October 2020 Theater Openings

Check out listings for October 29

 

Below is the day-by-day calendar of “theater openings”* in October 2020. During this seventh full month when “theater” mostly means “online,” Audra McDonald and Hillary Clinton are headlining an event entitled “How I Miss Broadway” (Oct 1),  but some Broadway is actually happening  — “What The Constitution Means to Me” (Oct 16) — albeit with a twist or two: Scenes from “Angels in America” (Oct 8) will feature a starry (mis)cast,  with Glenn Close as Roy Cohn and Patti LuPone as an angel.  Meanwhile, Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin and Ashley Park are among the young stars who will play college students three years into the quarantine (!) in “The Party Hop” (Oct 3), which is one of the many original new short works that plunge into the current moment — “Hell is Other People’s Zoom Weddings” (Oct 9.) is another.  When else but in this surreal moment of claustrophobia shared around the world can you attend a play about putting together a play during the pandemic, by players in Singapore (Oct 15)?

Several ongoing series have been consistent in quality and output, most of them newly created during the pandemic, or reinvented for this moment.

Theater of War Productions (October 2, 7, 14, 17)  use classic plays to drive community discussions of urgent issues — long a useful company, now crucial when it’s gone online and the issues it illuminates include health and death and tyranny.

Play-PerView   ( Oct 3 and 10.)

Viral Monologues from 24 Hour Plays (some 10 short new monologues almost every Tuesday)
Playing on Air, has offered original audio plays with starry casts since 2012. They keep their old ones on their site.

 

 Stars in the House, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s daily variety and talk show since the pandemic began, fairly reliably presents Plays in the House — Zoom readings of well-known plays, often classics — on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons…and a Sunday matinee for teenagers.

And these shows are just what we know about now. Since physical theaters were shut down in March, many shows are put together at the last minute, sometimes not even announced until the very day of their launch. (And there have been last-minute cancellations too.) Even the reliable Metropolitan Opera only announces its free online offerings for a week at a time. That’s why  I will be updating this preview guide every day, and highlighting the offerings each new day with a new link up top. This calendar as of this moment offers a glimpse of what’s in store. Come back day by day for a better look. (Some of the plays listed do require advance reservation.)

A reminder that this calendar lists when the shows “open.” Some are live and available only for that one performance. Some are repeated live over several dates. Other shows are available as recordings for four days, or a week, or longer.  (I’ll put down how long they’re available, if I know.)

*My definition of theater for the purposes of this calendar generally does not extend to variety shows, cast reunions, concerts, galas, panel discussions, documentaries, classes, or interviews — of which there are plenty, many worth checking out. My focus here is on creative storytelling in performance. (I make an occasional exception for a high-profile Netathon,involving many theater artists, or a novel event.)

October 1

Correspondences
HERE
Free outdoor, performance-based installation in Astor Place

How I Miss Broadway
New York Times’ Offstage
7 p.m.
Theater reporter Michael Paulson talks first with Hillary Clinton about her love of theater, then moderates a discussion with Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller and Danielle Brooks in this third event in the Times’ new series. RSVP.

Romeo and Juliet, part 2
NAATCO
7 p.m.
A reading of part 2 at Two River Rising (part 1 was yesterday) featuring Tina Chilip, Joel de la Fuente, Stephanie Hsu, David Huynh, Vanessa Kai, Mia Katigbak, Andrew Pang, Jon Norman Schneider, Mitchell Winter, and Jeena Yi. Chay Yew directs.

Virtual Selected Shorts: Kevin Kwan
Symphony Space
7:30 pm
Kevin Kwan, author of “Crazy Rich Asians,” curates and plays host to an evening of short fiction from writers who have influenced and inspired his work, including Doretta Lau, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf. With performances by Bebe Neuwirth, Annie Q. and Michael Urie.

Don’t Exaggerate
PTP/NYC
7:30 p.m. Available through October 4
In this 40-minute poetic play by Howard Barker, Robert Emmet Lunney portrays a World War I soldier who returns from the dead to 20th century A WWI soldier returns from the dead. The play is subtitled “(desire and abuse) A Political Statement in the Form of Hysteria.”

Mozart’s The Magic Flute
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m., available for 23 hours

Hear Our Voices
Viva Broadway
8 p.m. Available until October 5
In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, this star-studded concert features performances by “In The Heights” original cast members joined by Anthony Ramos, the star of the forthcoming movie, as Broadway-bound musicals and new work.

Spunk
Hedgepig Ensemble Theater’s Expand the Canon
A reading of Zora Neale Hurston’s play, expanded from the writer’s own 1925 short story about romance in the Black community of a small Southern town

Together LA A Virtual Stage Festival
10 p.m.
This theater festival, which runs tonight through October 17, features 10-minute works from 34 LA-based theater companies, taking place on Twitch (RSVP required). Tonight’s offerings: Ammunition Theatre Company’s The Token by Bernardo Cubria, The Fountain Theatre’s Talking Peace by France-Luce Benson, Lower Depth Theatre’s whas a rat to do by Nambi E. Kelley, Company of Angels’Class of 2020 by Lisa Loomer, Echo Theatre Company’s abrazame pendeja by Bernardo Cubria, IAMA Theatre Company’s You Didn’t Die by John Lavelle.

American Utopia

October 2

Lights Out and Oh, This is Rich
Mile Square theater
$15
Available for 48 hours
A thirty-minute double bill by this first-rate Hoboken theater company. In Lights Out by Audley Puglisi, two friends meet online to share ghost stories deep into the night. In “Oh, This is Rich!” by Kevin R. Free, it’s 2024 and a conspiracy theorist is reluctantly logging onto Zoom, where he meets the famous Q of conspiracy lore. But who, or what, Q really is turns his world upside down.

Antigone in Ferguson
Theater of War
5 p.m. live only
Yet another live presentation of this intense and provocative adaptation of Sophocles tragedy in response to the 2014 death of Michael Brown, by a company founded by Bryan Doerries that uses classical plays to prompt community discussions about urgent issues. The cast this time features Tracie Thoms, Jason Isaacs, De-Rance Blaylock, Duane Foster, Willie Woodmore, Nyasha Hatendi, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Jumaane Williams, and The Antigone in Ferguson Choir. Requires advance reservations.

Do Lord Remember Me
New Federal Theater
7 p.m. Available through October 4
The first of the company’s Octoberfest, a month-long series of Friday-night readings of past productions that illuminate social injustice in America, this play by James DeJongh is based on 1930s recordings of interviews with former slaves in Virginia.

Help Wanted
Elemental Women’s Productions
$10-$20
7 p.m.
Virtual reading of Agyeiwaa Asante’s play about a young educated couple in a troubled marriage who hire a sexual surrogate.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m, available for 24 hours

Rhinoceros
City Garage
8 p.m. ET
The California theater company’s streaming of its 2007 production of Eugene Ionesco 1957 absurdist play where citizens suddenly become jungle animals.

October 3

Will Eno’s Title and Deed
Play-PerView
3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
A live remount at 3 p.m. of Signature’s production featuring Conor Lovett (“Father Ted”) under the direction of Judy Hegarty Lovett (Artistic Director, Gare St Lazare Ireland), and coming to you live from a cave on the outskirts of a small town in France. At 9 p.m., Eno himself will perform the play, and that will remain online.

The Party Hop
Dramatists Play Service
A young starry cast including Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin and Ashley Park portray college students making the rounds of virtual parties three years into quarantine in this 45-minute play by Natalie Margolin. on the Dramatist Play Service’s YouTube channel.

Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m., available for 23 hours

The Clod
Metropolitan Playhouse
8 p.m.
A virtual reading of a 30-minute comedy from 1918 by Lewis Beach about a Northern spy who sneaks into a Southern home during the Civil War.

October 4

Mozart’s Idomeneo
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

A Land Without Weather
Guild Hall
A reading by some dozen actors of stories from playwright Dipti Bramhandkar about life under quarantine based on interviews with residents of New York City and of the East End of Long Island.

October 5

Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The first in the Met’s week-long presentation of operas by the nineteenth century German German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor Richard Wagner

October 6

Wagner’s Tannhäuser

Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

Lessons in Survival, Part 1, Ep 1
Vineyard
8:30 p.m.
EP 1: “Survival Is Not A One Time Decision”
Nina Simone; Lorraine Hansberry; Audre Lorde/Blanche Cook

October 7

Unbought and Unbossed:Reclaiming Our Vote
National Black Theatre
A continuation of the “micro commissions,”  grounded in the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, written by Ngozi Anyanwu, Hope Boykin, Mahogany L. Browne, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, and Dianne Smith. A new multidisciplinary work will be presented every Wednesday through October (leading up to Election Day) and  remain online.

Theater of War for Frontline Medical Workers
Theater of War Productions
1 p.m.
Excerpts of Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Women of Trachis to stimulate discussion of the current health crisis.

Origin Story
Paula Vogels Bard at the Gate
7 p.m. Available through October 11
Dan LeFranc’s play is set in the town of Nowheresville as two teenagers set out to solve a crime with the only clues provided by an eponymously titled comic book, illustrated by the mysterious Pronoun. Stars Anula Navlekar, Brandon E. Burton, Edmund Donovan, and Zoe Mann.

Wagner’s Das Rheingold
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

Opening Night Gala
Carnegie Hall
7:30 p.m.
A virtual celebration of the opening night of the 130th season, featuring Jon Batiste, Joyce DiDonato, Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Feinstein, Renée Fleming, Rhiannon Giddens and Our Native Daughters, Angélique Kidjo, Lang Lang, Wynton Marsalis, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, James Taylor, Michael Tilson Thomas

(vice presidential debate at 9 p.m.)

October 8

Color Between the Lines: Good Trouble
Irondale
7 p.m.
this work that documents the forgotten abolitionist heroes of Brooklyn through a series of short musical vignettes, will stream in 4 parts, every Thursday, Oct 8-29, under the 2020 lens of BLM and civil unrest in America. With short 20-minute segments streaming each week, Irondale will also hold a panel discussion with key Brooklyn figures– Attorney General Letitia James, the former Executive Director of the Brooklyn Historical Society and more.

Showgasm
Ars Nova
7 p.m.
Sonia Denis is this month’s  host for this variety show and party

The House in Scarsdale
PTP/NYC
7:30 p.m. Available through October 11
Dan O’Brien’s “memoir for the stage” is described as an American gothic tale.

Wagner’s Die Walküre
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America
8:30 p.m.
This benefit for Amfar features Glenn Close as Roy Cohn, Lois Smith as
the young Mormon wife Harper Pitt, as well as Nikki James, Patti LuPone, Daphne Rubin Vega, and playwright Jeremy O. Harris, among many others. It will be presented on Broadway.com.

October 9

The Phantom of the Opera
The Shows Must Go On
2 p.m. Available for 48 hours
The 25th-anniversary mega-mounting of The Phantom of the Opera, filmed live at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2011, starring Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess.

Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington
New Federal Theatre
7 p.m. Available until Sunday
A reading of Clare Coss’s drama about two of the founders of the NAACP, W.E.B. DuBois and white suffragist Mary White Ovington, portrayed respectively by Peter Jay Fernandez and Kathleen Chalfant.

Julius Caesar
St. Ann’s Warehouse
7 p.m. Available to October 15
A video of director Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female production of “Julius Caesar,” from the Donmar Warehouse in London starring the great English actress Harriet Walter, as if performed by the inmates of a women’s correctional facility. The effect is intense, with the remarkable all-female, multiracial cast of 14 thrusting us into Shakespeare’s tragedy as if there is no escape.
This is the first of the director and star’s Shakespeare trilogy filmed stage productions.

Hell is Other People’s Zoom Weddings by Dustin Chinn
Mile Square Theater
$15
Gene and Ada find themselves in a Zoom wedding breakout room together after not having seen each other for over ten years. Through the awkward encounter, they discuss love, religion, marriage, and finding true happiness through the “quar”.
The Gentleman from Philly by Chris O’Connor
Quarantine has put Chad in a tough financial position. When he calls his mom to dig out his old baseball collection so he can sell them, she has to break some bad news to him. A lighthearted, witty comedy about family, nostalgia, and letting go.

Wagner’s Siegfried
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

The third opera in the iconic Ringcycle centered on the tragic title hero (played by Siegfried Jerusalem) who’s trapped by fate. Hildegard Behrens and James Morris costar.

Venus Smiles Not in the House of Tears
Joe’s Pub
8 p.m.
Songs and stories about love, loss and memory by Samora Pinderhughes and Jack DeBoe, created during the pandemic.

 

October 10

Concert by original Six stars
4:30 p.m. ET
The original stars of the West End production of SIX will reunite for a live concert, presented in-person to a socially distant audience at London’s Oval Space and live streamed to over 100 countries. Tickets available on Thespie

Patrick Heusinger, rear, and Patrick Breen in 2010 on Broadway

Next Fall
Play-PerView

7 p.m. Available through November 15
The 10th Anniversary Broadway reunion reading of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts (Artistic Director, Naked Angels) featuring the entire original cast led by Patrick Heusinger (“Absentia,” “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce”), and directed by Sheryl Kaller (Mothers and Sons). The play is about two gay men in a committed relationship, with one, Luke, being devoutly religious and the other, Adam, an atheist. The play revolves around their five-year relationship. (My review when it was on Broadway in 2010.)

Wagner’s Götterdämmerung
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

Coastal Disturbances
Stars in the House’s Plays in the House
8 p.m. Available through Tuesday
Annette Bening reprises her 1987 Broadway role (along with much of the original cast) in Tina Howe’s play about a romance, set on a private Massachusetts beach. Directed by Bening, and starring her, Jonas Abry, Timothy Daly, Jean De Baer, Angela Goethals, Ronald Guttman, Heather Mac Rae, Mary Kay Place and Ed Begley Jr.

October 11

The Apollo
Brooklyn Public Library
The Emmy winning documentary about the Apollo Theater Harlem.

Hold Onto Me Darling
Stella Adler Academy
7 p.m. live
$10
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Cera and Gretchen Mol star in a live benefit reading of Kenneth Lonergan’s 2016 play about a narcissistic country music star thrown into an existential crisis after his mother dies.

Wagner’s Parsifal
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours

October 12

American Moor
Red Bull
7:30 p.m.
Keith Hamilton Cobb performs in his play about an African-American actor responding to the demands of role he long resisted, that of Othello. (My review when it was at the Cherry Lane)

Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.”
Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Taken during the January 26, 2009 performance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
The Met launches a week of Donizetti operas with Mary Zimmerman’s mounting of this tragedy about a woman (portrayed by Anna Netrebko) driven mad because she cannot marry the man she loves

October 13

Give Me Your Hand
Irish Rep
7 p.m. through October 18
Dearbhla Molloy and Dermot Crowley, take audiences on a virtual stroll through London’s National Gallery, using the poems of Paul Durcan

Why Would I Dare: The Trial of Crystal Mason
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
7 p.m. Available through November 2
a virtual reading of the court transcript from the 2018 trial of Crystal Mason, who, released form prison, attempted to vote in the 2016 election but was arrested and accused of casting a fraudulent vote.

Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
A comedy about headstrong young woman who has been raised among a French army regiment, who disapprove of her having fallen in love with a villager.

October 14

Unbought and Unbossed:Reclaiming Our Vote
National Black Theatre
A continuation of the “micro commissions,”  grounded in the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, written by Ngozi Anyanwu, Hope Boykin, Mahogany L. Browne, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, and Dianne Smith. A new multidisciplinary work will be presented every Wednesday through October (leading up to Election Day) and  remain online.

The King Lear Project
Theater of War Productions
2 p.m.
A starry cast read an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play as a launching-point for a community discussion of caregiving and death.

Origin Story
Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate
7 p.m.
In this play by Dan LeFranc, the fourth in Vogel’s series of resurrected plays she cherishes, two teenagers try to use a comic book to solve a crime. The cast features Brandon E. Burton, Edmund Donovan (who was splendid, as always, in Vogel’s last reading, “Bulrusher”), Zoe Mann, and Anula Navlekar.

Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Broadway’s Best Shows’ Spotlight on Plays
8 p.m. Available for 72 hours.
A Secretary of State and a U. S. Senator contend for the Presidential nomination and, most importantly, for the endorsement of a colorful and canny ex-President. The starry cast for this Actors Fund benefit features:
Elizabeth Ashley, Reed Birney, Matthew Broderick, Katie Finneran,Morgan Freeman, Julie Halston, Stacy Keach, Robert Krulwich, John Malkovich, Zachary Quinto,Phylicia Rashad, Robert Sella, Lee Wilkof, Vanessa Williams, Whitney Winfield with Sean Close, Travoye Joyner, Jered McLenigan, TJ Wagner. Directed by Michael Wilson.

October 15

Waiting For The Host,
Pangdemonium
8 a.m. ET Available through November 1
roughly $32
Live from Singapore, this play by Marc Palmieri depicts an unorthodox union of unusual suspects congregateing online, on Zoom, on a mission to stage a play.

Inter/stellar and Love is the Message
National Black Theater

That Kindness: Nurses in their Own Words
Brooklyn Academy of Music
7 p.m., on view for 96 hours
A new virtual play created by V (formerly known as Eve Ensler),
honoring nurses’ selfless act of service and revealing testimonies from
the front lines of the Covid 19 pandemic. Featuring performances by Ed Blunt, Connie Britton, Rosario Dawson, Stephanie Hsu, LaChanze, Liz Mikel, Rosie O’Donnell, Billy Porter, Dale Soules, Marisa Tomei, and Monique Wilson, with original music by Morley and company. This will be simultaneously presented by theaters across the country

We Are Still Human
Lifestage, Inc.
7:30 p.m.
The latest in the weekly solo series, Totally True Things: A Socially Conscious Storytelling Show, Helena Lewis explores through narrative story telling, poetry, and monologues the marginalized voices of incarcerated women.

Far Away
PTP/NYC
7:30 p.m.
Caryl Churchill’s 2000 play depicts a few fearful characters going about their business (mostly hat making) in a dystopian society whose horrors are only glimpsed.

October 16

What the Constitution Means to Me
Amazon Prime Video
A film of the amusing, angry and pointed play by Heidi Schreck about her encounter with the U.S. Constitution, as a young student, and now. (My review when it was Off-Broadway.)

Shipwreck
Public Theater
noon
In this new audio drama by Anne Washburn, a group of liberal friends gathered at an upstate farmhouse on a day of crystalline beauty. While the weather outside grows increasingly apocalyptic and the conversation within grows precariously honest, the group discovers that in turbulent times, every dinner invitation comes at a cost. An open-ended run.

Isabella Rossellini’s Sex and Consequences
7 p.m.
$15
Streamed live from her Long Island farm, this 40-minute comedy about biodiversity sounds like a companion piece to her Green Porno a couple of years back.

From The Mississippi Delta
New Federal Theatre
7:30 p.m. Available until Sunday
Endesha Ida Mae Holland’s autobiographically-derived play about her experiences during the civil rights movement.

Henry IV
St. Ann’s Warehouse
7:30 p.m. available to October 22
The second of director Phyllida Lloyd and star Harriet Walter’s Shakespeare trilogy on film.

Sticks & Stones
Broadway Cares
8 p.m. Available through October 20
Audra McDonald, Javier Muñoz and George Salazar and an ensemble of more than 100 young performers star in this “concert premiere” of a new musical by John McDaniel and Scott Logsdon adapts the David and Goliath Biblical tale for a story about teen bullying.

 

Voices International Theater Festival
Jersey City Theater Center

Uncommon Women and Others
Playbill.com
8 p.m.
$15
The first of three plays by Wendy Wasserstein honoring what would have been her 70th birthday, to benefit TDF’s Wendy Wasserstein Project, which brings high school students to theater. In this play, a group of friends—all alumnae of Mount Holyoke College (Wasserstein’s alma mater)—meet for lunch in 1978 (five years after graduation, for most of them). As they reminisce about their time on campus, we travel in time back to 1972-73 in a series as seven seniors and one freshman “discover themselves” in the wake of the feminist movement.

October 17

Isn’t it Romantic
Playbill.com
8 p.m.
$15
The second of three plays by Wendy Wasserstein honoring what would have been her 70th birthday, to benefit TDF’s Wendy Wasserstein Project, which brings high school students to theater. In this play, Janie Blumberg and her WASP friend, Harriet Cornwall, have graduated college and are ready to take on the world. But their post-college careers and personal lives are fraught with more problems than prosperity. Both struggle to escape lingering parental domination and to establish their own lives and identities in Manhattan in the early ’80s.

American Utopia
HBOMax
8 p.m.
David Byrne’s Broadway show filmed by Spike Lee during its run at Broadway’s Hudson Theater

October 18

Heidi Chronicles
Playbill.com
7 p.m.
$15
The third of the three plays by Wendy Wasserstein honoring what would have been her 70th birthday, to benefit TDF’s Wendy Wasserstein Project, which brings high school students to theater. This Tony and Pulitzer-winning play tracks Heidi Holland from high school in the 1960s to her career as a successful art historian more than 20 years later. From small meetings to mobilize to the feminist cause to lunches with these same ladies years on, The Heidi Chronicles exposed the internal battle many women feel as they balance desires for careers, friendships, and families.  (My review of the recent Broadway revival.)

Circle Jerk
Fake Friends
7:30 p.m.
Broadcast live from MITU580 in Gowanus, Brooklyn, for six live-streamed performances, October 18–23, followed by a rebroadcast available for on-demand viewing from October 24 – November 7,.
Billed as a queer comedy about white gay supremacy, this multi-camera, live-streamed performance investigates digital life and its white supremacist discontents. A homopessimist hybrid of Ridiculous theater and internet culture, it tells the story of gay right-wing trolls and the algorithms they invent to spread their agenda.

October 19

Keene
Red Bull
7:30
In this play by Anchuli Felicia King, it’s love at first sight for Kai, a Japanese musicologist, when she spies Tyler, the only student of color in his PhD cohort, at a Shakespeare conference. Each night, while Tyler dreams he is the subject of his thesis: Ira Aldridge, the first black man to play Othello, Kai dreams of Tyler

Conflict
Mint Theater
Available through November 1
The HD recording of the Mint’s production of this 1925 political love story by Miles Malleson (1888-1969, largely known as a character actor) , about a woman who is lovers with a Conservative candidate for Parliament, whose opponent believes passionately in social justice. She is caught in-between them. “Politics become personal, and mudslinging threatens to soil them all.”

October 20

Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy
Theater Works Hartford/Theatersquared/The Civilians
7:30 p.m.
$20.20
A multimedia collaborative play by Sarah Gancher inspired by the actual transcripts from the Russian government-backed Internet Research Agency in the run-up to the 2016 election. There will be five live performances through October 24, with encore viewing on demand through November 2 (the day before Election Day.)

Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth
Broadway’s Best Shows’ Spotlight on Plays
8 p.m.
Starring Lucas Hedges, Paul Mescal, Grace Van Patten. Directed by Lila Neugebauer. (My review of the recent Broadway production)

 

 

October 21

Unbought and Unbossed:Reclaiming Our Vote
National Black Theatre
A continuation of the “micro commissions,”  grounded in the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, written by Ngozi Anyanwu, Hope Boykin, Mahogany L. Browne, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, and Dianne Smith. A new multidisciplinary work will be presented every Wednesday through October (leading up to Election Day) and  remain online.

Virtual Selected Shorts: On the Trail with Jordan Klepper
Symphony Space
7:30 pm Available through November 3
$16
Every four years, journalists try to make sense of the nation’s biggest story: the race for the presidency. With one of the country’s most consequential elections on the horizon, Selected Shorts considers the twists and turns of campaigns past—the in-fighting and back-biting, the leads blown and punches thrown—to help make sense of the present. Collecting excerpts and stories from writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper hosts an evening of readings about a world he knows from the inside out. Performers include Samantha Bee, Alexandra Petri, Roy Wood, Jr., and more.

NYSEEING 2020
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
8 p.m.
$10
evening of monologues & music dedicated to NYC will feature work by a dozen theater artists, including Neil LaBute, Migdalia Cruz and Kevin R. Free.

Heroes of the Fourth Turning
8 p.m. Repeated each night through October 24
Slave Play playwright Jeremy O.Harris is producing a replay of this Pulitzer finalist play by Will Arbery about a reunion of conservative Catholics in Wyoming. This was well-done both at Playwrights Horizons and online at Play-PerView

Death of a Salesman
Playbill
8 p.m. Available through October 25
The 1999 Tony-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s tragedy, starring Brian Dennehy under the direction of Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls, was captured on film in 2000 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre for Showtime. It’s now being streamed as a fundraiser for the Actors Fund.

In Our America: Concert for the Soul of America
Broadway for Biden
Featuring Billy Porter, Judith Light, Derrick Baskin, Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, Glenn Close, Chuck Cooper, Darren Criss, André De Shields, Renée Elise Goldsberry, John Goodman, Jayne Houdyshell, Jennifer Hudson, James Monroe Iglehart, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Norman Lear, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Karen Olivo, Ashley Park, Steven Pasquale, Carrie Preston, Kelani Queypo, Chita Rivera, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Phillipa Soo, Ephraim Sykes, BD Wong, the Broadway Dreams Foundation Choir, and the casts of ‘Six’ and ‘KPOP,’

October 22

Jason Dirden and Nikiya Mathis in Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew
Atlantic
7 p.m. Repeated 10/23 & 10/24
A reading by most of the original cast of this play by Dominique Morisseau, the compelling final play in her Detroit trilogy, which focuses on the struggles of a group of Detroit auto workers at a plant that is in danger of shutting down.“Know what’s left…?” one of the characters says. “The soul…I’m running on soul now.”  Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the production features original cast members Jason Dirden, Wendell B. Franklin, Nikiya Mathis, and Adesola Osakulumi, along with new cast member Caroline Clay.

Fish out of Agua
Lifestage, Inc.
7:30 p.m.
The latest in the weekly solo series, Totally True Things: A Socially Conscious Storytelling Show, Michele Carlo tells the story of her growing up as a redheaded freckle-faced Puerto Rican raised in an Italian/Irish section of The Bronx, living through playground battlefields, graffiti-filled afternoons and high school race riots.

Baldwin vs. Buckley
BRIC
7:30 p.m. repeated live 10/23 and 10/24
A live restaging of the 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley on the topic “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”

October 23

dwb (driving while black)
Baruch Performing Arts Center
Available through October 29
A chamber opera

The War of the Worlds
The Shows Must Go On
2 p.m. available for 48 hours
A musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’s novel of an invasion from Outer Space (made famous by Orson Welles’ radio drama adaptation that listeners believed was real.) This version stars a hologram of Liam Neeson and a 35-foot flying saucer.

The Tempest
St. Ann’s Warehouse
7:30 p.m. Available through October 29
The third of director Phyllida Lloyd and Harriet Walter’s Shakespeare Trilogy on Film

Find Him
Ars Nova
In this first 20 minute installment of a four-part “docuseries” written and performed by Dylan Guerra: Late one night, a guy told Dylan he wanted to disappear; the very next day he did.  Dylan leads us through his obsessive (and obsessively gay) deep dive for truth.

Ole White Sugah Daddy
WP Theater
8 p.m. available for four days
A live reading of Obehi Janice’s play about a young Black coder trying to start a company with help from an older white investor. Free but registration required.

(R Montana)
Mirrorbox Theater
9 p.m. ET
A play by Kitt Lavoie produced this Iowa theater company a Republican governor courted by the Democratic Party to run on the presidential ticket – and is forced to find balance in his life. Free, requiring registration

October 24

School for Wives
Moliere in the Park
2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Starring Tonya Pinkins in the lead role of the patriarch ARNOLPHE
among an all-woman cast.

We The People: America Rocks!,
TheaterworksUSA via Stars in the House
8 p.m.
Joe Iconis’s Off-Broadway children’s musical on Stars in the House. In the show, which was filmed without an audience at Paper Mill Playhouse earlier this month, America’s Founding Fathers help a teenager win her school election and teach her how to make a difference.

October 25

Olivier Awards 2020
5:30 p.m ET
The British equivalent of the Tony Awards

 

The Doo-Wop Project
7 p.m.
a live concert from Shubert Virtual Studios with Broadway veterans from Jersey Boys and Motown tracing the evolution of Doo-Wop from five guys singing tight harmonies on a street corner to The Four Seasons to Maroon 5.

October 26

The Resistible Rise of J.R. Brinkley
Untitled Theater Company #61
A four-episode audio drama based on Edward Einhorn’s Fringe Festival play based on the surreal true story of a 1920’s con man who made a fortune selling his impotence cure: surgically implanted goat testicles. He then became a radio star and a successful politician. “A Brechtian parable about American Greatness, told with country music.” It stars Craig Anderson, John Blaylock, John Bronston, Dan Butler, Joshua Wolf Coleman, Jason Harris, Julia Hoffmann, Jenny Lee Mitchell, Tony Torn and Maxwell Zener

Verdi’s Don Carlo
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
The Met launches a week of politically-connected operas leading up to Election Day, with this tale about the heir-apparent of King Philip II of Spain. Starring Renata Scotto, Tatiana Troyanos, Vasile Moldoveanu, Sherrill Milnes, and Paul Plishka, conducted by James Levine. Originally broadcast February 21, 1980.

October 27

Conscience
George Street Playhouse
Available through October 30
$5
In this play by Joe DiPietro Harriet Harris portrays Margaret Chase Smith, the Senator from Maine who spoke out against Joseph McCarthy in “Declaration of Conscience” on the Senate floor. A virtual version of the pre-pandemic production.

The Other Other
Ars Nova
7 p.m. Available through November 3
Created by Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Kameron Neal
In the wake of Kamala Harris’ vice presidential nomination, and counting down to the 2020 Election, a queer interracial couple attempt to situate their relationship in a larger constellation of Black and Desi encounters. THE OTHER OTHER is the third installment of VICHITRA, an ongoing experiment in queer South Asian imagination.

A Touch of the Poet
Irish Rep
7 p.m.
Eugene O’Neill’s tragic tale about the immigrant experience and generational aspiration was first performed in 1958. Planned for the Rep’s season, it is “reconvening on Zoom,” live every day through November 1. (Captioned on Thursday evening and Saturday matinee.) Reservations are free but required

Handel’s Agrippina
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The Met continues its political operas with this wryly satirical look at the political maneuverings and personal entanglements of the Roman emperor Claudius, his cadre of advisers and hangers-on, and his cunning wife, Agrippina. Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. Originally broadcast February 29, 2020.

October 28

It Can’t Happen Here
National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene + 8
1 p.m. available through November 1
A free reading of the 1936 play adapted from Sinclair Lewis’ novel about the election of a fascist demagogue as president of the United States. Dozens 60 actors perform the text in six languages (with English subtitles): English, Yiddish, Spanish, Italian, Turkish and Hebrew

Matthew Broderick and Wallace Shawn in Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, 2017

Evening at the Talk House
The New Group
7 p.m.. available through November 29
$25
A reunion reading of the 2017 production of the chilling comedy by Wallace Shawn (my review) about a gathering of old friends, once theater artists, in a dark, dystopian society where their day job is likely to be paid assassin. The starry cast features Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John Epperson, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Claudia Shear, Annapurna Sriram and Michael Tucker

Unbought and Unbossed:Reclaiming Our Vote
National Black Theatre
A continuation of the “micro commissions,”  grounded in the legacy of Shirley Chisholm, written by Ngozi Anyanwu, Hope Boykin, Mahogany L. Browne, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, and Dianne Smith. A new multidisciplinary work will be presented every Wednesday through October (leading up to Election Day) and  remain online.

Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The story of a 14th-century Doge of Genoa, beset on all sides, juggling political adversaries bent on murder with his love for his long-lost daughter Amelia. In addition to Boccanegra’s searing internal conflict between public duty and private grief, the story offers cloak-and-dagger intrigue, passionate young love, and noble sacrifice. Starring Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordani, Plácido Domingo, and James Morris, conducted by James Levine. Originally broadcast February 6, 2010.

October 29

Theater of War Frontline: Queens Hospital
Noon. Live
Dramatic readings of Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Women of Trachis as a catalyst for a discussion about the impact of Covid-19.

¡Gárgola!
MCC’s Live Labs
5:30 p.m.
$7
In this play by Omar Vélez Meléndez , the townspeople of Barceloneta deep in Puerto Rican countryside are witnessing something paranormal. Is it real? The cast features Vélez Meléndez, Andrés López-Alicea, Willie Denton, Maricelis Galanes, Beatriz Miranda, Sophia Ramos, and Cristina Soler.

 

Aunt Dan and Lemon
7 p.m. available through November 29
$25
A reunion reading of Wallace Shawn’s political horror story, in which Lemon looks back on her relationship with her captivating Aunt Dan, and conjures for us, in a most personal way, the terrifying allure of cruelty, and the enduring appeal of political strongmen. The cast features Kristen Johnston as “Aunt Dan” and Lili Taylor as “Lemon,” with Marcia Stephanie Blake, Liam Craig, Isaach De Bankole, Melissa Errico, Carlos Leon, Emily Cass McDonnell, Brooke Sunny Moriber, Maulik Pancholy, Stephen Park and Bill Sage,

 

Good Goods by Christina Anderson
Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate
7pm

David Mamet’s Race
Broadway’s Best Shows’ Spotlight on Plays
Starring David Alan Grier, Ed O’Neill, Alicia Stith, and Richard Thomas. Directed by Phylicia Rashad

The Journey of Funny
Lifestage, Inc.
7:30 p.m.
The latest in the weekly solo series, Totally True Things: A Socially Conscious Storytelling Show, Vernon Payne details his life as a Brooklyn-born comedian and his struggles with the depression that comes with it

John Adams’ Nixon in China
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
President Nixon’s controversial 1972 visit with Chairman Mao in Beijing.
Starring Kathleen Kim, Janis Kelly, Robert Brubaker, Russell Braun, James Maddalena, and Richard Paul Fink, conducted by John Adams. Originally broadcast February 12, 2011.

October 30

Shiner
Play-PerView
7 p.m.
$5-$50
a grunge rock love story set in the spring of 1994, when two outcast teens (Susannah Perkins and Paul Pontrelli) make a pact to die happy. All they need to do before jumping off the 101 overpass is see Nirvana live in concert, but their plans are threatened by a first kiss, a restraining order, and Kurt Cobain’s ailing health.

Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
This historical opera covers the turbulent interregnum period of early 17th-century Russia, when the title tsar, his son, and a Polish pretender to the throne were all jockeying for power.Starring Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Oleg Balashov, Evgeny Nikitin, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko, and Vladimir Ognovenko, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Originally broadcast October 23, 2010.

October 31

A Blue Moon Study by O-die
Ars Nova
A 45-minute show created by Lim. (Please read the description at the link. I didn’t understand it.)

 

John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 Available for 23 hours
Commissioned by the Met in 1980, this opera is an otherworldly version of Louis XVI’s court, populated by the ghosts of familiar figures such as Marie Antoinette, Count Almaviva, Figaro and Susanna, and Beaumarchais himself. Starring Teresa Stratas, Håkan Hagegård, Gino Quilico, Graham Clark, Marilyn Horne, and Renée Fleming, conducted by James Levine. Originally broadcast January 10, 1992.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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