Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being.
For the month of August we are going to try a different format – on some days we will go visual and offer a selection of the very best NYCity Instagram photos or YouTube videos. Some days you will find “the Nifty Nine”, all the NYC news you need to start your day, or the Top Online Travel Forums with NYC info. On other days we will offer “Top 10 Corona Culture,” updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times.
We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.
Today it’s Selected NYC Instagram Photos (b).
We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here September 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info.
Lower Manhattan – Did you know?
New York City, a city of neighborhoods, is filled with sights that every visitor should see. No neighborhood has more spectacular sights, nor more important links to early American history then Lower Manhattan.
Today’s feature is Lower Manhattan as New Amsterdam (b)
Broadway theaters closed on March 12 as New York City enacted rules to promote social distancing and slow the spread of Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a show. The NYC theater community has responded with initiatives and online shows to help support its members and entertain audiences via the internet while we’re staying away from crowds.
We’ve put together a sampling of streaming performances you can watch from your laptop or phone:
Starting in 2015, this online service began offering HD versions of classic and recent Broadway plays and musicals. You can try it out for free (with a one-week trial) or buy a subscription (from $9 a month) to watch some of your favorite shows. You can see stars like Katherine Hepburn in 1973’s televised version of The Glass Menagerie as well as musical hits like Kinky Boots, An American in Paris and Cats.
Stars in the House
Broadway actor, director and writer (and radio host) Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, host two shows a day from their house on YouTube. The hourlong shows, which air live at 2pm and 8pm (the usual Broadway start times), raise money for the Actors Fund, helping to provide emergency relief for those unemployed in the theater community.
Living Room Concerts
Broadwayworld.com has started posting daily concert videos from an array of performers, mainly those whose shows were running before the recent closure of Broadway. They’re posting a new video every day—stars featured include Carolee Carmello (Hello, Dolly!), Kathryn Gallagher (Jagged Little Pill) and teenager Andrew Barth Feldman, the former lead in Dear Evan Hansen.
Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
This West Village bar, known for sing-alongs to Broadway show tunes, has taken the experience online. They’re streaming two main sets of songs each evening, usually starting at 4pm, with different pianists tickling the ivories. To watch, join their Facebook group and tune in to “Sing out, Louise” (in the comfort of your own living room). You can also tip the piano players via Venmo or PayPal, with details during each performance.
Download recent shows, like the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, on Amazon
Many recent shows are available to rent or buy on Amazon and other online streamers, usually in the range of $3–12. Highlights include Rent, taped just before it ended its Broadway run; 2013’s Carousel, via Live from Lincoln Center; 2010 Tony Award winner Memphis; and the original Broadway production of Into the Woods, starring Bernadette Peters.
Virtual Hal Prince Exhibit at Lincoln Center
In December 2019, the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts opened an exhibit on the late Harold Prince, the legendary Broadway producer behind megahits like The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd. While the library is closed, you can take a virtual walk-through and 30-minute guided tour of the gallery with Doug Reside, the show’s curator.
Broadway Dreams Live Lessons
The Broadway Dreams Foundation is hosting free daily lessons, led by some accomplished Broadway-caliber talent, for aspiring actors, singers and dancers. Their lineup has included actors from Frozen, Head Over Heels and Chicago. To watch, get the Zoom link from their Facebook page. Sessions begin at 1pm; each day’s links are posted five minutes before class begins, though the schedule is listed earlier than that.
Viral Monologues from 24 Hour Plays
Every year, the 24 Hour Plays event presents a series of shows that are written, cast, directed and performed in one day with the involvement of talent from the NYC theater community. Now they’re doing a mini version, with online monologues, on their Instagram account. They’re performed by actors like Denis O’Hare and penned by playwrights like David Lindsay-Abaire.
Groove to disco versions of Stephen Sondheim songs
Broadway Records just released the digital version of Losing My Mind, a compilation of Sondheim songs with a dance beat. Conceived by Broadway performer Joshua Hinck and arranger Scott Wasserman, the 12-song album is an expanded version of a popular concert they put on in 2018. The album features singers like Alison Luff (Waitress) and Chip Zien (from the original Into the Woods). You can preview a track, “Unworthy of Your Love,” from Passion; hear the collection on Spotify; or order a copy from the Broadway Records site.
Broadway Backwards 2020 Encore
Broadway Cares, which produces number of annual AIDS fundraisers, has put together a special encore series of recent star-studded performances from Broadway Backwards, at which performers belt out famous show tunes with gender-swapped roles. They’re also asking viewers to support an emergency fundraiser for actors affected by the Covid-19 crisis—you can make a donation at broadwaycares.org.
Watch Broadway classics like Cabaret for free on YouTube
These days you may be wondering, “What good is sitting alone in your room?” You can get a very direct answer on YouTube by watching the 1993 version of Cabaret, featuring Alan Cumming in his breakout role. Other star turns worth checking out for free are Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in American Playhouse‘s 1986 broadcast of Sunday in the Park with George; Carol Burnett in 1964’s Once Upon A Mattress; Nell Carter in a 1982 broadcast of Ain’t Misbehavin’; Lauren Bacall in 1973’s Applause; Gregory and Maurice Hines in 1980’s Eubie!; and Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra in 1954’s Anything Goes.
Jason Alexander sings on Twitter
While most people know Jason Alexander as George from Seinfeld, he got his big break on Broadway in a Stephen Sondheim musical (Merrily We Roll Along). He recently went on Twitter to sing a song from the show that got him interested in theater, Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin. The beautiful ballad, “With You,” has a message of love and support we can all use today.
Interesting. Unusual. Uniquely NYC. Highlights of this week’s top events include Bruce Davidson: In Conversation, Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine, The 39th Battery Dance Festival and more. Get the NYC-ARTS Top Five in your inbox every Friday and follow @NYC_ARTS on Instagram or @NYCARTS on Twitter to stay abreast of events as they happen.
The New-York Historical Society, the city’s oldest museum, is pleased to announce that it plans to reopen in stages starting August 14, 2020, pending approval from local and state officials. The Museum will first open a special free outdoor exhibition, “Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” which documents the experiences of New Yorkers across the five boroughs during the height of the pandemic.Then on September 11, 2020, the Museum will reopen indoors, with safety protocols …
The Battery Dance Festival brings together 52 filmed performances including 28 premieres from 19 countries. Themed evenings include World and U.S. film Premieres from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and North America. The centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which recognized the woman’s right to vote, serves as a focus for a program by women choreographers. Works that focus on Black voices in dance, the resiliency of New York City and the Festival …
“Ces noms que nous portons” is a world premiere solo choreographed by Kyle Abraham for NYCB Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley. The film was shot on June 30 on the Josie Robertson Plaza, lit in celebration of Pride. Kyle and Taylor have written the following statement about their collaboration on “Ces noms que nous portions,” and encourage viewers to learn more about Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, and The Okra Project.Please find the link …
After the financial crisis of the 1970’s decimated New York City’s public programs and infrastructure, the subway in particular was arguably at its nadir in terms of maintenance, upkeep, and crime as the decade came to a close. It was precisely at this moment, however, that Bruce Davidson began photographing it in a sustained and systematic way. The subway he traversed then, from the Bronx down to Coney Island and Rockaway Beach, seems a distant …
Poster House is planning its reopening and have earmarked August 20 as their reopening date and will be making the first week of access Members-only. Poster House will be reopening with new, reduced hours, from 11am–7pm, Thursday–Sunday, with 11am–12pm reserved for visitors in higher-risk groups. Please see their new online ticketing platform for admissions. The staff has also been trained on PPE usage and state health guidelines, and is ready to welcome you back to …
STAY HOME FOR A BIT LONGER – MASK UP AND STAY SAFE.