35+ Stage Performances to Watch This Weekend December 18-20
By RAVEN SNOOK
Friday, December 18, 2020  •  
Fri Dec 18, 2020  •  
Broadway  •   0 comments Share This

With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch Friday, December 18 to Sunday, December 20, for free or at low cost.

Friday, December 18

The Shows Must Go On!: Kinky Boots
On Friday at 2 p.m. ET, The Shows Must Go On! presents the West End production of Kinky Boots, starring Olivier winner Matt Henry as drag diva Lola, who helps shoe manufacturer Charlie (Killian Donnelly) inject some fabulousness into his factory. Although the musical examines serious subjects such as homophobia and father-son estrangement, it's mostly a celebration of friendship and being true to yourself, with catchy songs by Cyndi Lauper and a heartfelt book by Harvey Fierstein. Watch for free until Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.

Virtual Halston: Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway
On Friday at 5 p.m. ET, funny lady Julie Halston welcomes two supremely talented, Tony-nominated sisters to her chatfest: jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway, who wrote and performed the beloved theme to The Nanny, and Broadway Baby Liz Callaway, who's voiced a number of cinematic princesses. Watch for free on YouTube.

Lynn Ahrens: A Lyric Life
On Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET, in 2018, Tony-winning lyricist Lynn Ahrens took center stage for a career retrospective at the 92nd Street Y, which included performances of some of her famous songs from Ragtime, Once on This Island, Seussical and Schoolhouse Rock performed by Broadway vets Nikki Renee Daniels, David Harris, Margo Seibert, Brandon Uranowitz and Alton Fitzgerald White. The streaming site Stage Access is sharing a recording of the program, which was directed by Jason Danieley and also includes personal stories as Ahrens narrates her own life story with charm. Watch for free on Stage Access.

Irish Repertory Theatre: Meet Me in St. Louis
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, for the holidays, the intrepid Irish Rep presents Meet Me in St. Louis. Last seen at the theatre in 2007, this old-fashioned musical is based on the cherished MGM movie of the same name about the growing pains of the tight-knit Smith family as they contemplate major changes in life and love at the turn of the 20th century. Charlotte Moore, who appeared in the 1989 Broadway mounting of the show, directs a cast headlined by Tony nominees Melissa Errico and Max Von Essen, and the classic score includes "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link but a $25 donation is suggested.

Seize the Show: A Christmas Karen
On Friday at 7 p.m. ET, interactive theatre company Seize the Show puts a timely spin on Dickens' classic with A Christmas Karen, about a drama-causing harridan whose comeuppance is in your hands. Cast as Karen's downtrodden assistant, you make choices that guide the action and her fate! Tickets start at $13.

Broadway's Great American Songbook: Lillias White
On Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with Lillias White. A show-stopping diva who won a Tony Award for her delightfully world-weary turn as a prostitute in The Life, White is a veteran of 11 Broadway shows, including Fela!, the original Once on This Island and two different mountings of Dreamgirls. Michael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.

The Metropolitan Opera: Boris Godunov
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Boris Godunov, Mussorgsky's epic about the 16th-century Russian ruler during the Time of Troubles. René Pape is captivating as the title Tsar; Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Oleg Balashov, Evgeny Nikitin, Mikhail Petrenko and Vladimir Ognovenko costar in this 2010 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Francesca da Rimini, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Dunvegan Productions: A Prophet's Gamble
On Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, playwright Lane McLeod Jackson finds echoes of current social questions in the old King Arthur legend, as Merlin gathers witches, knights, bishops and a giant the night before the coronation to try to conjure a brighter future. But can everyone's needs be accommodated in multi-creatural Camelot? TDF's own Tyler Riley directs this timely play for Dunvegan Productions. Watch for free on the theatre's Facebook page though donations are encouraged.

Merchant's House: A Christmas Carol
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, the ultimate old-school version of Charles Dickens' holiday classic goes virtual this year, with John Kevin Jones performing his one-man Christmas Carol at the 19th-century Merchant's House Museum in the East Village. In this historic setting, Jones plays Dickens performing all of the characters, just like the Victorian author did back in the day. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $30 donation is suggested.

Primary Stages: Raúl Esparza in A Christmas Carol
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's Primary Stages presents a benefit reading of A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Theresa Rebeck and starring four-time Tony nominee Raúl Esparza as Scrooge alongside Krysta Rodriguez, Matthew Saldivar and other NYC stage regulars. Watching the performance live will cost you $100, but a free recording will be viewable from Saturday to Tuesday. Donations strongly encouraged.

You're a Green One, Mr. Finch
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Ann Harada, Lesli Margherita, Idina Menzel, Javier Muñoz, George Salazar, Laura Osnes, Elizabeth Stanley and other Broadway favorites star in You’re a Green One, Mr. Finch, about the Grinch's cousin, who learns the value of taking care of our planet. Expect seasonal songs and tips for a green holiday. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.

New York Gay Men's Chorus: Sweet Is The Sound: A Holiday At Home With (Chosen) Family
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, the talented members of New York Gay Men's Chorus and its offshoots, the Youth Pride Chorus and Tonewall, perform a holiday concert, hosted by A Strange Loop star L Morgan Lee. Expect holiday favorites and lots of joyful noise. Tickets start at $19 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, December 27.

Stars in the House: GOPAR Benefit
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, Stars in the House hosts a benefit for Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief featuring Broadway vets Wayne Brady, Paul Vogt and Rachel York. Watch for free on YouTube though donations are encouraged.

New Works Virtual Festival: The Wickham Way
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, the ambitious New Works Virtual Festival is presenting 20 plays in 20 days, with a debut every evening at 8 p.m. ET through Christmas. Tonight is Rachel Rubin Ladutke's comedy The Wickham Way, about a lesbian couple looking to buy a bed-and-breakfast in a small Vermont town. The cast includes Broadway vets Eden Espinosa, Jenna Leigh Green, Stuart Pankin and Adam Jacobs. Watch for free on YouTube.

La MaMa's Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance
On Friday at 8 p.m. ET, avant-garde mecca La MaMa presents two evenings of queer culture pioneers reflecting on the current moment. The first night features words of wisdom from a wide variety of artists, including Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris, two-spirit performance artist Ty Defoe and poet Staceyann Chin. Watch for free on La MaMa's website though donations are encouraged.

Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol
On Friday at 8 and 10 p.m. ET, yes, there are a lot of virtual Christmas Carols this season. But the one by Manual Cinema, a company acclaimed for combining shadow puppetry and filmic elements, is surely the most original. Performed live from the troupe's Chicago studio, the production uses hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and a live original score to conjure Dickens' holiday redemption tale. Tickets start at $15.

Theater in Quarantine: I am Sending You the Sacred Face
On Friday at 9 p.m. ET, experimental multihyphenate Joshua William Gelb, known for deconstructing complicated classics like The Jazz Singer, stars in I am Sending You the Sacred Face, a solo one-act musical by Obie winner Heather Christian about Mother Teresa. Gelb performs the piece live in drag from the closet of his East Village apartment, with all music and vocals prerecorded by Christian. Watch for free on Gelb's YouTube channel.

Home for the Holidays
All day, Ain't Too Proud's Jelani Remy hosts this starry benefit concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, featuring Alan Cumming, André De Shields, Lena Hall, Heather Headley, Ramin Karimloo, Karen Olivo and other Broadway vets singing seasonal favorites and sharing holiday traditions directly from their homes. Watch for free until Saturday on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.

Saturday, December 19

The Old Vic: A Christmas Carol
On Saturday at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET, another Christmas Carol? Before you say, "Bah humbug," let me assure you, this is a magical mounting of Dickens' holiday redemption tale. Adapted by Tony-winning playwright Jack Thorne and staged by Tony-winning director Matthew Warchus, the show incorporates beautifully sung Christmas carols and insightful humor into the action. The production originated at London's Old Vic in 2017 and has been a holiday staple ever since—it even crossed the pond to play on Broadway last season. Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln headlines this year's edition, which will be performed live on the Old Vic stage to an empty theatre and streamed to an at-home audience. Tickets start at £20, approximately $27. Closed captions and audio description are available.

Irish Repertory Theatre: Meet Me in St. Louis
On Saturday at 8 a.m., noon, 4 and 8 p.m. ET, for the holidays, the intrepid Irish Rep presents Meet Me in St. Louis. Last seen at the theatre in 2007, this old-fashioned musical is based on the cherished MGM movie of the same name about the growing pains of the tight-knit Smith family as they contemplate major changes in life and love at the turn of the 20th century. Charlotte Moore, who appeared in the 1989 Broadway mounting of the show, directs a cast headlined by Tony nominees Melissa Errico and Max Von Essen, and the classic score includes "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link but a $25 donation is suggested.

Seize the Show: A Christmas Karen
On Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. ET, interactive theatre company Seize the Show puts a timely spin on Dickens' classic with A Christmas Karen, about a drama-causing harridan whose comeuppance is in your hands. Cast as Karen's downtrodden assistant, you make choices that guide the action and her fate! Tickets start at $13.

Broadway's Great American Songbook: Lillias White
On Saturday at 2:30 and 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company continues its Broadway's Great American Songbook cabaret series with Lillias White. A show-stopping diva who won a Tony Award for her delightfully world-weary turn as a prostitute in The Life, White is a veteran of 11 Broadway shows, including Fela!, the original Once on This Island and two different mountings of DreamgirlsMichael Feinstein hosts this intimate concert. Tickets are $20 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.

Merchant's House: A Christmas Carol
On Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. ET, the ultimate old-school version of Charles Dickens' holiday classic goes virtual this year, with John Kevin Jones performing his one-man Christmas Carol at the 19th-century Merchant's House Museum in the East Village. In this historic setting, Jones plays Dickens performing all of the characters, just like the Victorian author did back in the day. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $30 donation is suggested.

Josh Groban Holiday Concert
On Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m. ET, international recording sensation and Tony-nominated Great Comet star Josh Groban sings the praises of the season with his first-ever holiday concert. The performance will be streamed live at 4 p.m. ET, with a second airing at 8 p.m. ET and a recording viewable until Monday. Tickets are $30 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.

Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol
On Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m. ET, yes, there are a lot of virtual Christmas Carols this season. But the one by Manual Cinema, a company acclaimed for combining shadow puppetry and filmic elements, is surely the most original. Performed live from the troupe's Chicago studio, the production uses hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and a live original score to conjure Dickens' holiday redemption tale. Tickets start at $15.

Play-PerView: proud revengeful ambitious
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, Play-PerView presents a live reading of proud revengeful ambitious, a new two-hander from playwright Talene Monahon and director Jaki Bradley, about a pair of young men constantly competing for sex, prizes and method acting glory. Two talented young women, Oklahoma!'s Mallory Portnoy and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Vella Lovell, play the douchebros. Tickets start at $5 and proceeds go to WIN NYC.

Limón Dance Company
On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, the lauded Limón Dance Company ends its four-week residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, NY with a free live-stream featuring two classics by its namesake choreographer, 1949's The Moor's Pavane and 1956's There is a Time, alongside the new commission Suite Donuts by Chafin Seymour. Register to receive the free viewing link.

The Metropolitan Opera: Nabucco
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi's Nabucco, featuring Plácido Domingo as the tormented title king of Babylon. Liudmyla Monastyrska, Jamie Barton, Russell Thomas and Dmitry Belosselskiy costar in this 2017 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Boris Godunov, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Stars in the House: Seussical Reunion
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome cast members from Broadway's Seussical to Stars in the House! Original stars Kevin Chamberlin, Sharon Wilkins, Anthony Blair Hall, Janine LaMana and Michelle Pawk will be joined by Rosie O'Donnell, who was such a big fan of the musical, she did a month-long stint as the Cat in the Hat. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.

La MaMa's Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, avant-garde haven La MaMa wraps up its queer culture fest with a talk/performance by Daniel Alexander Jones, the writer-singer behind the fabulous and wise Jomama Jones. Watch for free on La MaMa's website though donations are encouraged.

New Works Virtual Festival: Collegeburg USA
On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, the ambitious New Works Virtual Festival is presenting 20 plays in 20 days, with a debut every evening at 8 p.m. ET through Christmas. Tonight is Kerri Kochanski's Collegeburg USA, about a racially charged mayoral election plagued by fake news, white privilege and implicit bias. The cast includes Megan Cavanagh, Beth Malone, Bruce Vilanch, Jason "Sweettooth" Williams and Geoffrey Cantor. Watch for free on YouTube.

Drag Out the Holly: A Holiday Drag Extravaganza
On Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, expect fierce twists on old chestnuts when drag divas Alexis Michelle, Jujubee, Lagoona Bloo and Peppermint croon holiday tunes backed by the American Pops Orchestra. Recorded at Washington, DC's Meridian International Center, the colorful concert also features singer-songwriter Bright Light Bright Light. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Peter Pan - A Musical Adventure
All day, Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents a recording of Peter Pan, its hit family-friendly musical from 2018. With songs by the team behind Broadway's Mary Poppins, this is a magical adaptation of J.M. Barrie's adventure about being forever young. Watch for free until Friday, January 1 on the theater's website.

Sunday, December 20

Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol
On Sunday at 4 and 7 p.m. ET, yes, there are a lot of virtual Christmas Carols this season. But the one by Manual Cinema, a company acclaimed for combining shadow puppetry and filmic elements, is surely the most original. Performed live from the troupe's Chicago studio, the production uses hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and a live original score to conjure Dickens' holiday redemption tale. Tickets start at $15.

Merchant's House: A Christmas Carol
On Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, the ultimate old-school version of Charles Dickens' holiday classic goes virtual this year, with John Kevin Jones performing his one-man Christmas Carol at the 19th-century Merchant's House Museum in the East Village. In this historic setting, Jones plays Dickens performing all of the characters, just like the Victorian author did back in the day. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $30 donation is suggested.

Joe's Pub: Good Morning Midnight, It's Christmas!
On Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, have yourself a hilarious little Christmas when Joe's Pub presents Justin Vivian Bond in Good Morning Midnight, It's Christmas! , a winter solstice invocation featuring unexpected songs by The Monkees, Peter Allen, Jimi Hendrix, Dolly Parton and other eclectic artists. Recorded live at Joe's Pub during quarantine, the show costars Bond's fellow House of Whimsy wild ones Matt Ray, Nath Ann Carrera and Claudia Chopek. Watch for free on Joe's Pub's YouTube channel.

Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the original Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, Sarah Brightman, performs a live-stream concert from London's Christ Church Spitalfields. The soprano will croon holiday classics such as "Silent Night," "I Believe In Father Christmas" and "Ava Maria," as well as a new arrangement of "Christmas Dream" accompanied by composer (and her ex) Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tickets start at $18.

The Metropolitan Opera: Götterdämmerung
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Robert Lepage's 2012 mounting of Götterdämmerung, the climactic installment of Wagner's "Ring" cycle, in which one woman’s sacrifice redeems humanity. Deborah Voigt, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Waltraud Meier, Jay Hunter Morris, Iain Paterson, Eric Owens and Hans-Peter König star. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Nabucco, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

The Seth Concert Series: Adam Pascal
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, music director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts with Broadway stars for the past decade. This year he brings the show online, and tonight's headliner is Adam Pascal. With his shaggy sex appeal and raspy rock tenor, Pascal rocketed to fame as Roger in the original production of Rent, and went on to star in Broadway's Aida, Cabaret and Chicago. Expect numbers from his career as well as rock songs, perhaps from the campy jukebox Disaster!, which Rudetsky co-wrote and Pascal appeared in. Tickets are $25.

New Works Virtual Festival: Family Game Night
On Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, the ambitious New Works Virtual Festival is presenting 20 plays in 20 days, with a debut every evening at 8 p.m. ET through Christmas. Tonight is Peter Kennedy's dark comedy Family Game Night, about a monthly tradition that turns into a meditation on mortality. Tony nominees Richard Kind, Liz Larsen and Carmen Cusack star. Watch for free on YouTube.

All Weekend

The Metropolitan Opera: Hansel and Gretel
To celebrate the holidays, the Met is hosting a special family stream of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel from Thursday through Monday, complemented by a series of interactive online activities. Starring Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer, this is a wonderful, eye-popping, English-language production with oversize cartoon chefs, singing trees and an unforgettable witch's kitchen. Watch for free until Monday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.

Andrea McArdle: A Holiday Concert
Broadway's original orphan Annie, Andrea McArdle, performs an intimate holiday concert on New Jersey's Kean Stage. Accompanied by Steve Marzullo on piano, the big-voiced Tony nominee will croon seasonal standards such as "White Christmas" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" as well as numbers from her Broadway career, including "Tomorrow." Tickets are $30 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.

Feinstein's/54 Below: Norm Lewis: Christmastime Is Here
For years, beloved Broadway baritone Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess, Once on This Island, Les Misérables) has performed an annual Christmas concert at Feinstein's/54 Below, filled with seasonal songs and uplifting stories. He keeps the tradition alive in 2020 with a show recorded at the swanky cabaret venue and streamed to an at-home audience. Backed by a trio, he'll croon songs from his eponymous Christmas album and a few new numbers to inject some cheer into this dreary year. Special guests include Lewis' The Little Mermaid costar, Sierra Boggess, and his cousin, Pastor Bobby Lewis. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31.

PBS: All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
A powerful work of docutheatre, All Is Calm commemorates the Christmas Truce of 1914, an unofficial ceasefire that brought troops from opposing sides of World War I together on December 24 for a night of caroling and companionship. Created by Minneapolis' Theater Latté Da, the show interweaves excerpts from letters and journals of soldiers who were there with trench songs and Christmas tunes performed a cappella. I saw this emotional piece at the Sheen Center two years ago and I get misty just thinking about it. It perfectly captures the spirit of the season: peace on earth and good will toward men. Watch for free until Thursday, December 31 on PBS' website.

92nd Street Y: Lyrics & Lyricists: The Theme From…: Songs Written for Film
The 92nd Street Y's virtual edition of its popular Lyrics & Lyricists concert series concludes with a program dedicated to songs from movies, including classics such as "The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is Born with Judy Garland and "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Musical theatre vets Farah Alvin, Nikki Renée Daniels, Brandon Victor Dixon, Katherine Henly, Jeff Kready, Kara Lindsay, Julia Murney, Zachary Noah Piser, Zachary Prince and Pearl Sun croon these cinematic tunes. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, December 31.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: A Jam Session for Troubling Times and Testament
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues its virtual season with a pair of world premieres created for digital consumption: A Jam Session for Troubling Times by the troupe's resident choreographer Jamar Roberts; and Testament by the troupe's associate artistic director Matthew Rushing, and dancers Clifton Brown and Yusha-Marie Sorzano. Watch both for free all weekend on Ailey's website though donations are encouraged.

San Francisco Playhouse: Songs for a New World
San Francisco Playhouse presents Songs for a New World, Tony winner Jason Robert Brown's breakthrough musical revue, a series of insightful numbers featuring a wide array of characters grappling with pivotal moments in life and love. Filmed live on stage at the theatre during quarantine, the production stars John Paul Gonzalez, Cate Hayman, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr. and Katrina Lauren McGraw. Tickets start at $15.

Netflix: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Make sure you have tissues handy for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, George C. Wolfe's film adaptation of August Wilson's breakthrough play about the power struggle between the title blues singer (two-time Tony winner Viola Davis), an ambitious musician (the late, great Chadwick Boseman in his final role) and white management during a recording session in 1920s Chicago. Celebrated Wilson interpreter Ruben Santiago-Hudson wrote the screenplay, and theatre vets Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts and Jeremy Shamos costar. Free to stream for Netflix subscribers.

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

Top image: Matt Henry and cast in Kinky Boots on the West End. Photo by Matt Crockett.




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