The current crisis has had a devastating effect on the performing arts. Broadway is shut down, and the ban on gatherings in New York extends to all other performance spaces as well. So the show must go online—and, luckily, streaming video makes that possible. Here are some of the best theater, opera, dance and cabaret performances you can watch today without leaving home, many of which will help you support the artists involved.
Events that go live today are at the top of the list; scroll down for ongoing limited runs and bonus material. We update this page completely every day except Sunday, so feel free to bookmark it and check back daily. (All show times are in Eastern Daylight Time.)
Saturday 12:30pm: Schaubühne: Lenin
Berlin’s Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz has long had a reputation as one of the world’s coolest theaters, and its influence has grown in the past 20 years under the leadership of director Thomas Ostermeier, known for his outrageous Regietheater deconstructions of classic works. The theater is currently streaming a different production from its archives every night, in a window that translates to 12:30pm to 6pm Eastern Time. (You can find a full schedule here.) The shows are in German, but a few offer closed captioning in English, which you can access via the cc button at the bottom of the screen. Such is the case with 2017’s Lenin, Swiss provocateur Milo Rau’s portrait of Russian politics in the aftermath of the Communist Revolution, as various figures maneuver around the physically and mentally ailing Vladimir Lenin.
Lenin // Photograph: Thomas Aurin
Saturday 1pm: The Metropolitan Opera: At-Home Gala
In lieu of an opera tonight, the Met is streaming a three-hour matinee gala. The event features dozens of Met artists performing from their homes around the world, including Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufmann, Elīna Garanča, René Pape, Diana Damrau, Bryn Terfel, Angel Blue and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. (You can watch it up until 6:30pm on Sunday evening.)
Anna Netrebko in Les Contes d’Hoffmann // Photograph: Courtesy Ken Howard
Saturday 2pm: Plays in the House: Arms and the Man
Twice a week, the invaluable Stars in the House series, which usually features interviews and musical interludes (see 8pm below), tries something different: one-time-only live performances of plays in their entirety. Previous efforts—including The Heidi Chronicles, Fully Committed and The Little Dog Laughed—came off smashingly. Now the series welcomes Gingold Theatrical Group's David Staller, who specializes in works by George Bernard Shaw, for a reading of the Bearded One’s 1894 comedy about honor and romance, set during and after the Serbo-Bulgarian War. The starry cast, directed by Staller, includes Santino Fontana, Phillipa Soo, Alison Fraser, Daniel Davis, Tom Hewitt, Daniel Jenkins and Lauren Molina.(Unlike most Stars in the House offerings, this will not be available on video later, so clear time to watch it live.)
Phillipa Soo // Photograph: Courtesy of the artist
Saturday 2:30pm:Martha Graham Dance Company: Lamentation
The queen of modern dance's legacy lives on. In this edition of its Martha Matinees series on YouTube, the dance company that bears her name shares archival footage related to Graham’s iconic Lamentation (1930), which stages grief through the image of a seated solo dancer struggling within a tube of purple fabric. The selections include a newly uncovered film of Graham dancing the piece herself. Artistic director Janet Eilber is on hand for live Q&A during the group watch, joined by guests including past Lamentation performers Joyce Herring and Peggy Lyman.
Martha Graham in Lamentation // Photograph: Courtesy Barbara Morgan/Martha Graham Resources
Saturday 3pm:Trump Lear
You may know David Carl from his portrayal of Gary Busey in his standout one-man comedy show, David Carl’s Celebrity One-Man Hamlet. Now Carl plays an actor named Carl David (try to keep up), who evokes the wrath of Donald Trump by portraying the President in a solo version of King Lear, Shakespeare's portrait of a senescent ruler whose vanity tears his country apart. Carl now performs the show live on Zoom from his home in Brooklyn. Tickets are $12.
Trump Lear // Photograph: Courtesy Anthony Velez
Saturday 5pm–10:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
The beloved West Village institution keeps the show tunes rolling merrily along every night of the week. Read all about it here. Join the Maries Group page on Facebook to watch from home, and don’t forget to tip the pianist and staff through Venmo. Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Franca Vercelloni (@Franca-Vercelloni) and Michael James Roy (@MichaelJames-Roy).
Saturday 7pm: all decisions will be made by consensus
The downtown arts complex HERE rises to the challenge of the moment with the premiere of what it bills as “the world’s first Zoom opera”: an original 15-minute comic work by the noted composer Kamala Sankaram and librettist Rob Handel, set in a factious online meeting of social activists. Artistic director Kristin Marting directs a cast led by bass-baritone Zachary James—who created the roles of Abraham Lincoln in Philip Glass's The Perfect American and Lurch in Broadway’s The Addams Family—and featuring bass Paul An, the veteran experimental vocalist Joan LaBarbara and Orange Is the New Black’s Joel Marsh Garland.
Kamala Sankaram // Photograph: Courtesy of the artist
8pm: Brian Nash
A wizard at the piano and an ace musical director, Brian Nash is also an exuberant showman when he takes the mic himself—as he usually does on Sunday nights at the Duplex in the West Village, where he has held court for the past decade or so. Tonight he brings the magic to Facebook Live. In lieu of a tip jar, you can Venmo him at @BrianJNash. (If you do it in advance, feel free to include a request.)
Brian Nash // Photograph: Courtesy of the artist
8pm: Metropolitan Playhouse: Old Love Letters
The dramatic archaeologists of the Metropolitan Playhouse unearth Bronson Howard’s 1878 one-act about a young widow who is unexpectedly reunites with her first love, who is conveniently a widower himself. The company’s artistic director, Alex Roe, directs this 45-minute reading (which streams via YouTube and Zoom) as part of the company’s continuing Virtual Playhouse project.
Saturday 8pm:Through the Looking Glass:The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland
Callooh! Callay! Seattle burlesque impresarios Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann go down all sorts of rabbit holes in an online edition of their lavishly naughty Lewis Caroll-inspired pageant, Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland. This three-hour interactive experience centers on a recording of the show’s 2019 iteration, but performers from the large cast are on hand for live-streamed commentary as well as preshow “backstage” visits and postshow Q&As, and a jazz combo performs at intermission. Tickets are $25; additional tips for the artists are welcome.
Saturday 9pm: Serials @ The Flea: Online!
Beer, bands and youth fuel this weekly competition, in which the Flea's enthusiastic resident company, the Bats, pits five serial plays against one another; the winning writers return with new installments, while the losers must start from scratch. Tonight the Tribeca company takes the fun to Instagram and YouTube with playlets specifically crafted for digital delivery; a $15 donation is suggested. (Voting stays open until midnight on Tuesday.)
Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland // Photograph: Courtesy Angela Sterling
Sunday2pm: Stars in the House: Stephen Sondheim celebration
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 to benefit the Actors Fund. Twice a day, at 2pm and 8pm, they play host to a different theater star for a live, chatty interview interspersed with songs. (Rudetsky is an expert at sussing out good stories.) Dr. Jon LaPook, the chief medical correspondent for CBS News, provides periodic updates on public health; surprise virtual visitors are common as well. Today’s matinee edition ramps up tonight’s big Sondheim celebration (see 8pm) below with past cast members of Sondheim musicals, including Company belter Pamela Myers and Into the Woods’s Little Red Riding Hood, Danielle Ferland.
Saturday 4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
See Saturday 5pm. Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1) and Dan Daly (@DanDalyMusic).
Sunday 6:30pm: Alice Ripley & Emily Skinner: Unattached
The city’s top supper club, Feinstein’s/54 Below, offers shows from its archives, streamed live on YouTube for one night only, in its ongoing series #54BelowatHome. In tonight’s edition, from 2016, the original stars of the conjoined-twin musical Side Show reunite to perform their first show together in nearly a decade. Both have had substantial careers since their joint 1997 breakthrough, and it is fascinating to see how Ripley's edgy presence and rough-edged rock voice interplays with Skinner's vivacious, Broadway-broad approach.
Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley // Photograph: Courtesy Feinstein’s/54 Below
Sunday 7pm: Susan B. and the Tennessee Waltz
The East Village arts complex Theater for the New City offers another in its series of live readings on its Facebook page. Toby Armour’s play, directed by Geoge Ferencz, marks the bicentennial of Susan B. Anthony’s birth with a salute to the feminist icon and dollar-coin model’s life and legacy.
Sunday 7:30pm: The Metropolitan Opera: La Cenerentola
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. The fifth week of offerings concludes tonight with Rossini’s 1817 version of the Cinderella story, written just a year after his grand success with The Barber of Seville. Fabio Luisiconducts this 2014 performance, which stars Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez.
La Cenerentola // Photograph: Ken Howard
Saturday 8pm: Together in Pride: You Are Not Alone
Billy Eichner and Lilly Singh host this glam-packed GLAAD fundraiser for LGBTQ centers across the country. Performers include Kesha, Melissa Etheridge, Alex Newell, the cast of Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill and recent Little Shop of Horrors costars Mj Rodriguez and George Salazar; other participants include Pete and Chasten Buttigieg, Matt Bomer, Adam Lambert, Bebe Rexha, Dan Levy, Wilson Cruz, Kathy Griffin, Gigi Gorgeous, Nats Getty, Michelle Visage, Javier Muñoz, Sean Hayes, Sharon Stone, and Tatiana Maslany, Billy Porter, Rosie O’Donnell, Jonathan Van Ness, Brian Michael Smith, Ross Mathews and Tyler Oakley.
Billy Eichner // Photograph: Amanda Friedman
Sunday 8pm: Hybrid Movement Company: Nowhere
The cross-disciplinary collective Hybrid Movement Company merges dance, aerialism, physical theater, music, poetry and film in a 45-minute performance piece on Zoom, performed live by five members who are quarantined together at the group’s home and studio and augmented with recorded material by five members participating remotely. Suggested donations start at $10.
Hybrid Movement Company // Photograph: You Bin Photography
Sunday 8pm: Take Me to the World: a Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration For Broadway fans, this promises to be not just the live concert event of the week, but perhaps of the isolation era to date. No living musical-theater artist is more revered than Stephen Sondheim, and for good reason: from his lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy to his full scores of shows including Sweeney Todd, Follies, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George, Sondheim has sculpted a peerless body of work. So it makes sense that this concert tribute features a truly astonishing galaxy of stars. Produced and hosted by the intense, cavern-voiced leading man Raúl Esparza—who headlined the 2005 revival of Sondheim’s Company—the show is being platformed on Broadway.comand YouTube as a fund-raiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty)/ You will want to sit down before you look at the list of performers. Are you ready? Here goes: Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Ben Platt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christine Baranski, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Donna Murphy, Lea Salonga, Sutton Foster, Neil Patrick Harris, Katrina Lenk, Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, Randy Rainbow, Aaron Tveit, Judy Kuhn, Linda Lavin, Melissa Errico, Beanie Feldstein, Maria Friedman, Iain Armitage, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth Stanley, Chip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and recent Pacific Overtures revival cast members Ann Harada, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma. (There will also be special appearances by Victor Garber, Joanna Gleason, Nathan Lane and Steven Spielberg.) Need we say more? Good, because that list has taken it out of us. Can they pull off an event of this magnitude? We’re excited and scared. And like everyone else, we’ll be watching.
Stephen Sondheim // Photograph: Emilio Madrid-Kuser
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