The Corner


Streaming the Performing Arts through COVID Spring

The Metropolitan Opera House is pictured at Lincoln Center in N.Y., July 30, 2014. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Spare a thought for people who work in the performing arts, here in New York and elsewhere. Theater, dance, and opera are all shut down. Thousands of amazingly talented people work in the industry in my city, and unlike the more fortunate among us, hardly any of them can work from home.

Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal is more upbeat than I am about the notion of substituting streaming performances; to me, the experience of watching a play or opera through a screen is not comparable to seeing it in person. But Teachout has been diligent about tracking the various performances that have moved over to the streaming space and has some recommendations. Toni Stone, for instance, Lydia R. Diamond’s play about baseball’s Negro Leagues, captivated him. (I haven’t seen it yet.) Needless to say, when theater is streaming, any region’s performances become available to you. Toni Stone, which played at the Roundabout in New York last year, is now at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Or would be, if the theater were open. Teachout also recommends a raucous new high-school version of Richard III called Teenage Dick from Chicago.

As for classical music performances, Elizabeth Lyon of the Hudson Review takes a look at some concerts and operas available for streaming, including the Metropolitan Opera’s nightly offerings.


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