Theater Streaming on Martin Luther King Jr Weekend

Below are the listings of theater to see this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 16-18, 2021,  including several new works about African-Americans in addition to the annual rousing MLK celebrations at BAM and folksbiene. Catch the Adrienne Kennedy Festival; a revival of the 1919 play Aftermath at Metropolitan Playhouse; CivilWrights, a festival of new anti-racism plays from New York Rep; a musical interpretation of MLK’s sermon Drum Major Instinct.

Half of this year’s January theater festivals end this weekend; most offerings are still on demand, so you can spend the weekend catching up on what you’ve missed

Streaming Theater Festivals

 Prototype Festival , available on demand through January 16 (my review of Times3)

Under the Radar Festival  ends January 17 (my reviews of Capsule, Espiritu, and Incoming_)

Exponential Festival ends January 31 (my reviews of Virtual Queerality. A Blueish Fever Dream. ¿comfortidades’ 錢意識?

1st Irish Festival, ends January 31

The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration and Influence, through February 28 (my reviews)

Saturday, January 16

Under the Albert Clock
The Lyric Theater
3 p.m.
As part of the 1st Irish festival, these Five radio plays were commissioned from five of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic female playwrights, who wrote monologues for women inspired by Belfast’s iconic landmark, the Albert Clock and to imagine their stories taking place in the year 2050.

Fabulous Fanny: The Songs and Stories of Fanny Brice
7 p.m.
Kimberly Faye Greenberg in a solo show as theJewish comedienne (born Fania Borach) who is now best known as the subject of the  Barbra Streisand film Funny Girl.

Handel’s Rodelinda
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
Renee Fleming Week continues in this opera about the seventh-century Queen of Lombardy.

Metropolitan Playhouse
8 p.m.
Mary P. Burrill’s  1919 one-act play about a Black WWI hero who returns to his South Carolina home to discover his father has been lynched by an angry white mob.

Sunday, January 17

50th Anniversary Virtual Gala
New Federal Theatre
4 p.m.
A celebration of the theater founded by Woodie King, Jr. in 1970 whose mission is to integrate artists of color and women into the mainstream of American theater. Among this year’s honorees are actors S. Epatha Merkelson and Phylicia Rashad, and 90-year-old playwright Douglas Turner Ward.

New York Rep
7 p.m.
An anti-racism theater festival of four ten-minute plays. Register to receive the free viewing link.
N%#&R of the Month
By Akin Salawu
The morning another grand jury declines to press charges for another murder of an unarmed black man, the Fellows at the progressive Reid Foundation face their own racial reckoning.
Those Wishing
By James Anthony Tyler
In the midst of the Minneapolis protests that ensued after the murder of George Floyd, Oliviette and her son LeVante reason the best course of action to find Nate, LeVante’s younger brother who has been missing for three days.
Where we at.
By Ren Dara Santiago
Two folks chillin over a recreational vice of choice dive into the existential nature of identity, relationships and life.
Animals – The Last Days of Amy Cooper
By Jerome A. Parker
Memorial Day. 2020. Worlds, eras and spirits collide when a bird watcher’s commune with nature is suddenly disrupted.

Dvorak’s Rusalka
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A dark and melodious take on the old Slavic yarn about a water nymph who falls in love with a human

Monday, January 18

The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
11 a.m.
New York City’s largest public celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, a free virtual program, featuring speeches as well as performances by, among others, PJ Morton, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Sing Harlem!, poets Timothy DuWhite and Ashley August,.

Soul to Soul
National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene
4 p.m. available for four days
The tenth annual concert (this time virtual) celebrating African-American and Jewish music– spiritual, jazz, klezmer, and folk.

Drum Major Instinct
Theater of War
7 p.m.
On Sunday, February 4, 1968, Dr. King delivered The Drum Major Instinct at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, exactly two months before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. In it, he prophetically spoke of his own imminent death and laid out a challenge to his congregation, and also the world, to harness an inborn human drive—“the desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first”— and use it to promote justice, righteousness, and peace. A cast of performers and public officials will read and discuss the text, accompanied by original music composed and conducted by Dr. Philip Woodmore performed by a diverse choir of singers from New York and St. Louis. Featuring performances by Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit), and soloists De-Rance Blaylock, Duane Foster, and John Leggette.


Bizet’s Carmen
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The Met’s Week of Opera’s Greatest Heroines begins with the tale of the irresistible and free-spirited Gypsy, whose fatal attraction with the jealous soldier Don José burns too hot for them to control. Anita Rachvelishvili as the title character, with Anita Hartig, Aleksandrs Antonenko and Ildar Abdrazakov

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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