By Leonard Feigenblatt ~ Since March 12, all our outlets for live entertainment, theatre, concerts, opera, ballet, cabaret and movies (on a large screen at the theatre) have been shut down. This has led to a new form of entertainment, virtual streaming. Platform programs such as Streamyard and Zoom, practically unheard of prior to the pandemic, are now widely used.
Events that were annually held live have now turned to virtual streaming including Broadway Barks, the Obie Awards, Broadway Bares and the Fire Island Dance Festival. On March 16, Seth Rudetsky and his husband, James Wesley, began a twice a day virtual streaming show, titled Stars in the House. It is a benefit for the Actor’s Fund, a wonderful organization that not only helps actors in need, but everyone in the performing arts and entertainment nationally. To date, they have raised more than $400,000 and counting. (It should be noted that in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, for the month of June, they pivoted their donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.)
As the days turned into weeks and now months, Rudetsky and Wesley do their shows just once a day, except for Saturdays and Sundays when they still do two. On Saturday afternoons, they offer Plays in the House, a play presented virtually. On Sunday afternoons, they present Plays in the House Jr., virtual plays and skits intended for a younger audience, featuring young actors. To check the schedule, donate to the Actor’s Fund and view past episodes (the Plays and Plays Jr. are only available online for four days) go to starsinthehouse.com.
The pair has done a wonderful job and were the first, but many followed.
Jim Caruso virtually hosts Cast Party at Birdland, featuring Broadway and cabaret singers performing. Now called Pajama Cast Party, it is on every Monday night. Caruso also produces a show featuring Broadway actress and comedienne, Julie Halston, and special guests. For more information and to watch past episodes, go to the cast party network on the YouTube page.
Prolific producer Scott Siegel, who presents shows all over town, including Feinstein’s/54 Below, Merkin Hall and Town Hall, has also gone virtual. He presents and hosts Scott Siegel’s American Songbook and so far has presented seven editions. He has a GoFundMe page where all contributions go to the singers. To watch past episodes, find out about future episodes or contribute go to siegelpresents.com.
These are just a few of the many streaming options available. A daily list of free streaming choices is available on timeout.com. Until we are able to once again gather safely and watch performances live, at least we have virtual streaming for entertainment.
Share this Article