Theater News

What's Streaming? Hairspray Live!, a Chita Rivera Concert, the Drama Desk Awards, and More

Check out Jiréh Breon Holder’s play ”Too Heavy for Your Pocket” this Sunday.

The cast of Hairspray Live!
The cast of Hairspray Live!
(© Brian Bowen Smith/NBC)

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 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.

This Weekend

NBC's 2016 broadcast of Hairspray Live! will stream for free this weekend via the Shows Must Go On YouTube channel. It will stream for 48 hours beginning at 2pm ET on Friday, May 29. Watch below:

* Chita: A Legendary Celebration, filmed live in October 2013, will be presented as a streamed event benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and its coronavirus emergency efforts. The free broadcast will take place on Friday, May 29, at 8pm ET. To watch, click here.

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera
(© David Gordon)

* The world premiere of The Gifts You Gave to the Dark, written by Darren Murphy specifically for digital media in reaction to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, premierde on Wednesday, May 27 at 6pm ET and will remain online through October 2020. For more information, click here.

* Broadway's Julie Halston will host the new cocktail hour livestream Virtual Halston, taking place on Fridays at 5pm ET beginning May 29. Upcoming guests include Lilli Cooper (May 29), Charles Busch (June 5), Linda Lavin (June 12), Santino Fontana (June 19), and Judy Gold (June 26), with more to be announced. Donations are encouraged, with proceeds going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. To watch, click here.

* Tickets for a streaming version of the musical comedy Menopause The Musical are available through May 31. To join the virtual sisterhood, click here.

Menopause The Musical is streaming through May 17.
Menopause The Musical is streaming through May 24.
(courtesy of Menopause The Musical)

* On Sunday, May 31, at 3pm ET, Play-PerView will reunite the original off-Broadway company of Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder with original director Margot Bordelon. Featuring Eboni Flowers, Hampton Fluker, Brandon Gill, and Nneka Okafor. For tickets, click here.

Brandon Gill, Eboni Flowers, Hampton Fluker, and Nneka Okafor star in Jiréh Breon Holder's Too Heavy for Your Pocket, directed by Margot Bordelon, at Roundabout Underground.
Brandon Gill, Eboni Flowers, Hampton Fluker, and Nneka Okafor in Jiréh Breon Holder's Too Heavy for Your Pocket, directed by Margot Bordelon, at Roundabout Underground.
(© Jeremy Daniel)

* On Sunday, May 31, at 7:30pm ET, the Drama Desk Awards will stream live on their website. Presenters will include James Corden, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, and many others. Click here for a full list of nominees and click here to watch.


* Tony-winning dancer Scott Wise will launch the new Wise Conversations talk show series beginning on Saturday, June 6 at 4pm ET. The series will benefit Fineline Theatre Arts, the studio in New Milford, Connecticut, that Wise owns with wife Elizabeth Parkinson. Guests will include Jason Alexander (June 6), Martin Short, Jeremy Jordan, and more. Future conversations will take place on Saturdays at 4pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. Recommended donation is $10 for students and $20 for adults. For more information, visit Fineline's Facebook page.

* The New York Times will present Offstage: Opening Night, an event celebrating the Broadway season that was (and wasn't), Thursday, June 11, at 7pm EST. Across the expansive live program, the stage's biggest stars gather virtually to perform and discuss songs, scenes, and stories that defined a year like no other. For more information, click here.

* Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will present a virtual 5K event during the weekend of June 13-14. Participants can "run, walk, hike, bike, leap or jeté to reach 5K, as long as they move to make a difference. There is no fee to register, and each participant has a suggested minimum fundraising goal of $250." Anyone venturing outside is encouraged to follow local health and safety directives. Register here.

* Usdan, Summer Camp for the Arts will host a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday, June 17 at 6pm ET, honoring alum Seth Rudetsky and Long Island theater Ruthie Pincus of Stage the Change. The event is free, but donations are encouraged, with proceeds used to repair the camp's Lemberg Theater building. To reserve a spot, click here.

* MCC Theater will present a virtual edition of its beloved Miscast event on Saturday, June 20 at 8pm ET. During the show, Broadway's hottest stars will take the online stage and perform songs from roles in which they would not traditionally be cast. Participants are still to be announced.

Available for a Limited Time

* The Actors Fund and People magazine will stream the 2015 benefit concert of Bombshell, the musical within the short-lived television drama Smash . Watch it here:

* New York City Ballet has launched a digital season offering content through May 30. For dates and more information, click here.

* The Goodman Theatre is streaming Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play through May 31. Tickets are $20. To purchase, click here.

* Geffen Playhouse has extended The Present, its world-premiere live, virtual, and interactive theatrical experience written and performed by master illusionist, storyteller, and Geffen alum Helder Guimarães. The show will now run May 7-August 16. A mystery package will be sent to you inside a USPS Priority Mail box before the show, so you must purchase tickets at least seven days in advance. To purchase tickets, click here.

Always Available

* The global family of Rent paid tribute to the frontline heroes of New York City. Watch their rendition of "No Day But Today" here:

* Theater producer and playwright David Lan has a conversation with longtime artistic collaborator Stephen Daldry celebrating Lan's new memoir, As If By Chance: Journeys, Theatres, Lives. The conversation, a part of BAM's ongoing series of digital programs Love from BAM, can be seen here.

* More than 70 cast members from various international productions of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's musical Titanic have gathered to record a socially distant version of the ballad "We'll Meet Tomorrow." Watch it below:

* Derek Klena performs a contemporary take on "Younger Than Springtime" from South Pacific in the R&H Goes Live! series. Check out that video and the whole series here.

* The Broadway Sings series launches daily performances on its Instagram IGTV account, featuring new arrangements of iconic pop songs.

* Idina Menzel and Ben Platt perform "A Whole New World" from Disney's Aladdin as part of "The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II." Watch the video below:

* Last week, in honor of Florence Nightingale's birthday and the conclusion of Nurses week, and in celebration of our nation's healthcare workers and 2020 Year of the Nurse, the Resilient Project released their "Resilient" video.

* Wicked celebrates first responders on the front lines of the public health crisis with a video featuring stars Lindsay Pearce (Elphaba) and Ginna Claire Mason (Glinda) singing the anthem "For Good."

* Brandon Victor Dixon performed a powerful ballad inspired by the Netherlands Carillon, the bell tower at Arlington Cemetery, on May 23 for '''Fleet Week Follies''. Will Swenson and Audra McDonald introduced him. Watch his performance here:

* Composer Charles Strouse, the last surviving writer of the musical Annie, has tried to help bolster optimism by recording a video of himself performing the show's beloved anthem, "Tomorrow."

* From their homes in Ireland, the UK, the United States, Canada, Spain, Australia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia, as well as those dancers who have swapped their dancing shoes for scrubs, the Riverdance cast have come together while being apart to say thank you to all frontline and essential workers, as well as the people at home who continue to do their part in the fight against COVID-19.

* Six fans from across the globe joined the cast for a special performance in isolation.

* Abrons Arts Center has made all of its performance documentation public on its Vimeo page, alongside contact and donation information for the artists whose work you are viewing.

* Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill) talked to TheaterMania's Senior Features Reporter David Gordon. Watch the video interview below:

* TriviaMania co-host and Broadway star Ellyn Marie Marsh has teamed up with Patrick Hinds for a brand-new true-crime podcast Obsessed With: Disappeared, which will recap episodes of Investigation Discovery Channel's hit series "Disappeared" in a comedic and witty tone, with perpetrators always the butt of the joke. It will be available May 27.


* Red Bull Theater's stream of The Revenger's Tragedy in a new version by Jesse Berger was scheduled to be broadcast on Monday, June 1 at 7:30pm.

* The New 42 Virtual Gala 2020 was scheduled to be broadcast on June 1 at 5:30pm ET to raise critical funds for the performing arts engagement and education programs of New 42 and its signature projects, New 42 Studios and New Victory Theater, which recently launched New Victory Arts Breaks, a series of digital performing arts curriculum for families and teachers to adapt to kids learning spaces at home. Tony winners Laura Benanti and Celia Keenan-Bolger were set host.

* The Public Theater's stream of We Are One Public was scheduled to be broadcast on June 1. The evening was to be hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, with appearances and performances by Antonio Banderas, Anne Hathaway, Sting, Claire Danes, Glenn Close, Oscar Isaac, Sandra Oh, Audra McDonald, Danielle Brooks, Elvis Costello, Danai Gurira, and more.