Watch favorites from the NYC stage free on screen this week

If you haven’t seen them yet, you still have a little more time to catch these two top picks by favorites from the NYC stage on screen this week. One is a filmed broadcast of a live concert by The Doo Wop Project on PBS TV, the other an archival recording of the infrequently produced 1920s play Conflict, presented by Mint Theater Company on its website.

The Doo Wop Project – Six outstanding Broadway veterans, who met as castmates in the smash shows Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical, have been keeping the authentic sounds and moves of the mid-century alive with their active concert schedule of Doo-Wop chart-toppers and “DooWopified” versions of more recent pop hits. In addition to attending their fabulous in-person shows, you can now watch one of their recent on-stage appearances, filmed before a live audience, on PBS television for two more dates this week.

The supergroup of vocalists Charl Brown, Dwayne “The Bass” Cooper, John Michael Dias, Russell Fischer, and Dominic Nolfi, and musical director and pianist Sonny Paladino, backed by a terrific band, masterfully deliver all the tight harmonies and smooth synchronized choreography, high-energy performances and genuine camaraderie, while interacting with the audience, relaying their own personal stories of Broadway, and their love of Doo Wop and PBS. The set list includes classics by such seminal groups from the ‘50s as The Del-Vikings, The Earls, and The Cadillacs, songs by the next generation of the ‘60s inspired by the originals (Smokey Robinson and The Miracles; The Four Seasons; The Jackson Five), and reimagined numbers by later artists like Jason Mraz and Amy Winehouse.

The Doo Wop Project (left to right): Charl Brown, Sonny Paladino, Russell Fischer, Dwayne Cooper, Dominic Nolfi, and John Michael Dias. Photo courtesy of PBS.

Russell told me, “Growing up watching PBS, it’s surreal we’re now part of this legacy of quality entertainment on public television. We hope viewers feel the love and hard work we poured into this special – that it broadens our horizons and expands our audiences, so we can continue to serve as a multi-generational conduit for unity through music.”

The Doo Wop Project plays on PBS (channel 13 in NYC), on Thursday, July 7, at 8:30 pm, and Saturday, July 9, at 4:30 pm. If you’re outside the New York metropolitan area, check your local listings for channel and dates. Viewing is free; donations to support PBS arts programming are welcome.

Off-Broadway’s award-winning Mint Theater Company continues its free on-demand streaming series of selections from its popular past productions with Conflict by English playwright and actor Miles Malleson (1888-1969). Filmed in HD during a live on-stage performance at Theatre Row on June 13, 2018, then edited to create a high-quality broadcast, the three-camera archival recording of Mint’s acclaimed New York premiere of the 1925 romantic comedy, set against the backdrop of the partisan politics of a hotly contested election in London during the Roaring ‘20s, is directed by Jenn Thompson – currently represented at Theatre Row by the Mint’s American premiere of Chains, starring Conflict‘s Jeremy Beck.

Jeremy Beck and Jessie Shelton in Conflict. Photo by Todd Cerveris.

“We know there are many theater lovers out there who are not in New York or are not ready to attend live performances, so we’re happy to share this wonderful production, which shares a director, set designer, and two actors with our current production of Chains by Elizabeth Baker,” said Mint’s Producing Artistic Director Jonathan Bank. “Our national streaming audience was vitally important to us in 2020 and 2021 and we won’t abandon them now that we’re back to producing live performances.”

Conflict streams through Sunday, July 10, on Mint Theater Company’s website. Viewing is free and closed captioning is available; voluntary contributions help make streaming possible.

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