November 2020 Theater Openings


Below is the day-by-day calendar of “theater openings”* in November 2020. Despite the return of some familiar plays with the original casts, there is little that’s comforting about this month, or this year, at least for the moment. We exist now Before the Election; there will be an After Election — but when, and what  will be the results? Theater has been responding to this moment with plays about politics and concerts urging people to vote (see Election Day, November 3 below for examples), and I have little doubt new work will pop up to respond to whatever happens.

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

Theater of War Productions (Nov 6, 12, 19)  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   ( Nov 8, 10, 21) offers live Zoom readings of contemporary plays, often with the original casts.

Viral Monologues from 24 Hour Plays (some 10 short new monologues almost every Tuesday)

Playing on Air, (November 8, 15, 22, 29) has offered original audio plays with starry casts since 2012. They keep their old ones on their site.

Broadway’s Best Shows  (Nov 12, 19) has launched a season it calls Spotlight on Plays, with starry casts.

(MCC LiveLabs, producing original one-act plays by celebrated young theater artists, returned in October after a hiatus of several months. While there is nothing scheduled right now for November, the theater plans to resume monthly presentations starting in December, and their previous plays are available on demand.)

 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. (They usually choose the specific titles with little advance notice.)

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.)

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 only 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.)


Sunday, November 1

Belly of the Beast
New York Theatre Workshop
7 p.m.Available for 24 hours
In Margaret Vandenburg’s new nightmare scenario of a play, two campaign officials try to manipulate the outcome of the presidential election through disinformation and fake news. The cast features Daniel Dae Kim, Joel de la Fuente, Carrie Preston, Antonia Thomas, Tamlyn Tomita

The Shed
8 p.m. Available until November 7
Playwright Claudia Rankine pairs an examination of white male privilege in the United States today with images of Black joy, freedom, and beauty.

Philip Glass’s Satyagraha
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Rachelle Durkin, Richard Croft, Kim Josephson, and Alfred Walker, conducted by Dante Anzolini. From November 19, 2011.

Monday, November 2

A Baby, A Birdcage, and the Ballot Box: A Play Reading of Suffragette Comedies
Thinking Cap Theater
7:30 p.m.
A Suffragette Baby (1912) by Alice C. Thompson and The Parrot Cage (1914) by Mary Shaw (1914). Dubbed “parlor plays.”

Handel’s Rodelinda
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Andreas Scholl, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, and Shenyang, conducted by Harry Bicket. From December 3, 2011.

We The People
Public Theater
8 p.m.
a pre-election night celebration of community, solidarity and hope, directed by Will Davis and featuring Adrienne Warren, Brandon Victor Dixon and Jomama Jones

Tuesday, November 3

Election Day Vote-athon
Stars in the House
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A full day of stars such as Annette Bening, Jeremy Jordan, Kelli O’Hara, Jessie Mueller, Megan Hilty, Marc Shaiman, Vanessa Williams, Adam Pascal, Peri Gilpin, Anika Larsen, Judy Kuhn, Marilu Henner, and Celia Keenan-Bolger and Lauren Patten from Poll Hero., which has been recruiting people to be poll workers on Election Day. They’re offering fans a chance to appear in the show by submitting “I voted” selfies.

Fast and Furious Election Day Special
The Tank
7 p.m.

Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Danielle de Niese, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Stephanie Blythe, conducted by James Levine. From January 24, 2009.

Wednesday, November 4

Toshi Reagon’s Post Election Concert
Joe’s Pub
7 p.m.
Win or lose (or still in the dark), Reagon will be there for you.

Mozart’s Idomeneo
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Elza van den Heever, Nadine Sierra, Alice Coote, Matthew Polenzani, and Alan Opie, conducted by James Levine. From March 25, 2017.

Luna Eclipse
8 p.m.
The mysterious Aine Luna has conjured the most intimate memories of her long-dead ancestors, and she invites the viewer to bear witness, voyeuristically, on the deep secrets of these strangers in order to track a mental illness through her bloodline.
Performances are live streamed Nov 4th – Nov 8th.
Encore performances are pre-recorded Nov 9th thru Dec 13th.

Thursday, November 5

Guards at the Taj
In 1648 in India, two Imperial Guards watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time on the newly-completed Taj Mahal, after which they are ordered to commit a massacre. First of three days of the original cast reading this play by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Amy Morton, starring Arian Moayed and Omar Metwally. Reservations required.

Rossini’s Semiramide
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
A Babylonian Queen who loves a warrior who may be her son. Starring Angela Meade, Elizabeth DeShong, Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green, conducted by Maurizio Benini. From March 10, 2018.

Friday, November 6

Theater of War UK
2 p.m.
Scenes from ancient Greek plays–Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes–as a catalyst for guided discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their families. Featuring performances by Damian Lewis, Lesley Sharp, Nyasha Hatendi, and Jason Isaacs.

Verdi’s La Forza del Destino
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Leontyne Price, Giuseppe Giacomini, Leo Nucci, and Bonaldo Giaiotti, conducted by James Levine. From March 24, 1984.

Saturday, November 7

LaMaMa Love Global Gala
11 a.m.
This year’s virtual gala marks the first time that the 58-year-old theater’s global community will be able to join from wherever they are on November 7, Ellen Stewart’s birthday. “Attire: Festive/Comfy Attire/Pants Optional!” On YouTube

iHeartRadio Broadway Salutes The 2020 Tony Nominees
2 p.m.
There is still no date for the Tony Awards ceremony itself, but this broadcast, which will be repeated Monday, November 9th at 7 p.m. broadcast will feature songs from the Best Musical nominees, and the voices (sung or spoken) of Celia Rose Gooding, Daniel J. Watts, John Benjamin Hickey, Danny Burstein, Audra McDonald, Adrienne Warren, Blair Underwood, Karen Olivo, Bess Wohl, Aaron Tveit, Katori Hall.

Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Nathan Gunn, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by Plácido Domingo. From December 15, 2007.

Sunday, November 8

How To Be a Widow
Playing on Air
In this audio drama by Tori Keenan-Zelt, two Civil War diwos meet in a graveyard on a sweltering afternoon in 1864. Together, they begin to imagine a future that might await them beyond corsets, lockets, and bullets.

7:30 p.m. live through November 12
$5 to $25
In this play by Howard Emanuel, U.S. Army Sergeant Joseph Garnier awakens one day hearing the pounding of drums, and believes those drums are the key to restoring order to the chaos of his American life.The cast features Armie Hammer, Jenn Gambatese and Tobias Segal.

Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Annette Dasch, Johan Botha, Paul Appleby, and Michael Volle, conducted by James Levine. From December 13, 2014.

Readymade Cabaret 2.0
This is Not A Theater Company
8 p.m. available on other dates afterwards
An interactive online theater experience in which the audience chooses scenes by rolling dice.

Monday, November 9

Richard II
The Shows Must Go On
2 p.m., available until November 15
Fiona Shaw stars as Shakespeare’s monarch in this 1997 recording directed by Deborah Warner.

A Beggar Upon Horseback
Irish Rep
7 p.m.
The theater marks the 175th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s historic trip to Ireland with a dramatic reading by award-winning actor John Douglas Thompson of Douglass’s Letter from Belfast, written on January 1, 1846. In this letter, Douglass recounts his impressions of the Irish people, describing “warm and generous co-operation.” This is followed by a panel on Irish-American and African-American history. All this is part 1 of a two-part event. Part 2 tomorrow, “A Beggar on Foot” at 2 p.m. explores the role of Irish cultural institutions in the push for racial equity.

Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt: Simple Little Things
Lyrics and Lyricists
7 p.m. available through December 9
In this 92nd Street Y series that mixes songs with biography, a consideration of the the team that brought us “The Fantasticks,” “110 In the Shade” and “I Do! I Do!,” narrated by Beth Malone and sung by Brandon Victor Dixon, Katherine Henly, Telly Leung, Kara Lindsay, Zachary Piser and Mariand Torres.

Rockers on Broadway: Band Together
Broadway on Demand
7 p.m.
The 27th annual benefit concert, this year virtual and honoring Billy Porter, with a starry line-up of theater artist/rockers: Michael Cerveris, Isabelle Gottfried, Morgan James, Donnie Kehr, LaChanze, Constantine Maroulis, Rick Negron, Adam Pascal, Ryan Peete, Jen Perry, Ryann Redmond, J. Robert Spencer | Featuring: Alexa Ray Joel, Julie Halston, Ginger Minj, Randy Rainbow | Hosted by: Ben Cameron with special appearances by: Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers

The self-combustion of a 30-something-year-old Chet or, Icarus tries to catch the Sun
New Ohio Theater
7 p.m. live (repeated Tuesday)
The first of the four plays this month in the theater’s Producers Club developmental series, this performance poem created by Keenan Oliphant. and performed by Nicholas McGovern chronicles a fictional version of the singer and trumpeter Chet Baker during a drug-induced high in which he morphs into Icarus chasing the sun.

Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta / Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Two rarely heard one-act operas.Anna Netrebko stars as the blind princess of the title in Tchaikovsky’s lyrical work, opposite Piotr Beczała as Vaudémont, the man who wins her love—and wakes her desire to be able to see. Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko are Judith and Bluebeard in Bartók’s gripping psychological thriller about a woman discovering her new husband’s murderous past.From February 14, 2015.

Boys Don’t Wear Lipstick
Emerging Artists Theater
8 p.m.
Everett Quinton directs a virtual a reading of Brian Belovitch’s autobiographical play about his gender journey. The starry cast includes Jonny Beauchamp, Lena Hall, Daphne Rubin Vega; Margaret Cho, and Peppermint


Tuesday, November 10

Manhattan Theatre Club
2 p.m. available for four days
In this play by Charlie Oh, which launches MTC’s Virtual Fall reading series, Thomas “Tommy Long” survives in the gay porn industry with one simple rule: know your role. For him, that is the submissive Asian geisha. When James, a new ripped Asian actor, joins the company, Thomas begins to question if he can be something more. Starring Daniel Liu, Christian DeMarais, Tara Summers and Raymond Lee. On MTC’s YouTube page. 

2:30 p.m. ET available for two weeks
This play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm imagines the life of Emilia Bassano, who lived 400 years ago and could have been the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Toni Stone
7 p.m.
The Off-Broadway reunion of this play by Lydia R. Diamond about a black, female professional baseball player (based on a true story, featuring its original cast led by Obie Award winner April Matthis, under the direction of  Pam MacKinnon. (My review Off-Broadway)

The Machine Stops
7 p.m.
A theatrical adaptation by director David Keohane of E.M. Forster’s prescient science fiction story set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide its needs. Stars Zuzanna Szadkowski, Awesta Zarif and Miguel Long.

Strauss’s Salome
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours

An opera dramatizing the biblical story of the young princess whose dancing so pleased her stepfather, Herod Antipas, that he promised her any reward she might care to name. Prompted by her mother, Herodias, she asked for the head of the itinerant evangelist John the Baptist.
Starring Karita Mattila, Ildikó Komlósi, Kim Begley, Joseph Kaiser, and Juha Uusitalo, conducted by Patrick Summers. From October 11, 2008.

Wednesday, November 11

Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani, and Lucio Gallo, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. From January 8, 2011.

Soul Beneath: An Empirical Delay
Primary Stages
8 p.m. available through November 15
The first of the theater’s ‘Living Room Commissions,” this 40 minute piece by Chesney Snow and composer Diedre Murray uses poetry, storytelling, dance, and music to explore race, class and American political culture.

Thursday, November 12

David Mamet’s Boston Marriage
Broadways Best Shows
8 pm Available through November 16
Patti LuPone and Rebecca Pidgeon star as Anna and Claire, two scheming “women of fashion” (lesbians) have their world upended when Anna receives an enormous emerald and an income to match from a wealthy admirer. Claire, meanwhile, is infatuated with a respectable young lady and wants to enlist the jealous Anna’s help for an assignation.

Poetry for the Pandemic
Theater of War Productions
7 p.m.
Bill Murray, Tracie Thoms, former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, The Class of 2020 National Student Poets:

Berg’s Lulu
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber, conducted by Lothar Koenigs. From November 21, 2015.

The Moth
7:30 p.m.
Streamed live from Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Church, featuring stories by Ruth Mcdaniels and Amanda Stern.

Penn State Harrisburg School of Humanities
7:30 p.m.
Inspired by the real-life case of convicted murderer Ruth Snyder in the 1920s, Sophie Treadwell’s play tells the story of a Young Woman who is slowly crushed by the mechanized society in which she lives–to terrifying results. (My review of the Off-Broadway production in 2014)

Friday, November 13

Another Karamazov Project
New Ohio Theater
7 p.m. live, repeated Saturday
The second of the four works this month in the theater’s Producers Club developmental series, this 40 minute piece is part murder mystery, part spiritual quest, this freewheeling distillation of Dostoevsky’s classic is mapped onto a modern American story about race, justice, trauma, and love

Britten’s Peter Grimes
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Patricia Racette, Anthony Dean Griffey, and Anthony Michaels-Moore, conducted by Donald Runnicles. From March 15, 2008.

Songs for ‘Drella
St Ann’s Warehouse
7:30 p.m.
A film of the 1989 song cycle by John Cale and Lou Reed about Andy Warhol, whom they had nicknamed ‘Drella as a combination of Dracula and Cinderella.

Oedipus El Rey
Center Theater Group
8 p.m. ET available on demand through January 20
The first of Luis Alfaro’s Greek trilogies, adapted to modern (Latinx) times, which I loved when it was produced at the Public Theater. (My review of that production.)

Sound Bites Festival
Theatre Now
8 pm
The annual festival has gone virtual, with three 10-minute musicals tonight — These Walls; Pigeons Mate for Life; Cola’o: A Bilingual Trova — and three more next Friday — plus interviews with their creators.

Harsh Cacophonies I & II
The Tank
8 p.m.
Writer and performer Kev Berry’s mix of autobiography, spoken word, standup, and storytelling, live-streamed from the stage of the (otherwise empty) theater.



Saturday, November 14

The Theatermakers Summit
The fourth annual event from producer Ken Davenport, with co-hosts Sierra Boggess and James Monroe Iglehart, keynote speaker Christopher Jackson and more than 100 other community theater leaders. The three-day event begins today, and costs $397.

He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box
Roundhouse Theater
7 p.m. ET available through February 28
This is the first of four plays in a festival of the work of the 89-year-old  pioneering experimental playwright Adrienne Kennedy (best known for Funnyhouse of a Negro), produced in conjunction with McCarter Theater.  This lyrical play is her most recent, about an interracial affair in the segregated South of 1941. (My review of the New York production.)

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Dísella Lárusdóttir, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein, and Zachary James, conducted by Karen Kamensek. From November 23, 2019.

The Rector
Metropolitan Playhouse
8 p.m.
A reading of early feminist playwright Rachel Crothers’s 1902 play (running time 30 minutes) about a lovestruck pastor in a small town.

Laura Benanti

Women of Broadway Live: Laura Benanti
Papermill Playhouse
8 p.m.

Sunday, November 15

Until The Flood
Rattlestick and ALL ARTS
Based on extensive interviews following the 2014 shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, Dael Orlandersmith’s solo show gives voice to a community haunted by injustice and a country yearning for change.

Scraps and Things
Playing on Air
In this audio drama written by and co-starring Melis Aker, a chatty seamstress tailor (Carol Kane) and a guarded, young academic discover that they’re linked, and haunted, by the myth of the same man.

Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Audrey Luna, Amanda Echalaz, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan, Alice Coote, Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, Frédéric Antoun, David Portillo, David Adam Moore, Rod Gilfry, Kevin Burdette, Christian Van Horn, and John Tomlinson, conducted by Thomas Adès. From November 18, 2017.

Monday, November 16


The Shows Must Go On
2 p.m. available for one week
Sir Patrick Stewart stars in Rupert Goold’s production of Shakespeare’s The Scottish Play, which appeared on Broadway in 2008.

Lickspittles, Buttonholers and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens
7 p.m.
Reunion reading by original cast of Johnna Adams’ farce that takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and focuses on three Danish court officials — a loudmouth, a kiss-ass, and a dastard — who journey to France.

Theater Mitu
7 p.m. repeated through November 24
A digital presentation by New York Theatre Workshop of Theater Mitu’s 2018 devised piece that was an inventive tech meditation on war, death and loss (My review of the stage production, in its new building in Gowns, Brooklyn. w.)

Mute Swan
Theater in Quarantine
7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
A queer interpretation of the Greek myth of Cygnus, a man who mourned the loss of his demi-god love, Apollo’s son Phaethon, so much that he turned into a swan, written by Madeleine George. This first collaboration between Theater in Quarantine, CultureHub and LaMama is created by Katie Rose McLaughlin in with Raja Feather Kelly, Joshua William Gelb, and Chris Bell. After its live performances it will be available at the Theater in Quarantine archive in perpetuity.

Verdi’s Don Carlo
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 11, 2010.

Man and Superman
Plays in the House
8 p.m. available for four days
In George Bernard Shaw’s play, Jack, a confirmed bachelor, is determined to keep clear of Ann’s matrimonial designs on him.Adapted by David Staller, the artistic director of Gingold Theatrical Group, the reading will feature a starry cast: Robert Cuccioli, Claybourne Elder, Santino Fontana, Nikki M. James, Christine Toy Johnson, Rob McClure, John-Andrew Morrison, Margaret Odette, Vishaal Reddy and Lenny Wolpe.

Tuesday, November 17

(An audio guide for) Unsung Snails and Heroes
Manhattan Theatre Club
2 p.m. available for four days
In this play by Julia Izumi inspired by a true story, a young girl journeys from Japan to Manchuria to retrieve her deceased father’s bones in 1945, just before the end of World War II. Part of MTC’s Virtual Fall reading series

The Bath Play
New Ohio Theater
7 p.m. live, repeated Wednesday
This 45-minute work written and performed by Non Kuramoto is the third of the four works this month in the theater’s Producers Club developmental series. Kuramoto muses on being a first-generation immigrant and the changing ideals of familial love, as international borders become increasingly volatile.

Baby Steps
This monologue starring Jerod Haynes and written by Kareem M. Lucas, captures the overwhelming and unforgettable emotions that arise when caring for a newborn.

Gounod’s Faust
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Jonas Kaufmann, and René Pape, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 10, 2011.

Wednesday, November 18

The Life
New York City Center
2 p.m.
A conversation led by Billy Porter and some excerpts from this musical composed by Cy Coleman, with lyrics by Ira Gasman, and a book by David Newman,  that explores the underbelly of Times Square’s 42nd Street, inhabited by pimps and prostitutes, drug addicts and drug dealers.

On Beckett
Irish Rep
3 and 8 p.m
Master clown Bill Irwin performs his hit solo show about Samuel Beckett virtually. Reservations required.

The Cooking Project
New York Theatre Workshop
7 p.m. through December 15
The Dominican Artists Collective travel through time and space to explore their Diasporic journey—where they come from, and how they came to be. Featuring Massiel Armengot, Sean Carvajal, Yohanna Florentino, Gineiris Garcia, Katherine George, Dilson Hernandez, Maribel Martinez, Andres Pina, Paola Alexandra Soto, Merlixse Ventura and Little Veras

Dvořák’s Rusalka
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Renée Fleming as a water nymph who longs to be where the people are so she can win her prince. Also starring Emily Magee, Dolora Zajick, Piotr Beczała, and John Relyea, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From February 8, 2014.

The Night Watcher
8 p.m. available through November 22
$36.50 – $51.50
A virtual reading of Charlayne Woodard’s autobiographical solo play about the ways she has mentored the children in her life.

Thursday, November 19

Festival of New Musicals, part 1
National Alliance of Musical Theatre
2:30 p.m. available through November 29
The annual festival is normally an industry showcase. Now in its 32nd year, it is for the first time, online and available to the public, via Broadway on Demand. The line-up for part 1: Co-Founders, Hart Island, Cowboy Bob and On This Side of the World.

Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers: Mount Sinai
7 p.m.
Part of an ongoing series, this event “hosted by Mount Sinai Health System,” uses Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Women of Trachis to create a vocabulary for subsequent panelists and audience members to discuss themes such as personal risk, death/dying, grief, deviation from standards of care, abandonment, helplessness, and complex ethical decisions. Featuring performances by Frances McDormand, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Frankie Faison, and Nyasha Hatendi.

Black Voices
Episcopal Actors’ Guild
7 p.m.
A night of one-act Zoom readings: Jo’Siah Shan’s “Miranda’s Book,” Christopher Raishun Marshall’s “Little Black Bear,” and Karen L. Smith’s “52nd Floor”

Sputnik in Suburbia
Boomerang Theater
7 p.m.
a mother and son navigate Cold War paranoia and space travel in this play by Adam Kraar that’s part of Boomerang’s First Flight New Play Festival.

Scenes from Sweet Lorraine
Playbill Online
7 p.m.
Valisia LeKae (who was fabulous in Motown) reprises her role as the playwright Lorraine Hansberry with Daniel J Watts (Tina) portraying James Baldwin in scenes from this play by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and Adam Mace that I saw at the Rave Festival last year (My review.)

Verdi’s La Traviata
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, and Quinn Kelsey, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 15, 2018.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Carnegie Hall
7:30 p.m.
Featuring an interview with the children of the late Justice Ginsburg, who was famously an avid opera star, this celebration includes remarks and performances by Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, and Patrice Michael

Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya
8 p.m. available until November 23
$5 and up
Broadway’s best Shows’ Spotlight on Plays
Starring Alan Cumming, Samira Wiley, Constance Wu, Ellen Burstyn, Manik Choksi, K. Todd Freeman, Mia Katigbak, Anson Mount. Narrated by Gabriel Ebert. Directed by Danya Taymor. Adapted by Neil LaBute.

Friday, November 20

Festival of New Musicals, part 2
National Alliance of Musical Theatre
2:30 p.m. available through November 29
The annual festival is normally an industry showcase. Now in its 32nd year, it is for the first time, online and available to the public, via Broadway on Demand. The line-up for part 2: Obeah Opera, The Consoling Mechanism, Eastbound and Lizard Boy.

The Lost Generation
Poetry House
4 p.m. ET
A play by Jahmar Ngozi about the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, looking at him along with Frida Kahlo, Gil-Scott Heron, Charles Bukowski and F.Scott Fitzgerald.

Last Gasp WFH
La MaMa
7 p.m.
Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches, it is a series of verbal and physical essays that playfully dances through the dangerous intersections of permanence and impermanence, interdependence and care, knowledge and experience, narcissism and echoes.

Sweet Texas Reckoning
Boomerang Theater
7 p.m.
In this play by Traci Godfrey, Ellie’s daughter shows up with an unexpected “guest”, forcing to confront many demons, including her ideas about race, biology, bigotry, and sexuality.

Final Boarding Call
Ma-Yi and WP
8 p.m. available for 4 days
Seven people are caught up in the ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Update: This play has been postponed

Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Isabel Leonard, Adrianne Pieczonka, and Karita Mattila, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From May 11, 2019.

Sound Bites Festival
Theatre Now
8 pm
Part 2 of the annual festival, gone virtual, with three 10-minute musicals:
Letters From May; Humpty’s Hatching Day; Rise

Center Theatre Grouop
8 p.m. ET Available through January 20
The second in Luis Alfaro’s Greek Trilogy, the play places Medea has a modern-day undocumented Mexican immigrant living unhappily in Queens.An arresting adaptation: (My review of the 2019 production at the Public Theater.)

Megan Sikora and Corbin Bleu

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn
9 p.m.
A recording of Roundabout’s 2016  jukebox musical version  of the 1942 movie, with Corbin Bleu and Bryce Pinkham standing in for Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby..

Saturday, November 21

William Jackson Harper

The Burdens
7 p.m. live
In this play by Matt Schatz featuring William Jackson Harper , Mordy is a struggling musician and his older sister Jane is a successful attorney. When their widowed mother’s life becomes taxed by her terrible, centenarian father, the two adult siblings are drawn into an elaborate plot to relieve her burden… and their own.

Madeleines: Tell Me What it Was Like
New Ohio Theater
7 p.m. Live. Repeated Sunday
In this final of four works this month in the theater’s Producers Club developmental series, poets Mike Lala and Iris McCloughan move through a complex exchange around memory, desire, and the allure of what might have been.

Sleep Deprivation Chamber
7 p.m. Available until February
This is the second of four plays in a festival of the work of the 89-year-old  pioneering experimental playwright Adrienne Kennedy (best known for Funnyhouse of a Negro), produced in conjunction with McCarter Theater. Teddy is a young Black college student studying theatre, but his senior year becomes a waking nightmare when the officer accuses him of assault. Written by Adrienne Kennedy and her own son, Adam, the semi-autobiographical drama shifts between Teddy’s trial and the unrelenting letters his sleepless mother writes in his defense.

Puccini’s Turandot
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Christine Goerke, Eleonora Buratto, Yusif Eyvazov, and James Morris, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From October 12, 2019.

Sunday, November 22

Thanksgiving for One
Playing on Air
In this audio drama by Hamish Linklater, . Marjorie Mumms (Jean Smart) would rather not be eating her holiday turkey alone at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. She can’t get a decent gin & tonic, her daughter is spending Thanksgiving in another state, and her crazed waiter has cast her in a festive audio play.

Berg’s Wozzeck
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Elza van den Heever, Tamara Mumford, Christopher Ventris, Gerhard Siegel, Andrew Staples, Peter Mattei, and Christian Van Horn, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From January 11, 2020.

Center Theatre Group
8 p.m.ET Available through January 20
The final play in the Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro, each of them adapting ancient Greek tragedy to modern-day Latinx in the U.S. In the days following the murder of her father by her mother, Electricidad is committed to vengeance. To get it, she’ll need her brother, Orestes, to return from Las Vegas and help her finish the job.

Monday, November 23

Rodgers, Rodgers and Guettel
Lyrics and Lyricists
7 p.m. available through December 23
In this beloved series by the 92nd Street Y that combines concert and biography, a look at Richard Rodgers, in his collaborations with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, and Rodgers’ daughter Mary Rodgers (Once Upon a Mattress) and grandson Adam Guettel(The Light in the Piazza, Myths and Hymns)

Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From April 30, 2011.

Tuesday, November 24

Nico Muhly’s Marnie
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, and Christopher Maltman, conducted by Roberto Spano. From November 10, 2018.

The Liz Swados Project
Joe’s Pub
8 p.m. Available through December 8
To celebrate the release of a tribute album to the late visionary composer, the concert features such theater artists as Taylor Mac, Amber Gray, Ali Stroker, Sophia Anne Caruso and Freestyle Love Supreme’s Utkarsh Ambudkar.

Wednesday, November 25

Thomas’s Hamlet
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Marlis Petersen, Jennifer Larmore, Simon Keenlyside, and James Morris, conducted by Louis Langrée. From March 27, 2010.

Thursday, November 26

The turkey float in a previous, non-virtual Thanksgiving Day parade

The cast of four Broadway shows will reunite to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC — Ain’t Too Proud (“My Girl” and “Get Ready”), Hamilton (“The Schuyler Sisters”which includes a salute to NYC as “the greatest city in the world”), Jagged Edge (“You Learn”), and Mean Girls (“Someone Gets Hurt”), starting at 9 a.m.. (information about the pandemic-adjusted parade)

On CBS: Dear Evan Hansen (“You Will Be Found”), and Come From Away (“Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere”)

Nurse Heroes Live!
7 p.m.
An all-star Thanksgiving concert benefiting the Nurse Heroes Foundation; the proceeds will be used for everything from purchasing stethoscopes and nurses uniforms to providing scholarships for nurses and their children. Performers include Black Eyed Peas, Andrea Bocelli, Céline Dion, Gloria Estefan, Emily Estefan, David Foster, Katharine McPhee Foster, Josh Groban, Carole King, Maluma, Leslie Odom Jr, Pitbull, Allen Stone, The Wailers and Stevie Wonder

It’s a Wonderful Life
Mile Square Theater
Available on demand through December 27
A live radio play by Joe Landry, directed by Kevin R. Free, based on the screenplay of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 play starring Jimmy Stewart as a man who gets to see how much he matters. Audio description and closed captions are available.

Strauss’s Elektra
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Nina Stemme, Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, and Eric Owens, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. From April 30, 2016.

Friday, November 27

An American in Paris
The Shows Must Go On
2 p.m. ET available for 48 hours
A recording of the beautifully choreographed, gorgeously designed Broadway adaptation of the 1951 Gershwin movie musical starring Robbie Fairchild as a GI in post-war Paris and Leanne Cope as the Parisian woman with whom he falls in love. (My rapturous review of the Broadway show in 2015.)

Death of England: Delroy
National Theatre
2 p.m. ET available for 24 hours
The National Theatre returns to streaming recordings of its stage productions for free on its YouTube channel, except just for one blessed day. This solo play by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams stars Michael Balogun as a working class Black man in Great Britain on the day his child is born.

Estella Scrooge
$25 for three-day rental
The holiday season’s first (but NOT the last) new twist of A Christmas Carol, with Betsy Wolfe playing Ebenezer’s descendant, a Wall Street predator, and a cast that includes Broadway pros Danny Burstein, Carolee Carmello, Lauren Patten and Patrick Page, filmed during the socially distanced pandemic period using all sorts of tech tricks.

The Wolves
Philadelphia Theater Company
48 hour rental through December 20
The recording of a revival of Sarah DeLappe’s play about the world of teenage girls through the experience of nine of them in a competitive high school soccer team. (My review of The Wolves Off-Broadway.)

photo from the 2017 stage show of Inside The Wild Heart

Inside the Wild Heart
Group .BR
7 p.m. through December 20
A daring virtual adaptation of the Brazilian-American theater company’s immersive piece about the famed late Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. I saw this in 2017 when the company staged it in an converted warehouse in Williamsburg renamed the Immersive Gallery.  It was so immersive that I used it as one of my examples in my essay about the six elements of immersive theater. It even offered something called the Scent-O-Scope. So I’m curious how they pull off a digital version.

Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Lucia is driven mad because she cannot marry the man she loves. Starring Natalie Dessay, Joseph Calleja, Ludovic Tézier, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Patrick Summers. From March 19, 2011.

Treasure Island
8 p.m.
An hour-long audio play starring Rob McClure (the future Mrs. Doubtfire) a Long John Silver

Best in Shows
Stars in the House 8 p.m.
Broadway stars with their pets. (Not theater exactly, but irresistible.)

Lea Salonga in Concert
PBS’s Great Performances
9 p.m. available through December 25
The Broadway and concert star sings from Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and Aladdin.

Saturday, November 28

Aunt Betsy’s Thanksgiving and The Downfall of Justice
Metropolitan Playhouse
8 p.m. available through December 2
A double bill of long-ago Thanksgiving plays, resurrected. 1. It is 1914, and the destitute Aunt Betsy and her granddaughter discover just before Thanksgiving that the property they have called home for 15 years has been sold. The white family that owns the land sends a contrite lawyer to explain, but there is one secret that may turn the tide. 2. In the Colonial satire, a well-off farmer and his family gather for Thanksgiving meal. They have just come from a chastening sermon–clearly one that has fallen on deaf ears as they struggle to remember the words and disregard the message. The only member of the household who understands and speaks up is the enslaved Jack, whose observations are not well received.

Wagner’s Die Walküre
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Christine Goerke, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Greer Grimsley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Philippe Jordan. From March 30, 2019.

A Christmas Carol
TDF and other theaters/theater orgs
9 p.m. available through January 3
Jefferson Mays, well-known quick-change chameleon theater artist (I Am My Own Wife; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) plays 50 characters in this new production directed by Michael Arden, filmed at New York’s United Palace based on the 2018 world premiere at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse, which is a fundraiser for partner theaters and theater organizations (such as TDF) across the country.

Sunday, November 29

The Thompsons
Playing on Air
Andrew Massey’s audio play is a comedy about a family with bizarre Thanksgiving rituals.

Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Vladimir Chernov, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by James Levine. From January 26, 1995.

Monday, November 30

Missing Ingredient
Project Y
7:30 p.m.
This play by Colleen O’Doherty is one of three written specifically for Zoom as part of the fifth annual Women in Theater Festival. Two sisters deal with what’s missing in their lives.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From February 24, 2007.

Disney Holiday Singalong
8 p.m.
The Broadway casts of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” and North American Touring companies of “Frozen” return to The New Amsterdam Theatre to sing a special performance of “Let It Go.


Author: New York Theater

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

Leave a Reply