Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.” We made it as easy as 1-2-3.
Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being. Stay Safe.
Earlier today we covered Classic NYC Films and some curated event info. Now, how about some more useful NYC information.
GD: Unfortunately, fans of Broadway will have to wait a little longer for shows to resume — until at least late May 2021. That hurts!
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:
Broadway HD 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.
New York magazine is biweekly these days and every issue has a wonderful section, “The Culture Pages,” which includes a “To Do” list – 25 things to see, hear, watch, and read. Here are my favorites from the current issue (Nov.11-Nov.25).
David Finckel and Wu Han
A chamber-music power couple.
The Harry and Meghan of chamber music, David Finckel and Wu Han have been marinating in Beethoven’s cello sonatas for their entire married lives. Now they perform all five sonatas in one livestream blowout, courtesy of the Berkeley-based Cal Performances. —J.D.
calperformances.org, starting November 12.
An album-release concert.
Few concert-music composers could be as well attuned to this moment, with all its wildness, hope, and disciplined rage, as Frederic Rzewski. A lifelong lefty, the 82-year-old Rzewski wrote a series of improvisatory piano pieces, Songs of Insurrection. Thomas Kotcheff, who has now recorded them, marks the release with a livestream recital. —J.D.
youtube.com/c/hocketensemble, starting November 13.
Anthony McGill and the New York Philharmonic
A chamber music chip off the New York Philharmonic — four string players plus the sublime principal clarinetists Anthony McGil — performs clarinet quintets by Brahms and the less canonical but deeply melodious Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (not to be confused with the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge) from the 92nd Street Y. —J.D.
92Y.org, November 14.
The Liz Swados Project
The much-missed Liz Swados was a wildly prolific composer and director, a true downtown spirit with deep social consciousness, whose work ranged from musical theater on Broadway (Runaways) to the farthest reaches of the avant-garde. She taught for decades, and her students and colleagues come together via Joe’s Pub’s online platform to perform songs from her tribute album, which was released in CD form in October. Do not miss your chance to hear her songs sung by stage greats like Amber Gray, Taylor Mac, Stephanie Hsu, Ali Stroker, Sophia Anne Caruso, and Damon Daunno. —Helen Shaw
youtube.com/user/JoesPubNY, November 24.
Richard Tinkler’s geometric abstract paintings emit a mystic bioluminescence and sense of grandeur. In this wee gallery, the seven paintings hang on every side, so you’re cocooned in a kind of universal erotics of looking, thinking, making, and believing in art. Everything is subtilized, revealing more the more you look. —J.S.
56 Henry gallery, 56 Henry Street, through November 25.
The Joyce Fall Season
Dance like everyone is tuning in.
The Joyce mounts an entire fall season, available for free, on its streaming platform. You’ll be able to see Michela Marino Lerman’s jazz tap piece Love Movement; Sankofa Danzafro’s Fecha Limite (Expiration Date), which is choreographer Rafael Palacios’s portrait of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian traditions under threat; the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers in a series of social dances; and two pieces from Pioneer Winter Collective, one of which is Gimp Gait, a duet for Winter and Marjorie Burnett, a dancer with cerebral palsy. —Helen Shaw
joyce.org, through December 6.
“From a Tropical Space.”
Titus Kaphar’s new paintings of Black women, almost all of them with the cut-out shape of a child or baby leaving a gaping, blank vacuum, are supremely haunting and exude orphic authority. These imaginative works are more than just illustrations of loss and social injustice. Infused with an iridescent inner light, Kaphar’s somber work reveals itself slowly, pulling you in and then knocking you over by his philosophical accomplishment. These paintings are what the past four years have looked and felt like. —Jerry Saltz
Gagosian, 522 West 21st Street, through December 19.
This article appears in the November 9, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
Interesting. Unusual. Uniquely NYC. Highlights of this week’s top events include Ruth Asawa: Drawing in Space, Selena: A Live Drive-In Experience, the Whitney’s Working Together 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.
On the occasion of an installation of wire sculptures, drawings, and lithographs by Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner’s 69th Street gallery in New York, this presentation offers a view of the investigations of material and form, often inspired by nature, that defined the artist’s career for half a century. While best known for her innovative wire sculptures, Asawa had a deep connection to drawing and painting and often depicted plants, flowers, and other organic forms …
92Y announces a celebration and exploration of Billie Holiday’s peerless artistry and influence with a multidisciplinary festival featuring music, film and conversation in November and December, with additional events to be announced in 2021. “BILLIE HOLIDAY: REACHING FOR THE MOON–An Exploration and Celebration” begins on Sunday, November 22 with a free exclusive screening of Emmy-nominated director James Erskine’s new documentary “BILLIE,” days ahead of its theatrical and virtual release. The screening will be followed by a live online Q&A …
This November, the Whitney presents “Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop,” a groundbreaking exhibition featuring over 150 photographs by fourteen early members of the Kamoinge Workshop, nine of whom are living and working today. In 1963 a group of Black photographers based in New York came together in the spirit of friendship and exchange and chose the name Kamoinge—meaning “a group of people acting together” in Gikuyu, the language of the Kikuyu people …
Radial Park at Halletts Point Play, is pleased to announce the next movie to hit its big screen and stage, “Selena: A Live Drive-In Experience,” starring two-time Tony Award® nominee Eva Noblezada, for two nights only on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 7:00 PM ET. “Selena: A Live Drive-In Experience,” is a one of a kind, live, simultaneously cinematic and theatrical performance, that will include musical numbers from the hit-movie both before and intertwined in-time …
In the seventh episode of their free, online series, The Cecilia Chorus of New York presents their Music Director Mark Shapiro, an internationally recognized teacher, leading a Zoom “French Staycation, a Singposium” on November 23 @ 7:30 PM EDT. The event is open to everyone. Mark Shapiro says about the program, “Our whirlwind musical tour of France spans two centuries and illuminates the aspects of technique and style that make that country’s music so quintessentially French, with its …