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Wallace Shawn in Evening at the Talk House
Photograph: Monique Carboni Wallace Shawn in Evening at the Talk House

The best live theater to stream online this week

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

By Adam Feldman
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The pandemic 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 large gatherings in New York currently extends to all other 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 from across the country (and around the world) that you can watch today without leaving home, many of which will help you support artists and worthy charities. Scroll past the day-by-day listings to find events that have already premiered but can still be seen for a limited time. We update this page on a weekly basis.

Click on these links to go directly to the sections in question:
Every day | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Multiplex | Limited runs | Ongoing runs

EVERY DAY

Agrippina
Agrippina
Photograph: Photograph: Courtesy The Metropolitan Opera/Marty Sohl

Metropolitan Opera

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. Click here for this week's complete schedule, which is devoted to political operas by composers including Handel, Verdi, Adam and Glass.

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Tonya Pinkins
Tonya Pinkins
Photograph: Tess Steinkolk

Prelude Festival 2020: Sites of Revolution

Various times through October 30 (live only)
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center’s free, unmissable annual festival showcases snippets from upcoming avant-garde work, offering the theatrical and dance equivalent of a "coming attractions" series. For this year’s ten-day virtual edition, curators David Bruin and Miranda Haymon have assembled a diverse bunch of performers and art makers for readings, panels, performances and discussions. This year’s festival feature artists including Elevator Repair Service, Stefania Bulbarella, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Zachariah Ezer, Gyun Hur, Dena Igusti, Le’Andra LeSeur, Mei Ann Teo and many, many others. Visit the Prelude website for a complete schedule.

Leila Buck
Leila Buck
Photograph: Meredith Zimmerman

Working Theater: American Dreams

Various times (live only)
As the U.S. girds its loins for the upcoming election, Leila Buck’s interactive show American Dreams imagines a nationally televised game show in which the viewers (read: audiences) vote on who gets to be a citizen. Directed by Tamilla Woodard for Working Theater, the show is taking a virtual national tour over a six-week period, teaming with presenters across the country for nine short runs in succession. In addition to Buck herself, the cast includes Andre Ali Andre, India Nicole Burton, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh and Andrew Valdez. After its current run on a  Connecticut platform through November 1, the show takes a brief hiatus before returning for a final leg at Marin Theatre Company (November 10–15). Tickets are pay-what-you-can scale.

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Kenney Green and Dayna Grayber at Marie's Crisis
Kenney Green and Dayna Grayber at Marie's Crisis
Photograph: Courtesy Tyler William Milliron

Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar

4pm–9:30pm EDT / 9pm–2:30am BST 
The beloved West Village institution keeps the show tunes rolling merrily along every night of the week. Visit the Maries Group page on Facebook to watch from home, and don’t forget to tip the pianists and staff through Venmo. Read all about it here

James Wesley and Seth Rudetsky at piano
James Wesley and Seth Rudetsky at piano
Photograph: Juli Wesley

Stars in the House

8pm EDT / 1am BST
Showtune savant and SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky (Disaster!) and his husband, producer James Wesley, are the animating forces behind this ambitious and very entertaining series, in which they play host to theater stars in live, chatty interviews interspersed with clips and songs. Dr. Jon LaPook, the chief medical correspondent for CBS News, provides periodic updates on public health, and surprise virtual visitors are common. Donations benefit the Actors Fund. You can find a schedule of guests here.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29

Frankie Faison
Frankie Faison
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers: Ajax

Thursday noon EDT / 5pm BST (live only)
The communitarian Theater of War Productions specializes in combining classical texts with burning contemporary issues, and it has expanded its reach during the pandemic crisis with excellent Zoom events, including readings of Oedipus the King and Antigone with Oscar Isaac. This latest edition uses selections from Sophocles’ wounded-warrior drama Philoctetes and his relatively obscure tragedy Women of Trachis (about the poisoning of Heracles) as jumping-off points for a large discussion of the challenges facing first responders and health-care providers during the pandemic crisis. Bryan Doerries is the adapter and director; the cast includes Andrea Patterson, David Zayas, Frankie Faison and Nyasha Hatendi. The event is free, but tickets must be reserved via Eventbrite.

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Sharon Needles
Sharon Needles
Photograph: Santiago Felipe

Sharon Needles: Mask It or Casket!

Thursday 5pm and 9pm EDT / 10pm and 2am BST (live only)
The spooky, arty, controversial RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sharon Needles brings her signature acid wit and creepy aesthetic to NYC for a pair of virtual Halloween shows, courtesy of Club Cumming's new online series. Special guests include Amanda Lepore, Real Housewives star Countess Luann, and fellow Drag Race alumna Alaska, Peppermint, Aja and the Vivienne.

Omar Vélez Meléndez
Omar Vélez Meléndez
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

MCC Theater: ¡Gárgola!

Thursday 5:30pm EDT / 10:30pm BST (live only)
MCC Theater reboots its LiveLab series of free one-act plays, each under 45 minutes long. This week’s offering is Omar Vélez Meléndez’s ¡Gárgola!, a tale of suspense (and possibly horror) set in rural Puerto Rico. Cristina Angeles directs a cast that includes the playwright as well Willie Denton, Maricelis Galanes, José Eugenio Hernández, Beatriz Miranda, Sophia Ramos and Cristina Soler. The creative team fields questions in a talkback after the live performance, which costs $7.

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Nikkole Salter in whiterly negotiations by Lydia Diamond
Nikkole Salter in whiterly negotiations by Lydia Diamond
Photograph: Cherie B Tay

Theatre for One: Here We Are

Thursday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST (live only)
Each Thursday, actors and spectators are paired up for brief, free, one-on-one virtual encounters: solo shows for solo audiences. Theatre for One was created in 2010 by scenic designer Christine Jones, and returned in multiple locations in 2015; all eight of the world-premiere playlets in this virtual edition of the series have been written, directed, and designed by BIPOC women—including two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage—and all are performed by BIPOC artists. Read more about it here. To sign up for a slot, you must register in advance; reservations start on Monday mornings. This is the final performance of the two-month run.

Eliza Bent in Karen, I Said
Eliza Bent in Karen, I Said
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Karen, I Said

Thursday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST (live only)
Downtown writer-performer Eliza Bent dives into the brackish waters of competitive white wokeness is a solo virtual performance piece directed by Tara Ahmedinejad. The show is performed four times this week; tickets cost $5–$30 and a portion of the proceeds go to Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center in Chicago.

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Anika Noni Rose
Anika Noni Rose
Photograph: Nathan Johnson

Classic Conversations: Anika Noni Rose

Thursday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
Artistic director John Doyle interviews artists associated with Classic Stage Company in this Thursday series, which often includes at least one musical performance by the subject of the week. This week’s guest is the superb Anika Noni Rose, who won a Tony for her performance in Caroline, or Change and starred in CSC’s 2018 revival of Carmen Jones.

Arian Moayed
Arian Moayed
Photograph: Chris Loupos

Atlantic Theater Company: Guards at the Taj

Thursday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
The Atlantic’s Fall Reading Series revisits a pair of the company’s notable past premieres. The second of the two is Rajiv Joseph’s wildly unsettling, in which two old friends, now lodged at the bottom of Shah Jahan’s imperial-military hierarchy, await the unveiling of the Taj Mahal in 1648. By its second scene, the play has veered savagely from its funny, gently puzzled, Waiting for Godot–ish beginnings into grotesque brutality, inspired by a legend of the Taj Mahal’s creation: Imagine Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as written by Martin McDonagh. Director Amy Morton reunites with the stars of the Atlantic’s 2015 production, Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, for these broadcasts. Viewing is free, but a donation of $25 is suggested. 

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Aunt Dan and Lemon
Aunt Dan and Lemon
Photograph: Carol Rosegg

New Group: Aunt Dan and Lemon

Thursday at 7pm EDT / midnight BST (available through November 29)
Off Broadway’s New Group continues its Reunion Reading Series with back-to-back live performances of two plays by Wallace Shawn. Although Shawn may be best known for his adorable persona as a character actor (inconceivable!), he is cherished by theater fans as the author of smart, dark and menacing stage works. Last night, the New Grop streamed the dystopian Evening at the Talk House, starring Matthew Broderick, and tonight it revisits its 2003 revival of Shawn’s exceptional 1985 political drama Aunt Dan and Lemon, which slyly confronts the seductiveness of inhumanity. The formidable Kristen Johnston plays the Ayn Randian Aunt Dan and the always fascinating Lili Taylor is her painfully malleable mentee, Lemon; they are are joined by nearly the entire original cast of Scott Elliott’s production—Marsha Stephanie Blake, Liam Craig, Melissa Errico, Carlos Leon, Emily Cass McDonnell, Maulik Pancholy, Stephen Park and Bill Sage—plus new additions Thomas Bradshaw and Layla Khoshnoudi. Both Shawn plays will remain viewable for a month; tickets start at $10.

Marco Calvani
Marco Calvani
Photograph: Michael McFadden

Provincetown Theater: Ghost Light

Thursday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
Gather ’round the digital campfire, campers, as Provincetown Theater’s artist director, David Drake (The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), shares a theatrical ghost story about a woman whose shade is said to haunt the venue’s lobby to this day. Drake narrates the production, which is the first the company has created explicitly for virtual theater; the cast includes Marco Calvani, Sandra Paredes and Julia Salinger. A donation of $25 is suggested if you can afford it.

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Robert Cuccioli
Robert Cuccioli
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Irish Repertory Theatre: A Touch of the Poet

Thursday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
After a successful summer season of virtual offerings, the Irish Rep returns with a slate for the fall. The third offering is an online version of the production it was meant to have opened in person in the spring: a revival of Eugene O'Neill’s A Touch of the Poet, directed by Ciarán O'Reilly. In the 1930s, O'Neill labored over a series of plays that charted an Irish-American family from the 1800s to the present day, but he only completed this one. Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) stars as a poor immigrant trying to preserve his illusions of gentility; the cast also includes Kate Forbes, Belle Aykroyd and Mary McCann. Advance registration is required, and a donation of $25 is suggested for those who can afford it.

Salem: Post-Mortem
Salem: Post-Mortem
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Muse Collective: Salem: Post Mortem

Thursday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (available through November 12)
In an afterlife purgatory, the witches of Salem burn with the power of new ideas in an original play by Peter Gray. Michael Alvarez directs a remote cast of 16 in this virtual production for his freshly formed company, the Muse Collective. Attendance is free but any donations will benefit the Audre Lorde Project.

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Color Between the Lines
Color Between the Lines
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Irondale Theater: Color Between the Lines: Good Trouble

Thursday 7pm EDT / midnight BST
Irondale Ensemble Project looks back at Brooklyn's 19th-century abolitionist movement in this collectively devised anthology of brief musical vignettes, which initially presented as part of the In Pursuit of Freedom project. Irondale is dividing an archival recording of its 2012 production into four 20-minute parts, streamed on successive weeks; each section is followed by a discussion led by cast member and co-creator Damen Scranton, with special guests including New York Attorney General Letitia James and Brooklyn Historical Society President Deborah Schwartz. 

Michael West as Kenn Boisinger
Michael West as Kenn Boisinger
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Radio Free Birdland: Kenn Boisinger

Thursday 7pm EDT/ midnight BST (available for 30 days)
The midtown jazz venue Birdland welcomes music back to its stage in a twice-weekly concert series with a solid lineup of stars on its roster. There’s no audience, but the performers, suitably distanced from one another, have the benefit of professional sound and three cameras as they perform their live sets. (Each concert costs $20 and remains available on demand for a month after the premiere.) This edition features Forbidden Broadway and Newsical mainstay Michael West in the amusing, mustachioed guise of his addled alter ego, third-rate lounge singer Kenn Boisinger.

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Luba Mason
Luba Mason
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Scott Siegel's Great American Songbook Concert: Volume 13

Thursday 7pm EDT / midnight BST 
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 13th episode, recorded and edited in advance, Siegel serves as host for a lineup that includes Emily Skinner, Luba Mason, Douglas Ladnier, Ali Ewoldt, Eddie Korbich, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Kelli Rabke,  Danny Gardner, Gabrielle Baker and Jonathan Heller.

A scene from Act 1 of John Adams's Nixon in China
A scene from Act 1 of John Adams's Nixon in China
Photograph: Ken Howard

Metropolitan Opera: Nixon in China

Thursday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
This week’s Met lineup of politics-themed works continues with a 2011 recording of John Adams and Alice Goodman’s superb modern opera Nixon in China, staged by Peter Sellars and conducted by Adams himself. The tone alternates between heightened realism and dreamlike experimentalism. The cast includes James Maddalena and Janis Kelly as the Nixons, Robert Brubaker as Mao Tse-tung, Russell Braun as Chou En-lai, Richard Paul Fink as Henry Kissinger and Kathleen Kim as Chian Ch'ing, whose fiercely imperious coloratura aria, “I Am the Wife of Mao Tse-tung,” is among the opera’s many high points.

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Jessica Sherr in Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies
Jessica Sherr in Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies
Photograph: Courtesy Kent Campbell

Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies

Thursday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (live only)
In this 90-minute solo show, streamed live, Jessica Sherr raises a cup to Davis in a tribute to the silver-screen legend that is set on the night of the 1939 Academy Awards. Karen Carpenter directs. Tickets cost $18.50 and include a talkback with Sherr after the performance.

David Alan Grier
David Alan Grier
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Broadway’s Best Shows: Race

Thursday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available for four days)
Broadway’s Best Shows, which aims to bring a sense of real event to online theatergoing, returns (after a trial run this summer) with a new slate of free events in which major actors perform whole Broadway plays. In the third production of its fall season, David Mamet’s Race, lawyers at a fancy firm represent a rich white man accused of raping a Black woman. Via the playwright’s customary aphoristic staccato, the play dissects  questions of guilt: what we might call actual guilt, in the sense of culpability for a crime; legal guilt, as fought out in a court of law; and, perhaps most important, white guilt. Stage eminence Phylicia Rashad directs a cast that includes David Alan Grier and Richard Thomas, who also starred in Race’s 2009 Broadway production, alongside Ed O’Neill and Alicia Stith.  Proceeds benefit the Actors Fund.

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NYCB: new song
NYCB: new song
Photograph: Malik Winslow

New York City Ballet: Festival of New Choreography

Thursday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
City Ballet’s month-long virtual fall season concludes with a bang: a festival of five world premieres, the first four of which were filmed by director Ezra Hurwitz in locations around New York City. The offerings are all free to watch and will remain viewable indefinitely. A new one rolls out every night through Saturday, and each premiere is followed by a discussion with the artists. Tonight’s offering is Andrea Miller’s new song, set to Victor Jara’s “Manifesto” and featuring dancers Harrison Coll, Unity Phelan, Indiana Woodward and Sebastian Villarini-Velez.

I Put a Spell on You
I Put a Spell on You
Photograph: Roberto Araujo

I Put a Spell On You: The Sanderson Sisters Break the Internet

Thursday 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
The exceedingly charming Jay Armstrong Johnson has won audiences' hearts in shows including On the Town, Hands on a Hardbody and The Most Happy Fella, and in recent years he has also created a string of Hocus Pocus-themed shows for Halloweens. For this virtual edition, he ups the ante with an elaborate filmed concert that finds the movie’s witchy Sanderson Sisters—Johnson as Winifred, flanked by Allison Robinson and Amanda Williams Ware—corralling other film baddies to join in a wicked scheme. Among the Broadway types joining the fun are Todrick Hall, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Drew Gehling, J. Harrison Ghee, Robyn Hurder, Julia Mattison, Eva Noblezada, Ahmad Simmons and Will Swenson. The stream is free, but proceeds from donations benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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Michael Indeglio in Camp Stabbawei
Michael Indeglio in Camp Stabbawei
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Seize the Show: Camp Stabbawei 

Thursday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
The virtual theater-game company Seize the Show returns an interactive adventure, this one set in the world of 1980s slasher pics. As always, the company uses its own technology (which it calls Gamiotics) to let audiences make collective choices that affect the direction and outcome of the story, which is written by Jacob Thompson, David Carpenter, Kevin Hammonds and Caroline Prugh. The show is performed live three times; you can watch one episode for $13 or all three for $15.

Debbie Christine Tjong
Debbie Christine Tjong
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

TRLive!: Debbie Christine Tjong

Thursday 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
In its informal Thursday-night series, Theatre Row provides a platform for its associated artists to reach audiences at home. This week’s guest is actor-singer and multi-instrumentalist Debbie Christine Tjong, who was in the talented ensemble of  The Wrong Man last year. 

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Joe Morton
Joe Morton
Photograph: Bob D'Amico/ABC

Vineyard Theatre: Lessons in Survival

Thursday 8:30pm EDT / 1:30am BST (available for 18 hours)
The Commissary, a new group of 40 artists now collectively in virtual residence at Off Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre, presents Lessons in Survival, a series conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas and Reggie D. White. In each installment, actors with earpieces channel historic speeches, interviews and conversations in real time, directed by Tyler Thomas. Eight performances and four live “open rehearsals” are scheduled through November 1, with free public forums on YouTube every Sunday to discuss the work. Single tickets start at $9; a $60 all-access pass will let you watch every episode on an extended viewing page (through November 15). Tonight’s final open rehearsal features Helen Cespedes, Kalyne Coleman, Nicole Lewis, Kristolyn Lloyd, Peter Mark Kendall, Joe Morton and Keith Randolph Smith working through words by Paul Robeson, John Lewis, Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez and Sarah Keys Evans.

Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage
Photograph: Lynn Savarese

Act Out: Vote 2020

Thursday 9pm EDT / 2am BST 
Danai Gurira, Stephen Daldry and Lynn Nottage assemble some of the theater world’s brightest talent for an hour-long collection of monologue, song and dance aimed at encouraging Americans to vote. The cast, guided by a crack team of directors, includes Sandra Oh, Yvette Nicole Brown, Juliana Canfield, Ryan J. Haddad, Kathryn Hahn, Tonia Jo Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Emily Kinney, Sahr Ngaujah, Joel Perez, DeLanna Studi and Ephraim Sykes; the texts are by writers including Guriro, Nottage, Haddad, David Henry Hwang, Lisa Kron, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Jeanine Tesori, Will Arbery, Heidi Schreck, Jocelyn Bioh, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Martha Redbone and Rhiana Yazzie. Lloyd Knight performs a dance by Christopher Wheeldon. The event is presented in partnership with regional theaters across the country and Michelle Obama’s nonpartisan GOTV organization When We All Vote.

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The Groundlings: Cookin’ with GAS

Thursday 10pm EDT / 3am BST  (live only)
The eminent Los Angeles improv group the Groundlings has been a training ground for Lisa Kudrow, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Jon Lovitz, Jan Hooks, Will Forte, Paul Rebuens, Kathy Griffin and countless other major comedy names. Now the troupe offers a Zoom version of its short-form improv showcase Cookin’ with GAS. Regular cast members are joined for this Halloween edition by special guests Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) and Sandi McCree. Tickets cost $12 and advance registration is required.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

Julius Caesar
Photograph: Pavel Antonov

St. Ann’s Warehouse: Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy

Friday (available through November 1) 
The English director Phyllida Lloyd found new angles on Shakespeare’s plays in the 2010s with a trilogy of all-female productions set in the confines of women’s prisons. After premiering at London’s Donmar Warehouse, each of them made their way to New York’s St. Ann’s Warehouse, which is rolling out filmed versions of them as a marathon this weekend:taut, condensed adaptations of Julius Caesar, both parts of Henry IV and The Tempest. All three star the magnificent Harriet Walter; the supporting casts include Jackie Clune, Martina Laird, Jade Anouka, Clare Dunne and Sophie Stanton. Lloyd, who directed the movies Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady, filmed all three productions in front of live audiences in 2016, but the final edits also include footage from hand-held and GoPro footage, so expect something rather less static than the usual theater capture.

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Daniel Gwirtzman on beach with pink fabric above his head
Photograph: Daniel Gwirtzman

Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company: The Fantasyland Project

Friday (available through November 2)
Daniel Gwirtzman and his troupe, which has been creating joyful postmodern dance for more than 20 years, re-share a filmed dance work that they created collaboratively over the summer, working remotely but in locations beyond the interiors of their homes. The 25-minute screening can be viewed for a contribution of any size.

Eliza Bent in Karen, I Said
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Karen, I Said

Friday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST (live only)
Downtown writer-performer Eliza Bent dives into the brackish waters of competitive white wokeness is a solo virtual performance piece directed by Tara Ahmedinejad. The show is performed four times this week; tickets cost $5–$30 and a portion of the proceeds go to Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center in Chicago.

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Bill Irwin
Photograph: Carol Rosegg

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. In this episode, her guest is the master clown and two-time Tony winner Bill Irwin (Fool Moon).

Jackson Sturkey
Photograph: Millie Gillana

Frigid New York: Frigid Fridays

Friday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
Frigid’s weekly virtual variety show, broadcast from the company’s home base in the East Village’s Kraine Theater, is a melting pot of theater, comedy, storytelling and more. This week is guest-hosted by Jackson Sturkey; the bill features music by Leslie Goshko, comedy by Vanessa Hollingshead and movie reviews by Genny Yosco and Amanda Nicastro. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish.

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Omar Metwally
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Atlantic Theater Company: Guards at the Taj

Friday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
The Atlantic’s Fall Reading Series revisits a pair of the company’s notable past premieres. In the first of the two, Dominique Morisseau's meaty Skeleton Crew, four workers at a dying Detroit auto-parts plant are torn between strategies for survival. Most of the actors from the Atlantic’s 2015 production—Jason Dirden, Wendell B. Franklin, Nikiya Mathis and Adesola Osakulumi—return for this new go-around, joined this time by Caroline Clay. The play is firmly based in the lives and evocative language of its characters, whom director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and his cast treat with respect; they’re messed-up but decent people, driven by forces that may or may not be beyond their control. Viewing is free, but a donation of $25 is suggested. 

Stephen Petronio Company: Bloodlines—Courtesan and the Crone
Photograph: Sarah Silver

Stephen Petronio Company: Virtual Bloodlines Festival 

Friday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (available for one week)
Petronio continues his Bloodlines project, which explores the lineage of postmodern dance, in a virtual series of three virtual programs. The second one looks at Trisha Brown’s Glacial Decoy (1979) and Merce Cunningham’s RainForest (1968). A post-show conversation with Wendy Perron, Davalois Fearon and Petronio is included. 

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Michael Potts
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

New Federal Theatre: Stories About the Old Days

Friday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (available for two days)
Woodie King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre, which has been platforming the work of minorities in New York City for 50 years, presents highlights from its past in Octoberfest, a month-long series of Friday-night readings. The last one is Bill Harris’s two-hander Stories About the Old Days, about lonely people who make a connection at a Detroit church. La Tanya Richardson Jackson directs a cast that comprises Michael Potts and Pauletta Washington. The reading is free but donations are welcome.

Christina Bianco
Photograph: Darren Bell

Radio Free Birdland: Christina Bianco: Crown Control

Friday 7pm EDT/ midnight BST (available for 30 days)
The midtown jazz venue Birdland welcomes music back to its stage in a concert series with a solid lineup of stars on its roster. There’s no audience, but the performers, suitably distanced from one another, have the benefit of professional sound and three cameras as they perform their live sets. (Each one costs $20 and remains available on demand for a month after the premiere.) This edition features Christina Bianco, a comic firecracker with a pyrotechnic voice and a great gift for mimicry, which broke her out when a video of her performing "Total Eclipse of the Heart"—as sung by 19 different divas—went megaviral. Last year, she earned rave reviews as Fanny Brice in a revival of Funny Girl in Paris.

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Michael Indeglio in Camp Stabbawei
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Seize the Show: Camp Stabbawei 

Friday 7pm and 9pm EDT / midnight and 2am BST (live only)
The virtual theater-game company Seize the Show returns an interactive adventure, this one set in the world of 1980s slasher pics. As always, the company uses its own technology (which it calls Gamiotics) to let audiences make collective choices that affect the direction and outcome of the story, which is written by Jacob Thompson, David Carpenter, Kevin Hammonds and Caroline Prugh. The show is performed live three times; you can watch one episode for $13 or all three for $15.

William TN Hall
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

William TN Hall: Broadway to Beyoncé

Friday 7pm EDT / midnight BST 
One of NYC’s most appealing piano-bar entertainers, British transplant William TN Hall has tickled keys and audiences alike at the Duplex, Brandy’s and Don’t Tell Mama for years. Now he shows off his versatility in a live, two-hour weekly set. Requests are welcome, as of course are tips (Venmo: @WilliamTNHall).

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Judith Ivey
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Barrington Stage Company: Typhoid Mary

Friday 7:30 EDT / 12:30 BST (live only) 
Stage vet Judith Ivey (Greater Clements) plays the title role in Mark St. German’s Typhoid Mary, a drama about the Irish-American cook who, though asymptomatic herself, transmitted a fatal disease to members of multiple households where she worked at the start of the 20th century. Rounding out the cast are T.R. Knight, Kate MacCluggage, Joe Morton and Frances, directed by Matthew Penn for the Berkshires’ Barrington Stage Company. The event is being broadcast twice; tickets cost $25.

Mary Kathryn Nagle
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Theatre for a New Audience: Sovereignty

Friday 7:30 EDT / 12:30 BST (live only)
A Cherokee lawyer labors on a Supreme Court argument about her people’s jurisdiction while struggling with the decisions made by 19th-century ancestors in Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, which premiered in 2018. For this week’s pair of free TFNA readings, Laurie Woolery directs a cast that comprises DeLanna Studi, Gary Farmer, Derek Garza, Danforth Comins, Shyla Lefner, Enrico Nassi, Max Woertendyke, Daniel Pearce and Christopher Ryan Grant as White Chorus Man.

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René Pape in Boris Godunov at the Metropolitan Opera
Photograph: Ken Howard

Metropolitan Opera: Boris Godunov

Friday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
The Met’s politics-themed week continues with a 2010 performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s only finished opera, Boris Godunov, the story of a hard-working Russian regent at the turn of the 17th century who goes out a courtier and comes back a tsar. René Pape sings the title role, with Valery Gergiev at the baton.

Phantasmagoria: Plague Tales
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Phantasmagoria: Plague Tales

Friday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available through November 1)
The Hudson Valley theater company Phantasmagoria, which specializes in Victorian-style steampunk horror shows, goes online with a new show by writer-director John DiDonna. The anthology of storytelling frights—augmented with puppetry, dance, aerialism and fire dancing—ranges from classic yarns by Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson to spooky folktales and legends. Tickets cost $22 per household; you can access it anytime on Halloween weekend from Friday night through the end of Sunday, but you can only watch it once.

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Water Rite
Photograph: Erin Baiano

New York City Ballet: Festival of New Choreography

Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
City Ballet’s month-long virtual fall season concludes with a bang: a festival of five world premieres, the first four of which were filmed by director Ezra Hurwitz in locations around New York City. The offerings are all free to watch and will remain viewable indefinitely. A new one rolls out every night through Saturday, and each premiere is followed by a discussion with the artists. Tonight’s offering is Water Rite, a solo by Jamar Roberts, danced by Victor Abreu to music by Ambrose Akinmusire.

Robert Cuccioli
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Irish Repertory Theatre: A Touch of the Poet

Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
After a successful summer season of virtual offerings, the Irish Rep returns with a slate for the fall. The third offering is an online version of the production it was meant to have opened in person in the spring: a revival of Eugene O'Neill’s A Touch of the Poet, directed by Ciarán O'Reilly. In the 1930s, O'Neill labored over a series of plays that charted an Irish-American family from the 1800s to the present day, but he only completed this one. Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) stars as a poor immigrant trying to preserve his illusions of gentility; the cast also includes Kate Forbes, Belle Aykroyd and Mary McCann. Advance registration is required, and a donation of $25 is suggested for those who can afford it.

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Gunnar Montana’s Basement
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Gunnar Montana’s Basement

Friday 8pm and 10pm EDT / 1am and 3am BST (live only)
Choreographer and performance artist Gunnar Montana evokes a descent into violent madness in this immersive nightmare show. An Off Broadway production is planned for when such things are possible again; meanwhile, audiences can dip their toes into the pool of blood with a virtual version on Halloween weekend through Broadway On Demand. Tickets cost $10; you can watch a trailer here.

Caged (City Garage)
Photograph: Paul Rubenstein

City Garage: Caged

Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available through November 4)
The experimental-theater company City Garage has been blowing minds in Santa Monica, California, since the 1980s. Now the company is sharing archival recordings of some of its best-received past productions. Most of them have been versions of classic plays, but this 2013 production—in which visitors gawk at a pair of naked human beings in a cage—is an original work by City Garage cofounder Charles Duncombe. Frédérique Michel directs a cast of seven. Donations are welcome.

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Tamara Tunie
Photograph: Francis Hills

Macbeth: A Surround Sound Experiment

Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Shakespeare’s tragic tale of witches, ghosts and bloody murder streams for Halloween in a “3D audio event” intended to be listened to with headphones and by candlelight. Adapter Joseph Discher directs a wicked good cast that includes Tamara Tunie, Laila Robins, Derek Wilson, Joel de la Fuente and Robert Cuccioli. Tickets start at $13 and all proceeds benefit the Actors Fund.

Norm Lewis
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Resounding: Dracula

Friday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Broadway’s beloved Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess) sinks his teeth into the title role of this live audio-theater production of Dracula, inspired by Orson Welles’s 1938 radio version of Bram Stoker's batty gothic thriller.  Steve Wargo adapts and directs this hour-long show for his new company, Resounding; the cast also includes Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Siho Ellsmore, Chris Renfro, Dick Terhune, Stuart Williams and John Stimac. Tickets cost $20.

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Kevin R. Free
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Frigid New York: The Reparations Show

8pm EDT / 1am BST 
The Reparations Show, created by Kevin R. Free and Erez Ziv, is presented weekly by Frigid and hosted by a different BIPOC artist each week. Tickets are pay-what-you-will. 

Jason Suran
Photograph: Alex Knight

Jason Suran: Reconnected

Friday 8:30pm EDT / 1:30am BST (live only)
Zoom has proved surprisingly fertile territory for magicians of various kinds during the shutdown period. Now the highly skilled New York mentalist Jason Suran (The Other Side) joins the virtual party with an intimate evening of psychological diversions that he will perform in person once safety guidelines permit it. Tickets cost $50; the show is currently in previews, and will officially “open” on November 14.

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Terry Guest
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Mirrorbox Theatre: At the Wake of A Dead Drag Queen

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 the Box series, the company presents free Zoom readings of contemporary plays every Friday night. This week’s selection, directed by Curtis M. Jackson, is Terry Guest’s At the Wake of A Dead Drag Queen, a joyful exploration of queerness, Blackness, Southernness and drag. Seating is limited and advance registration is required.

The Lost Halloween
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Lost Halloween

Friday 9pm EDT / 2am BST (live only)
Hardcore fans of immersive theater have united to create this free, live Halloween experience on Zoom to benefit creative artists whose livelihoods have been imperiled by the theater showdown. More than two dozen performers from NYC’s immersive-theater word will take part in a variety show that mixes songs, dance, monologues, burlesque, drag and more. Audiences can leave their own cameras off if they choose, but costumes are encouraged—as are donations. Visit the event’s Instagram account for information and updates about the lineup. 

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Kimberly Faye Greenberg in Fabulous Fanny
Photograph: Jessica Fallon Gordon

Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories of Fanny Brice

Friday 9pm EDT / 2am BST (live only)
Fanny Brice was one of the biggest comedy stars of the first half of the 20th century, but if you know her today it’s probably through Barbra Streisand’s career-making portrayal of her in the musical Funny Girl. In this nostalgic solo show, which she has been performing for nearly a decade, Brice expert Kimberly Faye Greenberg shows off her Fanny through some of the Jewish-American star’s best-loved songs and routines. The director is Brian Childers, and Christopher McGovern accompanies Greenberg on piano. Tickets to the virtual version cost $10.

Guilty Pleasures Cabaret: Halloween Freak Show
Photograph: Amber Ink

Guilty Pleasures Cabaret: Halloween Freak Show

Friday 9:30pm EDT / 2:30am BST (live only)
With their usual monthly headquarters, the Duplex, closed for live performance, the women of Guilty Pleasures Cabaret have been bringing their speakeasy-going blend of synchronized dancing, live singing, vaudeville and burlesque to the brave new world of Zoom. This episode has a “spooky circus” theme. (Are any circuses spooky?) Registration is required and donations of $5 or more are requested.

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Annoyance Theatre: Splatter Theater
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Annoyance Theatre: Splatter Theater

Friday 10pm EDT / 3am BST (live only)
Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre goes online with three performances of the 34th (!) edition of its signature Halloween show, Splatter Theater, a very gory spoof of slasher movies and their parades of gruesome deaths. Joe McDaniel directs this version of the show, which was originally helmed by Mick Napier. (The cast includes a veteran of the original production.) A $20 ticket price is suggested.

Sharon Needles
Photograph: Santiago Felipe

Sharon Needles: Mask It or Casket!

Friday midnight EDT / 5am BST (live only)a
The spooky, arty, controversial RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sharon Needles brings her signature acid wit and creepy aesthetic to NYC for a pair of virtual Halloween shows, courtesy of Club Cumming's new online series. Special guests include Amanda Lepore, Real Housewives star Countess Luann, and fellow Drag Race alumna Alaska, Peppermint, Aja and the Vivienne.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31

Pam Tanowitz: Four Quartets
Photograph: Maria Baranova

Fisher Center at Bard: Four Quartets 

Saturday (available for two days)
For two days, the Fisher Center streams an archival recording of choreographer Pam Tanowitz’s rapturously acclaimed dance piece Four Quartets, inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poem and commissioned for its premiere in the 2018 edition of Bard Summerscape. The masterful Kathleen Chalfant (Wit) reads Eliot’s words as 10 dancers perform the word, which is set against music by Kaija Saariaho and scenic and lighting design by Clifton Taylor (based on paintings by Brice Marden). Tickets start at $10.

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Eliza Bent in Karen, I Said
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Karen, I Said

Saturday noon EDT / 5pm BST (live only)
Downtown writer-performer Eliza Bent dives into the brackish waters of competitive white wokeness is a solo virtual performance piece directed by Tara Ahmedinejad. The show is performed four times this week; tickets cost $5–$30 and a portion of the proceeds go to Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center in Chicago.

Arian Moayed
Photograph: Chris Loupos

Atlantic Theater Company: Guards at the Taj

Saturday 2pm and 7pm EDT / 7pm and midnight BST (live only)
The Atlantic’s Fall Reading Series revisits a pair of the company’s notable past premieres. The second of the two is Rajiv Joseph’s wildly unsettling, in which two old friends, now lodged at the bottom of Shah Jahan’s imperial-military hierarchy, await the unveiling of the Taj Mahal in 1648. By its second scene, the play has veered savagely from its funny, gently puzzled, Waiting for Godot–ish beginnings into grotesque brutality, inspired by a legend of the Taj Mahal’s creation: Imagine Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as written by Martin McDonagh. Director Amy Morton reunites with the stars of the Atlantic’s 2015 production, Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, for these broadcasts. Viewing is free, but a donation of $25 is suggested.

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Theater for the New City: Village Halloween Costume Ball
Photograph: Lee Wexler

Theater for the New City: Village Halloween Costume Ball

Saturday 2pm–10pm EDT / 7pm–3am BST (available for one week)
Theater for the New City’s annual Halloween festivities are a bona fide New York tradition—the annual Halloween Parade was a spinoff from them—and the East Village cultural center isn’t going to let the real-life horrors of 2020 prevent that from continuing. Most of the many offerings become available starting at 2pm, except for the live-streamed “Chop Shop Theater” at 7:30pm (see above) and a "Late Night Naughty Halloween" at 8pm. Performers in the main “Cabaret” section include Everett Quinton, Austin Pendleton, Eduardo Machado, Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade, Rome Neal, the Wycherly Sisters, Wise Guise, William Electric Black, Zero Boy and Bread and Puppet Theater. Other offerings include a “Womb Room” of novelty acts, a costume contest, ballroom music, radio plays, a kids’ section and a screaming competition hosted by Lissa Moira.

Robert Cuccioli
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Irish Repertory Theatre: A Touch of the Poet

Saturday 3pm and 8pm EDT / 8pm and 1am BST (live only)
After a successful summer season of virtual offerings, the Irish Rep returns with a slate for the fall. The third offering is an online version of the production it was meant to have opened in person in the spring: a revival of Eugene O'Neill’s A Touch of the Poet, directed by Ciarán O'Reilly. In the 1930s, O'Neill labored over a series of plays that charted an Irish-American family from the 1800s to the present day, but he only completed this one. Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) stars as a poor immigrant trying to preserve his illusions of gentility; the cast also includes Kate Forbes, Belle Aykroyd and Mary McCann. Advance registration is required, and a donation of $25 is suggested for those who can afford it.

 

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Cassandra Trenary in State of Darkness
Photograph: Mohamed Omar Sadek

Joyce Theater: State of Darkness

Saturday 5pm and 8pm EDT / 10pm and 1am BST (available through November 7)
The Joyce Theater hosts a continuous rotation of top dance companies from across the country and around the world, and during the shutdown it has shared many archival recordings of full-length productions from artists who have appeared there. Now, for the first time, it is streaming performances live from its actual stage. Over the course of two weekends, seven excellent dancers will perform separate versions of Molissa Fenley’s demanding 35-minute 1988 solo State of Darkness, which is set to Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” (Fenley has worked with all of the dancers personally for this project.) The performances cost $12 apiece, and remain viewable through November 7. Martha Graham Dance Company’s Lloyd Knight performs the work at 5pm and American Ballet Theater’s Cassandra Trenary essays it at 8pm.

James Monroe Iglehart
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Saturday 7pm EDT / midnight BST (live only)
A Tony winner for his dynamic turn as the Genie in Broadway's Aladdin, Iglehart has the kind of charisma that can't be bottled. In this one-night Halloween event, he gathers some of his talented Broadway pals for a creative remote concert version of Tim Burton’s macabre stop-motion animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition to Iglehart, the pumpkin-spicy cast includes Rafael Casal, Adrienne Warren, Danny Burstein, Nik Walker, Lesli Margherita and Rob McClure. Tickets cost $5 and all proceeds benefit the Actors Fund and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

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John Kevin Jones in Killing An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe
Photograph: Joey Stocks

Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe

Saturday 7pm and 9pm EDT / midnight and 2am BST (live only)
John Kevin Jones, whose annual performance of A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House Museum has become something of a local tradition, expands into Halloween territory with this solo performance (directed by Rhonda Dodd) of works by 19th-century scare king Edgar Allan Poe. In a funereal, candlelit parlor, Jones shares "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Cask of Amontillado" and, of course, "The Raven." This 2020 edition of the show is streamed live from the site; Jones follows each performance with a virtual tour of the Merchant's House space, with an emphasis on death and mourning.

Judith Ivey
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Barrington Stage Company: Typhoid Mary

Saturday 7:30 EDT / 12:30 BST (live only) 
Stage vet Judith Ivey (Greater Clements) plays the title role in Mark St. German’s Typhoid Mary, a drama about the Irish-American cook who, though asymptomatic herself, transmitted a fatal disease to members of multiple households where she worked at the start of the 20th century. Rounding out the cast are T.R. Knight, Kate MacCluggage, Joe Morton and Frances, directed by Matthew Penn for the Berkshires’ Barrington Stage Company. The event is being broadcast twice; tickets cost $25.

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Teresa Stratas as Marie Antoinette in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Metropolitan Opera
Photograph: Metropolitan Opera Archives

The Metropolitan Opera: The Ghosts of Versailles

Saturday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
Tonight’s Met offering, which predates the HD era, is John Corigliano and William M. Hoffman's The Ghosts of Versailles, a postmodern 1991 sequel of sorts to The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, starring Håkan Hagegård as playwright Pierre Beaumarchais and Teresa Stratas as Marie Antoinette. James Levine conducts this 1992 performance, which also stars Marilyn Horne, Graham Clark, Gino Quilico and a young Renée Fleming.

Sara Mearns in Justin Peck’s Thank You, New York
Photograph: Erin Baiano

New York City Ballet: Festival of New Choreography

Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
City Ballet’s month-long virtual fall season concludes with a bang: a festival of five world premieres. The offerings are all free to watch and will remain viewable indefinitely; each is followed by a discussion with the artists. Tonight’s final offering is Thank You, New York, choreographed and directed by NYCB resident  choreographer and artistic advisor Justin Peck. Dancers Christopher Grant, Sara Mearns, Georgina Pazcoguin and Taylor Stanley perform the work, which is set to a song by Chris Thile. 

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Gunnar Montana’s Basement
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Gunnar Montana’s Basement

Saturday 8pm and 10pm EDT / 1am and 3am BST (live only)
Choreographer and performance artist Gunnar Montana evokes a descent into violent madness in this immersive nightmare show. An Off Broadway production is planned for when such things are possible again; meanwhile, audiences can dip their toes into the pool of blood with a virtual version on Halloween weekend through Broadway On Demand. Tickets cost $10; you can watch a trailer here.

Norm Lewis
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Resounding: Dracula

Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Broadway’s beloved Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess) sinks his teeth into the title role of this live audio-theater production of Dracula, inspired by Orson Welles’s 1938 radio version of Bram Stoker's batty gothic thriller.  Steve Wargo adapts and directs this hour-long show for his new company, Resounding; the cast also includes Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Siho Ellsmore, Chris Renfro, Dick Terhune, Stuart Williams and John Stimac. Tickets cost $20.

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Tamara Tunie
Photograph: Francis Hills

Macbeth: A Surround Sound Experiment

Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Shakespeare’s tragic tale of witches, ghosts and bloody murder streams for Halloween in a “3D audio event” intended to be listened to with headphones and by candlelight. Adapter Joseph Discher directs a wicked good cast that includes Tamara Tunie, Laila Robins, Derek Wilson, Joel de la Fuente and Robert Cuccioli. Tickets start at $13 and all proceeds benefit the Actors Fund.

New York Neo-Futurists
Photograph: Bret Lehne

New York Neo-Futurists: HalloWrench

Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
After more than a decade performing Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, an ever-changing collection of 30 two-minute plays, New York Neo-Futurists had to change course when that piece's author pulled the rights abruptly in 2016. Now the troupe performs an entirely different ever-changing collection of two-minute plays called The Infinite Wrench. In the spirit of that show, the company is now writing and performing a monthly collection of virtual playlets. This episode is, of course, Halloween-themed. Tickets start at $5.

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Orson Welles
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Metropolitan Playhouse: War of the Worlds

Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available for four days)
Wells, Welles, well: In honor of Fright Night, the dramatic archaeologists of the Metropolitan Playhouse presents H.G. Wells’s 1897 space-invaders novella The War of the Worlds, as adapted by Howard Koch for an infamous 1938 episode of Orson Welles’s radio show The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which drove some credulous listeners to panic.

Kimberly Faye Greenberg in Fabulous Fanny
Photograph: Jessica Fallon Gordon

Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories of Fanny Brice

Saturday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Fanny Brice was one of the biggest comedy stars of the first half of the 20th century, but if you know her today it’s probably through Barbra Streisand’s career-making portrayal of her in the musical Funny Girl. In this nostalgic solo show, which she has been performing for nearly a decade, Brice expert Kimberly Faye Greenberg shows off her Fanny through some of the Jewish-American star’s best-loved songs and routines. The director is Brian Childers, and Christopher McGovern accompanies Greenberg on piano. Tickets to the virtual version cost $10.

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Jason Suran
Photograph: Alex Knight

Jason Suran: Reconnected

Saturday 8:30pm EDT / 1:30am BST (live only)
Zoom has proved surprisingly fertile territory for magicians of various kinds during the shutdown period. Now the highly skilled New York mentalist Jason Suran (The Other Side) joins the virtual party with an intimate evening of psychological diversions that he will perform in person once safety guidelines permit it. Tickets cost $50; the show is currently in previews, and officially “opens” on November 14.

Clay McLeod Chapman
Photograph: Aaron Kuhn

The Pumpkin Pie Show: Quarantine Tales

Saturday 9pm EDT / 2am BST (live only)
Horror-drunk storytelling virtuoso Clay McLeod Chapman gave us a good scare in 2017 when he announced that his brilliant and hyperliterary thriller series, the Pumpkin Pie Show, would be ending after 20 years. Happily, he's had a change of heart—and what kind of horror figure stays dead anyhow? In this year's edition, Chapman and his frequent collaborator, the expert Hanna Cheek, spin spooky yarns from a safe social distance. Tickets cost $15.

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Annoyance Theatre: Splatter Theater
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Annoyance Theatre: Splatter Theater

Saturday 10pm EDT / 3am BST (live only)
Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre goes online with three performances of the 34th (!) edition of its signature Halloween show, Splatter Theater, a very gory spoof of slasher movies and their parades of gruesome deaths. Joe McDaniel directs this version of the show, which was originally helmed by Mick Napier. (The cast includes a veteran of the original production.) Tickets cost $20.

Sharon Needles
Photograph: Santiago Felipe

Sharon Needles: Mask It or Casket!

Saturday midnight EDT / 5am BST (live only)
The spooky, arty, controversial RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sharon Needles brings her signature acid wit and creepy aesthetic to NYC for a pair of virtual Halloween shows, courtesy of Club Cumming's new online series. Special guests include Amanda Lepore, Real Housewives star Countess Luann, and fellow Drag Race alumna Alaska, Peppermint, Aja and the Vivienne.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Mary Kathryn Nagle
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Theatre for a New Audience: Sovereignty

Sunday 2pm EST / 7pm GMT (live only) 
A Cherokee lawyer labors on a Supreme Court argument about her people’s jurisdiction while struggling with the decisions made by 19th-century ancestors in Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, which premiered in 2018. For this week’s pair of free TFNA readings, Laurie Woolery directs a cast that comprises DeLanna Studi, Gary Farmer, Derek Garza, Danforth Comins, Shyla Lefner, Enrico Nassi, Max Woertendyke, Daniel Pearce and Christopher Ryan Grant as White Chorus Man.

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John Kevin Jones in Killing An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe
Photograph: Joey Stocks

Killing an Evening With Edgar Allen Poe

Sunday 2pm EST / 7pm GMT (live only)
John Kevin Jones, whose annual performance of A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House Museum has become something of a local tradition, expands into Halloween territory with this solo performance (directed by Rhonda Dodd) of works by 19th-century scare king Edgar Allan Poe. In a funereal, candlelit parlor, Jones shares "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Cask of Amontillado" and, of course, "The Raven." This 2020 edition of the show is streamed live from the site; Jones follows each performance with a virtual tour of the Merchant's House space, with an emphasis on death and mourning. 

Robert Cuccioli
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Irish Repertory Theatre: A Touch of the Poet

Sunday 3pm EST / 7pm GMT (live only)
After a successful summer season of virtual offerings, the Irish Rep returns with a slate for the fall. The third offering is an online version of the production it was meant to have opened in person in the spring: a revival of Eugene O'Neill’s A Touch of the Poet, directed by Ciarán O'Reilly. In the 1930s, O'Neill labored over a series of plays that charted an Irish-American family from the 1800s to the present day, but he only completed this one. Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) stars as a poor immigrant trying to preserve his illusions of gentility; the cast also includes Kate Forbes, Belle Aykroyd and Mary McCann. Advance registration is required, and a donation of $25 is suggested for those who can afford it.

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Sara Mearns
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

Joyce Theater: State of Darkness

Sunday 5pm EST / 10pm GMT (available through November 7)
The Joyce Theater hosts a continuous rotation of top dance companies from across the country and around the world, and during the shutdown it has shared many archival recordings of full-length productions from artists who have appeared there. Now, for the first time, it is streaming performances live from its actual stage. Over the course of two weekends, seven excellent dancers perform separate versions of Molissa Fenley’s demanding 35-minute 1988 solo State of Darkness, which is set to Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” (Fenley has worked with all of the dancers personally for this project.) The performances cost $12 apiece, and remain viewable through November 7. The final performer is New Yorker City Ballet’s Sara Mearns today.

Daniel Dae Kim
Photograph: Mendy Greenwald

Belly of the Beast

Sunday 7pm EST / midnight GMT (available for one day)
Daniel Dae Kim and Joel de la Fuente play campaign workers angling to manipulate the outcome of a presidential election on social media in Margaret Vandenburg’s timely political drama. Lisa Rothe directs a cast that also includes Carrie Preston, Tamilyn Tomita and Antonia Thomas. Tickets cost $5, and all profits benefit the Creative Coalition.

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Satyagraha
Photograph: Ken Howard

Metropolitan Opera: Satyagraha

Sunday 7:30pm EST / 12:30am GMT (available for 23 hours)
The Met wraps up its week of political opera with Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, about the 20th-century Indian peace activist and martyr Mahatma Gandhi. Constance DeJong’s nonlinear libretto draws on Sanskrit text from the Bhagavad-Gita in a plotless collage of history, philosophy and politics. This video of Phelim McDermott’s eye-popping 2011 production, which features massive puppets by the director’s longtime Improbable Theatre partner Julian Crouch, stars Richard Croft, Rachelle Durkin, Kim Josephson and Alfred Walker, and is conducted by Dante Anzolini.

Justin Sayre
Photograph: Ricardo Nelson

Sweet Nell Productions: Drowsenberg

November 1 at 8pm EST / 1am GMT (live only)
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. Now he is keeping the camp fires burning with a monthly series of original pitch-black horror comedies; this sixth edition, Drowsenberg, is a send-up of Early Americana set in colonial New York. The cast, which includes some of America’s funniest actors, Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Jenn Harris, Jeff Hiller, Ryan Garcia, Daniele Gaither, Michael Cyril Creighton, Angela Cristantelo and Randy Harrison. Tom DeTrinis directs. Tickets are $10–$15, and the video remains viewable to ticket holders for seven days.

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Tamara Tunie
Photograph: Francis Hills

Macbeth: A Surround Sound Experiment

Sunday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (live only)
Shakespeare’s tragic tale of witches, ghosts and bloody murder streams for Halloween in a “3D audio event” intended to be listened to with headphones and by candlelight. Adapter Joseph Discher directs a wicked good cast that includes Tamara Tunie, Laila Robins, Derek Wilson, Joel de la Fuente and Robert Cuccioli. Tickets start at $13 and all proceeds benefit the Actors Fund.

Beth Malone
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

The Seth Concert Series: Beth Malone

Sunday 8pm EST / 1am GMT (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 series that uses a new approach to sound design to make it possible to accompany his guests in real time. Joining him is the versatile Beth Malone, who originated the role of June Carter Cash in the short-lived musical Ring of Fire before finding a butch niche as cartoonist Alison Brechtel in Broadway's Tony-winning Fun Home. Virtual tickets cost $25; tonight's live edition will be recorded and rerun tomorrow at 3pm. 

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Brian Nash
Photograph: Robb Sapp/Dirty Sugar Photography

Brian Nash

Sunday 8pm EST / 1am GMT 
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 a weekly virtual concert. In lieu of a tip jar, you can Venmo him at @BrianJNash. (If you do it in advance, feel free to include a request.)

Joe Morton
Photograph: Bob D'Amico/ABC

Vineyard Theatre: Lessons in Survival

Sunday 8:30pm EST / 1:30am GMT (available for 18 hours)
The Commissary, a new group of 40 artists now collectively in virtual residence at Off Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre, presents Lessons in Survival, a series conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas and Reggie D. White. In each installment, actors with earpieces channel historic speeches, interviews and conversations in real time, directed by Tyler Thomas. Eight performances and four live “open rehearsals” are scheduled, with free public forums on YouTube every Sunday to discuss the work. Single tickets start at $9; a $60 all-access pass will let you watch every episode on an extended viewing page (through November 15). Tonight’s final edition, To Teach is a Revolutionary Act,  features Kyle Beltran, Nana Mensah, Kalyne Coleman and Joe Morton speaking words by James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2

Lar Lubovitch
Photograph: Nan Melville

The American Dance Guild Performance Festival: 10 Years Over 10 Weeks

Monday (available for one week)
Each year, the American Dance Guild honors prominent modern dance figures with awards for Distinguished Artistry and Lifetime Achievement. For its virtual incarnation this fall, ADG is offering a survey of the past decade, with archival recordings every week that celebrate the work of each year’s honorees. The videos are free but donations are invited. The inaugural episode looks back to 2013 and features salutes to Lar Lubovitch, Marilyn Wood and Remy Charlip.

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