Theater Opening This Week January 25 to 31: Marisa Tomei twice, Bobby Cannivale, Bill Murray, Joe Biden (!), Irish Rep on Repeat.

It’s a thrilling last week of January for theater lovers: Bobby Cannivale and Marisa Tomei in a play by Jon Robin Baitz; Tomei again and Oscar Isaac in a play about an unnamed illness; a world premiere play by Lauren Gunderson about her husband, a virologist (notice a theme?);  Bill Murray (Lost in Translation), Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit) and Joe Biden (president of the United States) in a new Theater of War production as catalyst for discussion about the struggle to get through this difficult winter. Three festivals — Native American, Irish American and African Caribbean — begin or end this week, as does a Brooklyn theater festival. The Met offers a week of operatic anti-heroes.

Monday, January 25

from “Don’t Feed The Indians”

Reflections of Native Voices Festival 2021
$15 festival pass
The first day of this two week festival offering theater, music and native dance performances by Indigenous artists from across the country. The first five works will be presented on demand via New York Theatre Workshop starting today and running through the end of the festival on February 7. (La MaMa is the host of the festival offerings at the end of this week.)

Don’t Feed The Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant

Murielle Borst Tarrant

A raucous play and political satire written and directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant that is loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Everything is a Circle
the lived experiences of seven youth and three elders who use storytelling to educate the community on such topics as sexual health, sexual violence and substance abuse.
Este Cate
(pronounced stuh-jaw-duh) is Mvskoke for “Indian” and is an interweaving of six Native stories written and performed by Nicholson Billey that attempts to disrupt the notion of a Native “stasis.”
A solo show written and performed by Moses Goods about Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, Hawai‘i’s first Olympic gold medalist and the father of modern surfing,
Tipi Tales from the Stoop
Writer and performer Murielle Borst-Tarrant tells the story of “my matriarch blood ties to the soil of our ancestral house on Degraw St. in Brooklyn.”

Film Chinois
Pan Asian Repertory Theater
Available through February 7
The company launches its 44th season with a radio play adaptation of its 2015 stage production by Damon Chua that takes place in Beijing in 1947, following many of the basic rules of film noir, featuring international spies and mysterious femmes fatales,  intriguing atmospherics, and a complicated plot that keeps us largely in the dark. (my review of the 2015 production)

MTA Radio Plays
$15 for the series
Episodes 4 to 6, written by Ren Dara Santiago, David Zheng, Guadalís Del Carmen, and TJ Weaver, of a planned 19 episode audio drama, each episode taking place at a different subway stop along the IRT number 2 line, which runs from Wakefield-241st Street in the Bronx, through Manhattan, and ending at Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn.

Broadway’s Black Voices of the Future
New York Public Library
5:30 p.m.
The free concert will spotlight up-and-coming Black composers and lyricists, including Zhailon Levingston, Nik Alexander, Nehemiah Luckett, Tracey Conyer Lee, Sissi Liu, Kirya Traber, Alex Hare, Derrick Byars, Tia DeShazor, AriDy Nox, and Brandon Webster.

The Woman Hater
Red Bull
7:30 p.m. Available until January 29th
Frances Burney’s rarely seen 18th century proto-feminist satire is a hilarious story of broken engagements, excessive romanticism – and one massively misguided misogynist.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The Met launches its week of opera’s bad boys with Mozart’s take on the Don Juan myth, imbuing it with a combination of comedy, seductiveness, danger, and damnation.
Starring Hibla Gerzmava, Malin Byström, Serena Malfi, Paul Appleby, Simon Keenlyside, Adam Plachetka, Matthew Rose, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From October 22, 2016.

8 p.m.
The first play in a series created by Harlem Stage, Harlem 9 and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, York Walker’s play takes place during the 2020 election. focusing on the building tension between a white executive and her black assistant.

Tuesday, January 26

The Catastrophist
Marin Theatre Company
Available through February 28
Lauren Gunderson, the country’s most produced playwright, interviewed her husband, the virologist Nathan Wolfe, for this time-jumping tale based on his life and work.

Stay Home and Stay Safe
1st Irish Festival
3 p.m.
Plays by Geraldine Aaron, Honor Molloy, Derek Murphy and Ursula Rani Sarma.

A Collection of Short Plays
African Caribbean Mixfest at Atlantic
6 p.m.
Short plays by Julissa Contreras, Dane Figueroa Edidi ,  Patrice Johnson Chevannes, and Jeff Augustin.

Molly Sweeney
7 p.m.
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
The launch of Irish Rep’s four-week repertory retrospective of all nine of its original digital productions during the COVID-19 shut-down. This first one is Brian Friel’s play starring Geraldine Hughes, Paul O’Brien, and Ciarán O’Reilly as blind Molly, her husband Frank, who makes her blindness his latest cause, and Dr. Rice, a once famous surgeon half-drowned in Irish whiskey whom Frank recruits to attempt to restore Molly’s sight. (See Geraldine Hughes also in “Belfast Blues.”)

Rossini’s Le Comte Ory
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
Set during the Crusades in 13th-century Touraine, Rossini’s French farce chronicles a caddish count who, along with the rest of his footmen, disguises himself as a nun in order to hide in a convent and snag his love interest, a virtuous countess named Adèle
Bartlett Sher’s Met premiere production, starring Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Susanne Resmark, Juan Diego Flórez, Stéphane Degout, and Michele Pertusi, conducted by Maurizio Benini. From April 9, 2011.

Three Hotels
Tectonic Theater Project
8 p.m. Available through January 30
Bobby Cannavale and Marisa Tomei  star in a free streamed benefit reading for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids  of Jon Robin Baitz’s play that unfolds through monologues set in hotel rooms in Morocco, the Virgin Islands and Mexico, as a married couple reflect on their lives as players in the game of international business. It is directed by Moises Kaufman, founder of the Tectonic Theater Project (The Laramie Project), which is producing.

Wednesday, January 27

Aenid Moloney in “Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom”

Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
3 p.m.

Aedin Moloney performs her and Colum McCann’s adaptation of the last chapter of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses — the famous/infamous Molly chapter — the one that ends “….I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes,”

Red Folder
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
A ten-minute play written, directed and illustrated by Rajiv Joseph and narrated by Carrie Coon. The red folder belongs to a first grader. It is the source of all his woes. Years later, he seeks vengeance.
Available along with five other virtual productions this season with the purchase of a $75 Steppenwolf NOW membership. ($50 for Students, teachers, essential workers, “including arts workers”)

Those Winter Sundays
Theater of War productions
7:00 PM
This special collaboration with the PBS series Poetry in America will present live readings by the actors Moses Ingram and Bill Murray of Robert Hayden’s 1960s sonnet “Those Winter Sundays,” as a catalyst for a guided discussion about the everyday struggle of surviving, thriving, and connecting during this incredibly difficult winter. The event will also feature a recorded reading of Hayden’s poem by President Joe Biden, helping frame crucial dialogue between diverse communities about economic hardship, family dynamics, parenting, domestic violence, racism, and American identity during this divided and fractured time.

The Homebound Project: Sixth Edition
7 pm. available until Sunday Jan 31
Given the prompt “2021,” the following performers will appear in short works by the following playwrights:
Christopher Abbott and  Dylan Baker and Becky Ann Baker in a work by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by Paul Mullins
Jojo Brown in a work by Cece Suazo, directed by Jenna Worsham;
Michael Chernus in a work by Adam Rapp
Dalia Davi in a work by Ren Dara Santiago, directed by Jenna Worsham;
Nicholas Gorham in a work by Brian Otaño, directed by Tatiana Pandiani;
Emily Kuroda in a work by Kate Cortesi, directed by Jenna Worsham;Eden Malyn and Catya McMullen in a work by McMullen
Carolyn Ratteray in a work by Bekah Brunstetter
Stacey Karen Robinson in a work by Sharon Bridgforth
Paul Sparks in work by Brian Watkins, directed by Danya Taymor
Babak Tafti in a work by Colette Robert, directed by Taylor Reynolds
Daigi-Ann Thompson in a work by Julissa Contreras;
Special guest appearance by Amanda Seyfried musical performance by Sting.

7 p.m.
A new Latinx musical play about the Bronx fires of the ’70s. Written and directed by Rosalba Rolón  with original music by Desmar Guevara. The piece collects moments from those who lived through and survived the fires, those who are remembered as champions or adversaries of the people, and those who engaged in and later shrugged responsibility for the “arson for hire” racket. Filmed reading followed by live chat on Zoom! This event is in English and Spanish.

Gounod’s Faust
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The legend of Faust, the aging philosopher who sells his soul for renewed youth and earthly delights, has inspired many operatic adaptations, but none has proved as popular as Gounod’s rich, elegantly Gallic interpretation, which was the very first opera ever performed at the Met in 1883
Des McAnuff’s thrilling 2011 production that places the mythical and timeless story in an early 20th-century setting, starring Marina Poplavskaya, Jonas Kaufmann, and René Pape, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 10, 2011.

The Weir
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
8 p.m.
Conor McPherson’s play takes place in a remote country pub in Ireland, newcomer Valerie arrives and becomes spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories told by the local bachelors who drink there. With a whiff of sexual tension in the air and the wind whistling outside, what starts out as blarney soon darkens as the tales drift into the realm of the supernatural. Then, Valerie reveals a startling story of her own. Starring Dan Butler, Sean Gormley, John Keating, Amanda Quaid, and Tim Ruddy

Enter Porter
Exponential Theater Festival
8 p.m.
“a poor adaptation of Macbeth about being drunk and in love” directed and developed by Sanaz Ghajar⁠

Theatre Immaterial
Exponential Theater Festival
8:30 p.m.
an audio play by Ben Holbrook,that is “masquerading as a guided meditation seeks to relax and stimulate its audience’s minds through vivid imagery and suggestive soundscapes.”

Thursday, January 28

Tigress of San Domingue
African Caribbean Mixfest at Atlantic
6 p.m.
The second of France-Luce Benson’s Haitian Revolution trilogy continues the journey of Cécile, an enslaved African healer turned rebel soldier, and Valentine, a French expat caught between two worlds.

Looking for Tiger Lily
La MaMa
7 p.m. live. On demand through February 7
Part of the Reflections of Native Voices Festival, writer and performer Anthony Hudson recounts through song, dance drag and video a lifetime as a queer mixed Native person watching the 1960 production of Peter Pan featuring Sondra Lee’s blonde, blue-eyed “Indian Princess” Tiger Lily, then Disney’s Pocahontas and Cher’s Half-Breed.

Love, Noel
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
7 p.m.
Based on Noel Coward’s songs, stories and personal letters, Steve Ross and KT Sullivan transform into some of the many characters that made up Coward’s unique life…Gertrude Lawrence, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Elaine Stritch, Lynn Fontanne, Virginia Woolf, Edna Ferber, the Queen Mother, and of course Noël Coward himself.

Verdi’s Falstaff
Metropolitan Opera
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.
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Paolo Fanale, Ambrogio Maestri, and Franco Vassallo, conducted by James Levine. From December 14, 2013.

MCC Theater
7:30 live. Available through January 31
Marisei Tomei, Oscar Isaac and Patrick Breen star in a reading of the play by Alan Bowne that launched MCC in 1987 (a rebroadcast of the virtual event from April.) Set in a dingy Lower East Side apartment in the 1980s, Beirut follows the story of Torch (played by Oscar Isaac), a young man who is in quarantine after testing positive to a nameless disease. His girlfriend (Marisa Tomei, reprising her award-winning role from 1987), refuses to leave him isolating alone.

The Nourish Project
WP Theater
7:30 p.m. available each night through Feb 7th
A 70-minute show conceived and directed by Rebecca Martinez has a large cast and uses music, dance, and poetry, with the intent of allowing the virtual audience “to follow their curiosity and explore their own paths during the experience.”

Theatre Alive: A Celebration of School Theatre
8:30 p.m
The gala in support of the Educational Theatre Foundation will feature performances and presentations by Tina Fey, Wayne Brady, Audra McDonald, Amber Riley, Jennifer Hudson, and Samuel L. Jackson, along with current high school students, and present the Craig Zadan Theatre for Life Award to Kenny Leon.

Heidegger’s Indiana
Exponential Theater Festival
9 p.m.
“A shimmering mound of sharp steel scraps provide a setting for daily tasks complicit in necropolitics,” created by Esther Neff and Kaia Gilje of Panoply Performance Laboratory

Friday, January 29

A Shero’s Journey Or What Anacaona And Yemayá Taught Me
African Caribbean Mixfest at Atlantic
6 p.m.
In this play by Guadalís Del Carmen, Zoila leaves everything behind after tragedy strikes, embarking on a journey with two ancestral figures

Blood, Water, Earth
La MaMa
7 pm live. On demand through Feb 7
Created by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre as part of the Reflections of Native Voices Festival,

Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
This earliest of Wagner’s operatic creations to remain in the standard repertory revolves around an otherworldly outsider, a Flying Dutchman, and the woman who sacrifices herself for his salvation.
François Girard’s stirring new production, recorded from a rehearsal right before Covid shut down the planned debut, stars Anja Kampe, Mihoko Fujimura, Sergey Skorokhodov, David Portillo, Evgeny Nikitin, and Franz-Josef Selig, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From March 10, 2020.

Belfast Blues
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
8 p.m.

Autobiographical stories written and performed by Geraldine Hughes are rooted in her perspective as a little girl coming of age in the war-torn Belfast of the 1980s.

The night that you stopped acting/La noche que dejaste de actuar
Exponential Theater Festival
8 p.m.
Choreographer and dancer Anabella Lenzu confronts the absurdity and irony of life, while being an artist and a spectator in today’s world.

Night Descends on Svalbard
Exponential Theater Festival
8:30 p.m.
In this collaboration of Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos featuring Michelle Uranowitz, three researchers at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway are forced to confront the night, after being stranded, as the season of 24 hour sunlight comes to an end.

Saturday, January 30

Give Me Your Hand
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
3 p.m.
A poetical stroll through The National Gallery of London with poems by Paul Durcan, starring Dermot Crowley & Dearbhla Mollo

Death and Mourning After
La MaMa

7 pm. live. On demand through February 7
As part of the Reflections of Native Voices Festival, Timothy White Eagle in collaboration with cellist Lori Goldston present a work in development based on the themes, rituals and mythologies surrounding death.

Dog Act
The Seeing Place
7 p.m. Live on Zoom. Streaming Feb 2-12
A darkly comic variation on the classic doomsday genre, with five original songs.

Verdi’s Rigoletto
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A Victor Hugo play, haunting and scandalous, provided the inspiration for Verdi’s mid-career masterpiece about a vengeful but misguided court jester, out to rescue his deflowered daughter from a duke’s licentious clutches. None of it ends well, but along the way, the composer introduces several of his most iconic duets and arias—including the tenor’s indelibly popular number “La donna è mobile” in Act III—as well as an 11th-h
Michael Mayer’s acclaimed production sets the action of Verdi’s masterpiece in 1960 Las Vegas—a neon-lit world ruled by money and ruthless, powerful men. It stars Diana Damrau, Oksana Volkova, Piotr Beczała, Željko Lučić, and Štefan Kocán, conducted by Michele Mariotti. From February 16, 2013.

A Touch of the Poet
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
8 p.m.
Eugene O’Neill’s play about Con Melody is a drunk saddled with a run-down tavern outside Boston, who fancies himself a European war hero born in an Irish castle. He’s a vain, moody character living an illusion. The audience too lives an illusion that all the characters are in the same room, while actually the actors were performing in scattered locations miles apart. (My review)

Exponential Theater Festival
8 p.m.
Written by Elinor T Vanderburg, the play takes place at a time when a plague has overtaken the city, and a detective is on the case gets a phone call.

And Then I Wake Up
Exponential Theater Festival
8:30 p.m.
Written by Wi-Moto Nyoka and performed by Elinor Vanderburg, the piece is “a horror audio work accompanied by a visual meditation that explores the role of dreaming and nightmares in our lives,” in which a character can’t seem to get a restful night due to her sleepwalking condition, and the monsters.

Sunday, January 31

On Beckett
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
2 p.m.
Master clown Bill Irwin offers insights and explanations of Samuel Beckett’s work, as performs scenes from it, in this 75-minute solo piece. (my review)

Meet Me in St. Louis
Theatre@Home Winter Festival at Irish Rep
7 p.m.
Why stream a new screen version of “Meet Me in St. Louis” when people can see the old screen version starring Judy Garland just as easily? I listed six reasons to love the Irish Rep production in my review, two of which are relative newcomer Shereen Ahmed in the Judy role, and Melissa Errico as her mother.

Verdi’s Macbeth
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The plot may be focused on the eponymous Scottish king, but Verdi’s high-flying take on Shakespeare’s drama boasts three powerhouse arias for Lady Macbeth, making it a signature showpiece for divas at the very top of their game.
Esteemed Shakespearean director Adrian Noble focuses on the timeless and universal themes embraced by Verdi in this atmospheric production starring Maria Guleghina, Dimitri Pittas, Željko Lučić, and John Relyea, conducted by James Levine. From January 12, 2008.

Purell Piece
Exponential Theater Festival
9 p.m.
In this piece by Hannah Kallenbach, a lonely woman finds comfort in an automatic Purell dispenser.

Exponential Theater Festival
9:30 p.m.
This 18-minute project by Jose Rivera Jr. features six musical tracks that explore the concept of gender, toxic masculinity, and transformation.

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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