Below is the calendar of “theater openings” for May, 2020, which offers a promising mix of filmed stage productions, starry readings, live original dramas, and what I’m calling Netathons — oversized theatrical events by established artists in support of a good cause.
Putting this calendar together required a few adjustments – as has everything else in the seven weeks since the shutdown of theater buildings in New York – but there is plenty of theater this month (as long as you define theater more broadly than you might have in February.*) Most (not all) of the shows have very short runs, often just once.. Most (not all) are free, but all would appreciate a donation.
Since many companies/series/platforms scramble to plan even a week in advance these days, I’ll have to update this preview guide periodically – I hope with your help. If you have an online theater opening in May that’s not listed here, please e-mail me a title, a description and a link to details, with the subject “Show to Add to May” to my e-mail address, which you can find at the very top left corner of this page or here on my About page
Here are some of the most reliable series:
For details about these and other ongoing series, check out my post Where To Get Your Theater Fix Online
Click on the links to get more information.
A new month-long festival on WNET All Arts, with a different show every night at 10 p.m. Click here for the full schedule. The dates that follow on my calendar here will only list festival offerings that are explicitly theater (as opposed to opera or film or even documentaries about theater)
National Theatre At Home
By Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, alternating in the roles of Dr. Frankenstein and his creature. Online through May 8th.
Broadway Podcast Network
A new comedy send-up of Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel, in four installments, the first released tonight.
Felt Sad, Posted a Frog and other streams of global quarantine
Cherry Artista Collective
Six playwrights from around the world collaborate on a single work of live-streamed performance. Available online through May 9th. Tickets on a sliding scale starting at $15.
In this play by Domenica Feraud, Rachel comes home after a four-month fight for her life. One night only, live, $5 to $50.
Romeo and Juliet
Acting for a Cause
David Corenswet (the star of the new “Hollywood” on Netflix) and Margaret Qualley (Fosse/Verdon) are in the title roles with a young-tilting cast that includes Samuel H. Levine (who was terrific as two different characters in The Inheritance) Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect), Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why), and Michael Gandolfini (son of guess who; clue: soon to star in the Sopranos prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.”)
Moliere in the Park
The Moliere play that was going to be staged in Prospect Park is now going on line, through May 6. Cabin fever is setting in! Today, cantankerous bachelor Alceste has decided he must put an end to hypocrisy as a whole AND win the heart of Celimene, the most adept gossip of them all.
The All Arts Celebrates Broadway page offers videos of interest to theater lovers. On Sundays in May, WNET will be broadcasting full stage productions; on three of those four Sundays, the shows will be available on its website as well. On this first Sunday, the production is “Red,” the play by John Logan about artist Mark Rothko. On offer is actually the London production, which starred Alfred Molino and Alfred Enoch. (The Broadway cast featured Molino and Eddie Redmayne)
Playing on Air
A podcast/audio play by Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo)
Special Agents Angie Mallinson and Vince Lazar just want to assure you that nothing horrible has happened at KLWP News Hour, despite the rumors.
Crying on Television
A “platonic romcom” by R. Eric Thomas about the escalating hijinks that occur after a chance meeting in the elevator of an apartment building, between Mackenzie, a video editor, and Ellison whom she recognizes from a reality dating show 10 years earlier. One night only, live, $5 to $50.
The Witch of Edmonton
Red Bull Theater
In this adaptation of a Jacobean play, a witch, a fool, a young man, his two wives, an angry mob, and one very devilish dog intersect. A one-time, live reading.
92nd Street Y
Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron’s play filmed in 2017 at the Y. Online through May 25. $10
End Meeting for All
A fragmentary online work in three short episodes, each taking the form of a Zoom meeting.
Tiny Beautiful Things
Plays in the House
A reading of the play by Nia Vardalos. (My review of it Off-Broadway) To view, go to Stars in the House YouTube channel at 2 p.m. One-time live only. (does not stay up on site)
This first edition of at least three collections of original plays to raise funds for No Kid Hungry was created with the prompt “home” and features:
Christopher Abbott in a work by Lucy Thurber,
Utkarsh Ambudkar in a work by Qui Nguyen,
Glenn Davis in a work by Ren Dara Santiago,
William Jackson Harper in work by Max Posner,
Jessica Hecht in a work by Sarah Ruhl,
Marin Ireland in a work by Eliza Clark,
Alison Pill in a work by C.A. Johnson,
Elizabeth Rodriguez in a work by Rajiv Joseph,
Thomas Sadoski in a work by Martyna Majok
Amanda Seyfried in a work by Catya McMullen.
Starting at 7 p.m., it will be up through May 10th.
Jessica Sherr stars in a livestream of her solo show about one of Hollywood’s greatest stars on the night of the 1939 Oscars, when someone who always wants to win…. loses. 6:30 p.m.
Paul Gordon’s musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. a ‘free encore presentation and cast party.” with a pre-show at 6:45 p.m. by host Laura Osnes!
Spotlight on Plays series
Starring John Malkovich, Patti LuPone, Dylan Baker, Ethan Phillips and Michael Nichols, and written and Directed by David Mamet, this play is set a few days before the election, following the misadventures of a day in the life of U.S. president Charles Smith. One-night-only event livestreamed at 8PM EST/5PM PST on The Actors Fund YouTube channel and Broadway’s Best Shows YouTube and Facebook page.
This Ends Tonight
Broadway performer Nik Walker (Hamilton, Ain’t Too Proud) has written a play starring some of his colleagues, including James Monroe Iglehart, Alysha Deslorieux and Michael Luwoye, to tell the story of a Missouri lawman who travels to Boston to settle the score with his long-time criminal nemesis. But when plans go awry, the mismatched pair must work together to escape the frenzied city.
Reservations for this one-time only play on Zoom at 3 p.m. can be made via e-mail to email@example.com.
Antony and Cleopatra
National Theatre Live
Directed by Simon Godwin, this production of Shakespeare’s play stars Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the fated lovers. Through May 14.
The Shows Must Go On
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s musical comedy based on the Jeeves and Wooster stories by P.G. Woodhouse, in which young gentleman Bertie Wooster is frequently rescued by his manservant Jeeves. Starting at 2pm ET and for 48 hours after that.
The King and I
The subscription service is offering the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical for free starting at 8 p.m. and for 48 hours after that. It stars Kelli O’Hara, Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles, and it’s lush.
The Shape of Things
Reading of The Shape of Things, a play by Neil LaBute that’s a twisty tale of manipulation involving two couples, benefitting The Actors Fund.
Starring Lena Hall, Jonah Platt, Katie Rose Clarke, and Tim Realbuto
Featuring a Q&A with the cast and Neil LaBute. Begins at 7 p.m. on Youtube. One-time only.
How To Load a Musket
Play Per View
Drawing on a series of interviews begun by playwright Talene Monahon in 2015, the play weaves together verbatim conversations with Revolutionary and Civil War re-enactors. Live, one-time only. $5-$50
Gruesome Playground Injuries
A one-time-only live reading on YouTube of Rajiv Joseph’s play about dysfunctional friendship starring Rose Byrne and Ewen Leslie with music by John Butler, as a benefit for this Australian theater company.
Plays in the House
A reading of Noel Coward’s play starring Leslie Uggams. To view, go to Stars in the House YouTube channel at 2 p.m. One-time live only. (does not stay up on site)
Much Ado About Nothing
The Public Theater production in Central Park starring Danielle Brooks!
Playing on Air
In this audio play by by Jason Gray Platt, tech start-up Diddly has a problem: their staff is whiter than a Coldplay concert in Vermont. Fortunately, Human Resources has a plan to “improve” Diddly’s corporate culture —at least in theory.
Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
A one-time live stream from Florence, Italy to benefit 13 U.S. theaters, including the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York,, where you’ll be able to purchase a ticket for $50.
My review of the solo show when it was Off-Broadway in 2018.
Never in NY Festival, 10 p.m.
Theater director Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry asked her students to use short stories about the Indo-Pakistan Partition by classic Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto, to create a play that explores religious and gender-based violence through the lens of everyday interactions.
Covid & Incarceration
24 Hour Plays
In a variation of its usual Viral Monologues, the company is collaborating with advocacy organizations (such as the RAPP campaign) to create monologues that reflect real stories of the incarcerated during the pandemic. Cast members include: Jelani Alladin, Pascale Armand, Ato Blankson-Wood, Maggie Bofill, Madeline Brewer, André De Shields, Peter Jay Fernandez, Alex Hernandez, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Aja Naomi King, L Morgan Lee, Deirdre Lovejoy, John Clarence Stewart and Desean Terry. Playwrights: Lemon Andersen, Hilary Bettis, Jordan E. Cooper, Michael John Garcés, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, Emily Mann, Roger Q Mason, DeRay Mckesson, Tony Meneses, NSangou Njikam, Lynn Nottage, Liza Jessie Peterson, Shaka Senghor and Stevie Walker-Webb.
To Master the Art
A play about the adventures and romance of Julia Childs and her husband in Paris, which was a big hit for this Chicago company. The video was recorded of the stage production in 2013. Julia Child is portrayed by Karen Janes Woditsch, who until March 12th was portraying Professor McGonagall in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway. Tickets start at $15 (depending on what you can afford) and the video is available through June 9th.
A reading by cast members of the 2011 production of Brian Friel’s play about a blind woman who has surgery and discovers with her husband and doctor “the differences between seeing and understanding as they face the terrible consequences of a medical miracle.” Advance reservations (in the link) are required. Performances through May 15.
Never in NY Festival
A 21st century adaptation of stories by Saadat Hasan Manto, a Pakinstani writer known for tales of marginalized people’s struggles during the 1947 Indo-Pakistan Partition.
Inspired by a true story about five men that crossed the border in a boxcar, this play by Silvia González, directed by the late René Buch focuses on the men’s interaction with an immigration officer who struggles between his duties and his conscience as a son of immigrants. Presented free in Spanish with English subtitles.
The Confession of Lily Dare
Plays in the House
Charles Busch’s campy, weepy play in homage and parody of 1930s women’s pictures will be read live by the recent Off-Broadway cast. (My review of the stage production.)
Midnight Your Time
An original one-act play by Adam Brace about a retired lawyer in London named Judy who’s desperately trying to connect with her daughter who lives in Palestine. A meditation on isolation and the challenges of remote communication. Launches on the British theater’s website at 2:30 p.m.
Frankie and Will
This play by Talene Monahan, launching MCC’s new LiveLab series, stars Michael Urie as William Shakespeare and Ryan Spahn as his unpaid apprentice.
The event will be streamed at 5:30 p.m. ET on MCC’s YouTube channel and you will receive the link ahead of time if you register at the link above. Update: Here’s the video
They are putting their annual short story reading series online. Tonight’s theme: Best Laid Plans, with performers Bobby Cannavale, Maulik Pancholy, Emily Skeggs and Allison Williams Free on Symphony Space YouTube channel at 7:30 p.m.
Broadway’s Best Shows Spotlight on Plays series
Starring the original Broadway cast: Gideon Glick, John Behlman, Sas Goldberg, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Lindsay Mendez, Luke Smith and Barbara Barrie, directed by Trip Cullman, written by Joshua Harmon. All of Jordan Berman’s best friends are setting a date…and he can’t even get one. One-night-only event livestreamed at 8PM EST on The Actors Fund YouTube channel and Broadway’s Best Shows YouTube and Facebook page. My review of the show when it was on stage.
Barber Shop Chronicles
National Theatre At Home
This play by Inua Ellams of the importance of barber shops to African men by presenting scenes from them in Peckham, Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra over the course of a single day. Online free through May 21
Playwrights Horizons’ Soundscape
In this fourth installment of this audio theater series, Qui Nguyen retells the story of his parents that he initially presented in his play Vietgone (my review) through a series of imagined cutting-room-floor clips, remnants of interviews he had with them while writing Vietgone.
Box Thrree. Spool Five
Theatre in Quarantine
Joshua William Gelb plays around with Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape” for this 20 minute play performed in Gelb’s closet and presented for free on his Youtube channel.
Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom
San Diego’s Old Globe
The master clown presents his new 10-minute play in which he and Christopher Fitzgerald portray two fellows attempting to record inspirational messages with tragicomic results.Free on the Old Globe’s Youtube channel starting at 9:30 p.m. through Sunday.
Prelude to Death in Venice; Sister Suzie Cinema
The latest dip into the archives of this famous avant-garde company. “Prelude to Death in Venice” about a demented ventriloquist, and “Sister Suzie Cinema,” a 20-minute “doo-wop opera,” both by Leu Breuer. Starts at 11 a.m. on their Vimeo page, and is available until next Friday.
The Shows Must Go On
The film of the 1998 stage production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Elaine Paige and Sir John Mills. Lloyd Webber will provide live audio commentary during the show. Starting at 2 p.m. on the YouTube channel and for the following 48 hours.
Never in NY Festival
The title means “end” in Portuguese, and the four sections of Felipe Hirsch’s 2019 play dramatize the end of borders, the end of art, the end of nobility and the end of history. Staged in São Paulo, it describes the relationship between art, money and politics in contemporary Latin America
St. Ann’s Warehouse
A revival of the audio-heavy one-man play by Simon McBurney that tells the eerie true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre’s encounter with the elusive Mayoruna tribe while lost in the Amazon rainforest. The show had a run on Broadway in 2016. (My review) It will be presented through May 22.
Acting for a Cause
Christina Calvit stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel about a governess who falls for her employer. The cast is led by Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Alexander Hodge (Insecure) and Sophia Lillis (It). Live on their YouTube page.
In its second collaboration with BroadwayHD, Lincoln Center presents Dominique Morisseau’s “Pipeline,” a play about a schoolteacher (Karen Pittman) whose son (Namir Smallwood) got into a scuffle with a teacher at his boarding school and is in danger of being expelled, and arrested. As I wrote in my review in 2017, Morisseau masterfully upends the tired assumptions that might attach to such a drama, in a play that is not just smart and engaging; it is also the most literate of any I’d seen that year. Starts at 5:30 p.m., available through May 22.
Turning the Lights Back On
Manhattan high schools
Students from four NYC public high schools specializing in the performing arts (Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the Professional Performing Arts School, Talent Unlimited and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts) will act and dance and sing. Starts at 5:45 p.m.
The Way of Water
A reading of Caridad Svich’s drama about two fisherman struggling in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Tickets start at $5, and benefit the Lark and Repertorio Espanol. At 7 p.m., one-time only.
Antigone in Ferguson
As part of a full-day Marathon Celebrating New York Institutions, at 2 pm. the production at Harlem Stage of Theater of War’s adaptation of Sophocles tragedy will be presented along with cast interviews and community discussion. (I’ve written extensively about Antigone in Ferguson)
In this ten-year-old play by Geetha Reddy, Em and her kids are freaked out by then-current events – Y2K, Columbine, 9/11, Croatia, Timothy McVeigh, Iraq and the Unabomber all come into play – so they split for the woods in survivalist mode,
I And You
Plays in the House Jr.
A reading of the play by Lauren Gunderson, starring Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hansen). Q&A with the playwright after. Debut of “Plays in the House Jr.” -Readings of plays for young people performed by young people!
A darkly comic play by San Franciso playwright Trevor Allen brings the audience along for the ride as rebellious graduate student Julia retraces the route of a 1941 road trip taken by Russian novelist and Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov. Along the way, she picks up a teenaged hitchhiker and makes some surprising discoveries about herself. One-time only, 5 p.m.
Playing on Air
In this audio play by Barbara Hammond, on one beautiful summer morning, in a cool and dusty bar, two strangers seek refuge from the past. RJ is a single father, in a break from his only son’s wedding. The mysterious Sonja is patient and sympathetic, but may have her own priorities.
A one-time reading on Zoom of the 2015 play about Christian Domestic Discipline (my review when it was Off-Broadway) by a cast that includes Steven Boyer and William Jackson Harper. Written by Robert Askins and directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel (the pair responsible for Hand To God which starred Boyer), 7 pm., $5
William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus
A live-streamed reading of the tragedy using the cast from the company’s 2016 production.
A Night of Covenant House Stars
Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson are the hosts of this star-studded benefit for Covenant House, with a promise of 50 performers, including Meryl Streep, Dolly Parton, Jon Bon Jovi. Starts at 8 pm on a wide range of platforms. (I’ve linked to the YouTube channel.)
Viral Monologues, starting at 6 p.m.
Café La MaMa Live: Cope-ah-Pandemic
La MaMa’s weekly variety hour, this week with hosts Karen Finley and George Emilio Sanchez.
Written and directed by Yara Travieso, with an original musical score and libretto by Sam Crawford, La Medea transforms Euripides’ tragedy into a self-described “Latin-disco-pop-feminist variety show.” On Bric’s YouTube channel.
Plays in the House
The reading of this play by George Bernard Shaw about a love triangle — Candida, her husband a famous clergyman, and her would-be lover a poet — stars Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Andréa Burns, Santino Fontana, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jay O. Sanders and Michael Benjamin Washington. Narrated and directed by David Staller. 2 p.m. on the Stars in the House YouTube
In this one-act play by Matthew Lopez (“The Inheritance”), the second in the LiveLabs series, Katrina Lenk, Denée Benton, and Priscilla Lopez portray three women meet every September to catch up on each other’s lives and to remember the husbands they lost on 9/11. 5:30 p.m.
The Homebound Project, second edition.
Following up on its first edition (see May 6th) this collection of original plays to raise funds for No Kid Hungry, is on the theme of “sustenance” and features:
Uzo Aduba in a work by Anne Washburn
Utkarsh Ambudkar in a work by Marco Ramirez
Nicholas Braun in a work by Will Arbery
Betty Gilpin in a work by Lily Houghton
Kimberly Hébert Gregory in a work by Loy A. Webb
Hari Nef in a work by Ngozi Anyanwu
Mary-Louise Parker in a work by Bryna Turner
Christopher Oscar Peña in a work by Brittany K. Allen
Taylor Schilling in a work by Sarah DeLappe
Babak Tafti in a work by David Zheng
Zachary Quinto in a work by Adam Bock
Starts at 7 p.m., available through May 24.
The Bombshell Concert
The streaming of the 2015 concert of the musical about Marilyn Monroe that the characters were putting together in the TV series “Smash,” plus a Zoom revival of the cast. 8 p.m.
A Streetcar Named Desire
National Theatre at Home
Gillian Anderson plays Blanche DuBois with Ben Foster as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby as Stella in this production of Tennessee Williams play filmed live on stage at the Young Vic in 2014. Starts at 2 p.m., available through May 28.
Timon of Athens
Directed by Stephen Ouimette, this 2017 staging of Shakespeare’s tragedy stars Joseph Ziegler as a decent man betrayed by his friends. 7 p.m., available for a week.
Broadways Best Shows Spotlight on Plays series
Starring Bryan Cranston and Sally Field
Directed by Jerry Zaks
Written by A.R. Gurney
Andrew Makepeace Ladd III wrote his first letter to Melissa Gardner to tell her she looked like a lost princess. They were both seven years old. For the next fifty years, through personal triumphs and despair, through wars and marriages and children and careers, they poured out the secrets of their hearts to each other. One-night-only event livestreamed at 8PM EST/5PM PST on The Actors Fund YouTube channel and Broadway’s Best Shows YouTube and Facebook page. My review when it was on Broadway.
The Sound of Music Live
The Shows Must Go On!
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s channel is resurrecting the 2013 live broadcast of The Sound of Music, the first and most popular NBC live musical, starring Carrie Underwood as Maria, Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp, Audra McDonald as the Mother Abbess, Christian Borle as Max and Laura Benanti as the Baroness. Will we all live-Tweet during the streaming the way we did the TV broadcast? Starts at 2 p.m. and viewable for 48 hours. Update: At the last minute, a notice went out: This sill not be available in the United States, because of rights issues
Lower East Side Festival of the Arts
Theatre for the New City
The longtime annual street festival goes online, with more than
100 performing arts organizations, independent artists, poets, puppeteers and film makers, through May 24. Much of its available from the get-go.
Acting for a Cause
Will Roland, Taylor Trensch and Ruby Rose are among the cast in this latest live, one-time-only production by Chicago-based producer-director Brando Crawford. 5 p.m.
Theatre for a New Audience
Caryl Churchill’s 1990 play, inspired by the Romanian Revolution of the previous year, used students both to help her put it together and to perform it. Thirty years later, Bard College students were planning to stage a revival.After the shutdown, director Ashley Tata has reconciled the production, blending live performance on Zoom (with actors from Bard each performing from remote locations across the country) with recorded video. Free but advanced reservations required. 7 p.m. tonight, also May 24 at 5pm and May 27 at 3pm.
Boy meets girl on a block in the East Village,in this romantic musical comedy, which ran Off-Broadway in 2017 with much the same cast.. This is free opening night, (7 p.m. start) and then $4.99 to rent $19.99 to buy.
In Jonathan Spector’s new play, Carina has just enrolled her son at Eureka Day School in Berkeley, CA when a mumps outbreak hits the school, forcing parents to choose between their own personal beliefs and what might be best for the community. The one-time only live reading begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 (or more if you can afford.) The reading will benefit Colt Coeur theater company and No Kid Hungry
Our Lady of 121st Street
A reading of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s play, directed by Elizabeth Rodriguez, featuring Bobby Cannavale, Laurence Fishburne and original cast members Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colón-Zayas, Scott Hudson, Russell G. Jones, Portia, Al Roffe, Felix Solis, and David Zayas. Starts at 8 p.m., and stays up for 24 hours. (My review of a recent Off-Broadway production)
The Mt. Olympus of LES Love
Theatre for the New City
This live concert that is part of the 25th annual Lower East Side Festival will feature some of downtown theater’s most famous denizens, Charles Busch, Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade and Austin Pendleton, as well as F. Murray Abraham. It starts at 8 p.m. and will be followed by a “summit meeting” on “Art, Politics and Where we go from here.” The theater’s website includes videos featuring more than 250 artists in 13 categories, including drama, comedy and puppetry.
If You Win
Playing on Air
This 22-minute audio play by Emily Chadick Weiss starring John Lithgow and Steven Boyer takes place on the eve of a local election, when teacher and candidate Hal Wheelwright receives an unexpected offer from his opponent’s son. Is this an act of political sabotage or a blessing in disguise?
A live reading of this 2012 Off-Broadway children’s musical about a family that adopts an orphaned baby rabbit, who’s not as sweet and innocent as it seems, prompting the family dog and cat to take action. 2 p.m.
Do You Read Me?
Plays in the House Teen Edition
This youth-oriented comedy written by Kat Funkhause (who’s also the co-star) is about space-travel colonists trying to grow an eggplant on Mars. Live reading at 2 p.m.
A Night in November, Part 2
Irish Arts Center
The second of three installments of Marie Jones’ solo play performed by Matthew Forsythe about one man’s “imperfect but exuberant awakening in 1990s Belfast.” Released at 3 p.m. ( Part 1 is still available here; Part 3 will go up on May 31)
Live performance of Mad Forest at 5 p.m.
Lyrics and Lyricists
The latest show (recorded in February) in the 92nd Street Y long-running concert series focuses on the composer of Hello, Dolly! Mame and La Cage aux Folles. Featuring Quentin Earl Darrington, Cady Huffman, Bryonha Marie Parham, Andrea Ross, Ryan Vona, the video starts at 7 p.m. and is available for a week.
Broadway on Demand
A film of the 2017 Broadway musical starring Corey Cott and Laura Osnes, about a group of traumatized World War II veterans who form a 40’s jazz band with a Gold Star widow as their singer. Directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, the show attempts to combine an original score of period music and exciting dance with an exploration of the toll that war takes on soldiers, not just in combat but once they return to civilian life. The subject is the reason why the new platform Broadway on Demand is launching it on Memorial Day at 8 p.m. (with a pre-show at 7:30). It is pay-per-view — $6.99 rental for 24 hours. The video will be available to rent through June 2.
Viral Monologues, Round 10
24 Hour Plays
A new batch of very short original plays launching one by one starting at 6 p.m.
Never in New York Festival
The script of this play is based on fragments of letters between Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos emphasizes the conflict of power between the two queens, and how closely their hate resembled love.
Returning to Reims
Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz
The renowned German theater is streaming the English version of this stage adaptation of Didier Eribon’s memoir (which was presented at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2018.) Philospher Didier Eribon, returning to his childhood home, discovers that the left-wing and liberal middle-class have abandoned the working-class, and workers are running into the arms of the right-wing National Front. How is this possible? Starting at 12:30 p.m. ET, the two-hour video is available only until 6.
All in the Timing
Plays in the House
Nancy Opel and Robert Stanton, who were in the original 1993 Primary Stages production, re-create three of the six short plays in David Ives’ comic anthology. The Sure Thing, about an attempted pick-up in a café; The Universal Language, about a stutterer learning a new tongue; and Variations on the Death of Trotsky. Starting at 2 p.m. on AStars in the House YouTube page and available only until 6.
Last chance to see this innovative production of Caryl Churchill’s play about the Romanian revolution, live at 3 p.m.
Never in New York Festival
Euripedes’ tragedy about women in the aftermath of war was filmed at the Ancient Theatre of Delphi by Theodoros Terzopoulos, and performed by artists from Syria, Israel, Cyprus, Bosnia and Greece.
The Gifts You Gave To The Dark
In this free world premiere 25-minute play by Darren Murphy, Tom, confined to his bed in Belfast with COVID-19, is unable to visit his mother, Rose, who is dying in Dublin. So on the phone, he tells her the story of a perfect day they once shared. This is the first offering of Irish Rep is calling its “digital summer season.” It launches at 6 p.m. on the theater’s YouTube page – and will remain available until October!
Newton’s Cradle & Salaam Medina
New York Theatre Barn
As part of its New Works Series, the theater presents a 40-minute live stream excerpt of two musicals in progress. “Newton’s Cradle” by Heath Saunders and Kim Saunders tells the story of a young man on the Autism spectrum working through the loss of his mother, Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan by Rona Siddiqui (who was musical director of A Strange Loop) is a vaudevillian fantasia of bi-ethnic identity exploration in a range of musical styles, telling the story of Medina Eskandani who confronts what it means to identify as a person of color (her Middle Eastern side) when she has spent her whole life trying to be white (her Italian side) Starts at 7 p.m.
Blind Oracle of Mactan by Nathan Go
Performed by BD Wong
What It Would Look Like by Sherrie Flick
Performed by Marin Ireland
Who Is Greg Stalfa and What Does He Mean? by Rachel Yoder
Performed by D’Arcy Carden
The Eyes Have It by Philip K. Dick
Performed by Paul Giamatti
Starts at 7:30 p.m.
The first of three installments of its 2016 show “1599” inspired by the book “A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599” by James Shapiro. 7 p.m. (The others will be in June.)
National Theatre Online
In this play about British politics by James Graham, it’s 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation. Filmed live on stage in 2013. Launches 2 p.m. Free online through June 4th.
Simple Town’s play about life in a police state, which played at The Brick in March before the shut-down. 8 p.m. on the theater’s YouTube channel
Love in the Time of Corona
Billie Holiday Theater
Eight actors perform new short works about surviving the current crisis, 8 p.m. on the theater’s Facebook page.
The Shows Must Go On
Launches at 2 p.m., available for 48 hours
The 2016 NBC live TV broadcast adapting of the musical adaptation of John Waters John Waters 1988 film about body bigotry and racial injustice on a 1960s Baltimore TV dance show. The starry cast features Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Ariana Grande, Garrett Clayton, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Ephraim Sykes, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Derek Hough, Andrea Martin, Sean Hayes, Rosie O’Donnell, Billy Eichner
Stephen Petronio Company
Launches at 6 p.m.
In place of their annual gala, dance works for screen, including #GimmeShelter, created on Zoom with his remote dancers, a solo excerpt from his 1993 Full Half Wrong (performed by Jaqlin Medlock), a response of sorts to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
The Broadhurst at 100
Launches at 6:30, one-time only
A recording of the 2017 centennial tribute to Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater with original stars performing from some of the shows that played there, such as Alice Ripley (Next To Normal), Carole Demas (Grease), Howard McGillin (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Wayne Cilento (Dancin’)
Drown My Book
Launches at 7 p.m.
In 2010, Arizona House Bill 2281 banned Mexican Studies programs in the Tucson Unified School District. William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which touches on themes of colonization, indigeneity and enslavement, was somehow caught in the crossfire. Matt Barbot’s play borrow and remix words found in legal documents, public statements, interviews and Shakespeare’s plays to tell an original story of high school resistance. Part of the ninth annual Finding series.
Astoria Performing Arts Center
Launches at 7 p.m.
The latest of the theater’s original mini Musicals from the Quarantine is a parody of reality TV shows in which a contestant has to decide who to quarantine with
Broadway on Demand
Launches at 7: 30 p.m. Available until June 8.
A video of the 2015 musical about an American family forced into a Japanese internment camp, inspired by the experiences of George Takei, who is featured in the cast along with Telly Leung and Lea Salonga. This opening night includes pre-show interviews with the cast, behind-the-scenes footage and a digital download of the original cast recording. Tickets cost $14.99. After opening night, 48-hour rentals will cost $8.99
Chita: A Legendary Celebration
Launches 8 p.m.
A recording of the 2013 celebration of her 80th birthday, featuring performances by the Broadway veteran along with Tommy Tune and Ben Vereen. Inbetween the video, there will be new interviews with Rivera from her home.
Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn
A free streaming of the 2016 Broadway musical starring Bryce Pinkham, Megan Lawrence, Corbin Bleu and Lora Lee Gayer. Viewing begins at 8 p.m., accompanied by a live watch party, and will be available for 48 hours
Playing on Air
In this audio play by Ngozi Anyanwu, Jay, Bonita, and Row have gathered on the rooftop to burn the sage and drink the sacred Gatorade. To pray to the goddess Nike, and the ghosts of Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe.
Too Heavy for Your Pocket
3 p.m. live, one-time only.
In this play by Jireh Breon Holder, it is Nashville in 1961, the Freedom Riders are embarking on a courageous journey into the Deep South, and 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement.
Launches 6 p.m.
A new, live Zoom play by Matt Steinberg that follows three Facebook content moderators who are hired to work remotely during the pandemic. As they screen the site’s most violent and offensive posts, they confront the increasingly dangerous psychological effects of the job,
*My definition of theater for the purposes of this calendar does not extend to variety shows, cast reunions, galas, panel discussions, documentaries, classes, interviews (all of which are in abundance this month.) My focus here is on creative storytelling in performance. (I make an occasional exception for a high-profile Netathon,involving many theater artists.)