Once again this week, we stay-at-homes have many choices for FREE virtual Broadway shows, opera, concerts, panel discussions, celebrities reading children’s books and a celebrity-filled fund-raiser to benefit NY’s hero front-line workers.
Grab your favorite beverage and snack and settle in for these virtual events on the calendar this week
Even though these virtual events are FREE, you are encouraged to make a donation to support the group offering the free stay-at-home diversion.
Virtual Events on Monday
Some of the biggest stars in entertainment and sports are participating in a telethon to benefit front-line workers and others in NYC and the Tri-State area.
Rise Up New York is hosted by Tina Fey and features appearances and entertainment by local music, film, Broadway, comedy and sports icons including Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Robert de Niro, Barbra Streisand, Lin-Manuel Miranda, ting, Bette Midler, Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi, Chris Rock, Idina Menzel, and former NFL Giants Eli Manning, Phil Simms and Michael Strahan.
All this extraordinary talent was either born in NYC or lives here now.
Rise Up New York is Monday, 8pm, on multiple NYC radio and TV stations and also national stations.
Enjoy a FREE performance each Monday of a different opera.
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Sophie Koch, Jonas Kaufmann, and David Bižić, conducted by Alain Altinoglu. From March 15, 2014.
- Streaming at 7:30pm Monday, and available for 24 hours.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama reads aloud from popular children’s books.
Today, May 11, is the final reading of the four-week schedule, although the readings will remain available for viewing on demand on all of those platforms immediately after.
Mrs. Obama reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, which was a favorite of my own chillden when they were young.
This theater bookstore is FREE streaming a reading of a favorite children’s book, often by the author.
Videos are between five minutes and 12 minutes long, ideal for a young attention span.
Current videos include Giraffes Can’t Dance and Tallulah’s Solo with Bravo the Theatre Dog.
- Monday through Saturday, 12 Noon to 7pm.
Virtual Events Tuesday
Forced to return to Europe, ultimately more than 250 of the passengers died in the Holocaust. The incident inspired the famous Leon Uris novel Exodus, and the movie starring Paul Newman.
- 2pm Tuesday, Zoom conference
- FREE registration here
Virtual Events on Wednesday
Every year, the BAM Gala honors top names in the theater community in an event that includes entertainment by top artists and groups.
This year, the glittering event goes virtual, including a digital dance floor, online art auction and a performance by St. Vincent and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. .
BAM Virtual Gala 2020 honor actress Cate Blanchett, author Zadie Smith and philanthropist and producer Jeanne Donovan Fisher.
Virtual Events on Friday
There’s a different FREE concert each Friday through July.
This week, it is the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with a rarely performed Sinfonia that Verdi wrote for the La Scala premiere of Aida is a full-fledged overture that reflects themes from the opera, while Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome are spectacularly orchestrated tone poems that evoke the beauty of the Eternal City.
To add to the festivities, Martha Argerich returns to Carnegie Hall after a nine-year absence to play Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, one of her specialties.
Each Friday, a new selection Carnegie Hall’s archive of live broadcasts will be made available for on-demand streaming free of charge.
Each program will be accessible throughout the weekend for 72 hours, from Friday at 3am through Monday at 3am.
Celebrate theater icon Andrew Lloyd Webber each Friday with a FREE streaming of a full-length stage performance of one of his musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Cats.
The Shows Must Go On is a new YouTube channel releasing a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical each week, including his most famous and beloved The Phanton of the Opera, filmed at the 25th Anniversary performance in London in 2011.
This week, it’s the stage version of Cats. Stage version. Not the universally-panned recent film version.
- The shows are streamed at 12 Noon each Friday in NYC, and available on the channel for 48 hours after original streaming. Which means until 2pm Sunday.
Virtual Events on Saturday
Join the uptempo bluegrass-inspired group Nefesh Mountain for one of their virtual concerts of Songs of Love and Healing. Because music is a healing force in our lives in these stressful times.
This one is The Bluegrass Edition.
- Saturday at 8pm, a FREE Facebook Live event.
Virtual Events this Weekend
Participate in musical workshops via Zoom and enjoy live concerts streamed Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from Jalopy’s Facebook Live page.
Online workshops to include:
Cajun Fiddle with Joel Savoy • Creole Fiddle with Mitch Reed • Accordion with Wilson Savoy • Cajun Rhythm Guitar with Kelli Jones • Cajun Fiddle (Original Tune!) with Blake Miller • Blues Fiddle with Kevin Wimmer • Cajun Bass with Trey Boudreaux • Rhythm with Desiree Champagne • Cajun singing with Kelli Jones
Live performances to include:
Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys • T’Monde • Pine Leaf Duo • Cedric Watson • Blake Miller & the Old Fashioned Aces • Twin Fiddle Extravaganza with Mitch Reed & Kevin Wimmer
Special events to include:
Cajun Jam with Blake Miller & Amelia Biere • Cocktails with Kelli Jones & Her Favorite Cajun Records • Cajun Cooking with Jo Vidrine • Jesse Lege & His Accordion in Conversation with Wilson Savoy
Check the website page for schedule and workshop registration.
Cyber Swamp Fest is 7pm to 10pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.
Wcked celebrates first responders on the front lines of the public health crisis with a video featuring stars Lindsay Pearce (Elphaba) and Ginna Claire Mason (Glinda) singing the anthem “For Good.”
Although the 2020 season has been cancelled, you can still enjoy past performances online.
Brush up your Shakespeare with this 2019 staging of Much Ado about Nothing, recorded live at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park,
This is a bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece featuring Danielle Brooks as Beatrice.
Canada’s highly regarded Stratford Festival has been forced to put its 2020 season on hold, but is offering a different FREE performance each week.
These are full recordings of a dozen past Shakespeare productions, which were filmed for cinematic release.
This week, it is The Tempest
The performance stars the 80-year-old Stratford legend Martha Henry, who made her festival debut as Miranda in The Tempest in 1962, as Prospero in director Antoni Cimolino’s captivating 2018 production, which features Michael Blake as Caliban and André Morin as Ariel.
This was the last play that Shakespeare wrote by himself, and he throws everything into the pot: a sorcerer’s revenge, young lovers, a shipwreck, a monster, a fairy slave and two regicide plots.
- 7pm EST. Available through June 4th.