessful suciide attempt. “It’s a beautifully judged, exquisitely sad production that remains faithful to Rattigan’s period setting, but subtly enhances it,” wrote Andrzej Lukowski in his five-star Time Out London review. “What is most striking about [McCrory’s] performance is not her weakness but her strength, her almost fearsome calm and composure. Where Hester’s flash lover Freddie (Tom Burke) is a drunken, self-centred mess and her wealthy estranged husband William (Peter Sullivan) has a sweet lack of complexity, Hester is lucid, self-possessed and agonisingly self-aware.”

The Deep Blue Sea | Photograph: Richard Hubert Smith

Stratford Festival: Romeo and Juliet
Now (available through July 30)
The pride of Canadian theater, Ontario's Stratford Festival, has been forced to put its 2020 season on hold, but every week it is offering a free taste of its excellence: full recordings of a dozen past Shakespeare productions, which were filmed for cinematic release. Each show remains viewable for three weeks. In this latest offering, Scott Wentworth directs a 2017 production of Shakespeare's family-feud tragedy, in which rebellious teens have sex and score drugs from a local priest. Antoine Yared and Sara Farb play the title roles.

Romeo and Juliet | Photograph: Lynda Churilla

HERE: A Series of Landscapes
Friday 1pm EDT / 6pm BST (live only)
Seven performers Zoom together in A Series of Landscapes, a dreamlike original opera-theater work created by the New York new-music collective thingNY and presented by the arts center HERE. The creators are Gelsey Bell, Isabel Castellvi, Andrew Livingston, Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Dave Ruder and Jeffrey Young. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, and reservations are required; the show is performed live this afternoon and twice tomorrow. 

A Series of Landscapes | Photograph: thingNY

The Shows Must Go On!: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Friday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST (available for 48 hours)
The YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On! began by rolling out a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical every week, then moved on to NBC’s live broadcasts of musicals. As its last offering before going on hiatus through at least the middle of August, the series returns to the beginning: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which it first streamed way way back at the start of April, not long after the crisis began. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's first musical is a cheeky pop-rock Bible story about a flashy dresser who gets sold into slavery and then rises to power after a false accusation of sexual assault. This direct-to-video 1999 film version is pure camp and a good deal of fun. Donny Osmond has the central role, and is frequently without even a shirt much less a coat. Maria Friedman does most of the vocal lifting as the Narrator; Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins have cameos as, respectively, Jacob and Potiphar's Wife.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat | Photograph: Courtesy the Really Useful Group

Royal Ballet : Romeo and Juliet
Friday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST (available through July 22)
The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden has been streaming operas and ballets every week to help culture-hungry Brits and others get through the coronavirus pandemic. This week's selection is Kenneth MacMillan’s 1965 stab at Romeo and Juliet, set to Prokofiev’s beloved score. The star-crossed stars of this 2015 performance are Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball. 

Romeo and Juliet | Photograph: Alice Pennefather

Cirque du Soleil
Friday 3pm EDT / 8pm BST
In its ongoing CirqueConnect series, the Québécois neocircus behemoth Cirque du Soleil continues to draw treasures from its rich vault of archives. This week's special includes acrobatic highlights from LuziaBazzar and the steampunk-themed Kurios—Cabinet of Coriosities.

Luzia | Photograph: Matt Beard

Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
Friday 4pm–9:30pm EDT / 9pm–2:30am BST
See Thursday 4pm. Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Kenney Green (@KenneyGreenMusic) and Brandon James Gwinn (@brandonjamesg).

Julie Halston: Virtual Halston
Friday 5pm EDT / 10pm BST
The divinely daffy Julie Halston suggests a cross between Teri Garr and Thelma Ritter, and her career includes many shows as Charles Busch's longtime muse as well as memorable supporting turns in such Broadway productions as Gypsy, You Can’t Take it With You and Tootsie. Now she hosts a weekly half-hour talk show, and why not? She’s one of the city’s most amusing talkers. Her guests on this episode are actor-singer Anthony Wayne (Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical) and On Stage host Frank DiLella. 

Julie Halston | Photograph: Walter McBride

Bristol Riverside Theatre: Summer Music Fest: From Phantom to Mame
Friday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
Pennsylvania’s Bristol Riverside Theatre offers a virtual edition of its annual concert series, Summer Music Fest. Each of the three shows is performed live and recorded to be shown again at two later dates. From Phantom to Mame, which debuted on July 1, is devoted to songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the late Jerry Herman. Keith Baker serves as host and music director; the lineup of singers comprises Demetria Joyce Bailey, Rebecca Robbins, Keith Spencer, Sean Thomspon and Donna Vivino (who was playing Grizabella in the national tour of Cats before the pandemic). Tickets cost $35, which will help the Bucks County company collect some much-needed bucks. 

Donna Vivino | Photograph: Justin Patterson

Metropolitan Opera: Eugene Onegin
Friday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
The Met continues its immensely popular rollout of past performances, recorded in HD and viewable for free. A different archival production goes live at 7:30pm each night and usually remains online for the next 23 hours. In tonight’s offering, Tchaikovsky’s 1879 Pushkin adaptation Eugene Onegin, the great Russian soprano Anna Netrebko plays a young woman whose heart is broken by an aristocrat—the title character, played by Mariusz Kwiecień—who comes to regret his Onegin off-again approach to romance. The great Irish actor Fiona Shaw directs this 2013 production; Valery Gergiev conducts, and the cast also includes Piotr Beczała, Alexei Tanovitski, Oksana Volkova and Elena Zaremba.

Eugene Onegin | Photograph: Ken Howard

Dixon Place: Hot! Festival
Friday 7:30pm and 9pm EDT / 12:30am and 2am BST (live only)

Escape your humdrum black-and-white life for the many shades of gay at the Hot! Festival, Dixon Place's annual celebration of all things same-sex. The festival flames on tonight with Jack Tracy’s feature film Snowflake (7:30pm), the musical-theater showcase Tin Pan Alley 2 (7:30pm) and the original sex-worker comedy Fuck Off, Julia (9pm), by the boylesque artist and porn star Chris Harder. Reservations are required. 

Chris Harder | Photograph: David Ayllon

Bernadette Peters: A Special Concert
Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available through July 14)
In a Broadway career that has spanned more than 60 years to date—in such shows as Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods and revivals of Gypsy and Follies—the perpetually lovable Bernadette Peters has established herself as one of the great musical-theater leading ladies of all time, with a special affinity for the work of Stephen Sondheim. This recording of her full 2009 concert Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre is being streamed as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The online event includes a new conversation between Peters and the charming actor Michael Urie. 

Bernadette Peters | Photograph: Peter James Zielinski

Aye Defy: Salt Pepper Ketchup
Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Actor and Play-PerView cofounder Mirirai Sithole is the motivating force behind Aye Defy, a new series of live-only readings to raise money for charity. Tonight’s play is Josh Wilder’s Salt Pepper Ketchup, which looks at an old-school Chinese take-out joint in a South Philadelphia neighborhood that is undergoing gentrification. Jeremiah Davidson directs a diverse cast of eight that includes Eston Fung and Jenelle Chu. Reservations are required, and tickets cost $5 and up; tonight’s performance benefits Classical Theatre of Harlem and True Colors Theatre.

Eston Fung | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Four Walls Theater: Rights of Passage
Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available through July 24)
Four Walls Theater, a company created specifically to rise to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, presents a live reading of Michelle Tyrene Johnson’s drama Rights of Passage, in which A white police officer seeks legal counsel after killing an unarmed Black youngster. Sibyl Rolle directs a cast THAT consists of 2020 graduates from college and MFA programs. Anyone can watch, but audience members who reserve in advance can participate in a postshow discussion on Zoom. (Proceeds partly benefit Black Lives Matter.) 

Michelle Tyrene Johnson | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

City Garage: Iphigenia
Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available though July 8)
The experimental-theater company City Garage has been blowing minds in Santa Monica, California, since the 1980s. This weekend it is streaming an archival recording of its 2006 production of Iphigenia, Charles L. Mee’s adaptation of Euripides' tragedy Iphigenia at Aulis, in which the Greek warrior Agamemnon sacrifices his family for job advancement, with dire future consequences. Directed by Frederíque Michel, the show is the third and final installment of City Garage’s trilogy of Mee’s postmodern takes on the ancients.

Iphigenia | Photograph: Paul Rubenstein

Joe’s Pub: Natalie Weiss
Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
The essential downtown music hub Joe’s Pub continues its rollout of favorites from its archives. This 2019 concert features riff analyst, YouTube video star, Wicked understudy witch and American Idol semifinalist Natalie Weiss. The stream is free but donations are welcome via Venmo (@thenatalieweiss).

Natalie Weiss | Photograph: Michael Carlo

Mirrorbox Theatre: Listen for the Light
Friday 9pm EDT / 2am BST (live only)
Based in Cedar Rapids, Mirrorbox Theatre bills itself as Iowa’s only company exclusively dedicated to presenting new plays in their state premieres. In its Out of the Box series, the company presents free Zoom readings of contemporary plays every Friday night. Tonight’s offering, directed by Cavan Hallman, is Kara Lee Corthron’s Listen for the Light, which stars Peter Mark Kendall as Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and Omarr Hatcher and Catherine Blades as his two companions—a former slave and a teenage girl—in 1844 Illinois. Seating is limited and registration is required. 

Peter Mark Kendall | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Pixel Playhouse: Definitely Not Clue
Friday 9pm EDT / 2am BST (live only)
The digital-theater Pixel Playhouse presents a virtual production of Sara Beil’s interactive musical murder mystery, which blends live and recorded performances and asks audiences to solve puzzles and unlock new scenes. The story concerns a reunion of high school friends that takes an ominous turn. Ryan O’Connor directs a cast of eight. Any resemblance between the characters they have mustered and those in the board game Clue is surely just plum coincidence.

Definitely Not Clue | Photograph: Courtesy Pixel Playhouse

NOTE: If you would like to be considered for this page, please write to Adam Feldman at theaterfromhome@gmail.com. Listings continue below.  

LIMITED RUNS

Erina Takahashi in Cinderella in-the-round
Photograph: Laurent Liotardo

Cinderella (English National Ballet)

Through July 10 at 2pm EDT / 7pm BST
English National Ballet has been streaming full productions every Wednesday for months, but its series of free offerings comes to an end today. The final show is ENB’s largest production ever: Christopher Wheeldon’s version of Cinderella, performed in the round by 130 dancers as the English National Ballet Philharmonic plays Prokofiev’s score. Designed by Julian Crouch, and featuring a libretto by Craig Lucas and puppets by Basil Twist, the event was filmed last summer at the Royal Albert Hall. Alina Cojocaru is Cinderella, Isaac Hernández is her Prince and Jeffrey Ciro is his friend and valet; Tamara Rojo, Katja Khaniukova and Emma Hawes are the wicked stepfamily. 

Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera)
Photograph: Ken Howard

Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera)

Through July 10 at 5pm EDT / 10pm BST
In addition to its nightly streams, the Met offers an additional free opera from its Live in HD series every Wednesday through its Free Student Streams program. This week's study subject is Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, adapted from Shakespeare's tragedy. Gianandrea Noseda conducts this 2013 performance, which was directed by Bartlett Sher and stars Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau in the title roles.

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Francesca da Rimini
Photograph: Marty Sohl

Francesca da Rimini (Metropolitan Opera)

Through July 10 at 6:30pm EDT / 11:30 BST
The Met's 17th week of free offerings continues with a relative rarity: Zandonai’s 1914 romantic melodrama Francesca da Rimini, based on a lustful affair that landed its lovers in the second circle of Dante’s Inferno. Marco Armiliato conducts this 2013 performance, which stars Eva-Maria Westbroek as a woman who falls in love with the handsome brother (Marcello Giordani) of the nasty piece of work (Mark Delavan) to whom she is betrothed.

The Talk
Photograph: HuthPhoto

The Talk

Through July 10
Sonny Kelly performs his solo show about the lessons that black fathers are required to teach their sons about racial division in America, drawing on both his own family history and his research as a doctoral student at UNC Chapel Hill. This production, directed by Joseph Megel and coproduced by the North Carolina companies StreetSigns and Bulldog Ensemble Theater, was recorded during the show’s original run in Durham in 2019, and is being shared for free for one month. 

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Tartuffe
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Tartuffe (Molière in the Park)

Through July 12
Last year marked the launch of a new series, Molière in the Park, dedicated to presenting the oeuvre of the great 17th-century French comic playwright in Prospect Park. Today, director Lucie Tiberghien oversees a pair of free, back-to-back live readings of Tartuffe, Molière’s skewering of hypocrisy and gullibility among the upper crust. The cast, working from Richard Wilbur's classic translation, includes the intense Raúl Esparza as the cunning title character and Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale) as one of his principal dupes, along with Kaliswa Brewster, Naomi Lorrain, Jared McNeill, Jennifer Mudge, Rosemary Prinz and Carter Redwood.

Lisa Joyce in Billy and Billie
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Billy and Billie

Though July 12
St. Louis Actors’ Studio rolls out two episodes per week of Billy and Billie, a ten-part serial by Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty) that the misanthropic playwright expanded out of his own play The Way We Get By—which, oddly enough, wound up premiering after the series. Adam Brody and Lisa Joyce star as step-siblings in a taboo-breaking relationship; the supporting cast includes Jake Lacy, Frederick Weller, Victor Slezak, Eric Bogosian, Li Jun Li, Gia Crovatin, Phil Burke, Katie Paxton and the late Jan Maxwell. This week’s first two episodes get the quasi-incestuous ball rolling. 

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Ethan Lipton and band
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra (Joe’s Pub)

Through July 13 at 1pm
The essential downtown music hub Joe’s Pub continues its rollout of favorites from its archives. Tonight’s offering is a 2019 set by neo–lounge lizard and songwriter Ethan Lipton (No Place to Go), who couches his wryly idiosyncratic, sorry-grateful take on life in jazzy retro tunes. He is joined by Eben Levy on guitar, Ian Riggs on bass and Vito Dieterle on sax.

#WeAreDyingHere
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

#WeAreDyingHere (Covid Zero)

Through July 13 at 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
South African poet, writer and director Siphokazi Jonas takes a hard look at gender-based violence in her native country in a piece that she performs alongside its co-writers: spoken-word artist Hope Netshivhambe and singer Babalwa Makwetu. The show was recorded in February at the Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg. Tickets begin at 50 rands (or about $3), but for slightly more you can help provide blankets for homeless women or masks, sanitizers and food for local students. 

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Eduardo Vilaro headshot with flower
Photograph: Rachel Neville

Ballet Hispánico: Noche Unidos

Through July 13
Throughout the pandemic crisis, the venerable Latinx dance troupe Ballet Hispánico, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, has maintained a highly active engagement with the world in its B Unidos program of virtual classes, exercises, discussions and archival footage. In tonight’s virtual gala, the company premieres new works by nine choreographers: Kiri Avelar, Rodney Hamilton, Michelle Manzanales, Andrea Miller, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Pedro Ruiz,  Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Nancy Turano and artistic director Eduardo Vilaro. Along with the dances, the event features appearances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno, Norman Lear, Pacquito D'Rivera and Arturo O'Farrill.

Tribute to Balanchine (Live from Lincoln Center 1983)
Photograph: Courtesy Lincoln Center

Tribute to Balanchine (New York City Ballet)

Through July 14 at 8pm EDT / 1am BST
In this program, which was broadcast on Live from Lincoln Center in 1983, New York City Ballet celebrates the legacy of its cofounder, George Balanchine, who had died a few months earlier. The programs includes three of the master’s ballets: Vienna Waltzes, set to music by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehar and Richard Strauss; Mozartiana, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky; and Who Cares?, set to music by George Gershwin.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New York City Ballet)
Photograph: Courtesy Lincoln Center

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New York City Ballet)

Through July 14 at 8pm EDT / 1am BST
This is one of the most beloved works in New York City Ballet’s repertoire: George Balanchine’s bewitching full-length 1962 version of Shakespeare’s magic-forest romp, set to music by Felix Mendelssohn (including the now-ubiquitous “Wedding March”). NYCB opened its first season at Lincoln Center with Balanchine’s ballet back in 1964; this performance, recorded for the PBS series 
Live from Lincoln Center in 1986, includes Maria Calegari as Titania, Ib Anderson as Oberon and Jean-Pierre Frohlich as Puck.

New York City Ballet: Coppelia (1978)
Photograph: Susanne Faulkner Stevens

All Balanchine Program (New York City Ballet)

Through July 14 at 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
Lincoln Center shares a collection of New York City Ballet performances of dances by George Balanchine. On the program are three selections from a 2004 broadcast on the occasion of the choreographer’s centennial: Wendy Whelan and Damian Woetzel in the fourth movement of 
Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet; Maria Kowroski, Rachel Rutherford and James Fayette in Concerto Barocco; and Alexandra Ansanelli and Nilas Martins in the “The Man I Love“ pas de deux from Who Cares? Also featured is the third act from the 1978 Live from Lincoln Center broadcast of Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova’s reconstruction and expansion of the 19th-century comic ballet Coppélia, a tale of mechanical dolls inspired by stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann and set to music by Léo Delibes. The performance stars Patricia McBride and Helgi Tomasson, the original leading dancers of the ballet’s 1974 premiere.

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Dandara Viega in Ballet Hispánico's El Viaje
Photograph: Paula Lobo

El Viaje (Ballet Hispánico)

Through July 15 at Wednesday 7pm EDT / midnight BST
The venerable Ballet Hispánico, which was to celebrate its 50th birthday with a two-week run at the Joyce in April, continues its virtual program, B Unidos. Most of its offerings are on Instagram Live, but its weekly watch parties of archival favorites are the exception. Today’s offering is Edwaard Liang’s 2019 piece El Viaje, which explores the experience of leaving one’s homeland with a focus on Chinese emigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the Chinese-Cuban diaspora. A live Q&A follows with artistic director Eduardo Vilaro and associated artists.

Ivan Nagy, Eleanor D'Antuono, Ellen Everett and Karena Brock in Les Sylphides
Photograph: Louis Peres

American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House

Through July 15 at 8pm EDT / 1am BST
Lincoln Center streams a classic from more than 40 years ago: an evening of American Ballet Theatre repertory works, as captured in a 1978 broadcast of Live from Lincoln Center. Natalia Makarova and Fernando Bujones dance the Act III Grand Pas de Deux of Don Quixote, and Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov perform George Balanchine’s plotless Theme and Variations, set to music by Tchaikovsky. Also included are two works by the seminal Ballet Russes choreographer Michel Fokine: Les Sylphides, set to music by Chopin and featuring a cast led by Rebecca Wright, Marianna Tcherkassky and Ivan Nagy; and Firebird, a magical story set to a score by Stravinsky.

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Caridad Svich
Photograph: Jody Christopherson

Eva Luna (Repertorio Español)

Through July 15
New York City’s leading Spanish-language repertory company presents a streamed reading of Caridad Svich’s Eva Luna, based on a coming-of-age novel by the Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits). Estefanía Fadul directs a cast of seven. The company, founded in 1968, hopes to premiere the play on a real-life stage next year.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Juba
Photograph: Paul Kolnik

Juba (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)

Through July 16 at 7pm EDT / midnight BST 
Alvin Ailey’s groundbreaking company, now under the guidance of artistic director Robert Battle, continues its Ailey All Access program. This week’s offering is the first piece that Battle created for the company: Juba (2003), a 14-minute ballet that suggests a modern “Rite of Spring,” set to an original score by John Mackey.

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Evan Buliung (centre) as Pericles with members of the company in The Adventures of Pericles
Photograph: David Hou

The Adventures of Pericles (Stratford Festival)

Through July 16
Scott Wentworth directs a 2015 Stratford production of one of Shakespeare's strangest plays: a rollicking tale of treachery, virtue and seafaring adventure often co-attributed to ne'er-do-well George Wilkins. Among the plot points are a pirate abduction, sexual slavery, a jousting tournament, a premature burial, two catastrophes at sea, two contests to win a princess’s hand, and a guest shot by the goddess Diana. Evan Buliung plays the title role.

Vanessa Williams
Photograph: Rod Spicer

A Capitol Fourth (PBS)

Through July 18 
Vanessa Williams and John Stamos host PBS’s 40th annual Independence Day celebration, a 90-minute special that includes musical performances, archival highlights, salutes to heroes and a splash of live fireworks. Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Mandy Gonzalez are among the many performers joining the birthday festivities from across the country; the list also includes Patti LaBelle, Renée Fleming, John Fogerty, the Temptations, Yolanda Adams, Trace Adkins, Andy Grammer, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Alaina and the National Symphony Orchestra.

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The New Morality
Photograph: Richard Termine

Mint Theater Company: Summer Stock Streaming Festival

Through July 19
Jonathan Bank’s Mint Theater Company, an Off Broadway troupe with a yen for overlooked shows of yesteryear, adds a touch of freshness to the summer season with archival recordings of three of its past productions: George Kelly’s 1946 drama The Fatal Weakness, about the vestigial romanticism of a long-married woman; The New Morality, a satirical comedy of manners by Harold Chapin, a promising writer who died fighting for England in World War I; and Hazel Ellis’s 1936 drama Women Without Men, a story of internecine war among teachers at an Irish boarding school. The shows are free; for the requisite passwords, send an email to streaming@minttheater.org with the word Mint in the subject line.

Yanna McIntosh as Cleopatra and Geraint Wyn Davies as Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra
Photograph: David Hou

Antony and Cleopatra (Stratford Festival)

Through July 23
In this offering from Canada's Stratford Festival, Gary Griffith directs a 2014 production of Shakespeare's intercultural romantic tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, in which a Roman leader lends more than just his ears to the highly demanding queen of Egypt. Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh play the title roles.

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Olivier Tarpaga's Declassified Memory Fragment
Photograph: Mark Simpson

Declassified Memory Fragment (JoyceStream)

Available until July 31 at 10am EDT / 3pm BST
Choreographed and composed by Burkina Faso’s Olivier Tarpaga, the hour-long dance-theater work Declassified Memory Fragment explores the political and cultural tumult of modern Africa. Chelsea Joyce Theatre presents it for a month as part of its JoyceStream series.

Alison Pill
Photograph: Catie Laffoon

The Line (Public Theater)

Through August 4
The ever civic-minded Public Theater commissioned this moving and illuminating original work by documentary-theater creators Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen (The Exonerated), based on interviews with medical first responders during the COVID-19 crisis. Blank directs the play, which stars Santino Fontana, Arjun Gupta, John Ortiz, Alison Pill, Nicholas Pinnock, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint. The great Aimee Mann contributes an original song.

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And So We Come Forth: The Apple Family: A Dinner on Zoom
Photograph: Jason Ardizzone-West

And So We Come Forth: The Apple Family: A Dinner on Zoom

Through August 26
In this original microdrama, created during the current pandemic crisis, writer-director Richard Nelson continues his exhaustive chronicle of middle-class, middle-aged family life in Rhinebeck, New York, as previously explored in five plays about the Apple family,
three about the Gabriels and one about the Michaels. Here he returns to the Apple tree, last seen in late-April quarantine in the Zoom play What Do We Need to Talk About?, to see how they are holding up. The wonderful original cast returns yet again to spin their ensemble magic: Jay O. Sanders, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Sally Murphy and Stephen Kunken. Donations to the Actors Fund are encouraged.

THEATER MULTIPLEXES

The 35 best Tony Awards performances of all time

Theater

The Tony Awards provide a national showcase and public record of performances that are otherwise local and fleeting, and the most memorable numbers from Broadway musicals on the Tonys can echo in theater history for decades to come. But which are the best of the best? We've surveyed every televised number from a nominated musical or musical revival since the very first Tony telecast in 1967 to create this list of the all-time classics.

Clare Halse in 42nd Street
Photograph: Courtesy Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

The best musicals now on BroadwayHD

A streaming service specifically aimed at theater lovers, BroadwayHD offers a slate of almost 300 whole, high-quality, professionally filmed live theater performances from Broadway, London's West End and beyond, including The Phantom of the Opera, Bob Fosse's Pippin and Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma! For new subscribers, the first week is free. Here are the musicals currently featured there that you won't want to miss.

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Beau
Photograph: Mari Uchida

Adirondack Theatre Festival

The annual Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls, New York, has been called off this year, but the not-for-profit group is inventively filling what would have been its entire summer season, through August 7, with on-demand offerings. A donation of $50 or more gets you access to all the shows on the menu. The offerings include full concert performances of Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead’s electropop musical Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat, Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar’s funk-folk musical Beau, Emily Goodson and Jeremy Schonfeld’s musical comedy Calling All Kates, and Creighton Irons and Douglas Lyons’s sad-romance tuner The Moon & the Sea. Also featured are the nonmusical comedies The Banana Tree and Kalamazoo, magic shows by Simon Coronel, Max Major and Jonathan Burns, and cabaret concerts by Brian Charles Rooney and others. (Cheeyang Ng and Khiyon Hursey bilingual musical Eastbound is available only from July 16 through July 23.)

BONUS CONTENT

Lin-Manuel Miranda is Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom, Jr. is Aaron Burr in HAMILTON, the filmed version of the original Broadway production.
Photograph: Courtesy Disney+

Hamilton (Disney+)

Perhaps you have heard of a Broadway musical called Hamilton? Perhaps you have been wishing to see it? Or see it again? Or see it over and over and over, again and again and again, until you know every note, every gesture, every rotation of the turntable as well as you know the proverbial back of your hand? Well, friend, today is your day. The film of the original Broadway production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hurricane of a musical is streaming on Disney+, some 15 months ahead of schedule. Have at it! Full details are here.

Kevin Augustine: Body Concert
Photograph: Vane Teran

La MaMa Moves!

La MaMa's annual festival La MaMa Moves! runs riot with dance every summer, and for the time being it is moving online. La MaMa den mother Nicky Paraiso curates and hosts this collection of works-in-progress, longer versions of which are planned for later in the summer. Four shows are on the lineup: Body Concert, a stripped-limb solo work by the extraordinary avant-puppeteer Kevin Augustine (The God Projekt); Norwegian choreographer Kari Hoass’s Be Like Water—the distant episodes, described as “a series of digital dance haikus”; Anabella Lenzu’s solo dance-theater piece The night that you stopped acting/ La noche que dejaste de actuar; and Tamar Rogoff’s A Plague on All Our Houses, a look at four dancers in their homes that was created in response to the quarantine. 

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Christine Andreas
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Scott Siegel's Great American Songbook Concert: Volume 6

Cabaret producer Scott Siegel, well known for his multiple concert series at the Town Hall and Feinstein’s/54 Below, has developed a promising model for his virtual programming: He crowdsources funding in advance so he can actually pay the performers who are singing remotely. In this sixth episode, recorded and edited in advance, Siegel serves as host for a lineup that includes Debbie Gravitte, Christine Andreas, Danny Gardner, Allison Semmes, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Kelly Sheehan, Bryan Hunt, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jeanine Bruen, Sophie Rapeijko and Gigi Encarnacion.

Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Homebound (Round House Theatre)

For ten weeks starting at the end of April, Washington, D.C.’s Round House Theatre challenged a different local playwright to write an episode of the company’s web serial, Homebound, whose plot continues from each installment to the next. Ryan Rilette and Nicole A. Watson are the directors; the playwrights run from Alexandra Petri to Caleen Sinnette Jennings. You can catch the entire series, which stars Maboud Ebrahimzadeh and Craig Wallace, on YouTube now.

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Michael Feinstein
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Michael Feinstein: It’s Delovely—The Music of Cole Porter (Live with Carnegie Hall)

Carnegie Hall continues its online series with a live concert-and-interview set by venue habitué Michael Feinstein, the popular and polished standard-bearer of American song. This episode salutes Cole Porter, the worldly wit and musical magpie behind such shows as Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate and such songs as "Night and Day," "Begin the Beguine" and "Just One of Those Things." Along for the ride this time are vocalists Storm Large and Catherine Russell. 

Justin Sayre
Photograph: Ricardo Nelson

Justin Sayre Makes the Case for America (Joe’s Pub)

An avatar of retroqueer cultivation, the sharp-tongued Justin Sayre delighted New Yorkers for years as host of the Meeting*, a variety series that combined hilarious rants with musical numbers and sometimes passionate advocacy. In this 2018 Joe's Pub show, the writer-performer sees red, white and blue in a show that tries to save America from itself.

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Isaac Oliver
Photograph: Zack DeZon

Isaac Oliver (Joe’s Pub)

The essential downtown music hub Joe’s Pub continues its rollout of favorites from its archives. Tonight’s selection celebrates Pride Month with a 2018 “sit-down comedy” show by Isaac Oliver, the author of the compulsively readable Intimacy Idiot. If David Sedaris and Fran Lebowitz had a baby who wrote about subways, theater patrons and blow jobs, he might be a lot like Oliver; the hilarious and poignant comic essayist is also a deft deliverer of his own work. 

Cole Escola
Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein

Cole Escola: Help, I'm Stuck!

The saucer-eyed costar of Difficult People and At Home with Amy Sedaris, the brilliantly funny Cole Escola, has dropped an hour-long online version his perpetually sold-out solo sketch comedy act, which continues to reveal new facets of a talent that gleams with scrappy razzle-dazzle. Blending boyish mischief with dark neurosis and the ruthless coyness of a starlet bent on fame, Escola’s comic persona suggests a street urchin raised by The Match Game. It's an hour of silly wigs, genre parodies, absurdist humor and refreshing pseudo-honesty that you won't soon forget.

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Gloria Steinem (Christine Lahti) with marchers in Gloria: A Life
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Gloria: A Life (Great Performances)

Screen and stage ace Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope) plays feminist trailblazer and Ms. founder Gloria Steinem in this 2018 bioplay by Emily Mann (Having Our Say). The American Repertory Theatre's Diane Paulus (Pippin) directs a production that opens up, in its second half, into a talking circle with the audience. Filmed for Great Performances during its six-month Off Broadway run at the Daryl Roth Theatre, the play makes its PBS debut tonight.

The Ninth Hour: The Beowulf Story
Photograph: Ross Collab

The Ninth Hour: The Beowulf Story

Kate Douglas and Shayfer James star in their The Ninth Hour: The Beowulf Story, their dark rock-opera reimagining of the Old English epic poem. Directed by Kevin Newbury and choreographed by Troy Ogilvie, the show was staged site-specifically at the Fuentidueña Chapel at the Cloisters last year; now the Metropolitan Museum is streaming a recording of that performance for free.

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Max Vernon
Photograph: Roberto Araujo

Max Vernon: Existential Life Crisis (Joe's Pub)

Max Vernon is a rising musical-theater composer who has proved equally adept at capturing the sounds of 1970s glam rock (The View Upstairs) and modern Korean bubblegum (KPOP). This 2019 Joe's Pub concert, directed by Ellie Heyman, features an impressive roster of guests, including Michael Longoria, Jo Lampert, Andy Mientus, Gianna Masi, Fancy Feast, Sophia Ramos, Helen Park and Leah Lane.

Cats in Quarantine
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Cats in Quarantine

Harry Francis, who has appeared in multiple productions of Cats, has assembled 333 (!) alums of Andrew Lloyd Webber's feline spectacular for the most epic Jellicle Ball of the quarantine era, if not ever. Performing remotely, Cats veterans from the U.K., the U.S. and all around the world—France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, the Netherlands, Canada, Russia, even the Royal Caribbean cruise line—re-create six minutes of Gillian Lynne's dynamically slinky original choreography in a gigantic video celebration. (Participants include three performers from the original London production and six from the original Broadway.) Some are alone, some are in small groups; some are in costumes, some in human-dancer togs; all are in the joyful moment. If you love the spirit of theater, this right here is catnip.

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Kim David Smith
Photograph: Travis Chantar

Kim David Smith Sings Kylie Minogue (Joe’s Pub)

As part of its Pride Month programming, Joe's Pub shares this 2018 show, in which the flirty, sly, dark-elfin Australian baritone Kim David Smith departs from his Weimar-inflected signature set, Morphium Kabarett, for a special salute to Aussie dance-pop icon Kylie Minogue. Tracy Stark is the musical director.

Rob Roth in Soundstage
Photograph: Paula Court

Soundstage (HERE)

The multimedia innovator Rob Roth’s shares a newly re-edited version of his 2018 HERE piece Soundstage (cowritten with Jason Napoli Brooks), which explores queer notions of the artistic muse with an eye toward the projections of previous generations of gay men onto female icons. The wonderful British actor Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) costars in an onscreen capacity; Roth and Hall will comment during the viewing party. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Emergency Release Fund and Black and Pink.

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Justin Sayre
Photograph: Matthew Dean Stewart

5, 6, 7, 8—DIE!

With his wicked witticisms, ardent social activism and cultivated mid-Atlantic accent—he sounds like Lauren Bacall in a saucy mood—Justin Sayre is an avatar of retroqueer cultivation. During quarantine, he has kept the camp fires burning with a monthly series of hilarious original fright-flick spoofs, performed on Zoom by top-drawer comic actors making the most of lo-tech costumes and effects. The latest, 5, 6, 7, 8—DIE!, borrows from sources that range from Dario Argento’s Suspiria to—horror of horrors—Dance Moms. The cast, directed by Tom DeTrinis, includes Lauren Weedman, Jeff Hiller, Sam Pancake, Ryan Garcia, Isaac Oliver, Drew Droege, Jenn Harris, Rob Maitner, Michael Cyril Creighton, Leslie-Ann Huff and Daniele Gaither. A donation of $20 is suggested, which viewers can send via Venmo (@SweetNellProd); a portion of the proceeds go to bail funds for Black Lives Matter protesters.

Tina—The Tina Turner Musical
Photograph: Manuel Harlan

The Antonyo Awards (Broadway Black)

The Tony Awards are still in indefinite limbo, but Broadway Black steps up to fill some of the void with its own Juneteenth awards show, dedicated to celebrating the achievements of Black theater artists. The Antonyo Awards nominees are drawn from both Broadway and Off Broadway productions, and the acting categories are not separated by gender. Along with the competitive prizes, the evening features musical numbers and a Lifetime Achievement Award for the formidable actor Chuck Cooper. Among those scheduled to appear are Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Alex Newell, LaChanze, Jordan E. Cooper, Teyonah Parris, James Monroe Iglehart, Jelani Alladin, Ephraim Sykes, Derrick Baskin, Nicolette Robinson, Christiani Pitts, Amber Iman, Shereen Pimentel, Kirsten Childs, Aisha Jackson, Griffin Matthews, Michael McElroy, Jocelyn Bioh and L Morgan Lee. 

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Jomama Jones in Black Light
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Jomama Jones: Black Light (Joe's Pub)

In this Joe's Pub show, recorded in 2018, Daniel Alexander Jones (Duat) inhabits his longtime alter ego, Jomama Jones—or does she inhabit him?—in a high-concept musical evening that reflects on a shattered mirror of black history. Jomama is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. It’s a pleasure to bask in Jones’s sequined, oracular presence, especially when Jones allows us to see the pain and labor behind the all-but-impervious diva’s self-fashioning.

The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes
Photograph: Rick Aguilar

The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 4—Lockdown!

 

The Chicago camp outfit Hell in a Handbag Productions presents the fourth episode in its series of Golden Girls homages. In this first online edition, written by and starring Handbag honcho David Cerda, the Florida foursome is forced to spend 30 days in quarantine together after Blanche is exposed to Legionnaires’ disease. Spenser Davis directs an all-male cast of eight. Tickets cost $20, which lets you watch the video anytime before August 15.

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Katrina Lenk and the cast of Company
Photograph: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

Offstage: Opening Night (New York Times)

The New York Times presents the first edition of its new digital series, which offers performances and discussions about how the theater world is adjusting to the great pause. Cast members from Broadway’s Company, including Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, sing the show’s opening number; Elizabeth Stanley (Jagged Little Pill) and Mare Winningham (Girl from the North Country) perform songs from their suspended shows, and Mary-Louise Parker shares a monologue from The Sound Inside, which played earlier in the season. Times writers set up the prerecorded segments and talk with subjects including Slave Play author Jeremy O. Harris, Moulin Rouge! choreographer Sonya Tayeh and Six creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. Newly added to the program is an introductory panel discussion with Adrienne Warren, Daniel J. Watts, Celia Rose Gooding and director Kenny Leon about the impact of the global protest movement.

Lea DeLaria
Photograph: Kharen Hill

Lea Delaria: Fuck Love (Joe's Pub)

Few singers have the sheer macho swagger of DeLaria, who rose to fame as a butcher-than-thou stand-up comic and Broadway star (On the Town), and has more recently earned a host of new acolytes as Big Boo on Orange Is the New Black. As a jazz vocalist, she has tough-guy sell and a penchant for scat. In this 2019 set she serves up anti-Valentine fare, joined by guest artists Adina Verson, Emily Tarver and Vicci Martinez and the Village Voices.

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Martha Graham Cracker
Photograph: Kevin Monko

Martha Graham Cracker (Joe’s Pub)

In this Pride Month offering, filmed at Joe's Pub in 2019, the hirsute drag queen Martha Graham Cracker—the creation of Dito van Reigersberg, who cofounded Philadelphia’s excellent Pig Iron Theatre Company—and her four-piece band offer rollicking alt-cabaret shenanigans through songs by artists including Prince, Lady Gaga, Black Sabbath and Nina Simone. The virtual tip jar is Venmo (@DitoVanR).

Terrence McNally in the 1970s
Photograph: Courtesy Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life (American Masters)

Terrence McNally, who died on March 24 from complications related to the coronavirus, was a leading figure in American theater for decades: His plays included Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Lisbon Traviata, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, The Ritz and A Perfect Ganesh; his musicals include Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Full Monty, The Rink and Anastasia. In his honor, and to celebrate Pride Month—McNally was openly gay, and wrote about gay characters throughout his career—PBS is making its 2019 American Masters documentary about him available for streaming through August 31. The doc includes interviews with the four-time Tony Award winner (and 2019 Lifetime Achievement Tony winner) himself as well as with F. Murray Abraham, Christine Baranski, Tyne Daly, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Audra McDonald, Rita Moreno, Billy Porter, Chita Rivera and more.

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Hannah L. Drake
Photograph: Jessie Kriech-Higdon

Fix it, Black Girl (Actors Theatre of Louisville)

The Louisville-based poet, author and activist Hannah L. Drake curates this free night of spoken word poetry, essays and songs that celebrate resistance and resilience. The cast includes Drake as well as local artists Erica Denise, Janelle Renee Dunn, Robin G, Sujotta Pace and Kala Ross.

Michael Feinstein
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Micheal Feinstein: The Music of Irving Berlin (Live with Carnegie Hall)

Carnegie Hall continues its online series with a live concert-and-interview set by venue habitué Michael Feinstein, the popular and polished standard-bearer of American song. This episode salutes the master tunesmith Irving Berlin, the man behind such all-time earworms as "Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Puttin' on the Ritz,""White Christmas" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." Along for the ride are big-time Broadway guest stars Kelli O'Hara, Cheyenne Jackson and Tony Yazbeck.

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LAPA
Photograph: Jose Miranda

LAPA (The Brick)

The Brick Theater continues its Archival Streaming Series with a genre-bending abstract work by the early–20th century Russian experimentalist Daniil Kharms, directed by Timothy Scott and Nicolás Noreña for Brooklyn’s The Million Underscores. The show, which engages with questions of dreaming and industrialization, premiered at the Brick on March 11 before the pandemic curtailed its run.

Send for the Million Men
Photograph: Courtesy HERE

Send for the Million Men (HERE)

 In this 2014 piece, Joseph Silovsky revisits the nation-dividing Sacco and Vanzetti murder trial of the 1920s in an inegenious production that employs found materials, robotics, puppetry and projections. “Don’t seek clarity in the shambolic, outstanding Send for the Million Men,” wrote Helen Shaw in her Time Out review. “Silovsky is mainly interested in the elusive quality of multiplying details, and even the work’s obvious synergy with current events remains diffident and sly. The scrappy-magical, shaggy-dog chaos builds to an ending in which Silovsky cedes the stage to Vanzetti’s lyrical prison letters, some of the greatest, angriest works written on American justice.”

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Charles Busch
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Mommie Dearest (Scripts Gone Wild)

Camp guardians Charles Busch (The Confession of Lily Dare), Del Shores (Sordid Lives) and Josh Grannell (a.k.a. San Francisco drag queen Peaches Christ) star in a live reading of the 1981 classic Mommie Dearest, about Hollywood royalty whose daughter treats the beautiful dresses she buys her like dishrags. Proceeds benefit the Trevor Project.

The cast of Scraps
Photograph: I.C. Rapoport

Scraps (Matrix Theatre Company)

Joseph Stern’s Matrix Theatre Company has been a staple of Los Angeles’s small-theater scene since the 1970s, and in the past decade it has focused on theater that actively engages with questions of race. To rise to the current moment, the company is now streaming its 2019 West Coast premiere production of Geraldine Inoa’s Scraps. The first hour looks at four young adults in Bed-Stuy, a few months after an unarmed friend was killed by the police; the last third takes a sharp tonal swerve into the surreal, superheated nightmare of an eight-year-old boy battered by pain about the future that awaits him. At its best, this bold play has the urgent appeal of a passionate voice screaming to be heard. Stevie Walker-Webb directs a cast that includes Stan Mayer, Tyrin Niles, Ashlee Olivia, Damon Rutledge, Ahkei Togun and Denise Yolén. 

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Disposable Men
Photograph: Mike O’Reilly

Disposable Men (HERE)

In Disposable Men, James Scruggs explores the monstrous depiction of black men in American film and culture. Astutely employing dark humor and a panoptic array of video projections, Scruggs offers a pointed account of denigration in the media and on the streets. The high quality of the design is matched by Scrugg’s performance, and the show’s finale, in which the audience participates in a re-creation of the infamous death of Amadou Diallo, is hard to forget. 

Destructo Snack, USA
Photograph: Chrissy Reilly Downey

Destructo Snack, USA (The Brick)

The Brick Theater continues its Archival Streaming Series with Sarah Graalman and Brick leader Theresa Buchheister’s wacky exploration of gender performance, filmed in 2012 at the East Village’s late, lamented Incubator Arts Project. The stream is free, but donations benefit the Marsha P Johnson Institute.

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Yvonne Roen in Performance for One
Photograph: Courtesy Arthur Cornelius

Performance for One

Writer-director Edward Einhorn’s suggestive microplay about memory and connection was originally performed as a brief encounter between one actor and one audience member at a time. Now Einhorn has adapted it so that homebound viewers can connect with performers via Skype, with the 1:1 ratio intact. The piece unfurls in two parts; the first last about six minutes, and the more emotional second is slightly longer. It’s an unusually intimate experience, and a lovely way to feel a personal connection through theater. You contact Einhorn directly to book a slot; it is currently being performed on an irregular schedule by Yvonne Roen, for whom it was written, and by Elizabeth Chappel. A third part will be added in July. (You can pay what you wish for it through Venmo at @Edward-Einhorn.)

Kerry O'Malley
Photograph: Peter Konerko

June Is Bustin’ In All Over (Kritzerland)

The actor, writer and producer Bruce Kimmel has been an essential font of show tunes for decades, notably as the force behind the labels Bay Cities, Varese Sarabande, Fynsworth Alley and now Kritzerland. Since 2010, he has also assembled monthly cabaret shows with high-level casts, most recently at Feinstein’s Upstairs at Vitello’s. The cast of this virtual version includes Brent Barrett, Kerry O’Malley, Christiane Noll, Daniel Bellusci, Hartley Powers,  Sami Staitman, Adrienne Stiefel and Robert Yacko; Kimmel is the host, and Richard Allen serves as musical director.

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Chita Rivera
Photograph: Laura Marie Duncan

Chita: A Legendary Celebration

One of the great Broadway leading ladies of all time, Chita Rivera came to New York in the early 1950s, and the rest is razzle-dazzle history: starring roles in the original casts of West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie and Chicago; 10 Tony nominations (and two wins); the 2002 Kennedy Center Honors. She’s often called a legend, but she’s determinedly real. In tonight’s live-only fundraiser, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is streaming a recording of the 2013 concert evening Chita: A Legendary Celebration, recorded at the August Wilson Theatre when Rivera was a mere 80 years old. Written by the late Terrence McNally and directed by Graciele Daniele, the event features performances by Rivera, Tommy Tune and Ben Vereen, as well as a video appearance by the great Broadway tunesmith John Kander. The BC/EFA broadcast also includes new interviews with Rivera, conducted remotely by Richard Ridge. 

Celisse Henderson
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Let’s Stay (in) Together: A Benefit to Support the Apollo Theater

This concert benefit for Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater centers on performances of songs by such past Apollo stars as Patti Labelle and Steve Wonder. It includes appearances by Celisse Henderson, Dionne Warwick, Kool & the Gang, Michael McDonald, Vernon Reid, Gary Clark Jr., Ziggy Marley, Keb’ Mo’, Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Doug E. Fresh, Teddy Riley, “Captain” Kirk Douglas (of the Roots), Robert Randolph, Infinity’s Song, Ray Chew, Warren Haynes, Roy Wood Jr. and DJ Reborn.

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Silas Farley's Songs from the Spirit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photograph: Rosalie O'Connor

Silas Farley: Songs from the Spirit (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art streams a recording of Silas Farley’s site-specific dance piece Songs from the Spirit, which was performed in the museum’s galleries in March, 2019. The piece, which explores questions of bondage and grace, is set to traditional spirituals as well as new songs written by inmates at San Quentin State Prison. Dancers Cassia Farley, Rachel Hutsell, James Shee, Taylor Stanley, Claire Kretzschmar, and Alizah Wilson are joined by soprano Kelly Griffin and tenor Robert May.

Lady Bunny
Photograph: Santiago Felipe

Lady Bunny: Cuntagious

The shameless drag legend, nightlife pioneer and Wigstock founder Lady Bunny responds to the pandemic as only she can: with a potty-mouthed comedy special. Beneath her trademark towering wigs, Bunny knows her mind and isn't afraid to say what's on it. Expect irreverent humor and multiple changes of costume. Tickets cost $10.

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Cirque du Soleil: Luzia
Photograph: Matt Beard

Cirque du Soleil: Best of Contortion

As part of its ongoing CirqueConnect series, the Québécois neocircus behemoth Cirque du Soleil offers an hour-long special that focuses on body-bending, eye-popping acts of contortion from past shows including Luzia, Alegría and O.

Breaking the Waves (Opera Philadelphia)
Photograph: Nicholas Korkos

Breaking the Waves (Opera Philadelphia)

Opera Philadelphia presents the broadcast premiere, in full, of its acclaimed 2016 adaptation of Lars von Trier’s brutally bleak 1996 film about a pious woman who degrades herself sexually at the request of her paralyzed husband. The composer is Brooklyn’s Missy Mazzoli—a rare woman composer in the world of opera—and the librettist Royce Vavrek. Soprano Kiera Duffy and baritone John Moore play the lead roles in a performance conducted by Steven Osgood.

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Alexandra Silber
Photograph: Rebecca Michaelson

I Wish: The Roles That Could Have Been (54 Below At Home)

Feinstein’s/54 Below has been streaming shows from its archives, but this one is different: a live-from-home edition of a series conceived and hosted by Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof), in which Broadway performers get a chance to dreamcast themselves in parts they will probably never get to play. Performers include Elizabeth Stanley, Julia Murney, Drew Gehling, Nicholas Barasch, Robyn Hurder, Samantha Massell, Isabelle McCalla, Jelani Remy,  Kirsten Scott, Matthew Scott and Nik Walker. Ben Caplan serves as musical director. 

Julia Stiles in Sexting
Photograph: Courtesy Detestable Films

Detestable Films

Contemptible Entertainment shares six short films by the provocative misanthropist playwright Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty). The casts include Julia Stiles, Marin Ireland, Adam Brody, Keith David and Thomas Sadoski.

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ZviDance: On The Road
Photograph: Yi-Chun Wu

ZviDance: On the Road

In this show, presented at Joe's Pub by Dance Now in 2019, Israeli-American contemporary choreographer Zvi Gotheiner reprises a work inspired by Jack Kerouac's novel and his company's retracing of its narrator's cross-country journey. His multimedia piece, performed by four dancers, is set to music by Jukka Rintamki and features Americana-themed video by Joshua Higgason.

Ballet Hispánico: Carmen.maquia
Photograph: Paula Lobo

Ballet Hispánico: CARMEN.maquia and Club Havana

Lincoln Center shares two works by the venerable Ballet Hispánico, which turns 50 this year. Pedro Ruiz’s Club Havana, is a celebration of Cuban dance including the conga, rumba, mambo and cha cha; Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's Carmen.maquia, which was the company’s first evening-length narrative ballet, is based on the classic Bizet opera and incorporates Spanish paso doble and flamenco.

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Marie Mullen
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Gifts You Gave to the Dark (Irish Repertory Theatre)

After its success earlier this month with a virtual revival of Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney, the Irish Rep now launches an entire summer season of online offerings. Starting things off is the world premiere of The Gifts You Gave to the Dark, a short play written by Darren Murphy in response to the current crisis and directed by the Abbey Theatre’s Caitríona McLaughlin. Marty Rea plays a man who, while confined to his sickbed in Belfast by COVID-19, telephones his dying mother in Dublin to share a memory of a day they once spent together. Marie Mullen, who won a 1998 Tony for The Beauty Queen of Leenane, plays the older woman; Seán McGinley completes the cast. The play will remain viewable for free on YouTube through October.

PLAYBILL BUNNY Jenn Harris takes audiences down comedic rabbit holes.
Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein

Pussy Fright!

With his wicked witticisms, ardent social activism and cultivated mid-Atlantic accent—he sounds like Lauren Bacall in a saucy mood—Justin Sayre is an avatar of retroqueer cultivation. The Zoom reading of his zany Hitchcock spoof The Ducks last month was an absolute hoot, Now he is keeping the camp fires burning with another black comedy: Pussy Fright!, in which Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Tom Lenk plays a sad heiress whose plan to leave her fortune to her cat gets her entangled in multiple webs of nefarious intrigue. The cast, directed by Tom DeTrinis, includes some of America’s funniest actors: Larry Owens (A Strange Loop), Drew Droege, Jeff Hiller, Rob Maitner, Sam Pancake, Ryan Garcia, Leslie-Ann Huff and Jenn Harris as the cat. Viewers can donate via Venmo (@PussyFright) to benefit the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center and New York’s Ali Forney Center.

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Mark Morris
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Mark Morris Dance Group: Dance On!

Mark Morris and his joyous ensemble spread a little light in the darkness of isolation with a special Zoom program that includes the premieres of four short works choreographed by the inventive modern dance master. Rehearsed and filmed remotely, the pieces are Lonely Waltz (set to Maurice Ravel’s La Valse), Lonely Tango (set to piano music by Erik Satie), Anger Dance (set to music by Henry Cowell) and Sunshine (set to Gene Autrey’s recording of “You Are My Sunshine”).

Ralph Fiennes as Prospero in The Tempest at Theatre Royal Haymarket
Photograph: Catherine Ashmore

Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon (Irondale Ensemble)

Brooklyn’s Irondale Ensemble assembled more than 100 participants on April 23 for an eight-hour Zoom session in honor of Shakespeare’s 456th birthday. Performers range from famous actors and Irondale performers to amateur volunteers, each of whoms deliver their choice of 14-liners from among the Bard’s 154 sonnets. Well-known participants include Ralph Fiennes (Sonnet 129 at 2:09), Lea DeLaria (Sonnet 8 at 7:07), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Sonner 23 at 1:34), Cady Huffman (Sonnet 60 at 2:40), Michael Musto (Sonnet 30 at 0:50), American Ballet Theatre's James Whiteside (Sonnet 20 at 1:05) and Sopranos actor John Ventimiglia (Sonnet 116 at 6:05–6:09), who amusingly doesn't realize that he's live for the first few minutes he's on. Musical settings are provided by Rufus Wainwright (Sonnet 20 at 4:12) and Kenyon Phillips (sonnet 66 at 0:47). Irondale cofounder Jim Niesen presides, with supassing gentleness, over most of the event.

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The Season 1 cast of NBC's Smash (2012)
Photograph: Mark Seliger/NBC

Bombshell in Concert

Whether you loved it, hated it, loved to hate it, hated to love it or maintained a studious feigned indifference to it, the behind-the-Broadway-scenes NBC series Smash was the talk of the theater world for its two stormy seasons in 2012 and 2013. What everyone agrees about is that the musical numbers that Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote for its show-within-a-show, the Marilyn Monroe biomusical-in-progress Bombshell, were consistently pretty great. In 2015, Smash’s cast gathered at the Minskoff Theatre to perform those songs in a sold-out concert co-directed by Wittman and choreographer Joshua Bergasse; everything clicked, the audience went wild and the Actors Fund raised $800,000. Now People adds to the tally by streaming a recording of that electric night as an Actors Fund benefit. Renée Zellweger introduces the program, and at intermission the acerbic Julie Klausner hosts a live virtual reunion with cast members Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Leslie Odom Jr., Jeremy Jordan, Andy Mientus, Jack Davenport, Jaime Cepero, Will Chase, Brian d’Arcy James, Ann Harada, Krysta Rodriguez and Wesley Taylor. Tune in and get Smashed. 

Frank DiLella
Photograph: Courtesy Dirty Sugar Photography

The Drama Desk Awards

The Tonys may be in a state of indefinite suspension, but their cousins the Drama Desks—like the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and the Lucille Lortel Awards before them—are moving forward after a two-week postponement. NY1’s Frank DiLella hosts an hourlong special in support of the Actors Fund; the virtual presenters include Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tituss Burgess, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Andrew Rannells, Jane Krakowski, Cynthia Nixon, Santino Fontana, Ashley Park, Susan Stroman, Ali Stroker, Beanie Feldstein and James Corden. In addition to this year’s awards in 42 categories, the Drama Desks’ inaugural lifetimes achievement honor will be awarded posthumously to Hal Prince, after whom it will henceforth be named.

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Natalie Joy Johnson
Photograph: Kevin Thomas Garcia

Natalie Joy Johnson: The Annual NJJ Birthday Show

Gutsy musical-theater neodiva Johnson (Kinky Boots) had a cabaret breakthrough with 2011's Relentless at Joe's Pub, and has been rocking New York City nightlife ever since. Even inquartantine, her birthday extravaganza promises to be a rollicking night of song, sex and showbiz excess.

Brandon Victor Dixon
Photograph: Dario Calmese

Brandon Victor Dixon (The VT Show)

In this episode of the Vineyard Theatre's weekly series, the superb singer-actor Brandon Victor Dixon—who has memorably appeared in The Color Purple, Shuffle Along, Hamilton and the TV broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar—shares stories and songs from his career, including the Vineyard’s premiere production of The Scottsboro Boys

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Ruby Rose
Photograph: Greg Gayne/The CW

Twelfth Night (Acting for a Cause)

A Chicago producer-director named Brando Crawford has set up his own charity called Acting for a Cause, and has been gathering very impressive casts of young Hollywood stars for super-casual live Zoom readings of classic plays. This installment stars Ruby Rose—who just made international headlines for her dramatic departure from the CW’s Batwoman—as Viola in Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's ever-popular comedy of cross-purposes, cross-dressing and cross-gartered stockings. Joining her in the cast are Brandon Thomas Lee, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Froy Gutierrez, Nicole Kang and Dear Evan Hansen graduates Will Roland, Taylor Trensch and Ben Levi Ross. Donations are welcome, and proceeds benefit Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. 

Biter
Photograph: Walter Wlodarczyk

The Brick: Biter (Every Time I Turn Around)

The Brick Theater continues its Archival Streaming Series with title:point’s wild 2015 comedy, Biter (Every Time I Turn Around), which the venue hosted as part of the first Exponential Festival in 2016. “Ryan William Downey and Spencer Thomas Campbell's lunatic farce feels cold and fresh, a bracing change from an experimental scene that can seem to have lost its teeth,” wrote Time Out’s Helen Shaw in her rave 2015 review. “But Biter's got bits that go back generations—its hilarious central act is basically a tarted-up Abbott & Costello routine, if those two had stumbled onto a Richard Foreman set and been horribly murdered there.”

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Harvey Fierstein in Hairspray
Photograph: Paul Kolnik

Past casts of Hairspray sing “You Can’t Stop The Beat”

If you’ve been feeling less than your best, watch this four-minute video of one of the great Broadway feel-good songs of all time: “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” the triumphantly peppy and defiant finale of Hairspray. The video is a massive undertaking, with more than 150 actors, dancers and musicians contributing from home—starting with Tracy originators Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur and eventually including (among many others) Harvey Fierstein, Michael Ball, Matthew Morrison, Darlene Love, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Jackie Hoffman, Billy Eichner, Randy Rainbow, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Butler, Laura Bell Bundy, Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth, Teri Hatcher, Bruce Vilanch, Garrett Clayton, Ephraim Sykes, Keala Settle, Alex Newell, Maddie Baillio, Nikki Blonsky, choreographer Jerry Mitchell and songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It pulls out all the stops, and it's unbeatable.

Audra McDonald
Photograph: Autumn de Wilde

A Night of Covenant House Stars

Tony Award hoarder Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson host this star-studded benefit for the worthy Covenant House, a charity that serves homeless and trafficked young people. Produced by Broadway director Jeff Calhoun (Newsies), the event aired live on multiple sites and platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Prime and the newly launched theater streaming service Broadway on Demand. The list of performers and participants is a doozy: Dolly Parton, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Jon Bon Jovi, Stephen Colbert, Dionne Warwick, Morgan Freeman, Martin Short, Randy Jackson, Dawn O’Porter, Jodi Picoult, Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Chris O’Dowd, Zachary Quinto, Robin Thicke, Deborah Cox, Zachary Levi, songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and Frank Wildhorn, and Broadway’s Karen Olivo, Andrew Rannells, Jeremy Jordan, Will Swenson, Stephanie J. Block, Alex Newell, Laura Osnes, Quentin Earl Darrington, Ariana DeBose, Darius de Haas, Eden Espinosa, Jordan Fisher, Stephanie Hsu, Ramona Keller, Capathia Jenkins, Shereen Pimentel, Keala Settle, Jake David Smith, Bobby Conte Thornton and Ana Villafane—plus the choir Broadway Inspirational Voices.

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Alanis Morissette 2
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

You Live, You Learn: A Night with Alanis Morissette and Jagged Little Pill

The Broadway cast of the suspended Alanis Morissette jukebox musical Jagged Little Pill,  which traces the fault lines in a seemingly happy suburban family, reunites remotely in a one-hour concert benefit for the Actors Fund, hosted by Morissette herself. Along with musical numbers by the ensemble cast—led by Elizabeth Stanley, Sean Allan Krill, Celia Rose Gooding, Derek Klena, Lauren Patten, Kathryn Gallagher and Antonio Cipriano—the event features appearances by book writer Diablo Cody (Juno), director Diane Paulus, choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and musical arranger Tom Kitt.

Ken Davenport
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Producer’s Perspective

Producer Ken Davenport has been hosting a weekly podcast for years in which he interviews actors, writers, producers and other theater makers about their experiences in the business of show. Since late March, in response to the coronavirus crisis, he has taken the series to Facebook—where it is streamed live every Tuesday. Visit the Producer’s Perspective website for a list of future guests and an archive of past episodes, which are generally 35–40 minutes long. 

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Pam Tanowitz: Double Andante
Photograph: Rachel Neville

NYTB/Chamberworks: The Living Room Series

The company formerly known as New York Theatre Ballet, which turns 40 this year, offers favorites from its archives every Friday. This batch includes two works from 2015, Pam Tanowitz’s Double Andante and Nicolo Fonte’s There, And Back Again.

Ekow Quartey in Macbeth
Photograph: Courtesy Shakespeare's Globe

Macbeth (Shakespeare's Globe)

To its ongoing biweekly rollout of productions from its archives, London’s Shakespeare’s Globe now adds its 2020 production of Macbeth, a 90-minute condensation of the Scottish play that was created for its student-oriented Playing Shakespeare series. Ekow Quartey plays the regicidal thane and Elly Condron is his red-handed wife. Unlike other Globe offerings, this one stays viewable until the end of quarantine.

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The Scarlet Ibis
Photograph: Cory Weaver

The Scarlet Ibis (HERE)

Seen at the 2015 Prototype Festival, The Scarlet Ibis is a beautiful chamber opera by composer Stefan Weisman and librettist (and longtime Time Out theater critic) David Cote. Adapted from a James Hurst short story, the show uses delicate puppetry alongside flesh-and-blood singers to convey the tale of a disabled boy in rural North Carolina in the early 20th century. Mallory Catlett directs, and Steven Osgood conducts the American Modern Ensemble.

Neon sign saying "I AM A BOT" in the Blurring Test—Songs from MrMind
Photograph: Peggy Weil

The Blurring Test—Songs from MrMind (The Brick)

The Brick Theater continues its Archival Streaming Series with a performance piece that it presented as part of the Exponential Festival in January 2020: Peggy Weil and Varispeed’s musically variegated work-in-progress song cycle, based on conversations between the online chatbot MrMind and various web users attempting to prove that they are indeed human beings. Members of the Brick team join in to chat during the premiere; the stream is free, but donations are encouraged to help keep the Brick from sinking.

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Mandy Gonzalez
Photograph: Jacob Blickenstaff

The VT Show: Eli's Comin'

In its distinguished history, the East Village’s Vineyard Theatre has given us such shows as How I Learned to Drive, Three Tall Women, Avenue Q and the recent Dana H. In this brand-new weekly series, past and future Vineyard artists offer insights into their creative process. In this edition, three mighty talented cast members of the 2001 Laura Nyro musical Eli’s Comin’—Judy Kuhn, Mandy Gonzalez and Anika Noni Rose—reunite to discuss the show and sing a few numbers.

Holoscenes
Photograph: Waleed Shah

Lars Jan: Holoscenes

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi streams a video of a beautiful durational performance-installation event it hosted in 2016: Lars Jan’s trippy Holoscenes, in which a series of costumed performers inhabit a 13-foot aquarium whose water levels rise and fall around them, often submerging them completely. Intended to evoke humankind’s struggle to adapt to climate change, Jan’s visually arresting work is almost five hours long, but you can watch as much or as little of it as you like; the director-conceiver and members of the company hold a live Q&A session halfway through it. To get a sense of the piece, check out this trippy one-minute time-lapse video. Tip: It's best viewed on a very big screen.

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Emily McNamara
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Return to Mostly Sondheim 

For 12 years, the Duplex's second-floor showroom played home on Friday nights to Mostly Sondheim, a late-night open-mic showtune fest that served as a zany, joyful, frequently overseved second home to many hardcore musical-theater enthusiasts. The show had multiple hosts over the years, including Brandon Cutrell, Kate Pazakis, Marty Thomas, Emily McNamara, Ben Cameron, Todd Buonopane, Molly Pope, Colleen Harris and Eric Michael Krop—with piano wizard Brian Nash at the keys for most of the run. Here they all reunite for a live virtual concert, joined by a bunch of longtime regulars. Expect nostalgic mayhem. (You can tip the artists via Venmo at @MostlySondheim.)

Alan Cumming
Photo: Kevin Garcia

Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant (Joe's Pub)

The bright-eyed, bouncy-kneed Scottish stage-and-screen actor Alan Cumming plays fast and louche with the cabaret format, sprinkling naughty words into long comic stories and putting a completely fresh interpretive spin on familiar songs. He became an American citizen in 2008, a decade after taking New York by storm in Cabaret, and this 2018 Joe's Pub set explores his immigrant experience. Venmo tips to Cumming’s band are welcome.