The Best Live Theater to Stream Online Today

    The current crisis has had a devastating effect on the performing arts. Broadway has 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; be sure to scroll down past the daily listings to find major events that you can still stream for a limited time and, below that, a bonus section of videos that have no expiration date. We update this page every day, so please feel free to bookmark it and check back. (Refresh the bookmark every week or so for optimal use.) 

    NT Live: A Streetcar Named Desire
    Now (available through May 28 at 2pm EDT / 7pm BST)
    Thanks to its NT Live series, London’s venerable National Theatre has a treasure trove of excellent recordings of past productions—and now it is streaming one play per week for free, every Thursday on YouTube. The latest offering is Australian director Benedict Andrews’s much-buzzed-about 2014 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams’s 1947 portrait of hard times in the Big Easy, starring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as Blanche, Ben Foster (X-Men: The Last Stand) as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) as Stella. “This take on Tennessee Williams’s great American tragedy is often imbued with the air of a waking nightmare, a visceral physical manifestation of heroine Blanche DuBois’s disintegrating mind,” wrote Time Out London of the production. “The last half hour is a horrorshow tour de force, as a drunk, fragmenting Blanche staggers through a house that shifts and spins nauseatingly under her feet.”

    A Streetcar Named Desire | Photograph: Johan Persson

    Stars in the House: Laura Benanti and friends
    Monday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST
    Showtune savant and SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky (Disaster!) and his husband, producer James Wesley, are the animating forces behind this ambitious and very entertaining new series to benefit the Actors Fund, in which they play host to theater stars in live, chatty interviews interspersed with clips and songs. (Rudetsky is an expert at sussing out 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 is guest-hosted by Broadway’s strong-voiced and sharp-witted Laura Benanti (She Loves Me), who is always a plum delight.

    Laura Benanti | Photograph: Jenny Anderson

    Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
    Monday 4pm–9:30pm EDT / 9pm–2:30am BST
    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 Alex Barylski (@Alexander-Barylski) and Brandon James Gwinn (@brandonjamesg). 

    Brandon James Gwinn | Photograph: Lauren Gunn

    ★ JoyceStream: And Still You Must Swing
    Monday 5pm EDT / 10pm BST (available for 24 hours)
    The Joyce Theater hosts a continuous rotation of top dance companies from across the country and around the world. To help pass the time while it is shuttered, the Chelsea venue is sharing archival recordings of full-length productions from artists who have appeared there. (They’re calling the program JoyceStream, but may we suggest Re-Joyce?) This video, which remains live for only one day, celebrates National Tap Dance Day with selections from And Still You Must Swings, in which the sensational Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith—all of whom appeared in Broadway’s Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, among many other credits—tap, tap, tap their troubles away in a group show devoted to the history of their art form. Dancer-choreographer Camille A. Brown (Once on This Island) joins them as a special guest.

    And Still You Must Swing | Photograph: Christopher Duggan

    ★ The Metropolitan Opera: La Damnation de Faust
    Monday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
    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. Tonight the series begins its 11th week with the visionary Québécois director Robert Lepage’s eye-popping 2008 production of Hector Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, starring Marcello Giordani as the antihero whose damnable ambition leads him to strike up a deal with the Devil. (Who doesn’t love a bargain?) James Levine conducts the performance, which also stars John Relyea as Méphistophélès and Susan Graham as the innocent and doomed Marguerite.

    La Damnation de Faust | Photograph: Ken Howard

    Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show: Quarantine Edition
    Monday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST 
    Sponsored by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus gang, this exhibition of curious human endeavors features everything from stripping clowns to heavy-metal magicians. A remote edition of the vaudevillian variety pageant now hits YouTube every week. This time, Bindlestiff’s Keith Nelson hosts a lineup that comprises the Damm Family Circus, magician Lou Johnson, contortionist and juggler Kira DiPietrantonio, clown and painter Rich Potter, aerialist Candice Storley, German Wheel manipulator Chris Delgado, hula hooper Leonid the Magnificent, juggler Niels Duinker, daredevil Reggie Bugmuncher and circus historian Hovey Burgess. Contributions are welcome via Venmo (@BindlestiffFamilyCirkus). 

    Chris Delgado | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

    ★ Bandstand
    Monday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (through June 2)
    If you missed the original musical Bandstand on Broadway in 2017—as too many people did!—you now have a chance to see what you were missing. In honor of Memorial Day, Broadway on Demand is streaming the show in its entirety starting tonight, in a performance that was filmed for cinematic release in 2018. Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor’s resonant musical dances a delicate line between nostalgia and disillusion in its depiction of post–World War II soldiers, led by the engaging Corey Cott, trying to get back into the swing of things through music—with help from a comely singer played by Laura Osnes. Director-choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler’s group numbers burst with snazzy individuality, but Bandstand’s heart is in the shadows that its band of brothers can’t shake. Rentals cost $6.99 and last 24 hours; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). In a free preshow event that goes live at 7:30pm tonight, Cott discusses the show with Blankenbuehler, Oberacker, Taylor and costume designer Paloma Young.

    Bandstand | Photograph: Jeremy Daniel

    Jim Caruso’s Pajama Cast Party
    Monday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
    Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Birdland’s long-running Monday-night open mic fest Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the spotlight. The waggish Jim Caruso presides as host. Now he brings the show online via YouTube; this week’s guest list includes Broadway leading lady Betty Buckley, CBS Sunday Morning wit Mo Rocca, singer-impressionist Christina Bianco, Kenya-American singers the Moipei Triplets, musical-theater performer Bonale Fambrini and the married song-and-dance team of Nicolas Dromard and Desirée Davar. It’s free, but tips are welcome (Venmo: @Jim-Caruso-1).

    Betty Buckley | Photograph: Scogin Mayo

    Marty Thomas Presents Diva
    Monday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
    Power vocalist and human spangle Marty Thomas (Xanadu) hosts this weekly showcase for big-voiced girl singers who perform show tunes as well as pop gems. During the isolation crisis, he’s bringing the show to YouTube Live. (If the spirit moves you, you can tip him through Venmo at @Martythomaslovesyou.) This week’s edition features Marissa Rosen, Samantha Duval and Lisa Ramey, plus a guest shot by the big-voiced Bonnie Milligan, who made a triumphant Broadway debut in last season’s Head Over Heels.

    Bonnie Milligan | Photograph: Jenny Anderson

    Stars in the House
    Monday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
    See Monday 2pm. The guests at tonight’s episode have not yet been announced.

    Mondays in the Club with Lance
    Monday 9pm–1am EDT / 1am–5am BST 
    He’s worked with Alan Cumming, Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue and just about every downtown act in NYC. Now the songwriter, pianist and performer Lance Horne hosts his own wild night of piano-bar singing, storytelling and dancing at the East Village nightlife hub Club Cumming—transposed, for the time being, to the key of Crowdcast, where loyal regulars and curious visitors can keep the flame burning by making requests and singing from home. Expect show-tune geekery and advanced community spirit. The broadcast is free, but contributions to the nonprofit Orchard Project arts collective are encouraged if you can afford to give. You can also tip Horne directly via Venmo at @LanceHorne.)

    Mondays in the Club with Lance | Photograph: Jason Eason

    Stars in the House: Judy Gold and friends
    Tuesday 2pm EDT / 7pm BST
    Today’s matinee edition of the interview and performance show is guest-hosted by the brash stand-up comedian Judy Gold, whose long list of accomplishments includes two Emmy Awards (for producing The Rosie O’Donnell Show) and specials for HBO, Comedy Central and Logo.  

    Judy Gold | Photograph: Eric Korenman

    Signal Online 
    Tuesday 2:30pm EDT / 7:30pm BST
    The quarterly London showcase for emerging musical-theater writers is now a live bimonthly virtual event. This edition includes tunesmiths not only from the U.K. but also from the U.S., Canada and Australia; Writers from Australia, Canada, USA and across the UK will present work on 26th May including: Luke Bateman and Michael Conley, Stu Barter and Amber Hsu, Christian Czornyj, Sean Donehue, Francesca Forristal & Jordan Clarke, Tim Gilvin and Alex Kanefsky, Matt Harvey and Jessie Linden, Julian Hornik, Germaine Konji and Ben Page, Laura Murphy, Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage, Emily Rose Simons, Zoe Sarnak and Sheep Soup. The concert is free but if you choose to pay for a ticket, the proceeds will help support writers. 

    Michael Conley | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

    Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
    Tuesday 4pm–9:30pm EDT / 9pm–2:30am BST
    See Monday 4pm. Tonight’s scheduled pianists are James Merillat (@James-Merillat-2) and Franca Vercelloni (@Franca-Vercelloni).

    CyberTank Variety Show  
    Tuesday 4pm EDT / 9pm BST 
    The Tank, one of NYC’s premiere incubators of emerging talent, rolls forward with a weekly multidisciplinary variety show and discussion group, in which artists are welcome to participate remotely. The theme of this week’s episode is rejected ideas.

    ★ The VT Show: Brandon Victor Dixon
    Tuesday 5pm EDT / 10pm BST
    In its distinguished history, the East Village’s Vineyard Theatre has given us such shows as How I Learned to Drive, Three Tall Women, Avenue Q and the recent Dana H. In this brand-new weekly series, past and future Vineyard artists offer insights into their creative process. Today, The superb singer-actor Brandon Victor Dixon—who has memorably appeared in The Color Purple, Shuffle Along, Hamilton and the TV broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar—shares stories and songs from his career, including the Vineyard’s premiere production of The Scottsboro Boys.

    Brandon Victor Dixon | Photograph: Dario Calmese

    The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues 
    Tuesday 6pm EDT / 11pm BST
    Since 1995, the 24 Hour Plays series has set itself a challenge: to write, cast and perform new playlets in the span of a single night and day. In this weekly variation on that theme, writers create 24 monologues or two-handers for actors who record them and send them in for online broadcast. On Tuesdays from 6pm through midnight, a new piece goes live every 15 minutes on the 24 Hours Plays’ Instagram feed, where they remain viewable afterward. 

    54 Below at Home: Another Opening, Another Debut! 
    Tuesday 6:30pm EDT / 11:30pm BST (live only)
    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 54 Below at Home. Tonight’s edition is a 2018 group show that spotlights performers who took their first Broadway bows in the season before—including Once on This Island’s Isaac Powell and Hailey Kilgore, Frozen’s Jelani Alladin and The Band’s Visit’s Ari’el Stachel (who won a Tony a month later), plus Colin Anderson, DeMarius R. Copes, Jenny Laroche, Cheech Manohar, Kate Marilley, Mike Millan, Brian Ray Norris, Rachel Prather, Ayla Schwartz and Abby C. Smith. Ben Caplan is the musical director.

    Isaac Powell | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

    Café La MaMa Live: Take 7
    Tuesday 7pm EDT / 12am BST
    In the spirit of the coffeehouse culture from which much of the Off-Off Broadway scene emerged, La MaMa’s weekly series gives writers, dancers, poets and musicians a digital stage in real time. This week’s edition, curated and hosted by Kate Siahaan-Rigg, celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month with performers including Marc de la Cruz, Kristina Wong, EJ Zimmerman and the joyfully scandalous Raven O.

    Kate Siahaan-Rigg | Photograph: Courtesy Helen Tansey

    Piano Bar Live!
    Tuesday 7:15pm EDT / 12:15am BST 
    Before the current isolation situation, Scott Barbarino’s Piano Bar Live! was already devoted to streaming piano bar entertainers at Brandy’s and the Duplex to folks cooped up at home. Now the series goes fully virtual. Michael McAssey hosts a lineup that includes Marta Sanders, Leanne Borgeshi, Amy Armstrong, Freddy Allen, Collin Yates and Michael Kirk Lane.

    The Metropolitan Opera: Ernani
    Tuesday 7:30pm EDT / 12:30am BST (available for 23 hours)
    See Monday 7:30pm. In tonight’s selection, Verdi’s Ernani, Angela Meade stars as Elvira, a young woman torn among three suitors: the sexy bad boy Ernani (Marcello Giordani), the rich and old de Silva (Ferruccio Furlanetto) and the King of Spain (Dmitri Hvorostovsky). Marco Armiliato conducts this 2012 telecast.

    Ernani | Photograph: Marty Sohl

    Ganymede Revisited  
    Tuesday 7:30 pm EDT / 12:30am BST
    In this online offering from the Tank, playwright Frank J. Avella presents a triptych of short works on queer neoclassical themes, set in the past, present and future. Ganymede explores the possible May-December (or is it July-August?) relationship between Julius Caesar and his nephew Octavius, the future Augustus; Catamitus looks at a modern film star and a victim of his sexual misconduct; and Gaia imagines a future in which women run the world without men.

    Cast member Carlotta Brentan | Photograph: Ashley Garrett

    New York City Ballet: Donizetti Variations
    Tuesday 8pm EDT / 1am BST (available for 72 hours)
    Instead of its planned six-week season at Lincoln Center, City Ballet’s is providing a month and a half of digital offerings, including workshops and movement classes as well as streamed recordings of pieces from its repertoire every Tuesday and Friday. The final week’s first offering is George Balanchine’s fast-paced and light-hearted 1960 Donizetti Variations, a 25-minute ballet set to music from Donizetti’s final opera, Dom Sébastien. Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette lead the company in this recording.

    Donizetti Variations | Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    Amber Martin: Ambyoke
    Tuesday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
    The multitalented Amber Martin, a chameleonic performer with a killer voice, is a significant player in the downtown alt-cabaret scene, and she’s not going to let a little quarantine slow her down. Currently nesting with her mother in Texas, Martin holds a weekly hang session on Facebook, in which she sings favorites and requests to karaoke tracks and chats with fancy guest stars.(You can tip her through Venmo at @Amber-Martin-101.) This week’s remote visitor is the usky-voiced rock belter Large, who made her name on the TV show Rock Star: Supernova and is also known for her vagina-power novelty hit “8 Miles Wide” and her work with the cabaret supergroup Pink Martini.  

    Amber Martin | Photograph: Rayon Richards

    Stars in the House: Star Trek: Voyager 25th-anniversary cast reunion 
    Tuesday 8pm EDT / 1am BST
    Tonight’s edition of Stars in the House strays from the series’s usual theatrical focus to reunite spaces cases from the late-’90s UPN adventure series Star Trek Voyager, including  Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, Roxann Dawson, Robert Beltran, Robert Duncan McNeill, Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips and Garret Wong. 

    Kate Mulgrew | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

    Peter Galperin: Concert in Quarantine
    Tuesday 8pm EDT / 1am BST 
    Musical-theater composer Peter Galperin performs a live concert that includes material from two New York City–themed shows: Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses, which was produced Off Broadway in 2017, and the work-in-progress The Last of The Mannahattas: A Musical Tale of the 22nd Century. Donations to the National Jewish Health COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund are encouraged. 

    Peter Galperin | Photograph: Courtesy of the artist

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