April 23rd marks William Shakespeare’s 456th birthday, and while you might not be able to attend a live reading or performance of his favorite works, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a collection of some incredible performances streaming. Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and John Cleese. I happen to work with BritBox and BroadwayHD and here are some of the productions you can find on each of those services:
- Macbeth (BroadwayHD): Sir Patrick Stewart stars in director Rupert Goold’s visionary take on William Shakespeare’s classic play, which shifts the action to a foreboding purgatory n order to explore mankind’s eternal struggle for power. Based on the production originally stayed at the famed Chichester Festival Theater in England, and co-starring Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth.
- King Lear (BroadwayHD): Ian McKellen gives a tour-de-force performance as Shakespeare’s tragic titular monarch in this special television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of one of the playwright’s most enduring and haunting works. Interesting theater fact–King Lear was actually written while Shakespeare was in self isolation during the Plague.
- Romeo and Juliet (BroadwayHD): Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad take on the title characters in a modern adaptation of this timeless classic that was performed on Broadway.
- A Midsummers Night’s Dream (BritBox): A sparkling modern take on a Shakespeare classic, Russell T. Davie’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream sees a cast of acting royalty and incredible new talent bringing the Bard’s words to life in this spellbinding adaptation.
- BBC Television Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew (1980) (BritBox): John Cleese stars in this adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy. The roguish Petruchio hopes to charm the temperamental Katherine while several other suitors vie for the affections of her beautiful sister.
11am: Alabama Shakespeare Festival: 22 Homes
Alabama Shakespeare Festival commissioned 22 Southern playwrights to write short monologues on the theme of “home”. Now the company is releasing those pieces—recorded by actors across the country. Written by Will Arbery, Korde Arrington Tuttle, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, Dana L. Stringer, Topher Payne, Addae Moon, and Quinton Cockrell. Check it out.
Noon–8pm: Irondale Sonnet Marathon Brooklyn’s Irondale Ensemble has more than 100 participants for a 456-minute Zoom session in honor of Shakespeare’s 456th birthday. Performers range from famous actors to amateur volunteers; each delivers their choice of 14-liners from among the Bard’s 154 sonnets. Ralph Fiennes, Rufus Wainwright, Lea DeLaria, Cady Huffman, Daphne Rubin-Vega, John Ventimiglia, Kenyon Phillips or American Ballet Theatre’s James Whiteside.
12:30pm: Schaubühne: Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun) The shows are in German, but a few offer closed captioning in English, which you can access via the cc button at the bottom of the screen. Such is the case with today’s Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun), Ostermeier’s stage adaptation of the best-known film by New German Cinema icon Rainer Werner Fassbinder: the tale of a woman buffeted by cruel fate and bad choices in the waning years and aftermath of World War II.
On Seth Rudetsky fabulous series Stars in the House the show that has two performances everyday. At 2pm: Variety Thursday! with Preston Nyman, Julian Ovenden and Rachel Tucker and at 8pm China Beach Cast reunion including Michael Boatman, Dana Delany, Nancy Giles, Marg Helgenberger, Jeff Kober, Robert Picardo, Concetta Tomei, Chloe Webb and Brian Wimmer
2pm: Live With Carnegie Hall: Emanuel Ax Along with special guests Yefim Bronfman and Marc-André Hamelin, Emanuel Ax journeys through the legacy of great pianists at Carnegie Hall, from legends Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein to superstars of today.
4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Alex Barylski (@Alexander-Barylski) and Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1).
5pm: PlayBAC: Rashaun Mitchell: Interface Baryshnikov Arts Center live dance, theater and music performances. In 2013’s Interface, contemporary dancer-choreographer Rashaun Mitchell is joined by his main collaborator, Silas Riener, as well as by Melissa Toogood and Cori Kresge. The piece features a live sound score by Thomas Arsenault.
5pm: Watch Me Work: Suzan-Lori Parks Sign up by 3pm each day and you will be sent a link at 4:30pm to log in to the class at 5pm*.
7pm: Ailey All Access: Night Creature a joyous and sensuous 1974 celebration of nocturnal adventure, set to the swinging jazz music of Duke Ellington.
7:30pm: The Metropolitan Opera: The Merry Widow Franz Lehár’s frothy 1905 operetta The Merry Widow, starring the beloved American soprano Renée Fleming as a rich widow and Nathan Gunn as the handsome former flame whose pride prevents him from marrying her for her money. Sir Andrew Davis conducts this 2015 performance, which also features Broadway’s own Kelli O’Hara.
8pm: LIVESTREAM The Producers Perspective Live with Joe Iconis.
8pm: Stonewall Gives Back! A Live-Streaming Concert Event for the LGBTQ+ Nightlife Community Scheduled performers include Cyndi Lauper, Alan Cumming, Darren Hayes, John Cameron Mitchell, Kristin Chenoweth, Lorna Luft, Nina West, Our Lady J, Peppermint, Rufus Wainwright, Shoshana Bean, Todrick Hall and Troye Sivan.
8pm: Scott Siegel’s Great American Songbook Concert: Volume 1
Scott Siegel’s, concert series at the Town Hall and Feinstein’s/4 Below, developed a new virtual programming: He crowd-sources funding to pay Christina Bianco, John Easterlin, Willy Falk, Michael Winther, Gabrielle Stravelli, Maxine Linehan, Philippa Lynas, Brian Charles Rooney and Kelli Rabke.