All Broadway theaters closed in response to the Covid19 pandemic mid-March 2020. The Broadway League–the 700 member-strong trade association for the Broadway industry that includes theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the commercial theatre industry–has just announced Broadway will remain dark through May 30, 2021, making it a 14-month closure if they reopen at that time.
To fill the gap, people throughout the theatre world have banded together to present a wealth of online opportunities to enjoy theater virtually and to assist the tens of thousands of individuals who are out of work because of the shutdown.
The Actors Fund is a national organization that provides direct financial assistance and other services to everyone in the performing arts community throughout the United States, not just Broadway. Fundraising efforts have sprung up to assist with these efforts as the entire industry is suffering.
One of the leading efforts to raise funds is an online show called Stars in the House started by Broadway veteran Seth Rudetsky and his husband James Wesley. Most days during the week, at 2pm and 8pm ET, Seth and James host an online talk show that streams on YouTube and Facebook Live. Performers from theatre, film, television, and the music world appear on the show. They discuss their careers in the performance arts and some sing songs. The show streams free but it provides an opportunity to donate to The Actors Fund and other worth organizations.
Seth Rudetsky also produces and stars in The Seth Concert Series, which includes one-0n-one shows featuring Seth and a Broadway theatre artist in “a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Seth’s funny, insightful and revealing questions – and the songs from each star’s stellar Broadway career.” Tickets to the online concerts are $25.
Here is the upcoming performance schedule for both shows:
Sunday, October 11, 8pm ET: Seth hosts Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Prom) on The Seth Concert Series.
Monday, October 12, 8pm ET: Stars in the House: Love & Southern D!scomfort! Guest host Brenda Braxton welcomes Bobby Daye, Tamara Tunie, Monica L Patton and Ramona Keller
Tuesday, October 13, 8pm ET: Stars in the House: Regional Theatre Spotlight On: L.A. THEATRE WORKS: Hosted by Susan Albert Loewenberg with guests Charlayne Woodard, Matthew Rhys, Sarah Drew and Seamus Dever.
Wednesday, October 14, 8pm ET: Stars in the House: Tiler Peck, Sierra Boggess, Chloé Arnold and Lil’ Buck
Thursday, October 15, 8pm ET: Stars in the House:Celebrating the 2020 Tony Awards with special guest nominees – Part 1
Friday, October 16, 8pm ET: Stars in the House: Celebrating the 2020 Tony Awards with special guest nominees – Part 2
Saturday, October 17, 8pm ET: Stars in the House: PIPPIN Reunion with the cast of the original broadway production with Betty Buckley, John Rubinstein and Ben Vereen
Sunday, October 18, 8pm ET: Find Seth Rudetsky tonight on The Seth Concert Series at www.thesethconcertseries.com. Tonight Seth hosts Keala Settle (Waitress, The Greatest Showman)!d
Sunday, October 25, 8pm ET: Find Seth Rudetsky tonight on The Seth Concert Series at www.thesethconcertseries.com. Tonight Seth hosts LaChanze!
Sunday, November 15, 8pm ET: Find Seth Rudetsky tonight on The Seth Concert Series at www.thesethconcertseries.com. Tonight Seth hosts Lillias White!
The 17th Fall for Dance Festival invites audiences around the world to experience this annual “highlight of New York City’s cultural calendar” (The New York Times) (that always sells out) in our first-ever digital dance celebration—with all the palpable energy of a live performance right from our stage to your home. Alicia Graf Mack and David Hallberg host two stunning programs showcasing the resiliency of extraordinary New York City artists coming together—as we take the first crucial steps to returning to our stage.
Program 1 features two world premiere City Center commissions, including a solo piece from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s first Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts titled Morani/Mungu (Black Warrior/Black God) and a duet by Christopher Wheeldon called The Two of Us. The program also includes Ballet Hispánico in a New York premiere of excerpts from 18+1, an electric, mambo-driven piece celebrating Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s 19 years as a choreographer. Martha Graham Dance Company performs Lamentation, one of the Company’s quintessential solos, presenting a timeless message about the essence of grief.
In Program 2, acclaimed tap artist Dormeshia performs Lady Swings the Blues, a world premiere City Center commission that honors the legacy of Black women in dance, accompanied by musicians Noah Garabedian, Winard Harper, and Gabriel Roxbury. Calvin Royal III, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, also dances a world premiere commission solo from choreographer Kyle Abraham. Lar Lubovitch Dance Company featuring guests Joseph Gordon and Adrian Danchig-Waring perform the iconic male duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two.And Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck, and Brittany Pollack perform excerpts from George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, an exuberant response to George Gershwin’s classic tunes.
MATTHEW SAYS: Such! a treat! that this show which typically sells out instantly can be viewed this year by all who wish to do so.
NOTE: You can also watch a video excerpt of the rehearsal here.
One of my favorite October frightful treats is to attend the live performances of New York Radio Theatre. This year, they have made a veritable treasure trove of recordings of their best shows: Volumes 1 and 2 of the Edgar Allan Poe Festival, Volumes 1 and 2 of the H.P. Lovecraft Festival, Dracula’s Children of the Dark, The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Playhouse, Fright Night Live!, and Ghosts of Christmas Past.
Blood Manor, NYC’s premier Haunted House attraction is actually OPEN for live performances this year. They have a host of new health and safety precautions including mandatory temperature checks and masks for every one at all times, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, capacity reductions to maintain social distancing, sanitizing stations, and contactless check-in. Click here to purchase your tickets!
Playbill.com will present A Wendy Weekend: Three Nights, Three Plays, All Wendy honoring what would have been Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Wendy Wasserstein’s 70th birthday on October 18.
The recordings of the readings will be streamed in repertory. The performances were directed by Stan Zimmerman (Gilmore Girls, The Golden Girls).
October 16th at 8PM ET: Uncommon Women and Others
October 17th at 8PM ET: Isn’t It Romantic
October 18th at 7PM: The Heidi Chronicles (with a post-show talkback available until Oct 19th at 7PM.)
Even though the 2019-2020 Broadway theatre seasons were cut short, The Broadway League and American Theatre Wing have announced that the Tony Awards will go on virtually!
The 2020 Tony Award nominations will stream live on the Tony Awards’ YouTube channel at 12:00 PM ET on October 15th.
The virtual awards ceremony will stream live later this year at a date still to be determined.
October 21 at 8PM ET. A host of Broadway favorites will take part in Broadway for Biden’s upcoming fundraiser, In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nation, which will stream on YouTube via NowThis Though free, viewers are encouraged to donate to the Biden Victory Fund.
Directed by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed), In Our America will feature more than 75 artists, including 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 30 and 31, 8PM ET: Tony nominee Norm Lewis (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, The Phantom of the Opera) will play Count Dracula in Dracula, the debut production from the immersive audio entertainment company Resounding.
The audio play, suggested by Welles’ 1938 radio adaptation, will use new technology to create a 360-degree soundscape of howls, bats, screams, creaky floors, slamming doors, and everything else that goes bump in the night.
Tickets, priced at $20, are available at Resounding.live.
October 29, 8PM ET: Jay Armstrong Johnson will headline a virtual edition of his annual I Put a Spell on You concert, inspired by the cult favorite Halloween film Hocus Pocus. The free stream, set for October 29, will rally for donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The show, subtitled The Sanderson Sisters Break the Internet, follows the trio of witches as they recruit a handful of iconic pop culture villains for their devious plot, with full production numbers along the way. The performance was filmed last month at The Mansion Inn and Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs, New York, under COVID-19 protocols.
The event, produced by Johnson with Broadway Cares and Con Limón Productions, will stream at BroadwayCares.org. While the stream is free, VIP packages come with perks including pre- and post-show virtual cocktail parties, merchandise, and more.