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Holiday Inn at Studio 54
Photograph: Joan Marcus Holiday Inn

The best live theater to stream online on May 30 and May 31

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, and the ban on gatherings in New York extends to all other performance spaces as well. So the show must go online—and, luckily, streaming video makes that possible. Here are some of the best theater, opera, dance and cabaret performances you can watch today without leaving home, many of which will help you support the artists involved.

Events that go live today are at the top of the list; be sure to scroll down past the daily listings to find major events that you can still stream for ax limited time and, below that, a bonus section of videos that have no expiration date. We update this page every day, so please feel free to bookmark it and check back. (Refresh the bookmark every week or so for optimal use.)  

Hairspray Live!
Last chance (through Sunday 2pm EST / 7pm BST, not available in Asia or Latin America)
For sheer bubblegum musical-theater joy, it's hard to beat this week’s offering from the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On!Hairspray, one of the best film-to-musical adaptations in Broadway history. Adapted from the 1988 John Waters film about a plus-size teen breaking down barriers in 1960s Baltimore—and buoyed by an exuberant score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman—the show balances Broadway showmanship with winking camp all the way to its unstoppable finale, and this 2016 version is among the most enjoyable live-TV musicals in recent memory. Maddie Baillio has the central role, with a galaxy of stars in the supporting parts: Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Ariana Grande, Garrett Clayton, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Ephraim Sykes, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Derek Hough, Andrea Martin, Sean Hayes, Rosie O'Donnell, Billy Eichner and a delicious Dove Cameron. NBC had learned from its earlier live broadcasts, and the choices it made here—from the casting to the camera work to the inclusion of a live audience—help lift Hairspray to the right fluffy heights.

Hairspray Live! | Photograph: Brian Bowen Smith/NBC

Plays in the House: Ever So Humble
Saturday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST (available for four days)
Twice a week, the invaluable Stars in the House series, which usually features interviews and musical interludes (see 8pm below), presents live performances of plays in their entirety. Previous efforts, including The Heidi Chronicles, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and The Little Dog Laughed, have come off smashingly. Today’s selection of Tim Pinckney’s 2011 comedy Ever So Humble, which—years before The Inheritance, and in a very different way—offered a modern spin on E.M. Forster’s Howards End. The ace cast of this live reading includes Reed Birney, Michael Urie, Ryan Spahn, Brandon Contreras, Montego Glover and Andréa Burns, who was in the cast of the show’s premiere at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. (Unlike most Stars in the House offerings, this one stays viewable for only four days.)

Andréa Burns | Photograph: Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Ballet Hispánico: CARMEN.maquia and Club Havana
Saturday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST
Lincoln Center at Home begins its Dance Week, in which the essential NYC cultural institution shares tersichorean highlights from the past four decades of performances at its Upper West Side campus. This afternoon it reshares 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.

Carmen.maquia | Photograph: Paula Lobo

Martha Graham Dance Company: Letter to the World
Saturday 2:30pm EDT / 7:30pm BST (live only)
The queen of modern dance's legacy lives on. In this edition of its Martha Matinee series on YouTube, the company that bears her name takes a deep dive into Graham’s 1940 Letter to the World (immortalized in Barbara Graham’s iconic photograph), which explores the inner life of the American poet, recluse and dash enthusiast Emily Dickinson. The company showed the first half of the piece last week, and this is the second; both installments include footage of the original cast with Graham, Erick Hawkins and Merce Cunningham and a 1972 revival with Pearl Lang. Artistic director Janet Eilber is on hand for live Q&A during the group watch, joined by Graham archivist Oliver Tobin and other guests.

Martha Graham in Letter to the World | Photograph: Barbara Morgan

PlayGround: Disbelief
Saturday 5pm EDT / 10pm BST (live only)
As part of its ongoing Zoom Festival, the San Francisco theater incubator PlayGround presents a produced, off-book virtual performance of Garret Jon Groenveld’s full-length drama Disbelief, a poetic retelling of the Cassandra myth with an eye toward the #MeToo movement. The play is performed a second time tomorrow. 

Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
Saturday 5pm–10:30pm EDT / 10pm–3:30am BST
The beloved West Village institution keeps the show tunes rolling merrily along every night of the week. Read all about it here. Join the Maries Group page on Facebook to watch from home, and don’t forget to tip the pianist and staff through Venmo. Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Franca Vercelloni (@Franca-Vercelloni) and Michael James Roy (@MichaelJames-Roy).

Stephen Petronio Company: _AShadowPrince
Saturday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
Founded in 1984, Stephen Petronio Company has spent a solid chunk of its past few years on its Bloodlines project, which revisits the work of postmodern dance masters. Choreographer-dancer Johnnie Cruise Mercer’s video solo  _AShadowPrince is the first commissioned piece in the company’s new Bloodlines(future) series. A physical memoir, the piece traces the Mercer’s engagement with questions of radicalism and rebellion.

_AShadowPrince | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Robert Creighton: Holiday Happy
Saturday 6:30pm EDT / 11:30pm BST (live only)
The city’s top supper club, Feinstein’s/54 Below, offers shows from its archives, streamed live on YouTube for one night only, in its ongoing series 54 Below at Home. In tonight’s show, musical-theater fireplug Robert Creighton—who cowrote and starred in the Off Broadway musical Cagney and tippled winsomely in the revival of Drood—celebrates the winter holiday season in a set recorded in December 2017. Joining him are a trio led by Matt Perri and a quartet of child actresses who would share the Broadway stage with him a few months later in Frozen. 

Robert Creighton| Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Rehearsal for Truth: The American Emperor
Saturday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
The annual Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival honors the legacy of the Czech playwright and dissident Václav Havel by showcasing contemporary theater from Central Europe. This year’s virtual edition continues tonight with The American Emperor, adapted by Slovakia’s Michal Ditte from a book by Martin Pollack. The play looks at two Jewish siblings in a destitute wing of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire in the late 19th century; one heads to the U.S. in search of a better life, while the other stays behind. Jacquelyn Claire de Villiers directs a cast of seven, led by Elizabeth Andrews and Michael Frishman. The live-only Zoom reading is free, but registration is required for a password.

Elizabeth Andrews | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Metropolitan Opera: L’Elisir d’Amore
Saturday 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 remains online for the next 23 hours. Tonight’s offering is Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, a romantic comedy about liquid courage. Domingo Hindoyan conducts this 2018 performance, which is directed by Lincoln Center mainstay Bartlett Sher and stars Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo.  

L’Elisir d’Amore | Photograph: Karen Almond

BroadwayHD: Holiday Inn
Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available for two days)
The streaming service BroadwayHD, which offers an impressive selection of high-quality theater recordings at a very reasonable price, streams a sampler for free: the cheerily old-fashioned 2016 musical Holiday Inn, built around sturdy load-bearing standards by Irving Berlin (including “Cheek to Cheek,” “Blue Skies,” “Heat Wave” and “White Christmas”). The show follows the same story as the 1942 movie, which starred Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby: A showbiz type turns a sleepy Connecticut farmhouse into a song-and-dance destination. Gordon Greenberg, who also wrote the book with Chad Hodge, directs a cast that includes Bryce Pinkham, Corbin Bleu, Lora Lee Gayer, Megan Sikora, Danny Rutigliano and Megan Lawrence. BroadwayHD recorded the show itself during its run at Studio 54, using 14 cameras, so the quality of the capture is strong. Donations to the Actors Fund are encouraged. 

Holiday Inn | Photograph: Joan Marcus

the [title of show] show Vineyard Theatre Virtual Variety Show show 
Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
The four extremely lovable original cast members of the beloved 2008 cult metamusical [title of show]—Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff—host a freewheeling variety-show benefit for the Vineyard Theatre, where the musical had its Off Broadway debut in 2006, joined again by director Michael Berresse and musical director Larry Pressgrove. (Matt Vogel co-directs and edits the special.) Thanks to the vast reserves of goodwill this group has generated over the years, the guest list is chockablock with major names, including Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, Billy Crudup, Rachel Dratch, Bill Irwin, Cheyenne Jackson, John Kander, Judy Kuhn, Linda Lavin, The Lopez Family Singers, Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joe Morton, Alex Newell, Leslie Odom Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Steven Pasquale, Zachary Quinto, Brooke Shields, Phillipa Soo and Michael Urie. Expect sweetness, humor, creativity and heart. Tickets come with any donation of $25 or more, but be warned: You must register by noon on Saturday to see it. 

[title of show] | Photograph: Carol Rosegg

Stars in the House: Falsettoland cast reunion
Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
Showtune savant and SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky (Disaster!) and his husband, producer James Wesley, are the forces behind this ambitious and entertaining series to benefit the Actors Fund. Twice a day, they play host to theater stars in live, chatty interviews interspersed with clips and songs. (Rudetsky is an expert at sussing out stories.) Dr. Jon LaPook, the chief medical correspondent for CBS News, provides periodic updates on public health; surprise virtual visitors are common. Tonight’s evening edition features an original-cast reunion of one of the William Finn and James Lapine’s extraordinary 1990 one-act musical Falsettoland, which took that characters from their earlier March of the Falsettos and followed them into the age of AIDS. (Both pieces were later combined into Broadway’s Falsettos, which was revived in 2016.) Falsettoland has one of the standout scores of the past half century: sparky, funny, wrenching and sweetly romantic. The show’s entire terrific Playwrights Horizons ensemble—Michael Rupert, Stephen Bogardus, Faith Prince, Chip Zien, Heather MacRae, Janet Metz and Danny Gerard Lanzetta—celebrates its 30th anniversary with stories and songs.

Michael Rupert | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

New York City Ballet: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (through July 14)
Lincoln Center Dance Week continues with 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. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Photograph: Courtesy Lincoln Center

Zvidance: On the Road
Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
The essential downtown performance hub Joe’s Pub continues its rollout of favorites from its archives. In tonight’s show, presented through 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.

On The Road | Photograph: Yi-Chun Wu

Seacoast Repertory Theatre: The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns
Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
The Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is in a rare if not unique position right now: Since its resident actors and key technical staff have been sequestered together since March, they are in a position to perform and stream shows live together on the theater’s actual stage. For the past two weekends of their virtual summer season, the group performed Roger Bean's long-running Off Broadway jukebox musical The Marvelous Wonderettes, which takes an all-female tour through ’50s and ’60s pop favorites; now they move on to one of the show’s several sequels, which includes such hits as “Rock Around the Clock” and “Dancing in the Street.” Ben Hart and Brandon James direct the cast of four: Andrea Lyons, Alyssa Dumas, Bay Goulet and (in drag) Jason Faria. In future weeks, the company will follow up with another Wonderettes installment and the show’s companion piece, The Andrews Brothers. Tickets for each live-only performance cost $20.

The Marvelous Wonderettes | Photograph: Brandon James

Metropolitan Playhouse: Constancy
Saturday at 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
The dramatic archaeologists of the Metropolitan Playhouse unearth Constancy, a 1914 comedy by Neith Boyce, who was among the founders of the Provincetown Players. A tale of comeuppance for a romantic roué, the play was inspired by the real-life dalliance between bohemian literary salonièrre Mabel Dodge and the Communist journalist John Reed (who was the subject of the movie Reds). Laura Livingston directs this 30-minute reading as part of the ongoing Virtual Playhouse project.

Serials @ The Flea: Online!
Saturday 9pm EDT / 2am BST 
Beer, bands and youth fuel this weekly competition, in which the Flea's enthusiastic resident company, the Bats, pits five serial plays against one another; the winning writers return with new installments, while the losers must start from scratch. Tonight the Tribeca company takes the fun to Instagram and YouTube with playlets specifically crafted for digital delivery; a $15 donation is suggested. (Voting stays open until midnight on Tuesday.)

Plays in the House Jr.: Space Girl
Sunday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST (available for four days)
The Sunday matinee edition of Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s talk show takes the idea behind the successful Plays in House series (see Saturday 2pm) and extends it to the kiddies. Under the artistic direction of Broadway performer Anika Larsen (Beautiful), the junior division presents plays for young people performed by young casts. The third edition is Mora Harris’s Space Girl, about an alien teeager—aren’t they all?—who is trying to find her place on Earth. The cast includes Anika Braganza, Lilla Crawford, Zoe Donovan, Ashley Figueroa, Micah Lawrence, Storm Lever and Casey Likes; a live Q&A with the playwright follows. 

PlayGround: Disbelief
Sunday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST (live only)
See Saturday 5pm. 

Seacoast Repertory Theatre: The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns
Sunday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST (live only)
See Saturday 8pm.

Play-PerView: Too Heavy for Your Pocket
3pm EDT / 8pm BST (live only)
The charitable virtual-theater initiative Play-PerView presents a live, one-time-only Zoom reading of Jiréh Breon Holder's Too Heavy for Your Pocket, a drama about the Freedom Riders that is set in Nashville in 1961. All four actors from the play’s 2017 Off Broadway run at the Roundabout Underground—Eboni Flowers, Hampton Fluker, Brandon Gill and the excellent Nneka Okafor—renite, directed once again by Margot Bordelon (Do You Feel Anger?). Tickets cost $5–$50, and proceeds benefit Ma-Yi Theater Company.

Too Heavy for Your Pocket | Photograph: Jeremy Daniel

Irish Arts Center: A Night in November
Sunday 3pm EDT / 8pm BST
The Irish Arts Center has hosted two previous productions of Marie Jones’s 1994 solo drama, a multicharacter look at the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and was scheduled to bring in Soda Bread Theatre Company’s 25th-anniversary version this spring. Instead, in three Sunday matinees, the company is offering a free serialized adaptation of the show, adjusted to fit the tech exigencies of the troublesome present. Matthew Forsythe performs the piece from home, directed by Matthew McElhinney; each of the three episodes—this is the final one—is bookended by conversations between Jones and McElhinney, who is also her son. (If you miss an installment, don't fret: You can still watch Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

A Night in November | Photograph: Christopher Barr

John McDaniel: Sunday Tea with John McD
Sunday 3pm EDT / 8pm BST 
The affable pianist, musical director and composer John McDaniel—known to national audiences from his stint as the leader of The Rosie O’Donnell Show’s house band, the McDLTs—now offers an intimate afternoon of music every week on Facebook Live.

John McDaniel | Photograph: Steve Ullathorne

Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
Sunday 4pm–9:30pm EDT / 9pm–2:30am BST
See Saturday 5pm. Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1) and Dan Daly (@DanDalyMusic). 

Socially Unacceptable
Sunday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
Matt Steinberg’s dark comedy about Facebook content moderators had a reading at the Tank last year, and now the playwright has adapted it so that the story actually unfolds on Zoom—where this reading, directed by Ran Xia, is also taking place. Viewership is free, but donations to the charitable organization Harlem Grown are encouraged.

Matt Steinberg | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Rehearsal for Truth: Cost of Living
Sunday 7pm EDT / 12am BST (live only)
The Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival (see Saturday 7pm) wraps up with a major coup: a live reading Polish-America playwright Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2018. The play, which raises salient issues of physical and economic disadvantage, alternates between two stories: One is about a rich grad student with cerebral palsy and his financially desperate caregiver; the other is about a quadriplegic woman and the estranged husband who tends to her, hoping for a reconciliation. Tyne Rafaeli directs this one-time event, which stars the two superb actors with disabilities, Katy Sullivan and Gregg Mozgala, who originated their roles.A live Q&A with Majok follows the reading. (The Zoom event is free, but registration is required for a password.)

Gregg Mozgala | Photograph: Harvey Wang

Desperately Seeking the Exit: Online Live 
Sunday 7pm EDT / midnight BST
In this hour-long solo comedy, the engaging and candid writer-performer Peter Michael Marino spills the backstage dirt as he dissects the garish failure of his 2007 West End jukebox musical, Desperately Seeking Susan, an adaptation of the Madonna movie that used the songs of Blondie. Tickets cost $10, and proceeds from this run partly benefit the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Desperately Seeking the Exit | Photograph: David Rodgers

Drama Desk Awards
Sunday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST
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, and the Obies later this week—have elected to soldier on. 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.

Frank DiLella | Photograph: Dirty Sugar Photography

The Metropolitan Opera: Salome
Sunday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
See Saturday 7:30pm. The Met's 11th week of free offerings concludes tonight with Richard Strauss’s intense 1905 opera Salome, adapted from Oscar Wilde's scandalous biblical tragedy about the mayhem that can grow from heterosexual lust. The dramatic soprano Karita Mattila plays the mercurial, seven-veil-dancing title character, who forces the King of Judea to give her head. Patrick Summers conducts this 2008 performance, which also stars Kim Begley, Ildikó Komlósi, Juha Uusitalo and Joseph Kaiser.

Salome | Photograph: Courtesy Marty Sohl

Seacoast Repertory Theatre: The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns
Sunday 7:30 pm EDT / 12:30am BST (live only)
See Saturday 8pm. 

The Seth Concert Series: Kelli O’Hara
Sunday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Seth Rudetsky’s intimate chat-and-sing series at the Art House in Provincetown has drawn top Broadway stars to the tip of the Cape for nearly a decade. He knows exactly what stories and songs people need to hear from each of his A-list guests, and now he brings the magic online in a weekly concert and interview series. Joining him for the first episode is the golden-voiced Broadway leading lady Kelli O’Hara, the reigning queen of the classy revival (South Pacific, The King and I) but no stranger to new work either (including the underrated The Bridges of Madison County). Virtual tickets cost $25; each episode debuts at 8pm on Sundays and then repeats at 3pm on Mondays. Jeremy Jordan and Jessie Mueller are on the roster for future editions. 

Kelli O’Hara | Photograph: Laura Marie Duncan

Sordid Lives
Sunday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available for four days)
Del Shores’s 1996 black comedy Sordid Lives, about a gay actor trying to come out to his wacky Texas relatives at the funeral of the family matriarch, has spawned a cottage industry that has included two films and a series on LOGO. For this benefit reading of the original play, he reunites cast members from several of those projects, including Bonnie Bedelia, Emerson Collins, Beau Bridges, Beth Grant, Caroline Rhea and national quarantine mascot Leslie Jordan. Among those joining the fun remotely are Carson Kressley, Alec Mapa, Tony-winning charmer Levi Kreis (Million Dollar Quartet) and Olivia Newton-John. Donations benefit 23 struggling southern theater companies.  

Sordid Lives | Photograph: Courtesy Del Shores

American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House
Sunday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
Lincoln Center Dance Week continues with a classic from more than 40 years ago: an evening of American Ballet Theatre repertory works, as captures in a 1978b 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. 

Les Sylphides | Photograph: Louis Peres

Brian Nash
Sunday 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
A wizard at the piano and an ace musical director, Brian Nash is also an exuberant showman when he takes the mic himself—as he usually does on Sunday nights at the Duplex in the West Village, where he has held court for the past decade or so. Tonight he brings the magic to Facebook Live. In lieu of a tip jar, you can Venmo him at @BrianJNash. (If you do it in advance, feel free to include a request.)

Brian Nash | Photograph: Robb Sapp/Dirty Sugar Photography

Quarantine Theatre Company: A Streetcar Named Desire
Sunday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
Downtown survivor Penny Arcade plays the cracked Southern belle Blanche DuBois and Steve Earle is her brutish nemesis, Stanley Kowalski, in a highly informal table virtual table read of Tennessee Williams’s sweaty masterwork A Streetcar Named Desire, the latest in a series assembled by movie expert Jack Fields. The witty, persona-shifting Tammy Faye Starlite is Stella, and master shuffler Austin Pendleton is Mitch; the cast also includes rising writer-performer Ryan J. Haddad and star biographer James Gavin.

Penny Arcade | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

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

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LIMITED RUNS

Juan Diego Flórez as Elvino and Natalie Dessay as Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula.
Photograph: Ken Howard

La Sonnambula (Metropolitan Opera)

Through May 30 at 6:30pm EDT / 11:30 BST
The Met's 11th week of free offerings continues with this Viewer's Choice selection: a 2009 performance of Bellini's bel canto romantic comedy La Sonnambula, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez. Director Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses) offers a metatheatrical staging in which the action takes place amid an opera company’s rehearsals in modern-day New York. 

The cast of Jerry Herman: You I Like at Lyrics & Lyricists
Photograph: Richard Termine

Jerry Herman: You I Like (Lyrics & Lyricists)

Through May 30 
92Y shares the February 2020 edition of its estimable Lyrics & Lyricists series: a salute to the late show-tune master Jerry Herman, whose enduring creations include the scores for Mame, Hello, Dolly! and La Cage Aux Folles. The singers are Quentin Earl Darrington, Cady Huffman, Bryonha Marie Parham, Andrea Ross and Ryan Vona; Huffman also directs, and Andy Einhorn is the conceiver and musical director.

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Opheliamachine
Photograph: Paul Rubenstein

Opheliamachine (City Garage)

Through May 31 at noon EDT / 5pm BST
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 the 2013 premiere of Magda Romanska’s Opheliamachine, a postmodern feminist response to Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine. Frédérique Michel directs.

Robert Stanton
Photograph: Jordan Geiger

All in the Timing (Plays in the House)

Through May 31 at 2pm EDT / 7pm BST 
The invaluable Play in the House series of live remote performances presents selections from David Ives’s comically absurdist anthology All in the Timing. The gifted Nancy Opel and Robert Stanton, who were in the original 1993 Primary Stages production, re-create three of the six witty playlets in that show: The Sure Thing, about an attempted pick-up in a café; The Universal Language, about a stutterer learning a daffy new tongue; and Variations on the Death of Trotsky, which is buries a hatchet in Communist history.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: The Hunt
Photograph: Rosalie O'Connor

The Hunt (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)

Though May 31 at 7pm EDT / midnight BST
Alvin Ailey’s groundbreaking company, now under the guidance of artistic director Robert Battle, continues its All Access program with Battle’s open The Hunt, an intense and athletic 2001 work for six male dancers in long black gladiatorial skirts. The dance is 13 minutes long, and is set to music by the French percussion band Les Tambours du Bronx.

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play
Photograph: Courtesy Liz Lauren

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Goodman Theatre)

Through May 31
In Jocelyn Bioh’s ferocious comedy, set in 1986, the queen bee at an exclusive Ghanaian boarding school competes with a sunny American student for the attention of a pageant recruiter. Goodman Theatre’s Chicago production, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, was suspended before it opened, but we liked the play’s NYC premiere in 2017 very much. So did a lot of others: It was one of the buzziest shows of the season, and returned for an encore run. After a popular digital run last month, the Goodman is now making the high-quality digital recording of its production available for home viewing on demand through the end of May. Tickets cost $20.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus

Fleabag Live

Through May 31
If you can’t get enough of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s superb TV series
Fleabag—and since she’s said the second season was its last, you probably won’t get any more of it—here is some very good news: The solo stage show from which the first season was adapted can now be viewed on Amazon Prime for two weeks. It costs just $5, and all of the money it raises will go to charity. Also, it’s bloody great. As Helen Shaw wrote in her Time Out review of it last year: “Waller-Bridge is a brilliant comic in total technical control, and she shapes her monologue perfectly around her own skills. She subverts and then re-subverts expectations at whiplash speed, detonating small bombs of emotion just when we expect a joke. As an expression of craft, it’s dazzling.” Don’t miss this one.

Acquanetta
Photograph: Maria Baranova

Acquanetta (Fisher Center)

Through May 31
Experimental director Daniel Fish exploded musical-theater conventions with his Tony-winning Broadway revival of
Oklahoma! last season. Now you have a chance to see him work his magic on stranger material: composer Michael Gordon and librettist Deborah Artman’s 2005 opera, which imagines the internal life of the real-life 1940s starlet Acquanetta as she appeared in the 1943 horror flick Captive Wild Woman. “The one unmissable show I’ve seen so far was Acquanetta, the sublime horror-opera that opened the Prototype Festival,” wrote Time Out’s Helen Shaw of the show’s 2018 production in Dumbo. “Director Daniel Fish turns this 2005 stream-of-consciousness piece into an extraordinary nightmare, with massive-scale cinematic revelations unfolding out of a seemingly empty space.” This free video comes to us courtesy of the Fisher Center at Bard College, whose annual SummerScape festival is a prime summer destination for culturally savvy New Yorkers, and where Acquanetta was recorded last year. It remains viewable through the rest of May.

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Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
Photograph: Hunter Canning

Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

Through May 31
Matt Cox’s not-officially-a-Harry-Potter-comedy Harry Potter comedy Puffs takes an affectionate look at the underachieving but good-hearted denizens of the catch-all house in J.K. Rowling’s world of wizardry. As in the books, things start off cutely but get increasingly darker, with a good amount of heart woven in with the spoofing. If you missed the show in its four-year run in New York, which ended last year, you can catch up with it now: Playbill’s Playback series is streaming the show in its entirety, in a performance that was filmed in 2018. Tickets cost $8.99, part of which benefits the local charity Frontline Foods.

The Winter's Tale
Photograph: Marc Brenner

The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe)

Through May 31
London’s Shakespeare’s Globe is a replica of the Elizabethan playhouse for which the Bard wrote many of his plays, and it often aims to reproduce the production conditions under which those works were originally presented. The company currently offers a free production from its archives every second Monday. The latest is its 2018 version of The Winter’s Tale, the Bard's bittersweet portrait of jealousy, love, repentance, angry bears and magic statuary. It’s a wild emotional ride: The first three acts center on a Sicilian king whose paranoid mistrust of his wife’s fidelity leads to tragedy, but then the plays skips forward 16 years to a radically different mode of pastoral comedy. Blanche McIntyre directs the production, with a cast led by Will Keen, Priyanga Burford, Sirine Saba and Becci Gemmell.

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John Tartaglia
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Howard Ashman Celebration

Through May 31
Writer-lyricist and director Howard Ashman, in his collaborations with composer Alan  Menken—which include Little Shop of Horrors and the Disney-renaissance animated films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin—arguably did more than anyone to return musical theater from its mass-culture exile in the late 20th century. One can only imagine what else he might have done had he not died of AIDS in 1991, when he was 40 years old. In honor of what would have been his 70th birthday, Rainbow Sun Productions has created this collection of songs and stories about Ashman's life and legacy. Participants include John Tartaglia, Christy Carlson Romano, Bradley Pierce and the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson; all proceeds benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The Pig, or Václav Havel's Hunt for a Pig
Photograph: Arthur Cornelius

The Pig, or Václav Havel's Hunt for a Pig (Untitled Theater Company No. 61)

Through May 31
In this Czech play—written by Václav Havel in 1987, expanded by Vladimír Morávek in 2010 and adapted into English by Edward Einhorn—Havel tries to literally bring home the bacon for a group of fellow dissidents. Food and drink were served at the show’s 2014 multimedia production at 3LD, which was directed by Henry Akona; you can’t get those from this recording, of course, but songs from Smetana's The Bartered Bride are also on the menu.

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Justin Peck and Robert Fairchild in Peck's The Times Are Racing (New York City Ballet)
Photograph: Paul Kolnik

New York City Ballet: 21st Century Choreographers

Through June 1 at 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
In place of City Ballet’s six-week spring season at Lincoln Center, the venerable dance company has been providing a month and a half of digital offerings, including workshops and movement classes as well as streamed recordings of pieces from its repertoire. That digital season concludes with this collection of works by contemporary choreographers: Justin Peck’s 9-minute Easy, set to music by Leonard Bernstein, and excerpts from Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet (2019), Ratmansky’s Voices (2020), Gianna Reisen’s Composer’s Holiday  (2017), Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway (2018), Mauro Bigonzetti’s Oltremare (2008) and Peck’s The Times Are Racing (2017), featuring Robert Fairchild and Peck himself.

Grace McLean
Photograph: Shervin Lainez

Grace McLean and Rotana

Through May 1 at 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
The West Village’s cozy Rattlestick Theater presents the final episode of its weekly series of laid-back concerts with theater songwriters, in which two artists each week share new material and discuss how the musical magic happens. This episode features the outrageously talented Grace McLean (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) and the Saudi-American performance artist and songwriter Rotana (Alien of Extraordinary Ability).

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Bandstand
Photograph: Jeremy Daniel

Bandstand

Through June 2 
If you missed the original musical Bandstand on Broadway in 2017—as too many people did!—you now have a chance to see what you were missing. Broadway on Demand is streaming the show in its entirety starting tonight, in a performance that was filmed for cinematic release in 2018. Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor's resonant musical dances a delicate line between nostalgia and disillusion in its depiction of post–World War II soldiers, led by the engaging Corey Cott, trying to get back into the swing of things through music—with help from a comely singer played by Laura Osnes. Director-choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler's group numbers burst with snazzy individuality, but Bandstand’s heart is in the shadows that its band of brothers can't shake. Rentals cost $6.99 and last 24 hours; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Ballet Hispánico in Bury Me Standing
Photograph: Paula Lobo

Bury Me Standing (Ballet Hispánico)

Thrugh June 3 at 7pm EDT / 12am 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 Spanish choreographer Ramón Oller’s 1998 El Beso, an homage to the Roma people set to traditional melodies and flamenco by Lole Y Manuel. A live Q&A follows with artistic director Eduardo Vilaro and former company members Rodney Hamilton and Jessica Batten. 

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Charles Edwards in This House (2012)
Photograph: Johan Persson

This House (National Theatre)

Through June 4 at 2pm EDT / 7pm EST
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, every Thursday on YouTube. The latest offering is This House, a 2012 political drama by James Graham (Ink) that takes place behind the closed doors of the Parliament in the 1970s. Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things) is the director. “Largely set in the Tory and Labour rival whips’ offices, This House highlights the passion, commitment and skullduggery of those on both sides as they fight a four-and-a-half year 'war of attrition' from the hung parliament of 1974 to the dawn of Thatcher,” wrote Time Out London in its five-star review of the play’s 2016 West End transfer. “It humanises politics and politicians at a time when it seems fashionable to deride them. And for all the apparent dryness of its subject, the play is rich in humour and sentiment.”

Cynthia Hopkins: A Living Documentary
Photograph: Ian Douglas

(Re)Live Arts Streaming

Through June 4 at 7:30pm
Bill T. Jones’s dance and performance complex, New York Live Arts, has been releasing three videos from its archives every Thursday. This week’s batch includes: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company's D-Man in the Waters (1989), which wrestles with the devastations of the AIDS epidemic to the strains of Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings; Cynthia Hopkins’s semiautobiographical A Living Documentary (2014), which explores the struggles of the 21st-century New York City performance artist; and a 2018 conversation between Jones and conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas.

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Martha Henry as Prospero in The Tempest
Photograph: David Hou

The Tempest (Stratford Festival)

Through June 4
The 80-year-old Stratford Festival legend Martha Henry, who made her festival debut as Miranda in The Tempest in 1962, plays Prospero in director Antoni Cimolino’s captivating 2018 production, which features Michael Blake as Caliban and André Morin as Ariel. This was the last play that Shakespeare wrote by himself, and he throws everything into the pot: a sorcerer’s revenge, young lovers, a shipwreck, a monster, a fairy slave and two regicide plots.

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
Photograph: Carol Rosegg

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (Mabou Mines)

Through June 4
Few experimental companies in NYC have had the impact of Mabou Mines, which was founded by a quartet of major theater artists in 1970 and is still kicking today. During the pandemic crisis, the company has been sharing archival performances every Friday. This week's selection is Linda Hatinian’s 1985 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s dystopian 1974 sci-fi novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, directed by Bill Raymond.

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Stephen Petronio Company: Full Half Wrong
Photograph: Sarah Silver

#LoveSpreadsFaster (Stephen Petronio Company)

Through June 5 at 10am
Founded in 1984, Stephen Petronio Company has spent a solid chunk of its past few years on its Bloodlines project, which revisits the work of postmodern dance masters. In this virtual event, he draws on his scrappy early experience to create a new full-company work, #GimmeShelter, created on Zoom with his remote dancers. Also included in this program is a solo excerpt from his 1993 piece Full Half Wrong (performed by Jaqlin Medlock), a response of sorts to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Children with bloody hands in Handel's Messiah at Bristol Old Vic
Photograph: Jon Rowley

Messiah (Bristol Old Vic)

Through June 5 at 2pm EDT / 7pm BST 
The Bristol Old Vic, which is housed in the oldest continuously operating theater in the English-speaking world, gets into the online streaming game this week with a striking dramatized concert of Handel’s oratorio Messiah. At the helm is BOV artistic director Tom Morris, who won a Tony in 2011 for War Horse; the performance, which features the Baroque orchestra the English Concert, was filmed in 2017 for cinematic release.

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Women covered in sheets in Hussein Chalayan's Gravity Fatigue
Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Gravity Fatigue (Sadler’s Wells)

Through June 5 at 2:30pm EDT / 7:30pm BST
The London dance powerhouse Sadler's Wells, which has been kicking around in some form or other since the 17th century, leaps firmly into the present with streams from its significant archival collection. In Gravity Fatigue, which premiered in 2015, the British fashion designer Hussein Chalayan ventures into theater with an assist from contemporary dance choreographer Damien Jalet. Expect dramatic use of fabrics and unusual contortions among the 13 dancers.

San Francisco Ballet in Marston's Snowblind
Photograph: Erik Tomasson

Snowblind (San Francisco Ballet)

Through June 5 at 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
San Francisco Ballet stays on its toes by streaming a different complete ballet from its archives every week. This one is Snowblind, a 2018 one-act created for the company’s Unbound festival by Cathy Marston, whose The Cellist is also streaming this week (see 2pm above). The piece is adapted from the Edith Wharton novella Ethan Frome, in which romantic feeling between a married man and his sickly wife’s cousin send them on a slippery slope to disaster. The music, arranged by Philip Feeney, draws on work by Wharton’s contemporaries in the early-20th-century American arts.

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Lady M
Photograph: Courtesy Heartbeat Opera

Heartbeat Opera: Lady M soirées

Through June 6
The inventive, queer-edged NYC company Heartbeat Opera was scheduled to premiere its latest work, Lady M—director-adapter Ethan Heard’s reconception of Verdi’s Macbeth—this week at Brooklyn’s Irondale Center. Instead, it is offering a series of 45-minute “virtual soirées” that include introductory remarks, a live performance by one of the show’s six cast members, a documentary about Heartbeat’s current activities and a video of Felicia Moore, as Lady Macbeth, performing the pivotal sleepwalking scene. The troupe is holding one or two soirées on most days through June 6; tickets cost $30.

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To Master the Art
Photograph: Lara Goetsch

To Master the Art (TimeLine Theatre)

Through June 7
Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre Company, which successfully streamed the provocative
Kill Stop Paradise earlier in the quarantine season, shifts gears to offer a gentler past work: William Brown and Doug Frew’s To Master the Art, a 2010 portrait Julia Child and her husband, Paul, in Paris in the 1950s. The show was such a hit that it was remounted in 2013, when this video was filmed with Karen Janes Woditsch and Craig Spidle reprising their leading roles. A limited number of $15–$25 tickets are sold for each streaming; you have a week to watch the video after the virtual performance you book.

Marcelino Sambe, Matthew Ball and Lauren Cuthbertson in The Cellist (Royal Ballet)
Photograph: Bill Cooper

The Cellist (Royal Ballet)

Through June 11 
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 Cathy Marston’s The Cellist, a bioballet about the highly dramatic life of Jacqueline du Pré, whose career as a master instrumentalist and classical-music celebrity (alongside her husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim) was cut short by multiple sclerosis. Lauren Cuthbertson, Matthew Ball and Marcelino Sambé—who redefines the term playing the cello— star in this 2020 production. Philip Feeney's score incorporates music by composers including Elgar, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

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Joseph Ziegler as Timon in Timon of Athens
Photograph: Cylla von Tiedemann

Timon of Athens (Stratford Festival)

Though June 11
Directed by Stephen Ouimette, this 2017 Straford Festival staging of the Bard’s furious, rarely performed Timon of Athens stars Joseph Ziegler in a morality tale about an altruistic ancient Greek gentleman whose view of the world curdles dramatically after his friends prove more selfish than he had believed.

Michael Sheen
Photograph: Sarah Dunn

Under Milk Wood (92Y)

Through June 12
Dylan Thomas’s first public reading of his play Under Milk Wood—a funny and lyrical wide-angle group portrait of the inhabitants of the fictional Welsh fishing village of Llareggub (whose name you should certainly not read backward)—was on May 14, 1953, at the 92nd Street Y. In 2014, an all-Welsh cast assembled there for a reading led by stage and screen star Michael Sheen (The Queen). 92Y is now making a never-before-seen recording of that evening available for $10 through June 12. The rest of the cast comprises Kate Burton, Karl Johnson, Mark Lewis Jones, Francine Morgan and Matthew Aubrey.

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Stephen Petronio Company in Merce Cunningham's Tread
Photograph: Ian Douglas

Stephen Petronio Company: Tread

Through June 14
The Merce Cunningham Trust shares an archival recording of the Stephen Petronio Company performing Cunningham’s uncharacteristically light-hearted Tread (1970) at the Skirball Center in 2019 as part of a multivenue celebration of the modern dance master’s centennial. The music is by Christian Wolff; the set, by conceptual artist Bruce Nauman, prominently features a row of large fans.

Mike Shara in Love's Labour's Lost (Stratford Festival 2015)
Photograph: Don Dixon

Love’s Labour’s Lost (Stratford Festival)

Through June 18
This selection from Canada's world-class Stratford Festival, directed by John Caird (Les Misérables), is a 2015 staging of Shakespeare's comedy about noblemen who forswear love for scholarship—only to be dragged back into the game by visiting French maidens. Mike Shara and Ruby Joy lead the cast.

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The Time Machine
Photograph: Richard Budd

The Time Machine (Creation Theatre)

Through June 21
In honor of the 125th anniversary of H.G. Wells’s sci-fi novella The Time Machine, Creation Theatre was performing a site-specific production of Jonathan Holloway’s play at the London Library when the pandemic descended. Now the company has retooled the show as a Zoom experience, directed by Natasha Rickman and featuring sets and costumes by Ryan Dawson Laight. To suggest the concept of parallel universes, multiple scenes play out simultaneously in different digital rooms, each audience member has a different experience. The show is performed live by a cast of seven ten times a week through June 21. Tickets are limited, and cost £20 (about $25) per device; the May dates are already sold out, so book now for June.

Sorry (The Apple Plays)
Photograph: Joan Marcus

What Do We Need to Talk About? (Public Theater)

Through June 28
In this original microdrama, commissioned and written 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 four plays about the Apple family, three about the Gabriels and one about the Michaels. Here he returns to the Apples, last seen in 2014, to check in with how they are holding up in quarantine. The wonderful cast from the original tetralogy returns via Zoom: Jay O. Sanders, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Sally Murphy, Jon DeVries and Stephen Kunken. In the spirit of the Public’s civic mission, it is being offered for free, but donations to the Public are encouraged. 

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Black-Eyed Susan in Red Fly/Blue Bottle
Photograph: Julien Jourdes

Red Fly/Blue Bottle (HERE)

Through June 30
This HERE selection is a 2009 experimental multimedia piece by Stephanie Fleischmann that  features music by Christina Campanella, a gorgeous set by Jim Findlay and films by Peter Norrman. Mallory Catlett directs a cast that includes Jesse Hawley, Chris Lee and longtime Ridiculous Theatrical Company regular Black-Eyed Susan as an elderly entomologist.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore (92Y)
Photograph: Vladimir Weinstein/ Michael Priest Photography

Love, Loss, and What I Wore (92Y)

Through July 5
Nora and Delia Ehpron’s sweet and insightful 2008 collection of monologues about women and clothing, adapted from Ilene Beckerman’s 1995 book, ran for more than 1,000 performances at the Westside Theatre with a rotating cast of famous actors. The 92nd Street Y, the cultural epicenter of the Upper East Side, held a reunion reading of the show in 2017 with former cast members Rosie O’Donnell, Natasha Lyonne, Carol Kane, Lucy DeVito and Tracee Ellis Ross, directed by Karen Carpenter. As a fund-raiser, 92Y has released a recording; tickets cost $10.

THEATER MULTIPLEXES

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.

BONUS CONTENT

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.

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. 

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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”).

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.

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Paramodernities, Marc Crousillat
Photograph: Hayim Heron

Netta Yerushalmy: Paramodernities

Netta Yerushalmy aims her analytical cannons at the canon of 20th-century dance in Paramodernities, an insightful and deservedly acclaimed deconstruction of terpsichorean landmarks. Performed by a cast of 20 dancers and scholars, the show casts a critical eye on works by Vaslav Nijinski, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Bob Fosse and George Balanchine. The show’s 2019 run at New York Live Arts was recorded, and Yerushalmy has rollied it out in six fascinating installments—each a kind of beautifully illustrated seminar. (Episodes 1 and 4, about Nijinsky and Cunningham, feature standout West Side Story dancer Marc Crousillat.) Interesting discussions follow each section.

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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Wallies
Photograph: Walter Wlodarczyk

Wallies (The Brick)

The Brick Theater continues its Archival Streaming Series with Simple Town’s collectively written and performed comedy about life in a police state, which played at the venue in March 2020 (just before the curtains came down). The stream is free, but donations are welcome.

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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Elizabeth Marvel in "Elizabeth in the Barn"
Photograph: Courtesy of the artists

The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues

Since 1995, the 24 Hour Plays series has set itself a challenge: to write, cast and perform new playlets in the span of a single night and day. In this weekly variation on that theme, writers create 24 monologues or two-handers for actors who record them and send them in for online broadcast. On Tuesdays from 6pm through midnight, a new piece goes live every 15 minutes on the 24 Hours Plays’ Instagram feed, where they remain viewable afterward. Among the 28 actors participating in this round are Jason Biggs, Alex Brightman, Sophia Anne Caruso, Aya Cash, Michael Cerveris, Michael Chernus, Merle Dandridge, Johanna Day, Maria Dizzia, Evan Handler, Jessica Hecht, Elizabeth Marvel, Ben Shenkman and Mirirai Sithole; among the writers are Chad Beckim, Joshua Conkel, Laura Eason, Rebecca Gilman, Daniel Goldfarb, Dylan Guerra, J. Holtham, David Lindsay-Abaire, Wendy MacLeod, Donald Margulies, Itamar Moses, Dan O’Brien and Jonathan Marc Sherman.

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. 

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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.

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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

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. 

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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.”

The Pigeoning
Photograph: Richard Termine

The Pigeoning (HERE)

HERE streams Robin Frohardt’s puppet-theater portrait of an uptight 1980s office drone who suspects that park birds are conspiring to disrupt his orderly existence. “The titular pigeons in Robin Frohardt’s eerie, hilarious, apocalyptic puppet fable have a weird preknowledge of the end-time to come,” wrote Helen Shaw in her 2013 Time Out review. “But the most chilling element of this beautifully realized, not-for-kids (but adorable) nightmare is its evocation of nine-to-five office mindlessness."

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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.

Paulo Szot in Leonard Bernstein's Mass (Ravinia Festival)
Photograph: Patrick Gipson/Ravinia Festival

Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (Great Performances)

Leonard Bernstein's unconventional Mass, written for the 1971 christening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, includes traditional elements of Catholic liturgy in Latin but also elements of jazz, rock and musical theater. (It is subtitled A Theater Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers, and Bernstein co-wrote the libretto with Godspell-era Stephen Schwartz.) Now the PBS series Great Performances shares its recording of a lavish 2019 production of the piece at Illinois’s Ravinia Festival, directed by Kevin Newbury and conducted by Marin Alsop. The formidable classical baritone Paulo Szot, who won a 2008 Tony for Broadway’s South Pacific, plays the central role of the Celebrant.

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A Night in November
Photograph: Christopher Barr

A Night in November (Irish Arts Center)

The Irish Arts Center has hosted two previous productions of Marie Jones’s 1994 solo drama, a muticharacter looks at the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and was scheduled to bring in Soda Bread Theatre Company’s 25th-anniversary version this spring. Instead, in three Sunday matinees, the company is offering a free serialized adaptation of the show, adjusted to fit the tech exigencies of the troublesome present. Matthew Forsythe performs the piece from home, directed by Matthew McElhinney; each of the three episodes is bookended by conversations between Jones and  McElhinney, who is also her son. (If you miss an installment, don't fret: They'll remain viewable on the Irish Arts website.)

Beth Malone
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Scott Siegel's Great American Songbook Concert: Volume 3

Cabaret producer Scott Siegel, well known for his multiple concert series at the Town Hall and Feinstein’s/4 Below, has developed a promising model for his new virtual programming: He crowdsources funding in advance so he can actually pay the performers who are singing remotely. In the third episode, recorded and edited in advance, Siegel serves as host for a lineup that includes, among others, Beth Malone, Quentin Earl Darrington, Karen Mason, Jenny Lee Stern, Stephen DeRosa, Jeremy Benton and Sal Viviano.

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Jake Gyllenhaal in A Life
Photograph: Richard Hubert Smith

Jake Gyllenhaal sings "Across the Way"

It's no secret anymore that Jake Gyllenhaal has serious musical-theater chops, as he demonstrated in the 2015 City Center concert of Little Shop of Horrors and the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George. In this one-off offering from the ongoing 24 Hour Plays series on Instagram, he sings a touching original song about quarantine romance, written by Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Good People). If you have four minutes to spare gazing dreamily into Jake Gyllenhaal's eyes as he sings to you, it's as tender a four-minute ballad about cruising a stranger across the street as one could wish.

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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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 single night. 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. 

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, as well as Merce Cunningham’s 1967 Scramble, which the company performed last year as part of the Cunningham centennial celebration. The first two stay viewable indefinitely on the NYTB website; the last disappears on June 13. 

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.)

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. Email Einhorn directly to book a slot; it is currently being performed by Yvonne Roen, for whom it was written, on Tuesdays from 11am through 1pm, and by Elizabeth Chappel on Thursdays and Sundays from 2pm to 4pm. (You can pay what you wish for it through Venmo at @Edward-Einhorn.)

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Amanda Szeglowski: Stairway To Stardom
Photograph: Benjamin Heller

Stairway to Stardom (HERE)

Szeglowski and her company, cakeface, pay oblique homage to the 1980s cable-access talent show Stairway to Stardom, whose hapless performers made up in ardency what they may have lacked in talent. Absorbing and suggestive, this 2017 dance-theater piece is less campy and more disciplined than one might expect; performed by an impressive cast of five women in disco-ball-silver outfits, it weds sharp synchronized choreography (partly inspired by moves from the series) to equally tight deadpan delivery of interview-based textual fragments about aspiration and mundanity. Jagged video and sound design add to the sense of determined disconnect.

Cirque du Soleil: One Night for One Drop
Photograph: Erik Kabik

Cirque du Soleil: One Night for One Drop 

The Québécois neocircus behemoth Cirque du Soleil offers an hour of highlights from two previous benefit nights it has held for One Drop, an international foundation founded by Cirque daddy Guy Laliberté that is devoted to improving living conditions in the developing world through sustainable improvements to water and sanitation. Expect some amazing feats of acrobatic beauty, daring and wonder.

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We Shall Not Be Moved
Photograph: Courtesy Philadelphia Opera

We Shall Not Be Moved (Opera Philadelphia)

Created by two Haitian-American writers, composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and staged by leading director-choreographer Bill T. Jones, this opera looks at five teenage runaways who take refuge on the onetime site of Philadelphia’s MOVE compound, which was bombed by the police in 1985. The piece premiered three years ago at O17, the first edition of Opera Philadelphia’s now-annual festival; now the company is making it available for streaming on demand. This 2017 performance is conducted by Viswa Subbaraman and stars spoken-word artist Lauren Whitehead along with Kirstin Chávez, Daniel Shirley, Adam Richardson, Aubrey Allicock and countertenor John Holiday.

Ariana Grande
Photograph: Shutterstock

Jason Robert Brown with Ariana Grande and Shoshana Bean

Before she ascended to mass-culture superstardom, Ariana Grande was a theater geek who made her Broadway in 2008’s 13, a musical by one of musical theater's leading composers: Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County), who combines insinuating heightened-pop melodies with intelligent lyrics. The show didn’t run, but a Grande always pays her debts. Here she sings Brown's "I'm Still Hurting," from The Last Five Years, to help raise money for the East Village arts venue SubCulture, where he has held court in a monthly musical residency for, well, the last five years. Also along for the ride is the big-voiced Shoshana Bean (Wicked), an accomplished Brown interpreter and frequent guest.

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Stephen Sondheim
Photograph: Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration

No living musical-theater artist is more revered than Stephen Sondheim, and for good reason: from his lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy to his full scores of shows including Sweeney Todd, Follies, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George, Sondheim has sculpted a peerless body of work. So it makes sense that this concert tribute features a truly astonishing galaxy of stars. Produced and hosted by the intense, cavern-voiced leading man Raúl Esparza, the show is a fund-raiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty). Technical difficulties delayed the premiere for more than an hour, but now you can watch or rewatch t without the tension and just enjoy the wonderful songs by an astonishing group of performers: Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban, Ben Platt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Donna Murphy, Lea Salonga, Sutton Foster, Neil Patrick Harris, Katrina Lenk, Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, Randy Rainbow, Aaron Tveit, Judy Kuhn, Linda Lavin, Melissa Errico, Beanie Feldstein, Maria Friedman, Iain Armitage, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth Stanley, Chip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and recent Pacific Overtures revival cast members Ann Harada, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma. Did we mention the a memorable rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch" by Meryl Streep, Audra McDonald and Christine Baranski? No? Now we have. Enjoy.

Chimpanzee, Nick Lehane, Barbican, London International Mime Festival 2020
Photograph: Richard Termine

Chimpanzee (HERE)

Nick Lehane's puppet play Chimpanzee is inspired by the true story of chimpanzees who were raised as human children but then abandoned to crueler environs as they grew up. People went ape for the original 2019 production, which HERE brought back for an encore, so we’re excited to check this one out. 

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Mario Cantone
Photograph: Jill Rapapport

The Lucille Lortel Awards

Mario Cantone hosts the 35th annual edition of this awards ceremony on May 3 to celebrate great work in Off Broadway productions. This year’s virtual version doubles as a benefit for the Actors Fund. Presenters include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Nathan Lane, Marisa Tomei, Debra Messing, Kelli O’Hara, Phillipa Soo, Tatiana Maslany, Michael Urie, Rachel Dratch, Jackie Hoffman and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Playwright-performer Anna Deavere Smith and departing Playwrights Horizons leader Tim Sanford receive special awards for career achievement.

American Utopia
Photograph: Matthew Murphy

The New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards

The New York Drama Critics' Circle usually gives out its annual awards at a private ceremony, but this year the group is pulling back the curtain as a benefit for the Actors Fund in a special episode of the web series Stars in the House. Time Out’s own Adam Feldman, who is the president of the Circle, plays host to presenters including John Mulaney, Michael Shannon, Heidi Schreck, Jeremy O. Harris and Brian Stokes Mitchell. This year’s honorees are Will Arbery for Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Best Play), Michael R. Jackson for A Strange Loop (Best Musical), David Byrne and the Broadway production of American Utopia, Deirdre O’Connell for career excellence including her performance in Dana H., and the New York theater community for perseverance in the face of loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Madeleine Bundy as Kapow-i GoGo in Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!
Photograph: Crystal Arnette

Kapow-i GoGo Gooo!

From the wacky brains of playwright Matt Cox and “geek friendly” producers the Ultra Corporation—who previously collaborated on the long-running Off Broadway not-officially-a-Harry-Potter-comedy Harry Potter comedy Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic—comes an original series about a 14-year-old girl on a quest to save to universe. Adapted from the upcoming two-part stage show The Kapow-i GoGo Saga, the series is inspired by anime and video games. Each episode lasts 30-40 minutes, and will remain up indefinitely on Ultra’s YouTube page.

Shaina Taub
Photograph: Sasha Arutyunova

Shaina Taub (Joe's Pub)

The essential downtown arts destination Joe’s Pub has been opening its archives on Thursday through Saturday nights to stream some of its most memorable past shows. This one is a 2018 set by the accomplished singer-songwriter and theater composer Shaina Taub, a Joe’s Pub resident performer who wrote the score for the Public Works productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It.

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Michael Feinstein
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Michael Feinstein (Live with Carnegie Hall)

Carnegie Hall continues its online series with a live set that in which venue habitué Michael Feinstein, the popular and polished standard-bearer of American song, explores the enduring music of George Gershwin. Joining him as guests are Broadway leading lady Ebersole (Grey Gardens), who is equally skilled at comedy and sentiment and who moves with ease between her lustrous belt and legit soprano, and the genre-defying mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, who straddles the worlds of opera, jazz and soul (and played Bess in the Broadway and national touring production of the most recent revival of Porgy and Bess). 

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Misty Copeland
Photograph: Henry Leutwyler

The Dying Swan (Swans for Relief)

American Ballet Theatre superstar Misty Copeland and her former ABT colleague Joseph Phillips are the forces behind Swans for Relief, an effort to raise funds for dancers in need during the pandemic crisis. In a lovely six-minute video released on YouTube, Copeland and 31 other étoiles from around the world swan out in sequence to Camille Saint-Saën’s Le Cygne, played on cello by Wade Davis. If you enjoy watching it, consider donating to the group’s GoFundMe campaign.

Amber Martin: Reba Still in Quarantine Mother's Day Special
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Amber Martin: Reba Still in Quarantine Mother's Day Special

The multitalented Amber Martin, a chameleonic performer with a killer voice, is a significant player in the downtown alt-cabaret scene. She’s also been channeling coppertop country queen Reba McEntire for years, and she’s not going to let a little quarantine slow her down. Currently nesting with her own mom in Texas, Martin performs a live Mother’s Day set, joined remotely by NYC pals Angela DiCarlo, Nath Ann Carrera, Kyle Supley and Patrick Johnson.

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