6 Shows to See, Including Hershey Felder From Florence and Dolly Parton's New Christmas Film
With theaters closed around the country, some companies are making their productions available online. Below, you'll find our weekly update of productions, videos, and other theater-related streaming, TV, and other content from across the US and elsewhere. Some streams are free, while others may charge a fee or request a donation. Either way, you're sure to find something to scratch your theater itch. Theaters may be dark, but the shows go on.
1. November 17-22, Irish Repertory Theatre will present On Beckett / In Screen by master clown, Tony Award-winning actor, and MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Fellow Bill Irwin, featuring selections from works by Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett. This is a new play drawn from Irwin's award-winning production, On Beckett, which premiered at Irish Repertory Theatre in 2018. Reservations are free but required to access this digital event. A donation of $25 per viewer is suggested for those who can afford to give. To reserve a spot, click here. To read our review, click here.
2. This Sunday, November 22, the first show of Hershey Felder's new online season, A Paris Love Story, will take place at 8pm ET. The work casts Felder as Claude Debussy and will explore how Debussy's work (such as "Clair de Lune") helped usher in the new world of "musical impressionism." Buy tickets for A Paris Love Story here. Click here and here for discount packages to this and upcoming shows.
3. Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square, which Netflix will release on November 22, stars Christine Baranski as Regina, with Parton playing her angel. The cast also includes Jenifer Lewis as Margeline, Treat Williams as Carl, Josh Segarra as Pastor Christian Hathaway, Jeanine Mason as Felicity, Mary Lane Haskell as Jenna Hathaway, and Matthew Johnson as Mack. Take a look at our interview with some of the cast here, and watch the show's trailer below:
4. The Geffen Playhouse has announced its winter 2020 lineup of digital theater, part of its Geffen Stayhouse initiative. The three world premieres are Chelsea Marcantel's Citizen Detective, The Future by Helder Guimarães, and Sri Rao's Bollywood Kitchen. For tickets and more information about Citizen Detective, which runs November 10-December 20, click here. For tickets and more information about The Future, click here. For tickets and more information about Bollywood Kitchen, click here.
5. The UK's Barn Theatre production of the Stephen Sondheim revue Marry Me a Little will run online November 19-22, with tickets costing 13.50 pounds. For tickets, click here. Watch a trailer here:
6. The "Spotlight on Plays" series continues with Anton Chekov's Uncle Vanya on Thursday, November 19, at 8pm ET. This is a world premiere of Neil LaButes adaptation of Chekov's masterpiece, directed by Danya Taymor. The production stars Tony Award winner Alan Cumming as Uncle Vanya, Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn as Maria, Manik Choksi as Waffles, K. Todd Freeman as Serebryakov, Mia Katigbak as Marina, Anson Mount as Astrov, Samira Wiley as Sonya, and Constance Wu as Yelena. Tony Award winner Gabriel Ebert is the Narrator. For tickets, click here.
* Broadway On Demand will stream Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, recorded live at the Southwark Playhouse, for five performances only this Thanksgiving weekend, November 26-29. The cast features Molly Lynch (Cathy) and Oli Higginson (Jamie) with musicians Elaine Ambridge, Ryan Webber, and Andy Crick. Broadway on Demand will also stream The Home… for the holidays on Saturday, November 28, at 7:30pm ET, and The Carpenters Tribute Concert, "A Christmas Portrait," starring Sally Olson and Ned Mills, on Saturday, November 28, at 8pm ET. To watch, click here.
* Manchester, England's Hope Mill Theatre will stream its new production of Jonathan Larson's Rent during weekends this holiday season. Filmed live on stage and fully edited, the rock opera will run online Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, November 27-December 20. To purchase tickets, click here.
* Tony winner Jefferson Mays will bring his one-man A Christmas Carol to the screen in a new streaming edition that premiers on Saturday, November 28. The video will be available for replay through January 3. For tickets and more information, click here.
* Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is set to stream on World AIDS Day – Tuesday, December 1, at 5pm ET. The virtual production, featuring 51 performers, will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The event honors the lives lost to AIDS through free-verse monologues with a blues, jazz and rock score. The lineup will include Paul Castree, Richard Chamberlain, Charity Angél Dawson, Fran Drescher, J. Harrison Ghee, Gideon Glick, Lisa Howard, James Monroe Iglehart, Cherry Jones, Francis Jue, Vicki Lewis, Telly Leung, Stanley Wayne Mathis, Eric William Morris, Michael Notardonato, Okieriete Onaodowan, Kirsten Scott, Matthew Scott, Michael James Scott, Evan Todd, Mariand Torres, and Michael Xavier. There also will be special appearances by longtime Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS friends Danny Burstein, Judith Light, Billy Porter (who's also a member of the Broadway Cares Board of Trustees), and Michael Urie. To watch, click here.
* New York City Center will stream An Evening With Audra McDonald from December 9 at 7:30pm ET through December 16. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will be joined by musical director Andy Einhorn. The intimate evening will feature golden age classics and standards from the Great American Songbook. The concert will be filmed at the venue and serve as City Center's 2020 gala presentation. Pre-show festivities will begin at 6:30pm ET for donors of $2,500 or more. General tickets, costing $35, will go on sale on November 16.
* Join Broadway favorite Lesli Margherita in the stream of the critically acclaimed, off-Broadway hit Who's Holiday!, set for Friday, December 11. The evening benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Who's Holiday! tells the story of a middle-aged Cindy Lou Who, now residing in a beaten-down trailer in the snowy hills of Mount Crumpit. As she prepares to host a Christmas Eve party for her friends, she recalls her own perspective of that fateful night when she first met the Grinch, and the strange turn of events her life has taken for the past 40 years. Watch the free one-hour stream here beginning at 8pm ET. The performance will be available through December 15.
* Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) will play Scrooge in the Old Vic Theatre's live-streamed A Christmas Carol this holiday season. The production, which first ran at the Old Vic four years ago and opened on Broadway last winter, will play 16 performances, December 12-24, with 80,000 tickets available for home viewing around the world. For more information, click here.
* MCC Theater has announced a benefit performance of the Drama Desk-winning play School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play, written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Kamilah Forbes. School Girls will stream on Sunday, December 13, at 3pm ET on MCC Theater's YouTube channel. The cast include Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Wunmi Mosaku, Ashleigh Murray, Tony Award nominee Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Storm Reid, Olivier Award winner Amber Riley, and Lyric Ross. A live talkback with the cast will follow the performance for select ticket holders. For tickets, click here.
* The cast of Jagged Little Pill will reunite for a one-night concert performance benefiting regional theaters across the country. Tony-nominated stars Elizabeth Stanley, Celia Rose Gooding, Sean Allan Krill, Derek Klena, Lauren Patten, and Kathryn Gallagher, and Antonio Cipriano and more, will take the stage at Shubert Studios on Sunday, December 13 at 8pm ET. Jagged Live in NYC will be directed by Diane Paulus. They will be joined by the production's band. For tickets, click here.
* A stellar lineup of theater favorites will show there's no place like Broadway for the holidays as they welcome you into their homes and hearts during Home for the Holidays on Tuesday, December 15. Alan Cumming, André De Shields, Carolee Carmello, Lena Hall, Heather Headley, Ramin Karimloo, Karen Olivo, Jelani Remy, Conrad Ricomora, Jennifer Sanchez and the Grammy Award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices, and more will take part. The concert is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Watch the free stream here beginning at 8pm ET. The stream will be available through December 19.
* George C. Wolfe's film adaptation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the third installment in August Wilson's Century Cycle, will premiere on Netflix on December 18. It depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry through a 1920s recording session with the legendary blues singer Ma Rainey. The film, produced by Denzel Washington and Todd Black, is led by Oscar and Tony winner Viola Davis as Ma Rainey and Chadwick Boseman, in his final screen role, as Levee. Watch the trailer below:
More Streaming Channels
* In the third video in the Conversations From Away series, cast and crew of the North American touring company of Come From Away join virtually to discuss how the Black Lives Matter and trans rights movements intersect. Featured guest, Jae Rice, shares valuable insight about their work with the Brave Space Alliance in Chicago. Watch the episode below:
* Heidi Schreck's Tony-nominated What the Constitution Means to Me is airing on Amazon Prime Video. The stage production was filmed live at the Helen Hayes Theater during the final week of its Broadway run by director Mirelle Heller. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To watch on Amazon Prime, click here.
* HBO is airing Spike Lee's filmed version of David Byrne's American Utopia. The concert, which features choreography and musical staging by Annie-B Parson, includes songs from Byrne's album American Utopia along with songs from Talking Heads and Byrne's solo career. To watch on HBO via Amazon Prime, click here.
* Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster musical Hamilton streams on Disney Plus, featuring the original cast, led by Miranda as Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton. To find out how to watch, click here.