What Theater to Watch July 24: Diva Dilemma!

Below are some of the rich theater offerings available on screens today: Julie Andrews, Laura Benanti and Marga Gomez all star in shows that maddeningly overlap tonight. And Marilyn Horne at the Met! And Viola Davis serves as moderator for Black Theatre United’s Virtual Town Hall at 7 p.m. — not a performance, but surely something worth attending.


Cirque du Soleil
Launches at 3 p.m streaming live. Available afterwards
A 60-minute excerpt of the Montreal-based acrobatic circus company’s show inspired by the James Cameron film “Avatar.” (For the cognoscenti, the scenes are: The First Flight, Dralion, and Amaluna.)

Our Voices, Our Votes, Our Time
Black Theatre United
7 p.m.
Viola Davis moderates this Virtual Town Hall with Stacey Abrams and her sister Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean, founder and vice-president respectively of Fair Count.

Red Light Winter
7 p.m.
A reading of Adam Rapp’s play, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2006, about a book editor who hires a prostitute for a writer; complications and obsession ensue. Q and A with playwright and actors Joe Carroll, Kahlil Garcia and Janine DiVita follows the reading.

Mambo Sauce
The New Group
Launches at 7 p.m.
Part of the Facing the Rising Tide digital festival of plays, Daniella De Jesús writes about strange doings at the zoo on Cargill Island.

Verdi’s Falstaff
Metropolitan Opera
Launches at 7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
“Verdi finished his sublime final opera when he was almost 80 years old, capping a fruitful career with a bawdy adaptation of scenes from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. His classic operatic farce charts a knight’s gold-digging efforts to seduce two married women, leading to belly-flopping failure on both counts.” This 1992 staging by Franco Zeffirelli was conducted by James Levine and stars Paul Plishka, Marilyn Horne, Mirella Freni and Susan Graham.

Marga Gomez in “The Spanking Machine” in the Hot Festival

Spanking Machine
Dixon Place’s Hot Festival!
7:30 p.m.
$20 tickets on a sliding scale.
Marga Gomez’s darkly comic memoir about the first boy she ever sloppy kissed and how it made them gay forever. They first met in the third grade,when she and Scotty (the Anglo name he preferred to Agamemnon) both attended Immaculate Conception in the Bronx. Scotty was the first to be subjected to “the spanking machine,” which is the title of the show, and the nickname they gave to “the sadistic nun, which is redundant.” There is another showing on July 25.

Ole White Sugah Daddy
Aye Defy’s Kilroys Series
Launches 8 p.m., live only
A play by Obehi Janice. A young Black female coder wrestles with love, identity, and the tension between striving and thriving as she tries to get her startup off the ground. How can you fully be yourself in spaces where no one can see all the sides of y

Beginning Days of True Jubilation
New Ohio Theater
Launches 8 p.m. (Also 7/25 at 10; 7/26 at 8)
This play by Mona Mansour conceived by Society theater troupe is the inaugural entry of the newly online Ice Factory Festival. It tells the story of the early euphoria of a new start-up through to its epic crash and burn.

over easy
She NYC Theater Festival
8 p.m.
Abaigeal O’Donnell’s play follows four egg donors from recruitment to extraction, as they learn that donating eggs is not always what it’s cracked up to be.

Rodgers and Hammerstein
8 p.m. Available until Sunday.
The 1957 original television musical starring Julie Andrews. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Twitter account will lead a watch party at 8 p.m.
Here is “A Lovely Night,” with swoon-worthy Andrews, priceless evil stepsisters Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostley, and stepmother Ilka Chase. I first shared this video in my J is for Julie Andrews post, part of my  Broadway Alphabet series.

She Loves Me
PBS Great Performances
9 p.m.

The 2016 Broadway revival starring Laura Benanti that everybody loved, including me.

Check out the opening number (begins at around 7:09)

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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