30+ Stage Performances to Watch May 5-6
By RAVEN SNOOK
Wednesday, May 05, 2021  •  
Wed May 5, 2021  •  
Broadway  •   0 comments Share This

With in-person theatre a rarity for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, May 5 and Thursday, May 6, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.

Wednesday, May 5

The Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is Tony winner Julie Taymor's eye-popping, puppet-filled mounting of Mozart's fantastical fable The Magic Flute. Condensed into one act and performed in English, this 2006 production stars Nathan Gunn, Ying Huang, Matthew Polenzani, Erika Miklosa and René Pape. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: New Songs Now in Your Living Room
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, this week, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents New Songs Now in Your Living Room, a series of unplugged mini-concerts by up-and-coming songwriters. Tonight, hear fresh tunes by Jay Adana, Zeniba Now and Rodney Bushsinger. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.

The Metropolitan Opera: Hamlet
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Hamlet, Ambroise Thomas' musical take on Shakespeare's tragedy about the brooding Prince of Denmark. Simon Keenlyside stars as the tortured title character alongside Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore and James Morris in this 2010 production. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Rodelinda, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Thursday, May 6

DANCE NOW: Chapter 6
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, usually presented over a few jam-packed days at Joe's Pub, this 25th annual dance festival has been reimagined for our virtual world, with six online installments. The final chapter features new short digital commissions from Kayla Farrish, Sarah Chien and Joshua L. Peugh, alongside archival recordings of pieces by John Heginbotham and Paula Josa-Jones. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 30.

The Billie Holiday Theatre: 50in50: Shattering the Glass Ceiling
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Brooklyn's Billie Holiday Theatre presents a starry virtual edition of its 50in50 monologue series, featuring solos by playwrights from around the globe celebrating the power and resilience of Black women. The incredible lineup of performers includes Audra McDonald, Anika Noni Rose, Gabourey Sidibe, Wanda Sykes, Pauletta Washington and Vanessa Williams. Watch for free on the theatre's Facebook page.

The New Group: Waiting for Godot
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Off Broadway trailblazer The New Group presents its inaugural digital production: Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot featuring Ethan Hawke and John Leguizamo as Vladimir and Estragon. Helmed by the troupe's artistic director Scott Elliott and shot in isolation at the actors' respective homes, this play is a perfect fun-house-mirror reflection of our pandemic times as we all await change, both personal and global. Tickets start at $20 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, June 30. Closed captions will be available beginning Tuesday, May 11.

French Institute Alliance Française: Melissa Errico & Adam Gopnik: Mystery
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Tony-nominated chanteuse Melissa Errico and New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik wrap up their three-part concert and conversation series exploring what the French call l'amour fou, all-consuming love. In Mystery, which will be streamed live from the French Institute Alliance Française, they delve into the dark seduction of film noir, with Errico crooning enigmatic tunes like "Blues in the Night," "Laura," "I'm a Fool to Want You" and a brand-new song by Gopnik, "We Live, We Love, We Lie, We Die." Tickets are $15 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. For $30, you also get access to the first two installments in the series, Love and Desire.

Signature Theatre 30th Anniversary Gala
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Off Broadway's beloved Signature Theatre celebrates its 30th birthday with a star-studded gala. In addition to remarks by resident playwrights Katori Hall, Samuel D. Hunter, Dominique Morisseau and Lynn Nottage, there will be performances by The Great Comet songwriter Dave Malloy and cast members from Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band. Lila Neugebauer directs the evening, which includes a special award for Anna Deavere Smith. Register to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: New Songs Now in Your Living Room
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, this week, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents New Songs Now in Your Living Room, a series of unplugged mini-concerts by up-and-coming songwriters. Tonight, hear fresh tunes by The Kilbanes, the married duo behind the theatrical rock musical Weightless currently streaming at WP Theater, and Kit Yan and Melissa Li, who were recently awarded the prestigious Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre. Watch for free on the theatre's YouTube channel.

The Civilians: Against Women & Music!
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, The Civilians (Gone Missing, Pretty Filthy) presents a concert reading of the new absurdist-horror musical Against Women & Music! featuring songs by the wildly talented Grace McLean (In the Green) in collaboration with Kate Douglas. Set in the Victorian era, the show centers on Celine (Hadestown's Amber Gray), a widow struggling to normalize her peculiar daughter Geneva (Kuhoo Verma). A doctor suggests piano lessons, but there's a dark side to her new hobby. Sarna Lapine directs a cast that also includes Katrina Lenk and Heath Saunders. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though donations are encouraged.

Theater of War Productions: The Oedipus at Colonus Project
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Theater of War Productions, a company that uses classical texts to examine contemporary issues, presents a starry reading of scenes from Oedipus at Colonus, followed by a town hall-style discussion with the audience. Frankie Faison, Taylor Schilling, Bill Camp, David Strathairn, David Denman and others will perform parts of Sophocles' tragedy and then talk about how the play's themes relate to our homeless and immigration crises. Reserve your free ticket on Eventbrite at least an hour in advance. This performance won't be available after-the-fact.

The Metropolitan Opera: Norma
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Bellini's Norma featuring Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja and Matthew Rose costar in this 2017 staging by Sir David McVicar. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Hamlet, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.

Feinstein's/54 Below: Jeremy Jordan: Carry On
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Feinstein's/54 Below presents Newsies Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan in Carry On, a profoundly personal concert that explores his life as a father as well as his own complex childhood. Although the show debuted in 2020 before the shutdown, this edition has been reimagined for digital consumption and was recorded on stage at the celebrated cabaret club. The lineup includes numbers from the musicals he's known for, including the TV series Smash, plus pop songs and personal favorites. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Thursday, May 27.

The Secret Garden Workshop
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, in 1991, Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon's musicalization of Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved children's novel The Secret Garden was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including best musical. Over the decades, there have been rumors of revivals, most recently in 2018 when Tony winner Warren Carlyle staged a workshop of the show starring Broadway favorites Sierra Boggess, Drew Gehling, Amber Iman, Adam Chanler-Berat and Ali Ewoldt, alongside Brooklyn Shuck as the young protagonist. Now Broadway on Demand is sharing a recording of that industry-only performance. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Sunday. Proceeds benefit The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund.

The Joyce Theater: Limon Dance Company
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with lauded modern dance troupe Limon Dance Company. The program includes classics by cofounder José Limon, The Moor's Pavane (1949) and There Is a Time (1956), alongside Chafin Seymour's Suite Donut, which was commissioned last year. Tickets are $25 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, May 19.

Mark Morris Dance Group: Live from Brooklyn
On Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET, members of the acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group return to their Brooklyn stage for the first time since 2020 for a live performance streamed to an at-home audience. The program includes rarely seen works from the troupe's early years, including Jealousy, Three Preludes and Fugue, alongside Tempus Perfectum, a new piece by Morris set to Johannes Brahms' Sixteen Waltzes Op. 39. Tickets are $25.

San Francisco Ballet: Romeo and Juliet
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, California's acclaimed San Francisco Ballet presents Romeo and Juliet choreographed by the troupe's artistic director, Helgi Tomasson. This archival recording of Prokofiev's passionate ballet features Davit Karapetyan and Maria Kochetkova as the star-crossed lovers. Tickets are $29 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, May 26.

Available to Watch Both Days

Roundabout Theatre Company: The Refocus Project: Rachel
Roundabout Theatre Company partners with Black Theatre United for The Refocus Project, an initiative to diversify the canon of classic plays. The program kicks off with a series of readings of undersung works by 20th-century Black dramatists and the second offering is Angelina Weld Grimké's Rachel. Originally mounted by the NAACP's Drama Committee in Washington D.C. in 1916 and believed to be the first play by a Black woman professionally produced in the US, the drama centers on the title character, a turn-of-the-20th-century Black woman who desperately wants a child. But when her mother reveals a traumatic event from the family's past, Rachel's worldview is shattered. Paige Gilbert and E. Faye Butler star, and Miranda Haymon directs. RSVP to receive the free viewing link but donations to Black Theatre United are encouraged. The recording is viewable until Friday.

Irish Repertory Theatre: Little Gem
On Wednesday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Irish Rep presents Elaine Murphy's Little Gem about three North Dublin women from different generations, each facing a major life change. Brenda Meaney, Lauren O'Leary and four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason reprise their critically acclaimed performances from the theatre's hit 2019 production, with each actor taping her part remotely. Marc Atkinson Borrull once again directs. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link though a $25 donation is suggested. Closed captions are available.

Dixon Place: Unicorn Afterlife
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown's invaluable Dixon Place presents Justin Perkins' Unicorn Afterlife, which will be performed in person at the theatre and also streamed to an at-home audience. In this fantastical puppet piece, a deceased mythical beast finds new life in the void beyond. Tickets start at $12.

Sing for Hope Virtual Performances
Since 2006, Sing for Hope has been bringing the power of live music to unexpected places such as hospitals, care facilities, schools, refugee camps, transit hubs and community spaces all over the world. (You may have seen our video of a Sing for Hope concert at the Javits Center as one of our TDF staffers got vaccinated!) Now, the nonprofit is expanding its reach with Open Arts, a series of live-streamed performances you can watch online from anywhere. The virtual calendar is packed with eclectic offerings, including 45-minute online concerts with Broadway vets every weekday at 4 p.m. ET. To watch, you must sign up for a free account with the org.

All Arts: Whitman in the Woods
Celebrate spring with drag legend, MacArthur genius and Pulitzer finalist Taylor Mac as he performs the poetry of Walt Whitman in Whitman in the Woods. Recorded outdoors in the Lower Hudson Valley, this fabulous short features Mac in a stunning array of nature-inspired costumes as he recites the words of the groundbreaking poet and gay icon. Watch for free on All Arts' website.

The York Theatre Company: An Evening with Sheldon Harnick and Friends
The York Theatre Company presents An Evening with Sheldon Harnick and Friends, a recording of a special March 2020 concert (filmed right before theatres closed!) celebrating the work of the Fiddler on the Roof lyricist. Harnick himself is joined on stage by Broadway favorites Liz Callaway, Karen Ziemba and the late, great Rebecca Luker, who croon songs from his hits (Fiorello!, She Loves Me, Fiddler) as well as his fascinating flops (Tenderloin, The Rothschilds, Rex, Dragons). Tickets are $27 and the recording is viewable until Friday, May 14.

New York City Center: Sutton Foster: Bring Me to Light
Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie) headlines this uplifting concert, which was recently recorded live on stage at New York City Center. During the hour-long benefit performance, she's joined by some of her talented pals, including Raúl Esparza (Company, The Homecoming), Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) and Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) to sing numbers from Anyone Can Whistle, Camelot, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Violet, The Wild Party and other Broadway musicals. Foster's frequent collaborator, Leigh Silverman, directs this inspirational evening. Tickets are $35 and the recording is viewable until Monday, May 31.

Roundabout Theatre Company: The Importance of Being Earnest
Directed by and starring Tony Award nominee Brian Bedford in his final stage performance, Roundabout Theatre Company's 2011 mounting of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is an effervescent comedy of amours, filled with mistaken identity and social satire. Dana Ivey, Paxton Whitehead and Santino Fontana costar. This special presentation is hosted by David Hyde Pierce and includes an intermission talk about Wilde's life and legacy. Tickets are $15 and the recording is viewable until Monday, May 31.

Berkeley Rep: The Waves in Quarantine
California's Berkeley Rep presents The Waves in Quarantine, a theatrical experiment in six movements inspired by Virginia Woolf's The Waves. Conceived by Tony-nominated performer Raúl Esparza and adventurous director Lisa Peterson, this collection of cinematic shorts examines art in isolation, as Broadway favorites Carmen Cusack, Nikki Renée Daniels, Darius de Haas, Manu Narayan, Alice Ripley and Esparza perform David Bucknam's emotional songs. RSVP to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Friday, May 28. Open captions are available.

The Joyce Theater: Trisha Brown Dance Company
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with a program of innovative works from the Trisha Brown Dance Company. The evening includes an archival recording of the troupe's Geometry of Quiet danced at the Joyce in 2017, as well as brand-new performances of Locus Trio, Watermotor and The Decoy Project, a digital reimagining of the 1979 work Glacial Decoy. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, May 12.

Goodman Theater: Measure for Measure
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of its 2013 production of Measure for Measure, helmed by artistic director Robert Falls. See how he tackled one of the Bard's notorious problem plays! Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday. Closed captions are available.

The Public Theater: The Line
The Public Theater presents an encore stream of The Line, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's ripped-from-the-front-lines 2020 docudrama based on interviews with New York City healthcare workers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The married playwrights are masters of the form: their previous plays include The Exonerated, about wrongly convicted inmates on Death Row, and Coal Country, about the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia. The latter had its run cut short at The Public Theater due to the pandemic, and Blank and Jensen almost immediately turned their attention to our city's first responders to craft this one-act for digital consumption. Under Blank's direction, an impressive cast, including Tony winner Santino Fontana, Tony nominee Alison Pill, Jamey Sheridan and Lorraine Toussaint, give voice to these harrowing real-life stories. Watch for free on The Public's YouTube channel.

John Cullum: An Accidental Star
It's your last chance to watch two-time Tony winner John Cullum in An Accidental Star. As he reflects on his 65-year career, he croons tunes from the shows he's known for, such as Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, The Scottsboro Boys and Urinetown, and shares never-before-heard stories about working with stars like Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Coproduced by three theatres he has longstanding relationships with—The Vineyard Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House and Irish Rep where it was filmed—this intimate and inspiring solo show is a must-see for theatre history buffs. Tickets start at $28.75 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Thursday.

ABT Incubator: Soirée Nocturne
American Ballet Theatre wraps up its Incubator series showcasing brand-new digital dance works created by emerging choreographers during quarantine. The final premiere is Soirée Nocturne by ABT dancer Melvin Lawovi. Set to Chopin's Nocturne No. 20 in C# Minor, the pas de deux stars Lawovi's fellow ABTers Leah Baylin and Cameron McCune. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.

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

Top image: Jeremy Jordan, who's performing a concert at Feinstein's/54 Below on Thursday.




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