February 2021 Theater Openings Final Week: De Shields as Frederick Douglass. Baryshnikov in a Computer Chekhov. A New Labyrinth Play Every Day

Below are the day-by-day listings of online theater that is opening between February 22 and February 28. In this final week of the month, Labyrinth Theater is offering an original new play each day as part of its 2021 Barn Series, André De Shields performs as Frederick Douglass, married couple Michael McKean and  Annette O’Toole play a pair of office workers in an old Murray Schisgal comedy, while Andrea Burns plays a single mother in an old Theresa Rebeck comedy.

Patrick Page is in a radio Shakespeare while Mikhail Baryshnikov is in a computer Chekhov. The Metropolitan Opera devotes its week to the late baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky. And Caridad Svich offers “Theatre A Love Story” — which may not-so-secretly sum up the whole list of shows to see this week.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Women Without Men
Mint Theater
Available through March 21
A workplace drama by  Hazel Ellis laced with biting humor, set in the teacher’s lounge of a private girls’ boarding school in Ireland in the 1930s

Songbook: Art and Artists of Tomorrow
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
5:30 p.m.
The songwriting team of David Kornfeld and Kyle Segar perform from their work.

Experiments: Iseult et Tristan
La MaMa
7 p.m.
Pia Wilson’s modern adaptation of a 12th century tragic romance focuses on Iseult,  a young, African American boxer, who struggles with addiction and with her love for Tristan, who is her sister’s fiancé, while she pursues her dream of being a gold medalist at the Olympics. 

Julius Caesar Episode 1
7 p.m.
Patrick Page (phenomenal Shakespearean actor, as evident in “All The Devils Are Here” ) portrays the title role in the first of four weekly episodes that adapt Shakespeare’s tragedy as radio drama.

The Belle’s Stratagem
Red Bull
7:30 p.m. live, then available until Feb 26
A benefit reading of this light-hearted comedy of courtship written in 1780 by Hannah Cowley about the women who conspire with Letitia to convince her fiancé (to whom she has been betrothed since childhood) to love, respect and treat her as an equal.

Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
A turbulent tale of love and revenge, this production launches the Met Opera’s Week of Dimitri Hvorostovsky., co-starring with Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick, Marcelo Álvarez, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Sir David McVicar. From April 30, 2011.

Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
This first play, by Joey Palestina, in Labyrinth’s week-long 2021 Barn series of original plays, is a tale of faulty intimacy from faulty humans moving through a world of faulty connection

Perfect Numbers
San Francisco Playhouse
10 p.m ET
A woman without a home makes friends with a philosophical octopus on Venice Beach in this play by Diana Burbano which is part of the theater’s free “Zoomlet” series — table readings with discussions between creative team and cast before and afterwards.

Tuesday, February 23

Bad Dates
George Street Playhouse
Available through March 14
Andrea Burns stars in Theresa Rebeck’s one-woman comedy about a single mom in search of cute shoes, the perfect dress, and a romantic table for two 

Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Based on Pushkin’s novel, the officer Hermann desperately tries to learn a powerful secret, amidst the vast elegance and mystical allure of imperial St. Petersburg. Starring Galina Gorchakova, Elisabeth Söderström, Plácido Domingo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Nikolai Putilin, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Production by Elijah Moshinsky. From April 15, 1999.

The War I Know
Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
Dominic Colon’s play tells the story of Eggie, a flamboyant 12 year old obsessed with television and musical theater, and his ten year old neighbor, who lost both parents to AIDS and was infected at birth with HIV.

The Black Mass Sonata
Berkeley Rep
One of the ten-minute audio plays released each week in Place/Settings: Berkeley about specific places in Berkeley, California. This one is by Daniel Handler: Bored, lost, and lonely, a teenager stumbles into a café. While eating a cup of soup, he hears a wondrously inscrutable sonata, and begins to sense that being lost might not be such a lonesome condition after all.

Wednesday, February 24

Digital Myths and Hymns: Work
Master Voices
6:30 p.m.
The second chapter of Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle. This 16-minute video with a huge cast that includes Shoshana Bean and John Lithgow features five songs exploring “the possibility of finding fulfillment through dedication, striving, and struggle.”

Freedom Riders: The Civil Rights Musical
New York Theatre Barn
Excerpts of the new musical by Richard Allen and Taran Gray about the group of civil rights activists, including future Congressman John Lewis, who rode interstate buses in mixed racial groups through the South challenging segregation. The hour-long presentation will include a conversation with the creative team.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Shy Tatiana falls in love with the worldly Onegin, a love that is unrequited. Starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Production by Robert Carsen. From February 24, 2007.

Ensemble Night
Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
Six short plays about everything from a beloved elephant at the Bronx Zoo affected by the lockdown to a woman whose only company are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,

Thursday, February 25

Ma-Yi Theater
A 16 minute “audio meditation” inspired by the measurable reduction of sound on the planet due to the pandemic. 

The Things Are Against Us
6:30 p.m. available through Feb 28
Susan Soon He Stanton’s one-act play in the MCC LiveLab series invites you to spend the night in a mysterious house with two sisters, and a young man unearthing the dark secrets of his grandfather’s past

First Love
Theatre for a New Audience
7 pm. Available until March 1
Bill Camp (the chess master custodian in The Queen’s Gambit) stars in this stage adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s story about a loner who expounds on many things, including the woman who brought him in from the cold. Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis, the virtual production is free upon registration.

Verdi’s Ernani
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Elvira is a young woman caught between three men all of whom want he: her lover, the nobleman-turned-outlaw Ernani; her guardian; and the King of Spain. Starring Angela Meade, Marcello Giordani, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Pier Luigi Samaritani. From February 25, 2012.

Wherever You Go
Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
In this play by Elizabeth Canavan, Daisy joins a support group and embarks on a radical journey risking everything to find her son

The Revolutionists
Coachella Valley Repertory
10 p.m. ET
Lauren Gunderson’s 2016 comedy about four actual women who lived in France during the French Revolution — playwright Olympe De Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle

Friday, February 26

Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory
Flushing Town Hall
7 p.m. Live
André De Shields portrays the 19th century abolitionist in this third production of Flushing Town Hall’s Black History Trilogy

The Typists
7 pm. On demand through March 2
Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole star in The Typists, a short play written in 1963 by Murray Schisgal, in new a virtual production by Austin Pendleton, in which married law student Paul Cunningham takes a job as a typist for an ad agency in a two-person office supervised by Sylvia. They both have hopes and dreams that change as they age.

Verdi’s La Traviata
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Exhausted by her restless life as a courtesan, Violetta knows she will die soon. But then she meets the young and idealistic Alfredo, who offers her true love—with tragic consequences. Starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by Willy Decker. From April 14, 2012.

Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
David Deblinger and Ben Snyder’s suspenseful journey through love, lust and loss.

The Cherry Orchard A Mixed Media Workshop
Arlekin Players at Baryshnikov Arts Center
8 p.m.
This adaptation takes place on  Chekhov’s desktop computer, where viewers discover six of his classic characters living in a virtual space searching for happiness. The cast features Jessica Hecht, Anna Baryshnikov, Darya Denisova, Jeffrey Hayenga, Melanie Moore, Mark Nelson, Nael Nacer, and Mikhail Baryshnikov himself.

The Signal Through The Noise
The Cell Theater
8 p.m.
Two of our heroes are separated in a breakout room, assigned with an unwieldy task; to listen through the white noise and interpret its meaning. 

Radio Bemba; a night of one-act plays by Latinx playwrights
The Tank
8 p.m.
 La Princesita by Chase Doggett, Christopher Columbus is in the Waiting Room by Irisdelia Garcia, Clickbait by Makasha Copeland, and After Sitting (Zoom) Shiva for Zev by Isaiah Stavchansky.

Next Fall
The Reading Series
8 p.m.
The play by Geoffrey Nauffts depicts the five-year relationship of Luke, a devout Christian, and Adam, a confirmed atheist. Following a serious accident, Adam must reassess his views and seek support from an unexpected source. (My review of the original, 2010 Off-Broadway production.)

Saturday, February 27

Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life, and Legacy of Sarah Vaughan
Flushing Town Hall
7 p.m. 
Tony-winner Lillias White (Dreamgirls, The Life, Chicago) portrays the seminal jazz singer in the second of the Flushing Town Hall’s Black History trilogy. (Rescheduled from February 18th, because of the storm.)

New Federal Theater
7 p.m. Available through March 1
This drama by Mfundi Vundla, originally presented by New Federal Theater in 1981, is about the struggle of three African women to overcome oppressive conditions in South Africa.

Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
The Swedish king is in love with Amelia, the wife of his best friend and counselor, Count Anckarström, who joins a conspiracy to murder the king, . Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Kathleen Kim, Stephanie Blythe, Marcelo Álvarez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. Production by David Alden. From December 8, 2012.

Upon These Shoulders
Black Theatre Coalition
8 p.m.
A celebration of what Black artists have created over the past 150 years, with performances and appearances by a raft of Broadway stars, musicians, performers, and arts allies 

Dani & Joe: A Gen X Love Story
Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
Kristina Poe explores a secret affair spanning decades, built on a desire for the ugliness in each other

Chicken and Biscuits
The Directors Company
8 p.m.
In Douglas Lyons’ comedy, Baneatta and Beverly attempt to put their sisterly differences aside to bury their father, Bernard. All is well at the funeral until it’s revealed that Bernard had not just two daughters, but three.

Theatre A Love Story
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
8 p.m. Available through March 27
Noted theater artist Caridad Svich’s “play-conversation and art installation about love, catastrophe, capitalism and climate grief, and yes, theatre too.” The cast features A.J. Baldwin, Montez O. Jenkins-Copeland, Elizabeth Molloy, Nathan Tubbs

Sunday, February 28

How My Grandparents Fell in Love
Playing on Air
In Cary Gitter’s 15-minute audio play, it’s 1933, and a young Jewish immigrant returns to his Polish hometown in search of a wife. He sets his sights on Chava, a savvy, sarcastic shopgirl in a local hat store. 

The Seeing Place
7 p.m. 
A new virtual production of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play about the residents of Reading, Pa at the end of their rope.

Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 available for 23 hours
Leonora, the young noblewoman at the center of the story, is in love with the troubadour of the title but also pursued by Count di Luna. Starring Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Yonghoon Lee, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Sir David McVicar. From October 3, 2015.

The Undertaking
Labyrinth Theater
8 p.m.
Chris McGarry’s play about Tom, who every year buries a few hundred of his fellow townspeople

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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