March 2021 Theater Openings, Week 1: Rent Returns! Festivals of women, science and dance!

Below are the day-by-day listings of online theater that is opening between March 1 and March 7, including the launching of galas and festivals celebrating Women’s History Month, science, dance, and the 25th anniversary of the musical Rent. It is all an implicit celebration of theater surviving and thriving online as we near the first anniversary of the shut-down of the physical stages in which the art form has been presented for thousands of years.

Monday, March 1

Henry Makes A Bible
Ensemble Studio Theater
3 p.m.
This first of eight plays about science in EST’s First Light Festival, tells the story of the creation of the world’s most famous medical textbook by two college students in 1850, Henry and Henry

Empathy Concert
Learning Collaborative
4 p.m.
The Zoom hour features Eva Noblezada, Telly Leung, Raymond J. Lee and David Henry Hwang, performing and discussing how we can confront fear and racism with empathy and understanding.

Poetry Electric: Just Riffing
La MaMa
7 p.m.
Poetry, tap and jazz from poet Daniel Carlto, bass player Steve Whipple, tap dancer Alex MacDonald, and Asha Griffith

Julius Caesar Episode 2
7 p.m.
Patrick Page (phenomenal Shakespearean actor, as evident in “All The Devils Are Here” ) portrays the title role in the second of four weekly episodes that adapt Shakespeare’s tragedy as radio drama. Jordan Barbour is Brutus; Keith Hmilton Cobb, Cassius; Jamie Ballard, Mark Antony.

Donizetti’s Don Pasquale
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
 A clever young widow is pitted against a crusty old bachelor, who is no match for her wiles. John Dexter’s lavish production was created as a parting gift for the beloved American soprano Beverly Sills, who bid farewell to the Met in 1979 as Norina — a fitting launch to the Met’s celebration of Women’s History Month.
Starring Beverly Sills, Alfredo Kraus, Håkan Hagegård, and Gabriel Bacquier, conducted by Nicola Rescigno. Production by John Dexter. From January 11, 1979.

River’s Message
San Francisco Playhouse
10 p.m. ET
Kennedy creates a Facebook App to help her best friend, River, communicate with her dead mother in this play by Conrad A. Panganiban that’s part of the theater’s free “Zoomlet” series — table readings with discussions between creative team and cast before and afterwards.

Tuesday, March 2

Verdi’s Falstaff
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A bawdy adaptation of scenes from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. His raucous operatic farce charts a knight’s gold-digging efforts to seduce two married women, leading to belly-flopping failure on both counts.  Marilyn Horne—a leader in the bel canto revival of the 1960s and 70s, and one of today’s leading mentors of young singers—stars as Mistress Quickly.
Starring Mirella Freni, Barbara Bonney, Marilyn Horne, Susan Graham, Paul Plishka, Frank Lopardo, and Bruno Pola, conducted by James Levine. Production by Franco Zeffirelli. From October 10, 1992.

25 Years of Rent: Measured in Love
New York Theatre Workshop
8 p.m. Available through March 6
Cast members from the original production of Rent—including Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia—will reunite for this virtual gala, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the late Jonathan Larson’s musical. Many, many other performers will participate, including Christopher Jackson, Eva Noblezada, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Ali Stroker and Tracie Thoms and both  Joe Iconis and Pasek and Paul will present new songs.

Wednesday, March 3

An Iliad (Streaming)
Court Theater
A film of the site-specific production at Chicago’s Oriental Institute
by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare.

On This Side of the World and The Village of Vale
New York Theatre Barn
7 p.m.
Excerpts and discussion of two new musicals in development: 1. In On This Side of the World, six actors give voice to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, 2. Carrying only a pair of magical glasses and a desire for vengeance, an ageless Traveler returns to the village that once betrayed her.

Wagner’s Die Walküre
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The second installment of the Ring cycle, Die Walküre is the most popular and most self-contained episode in the epic tetralogy. It combines the mythical machinations of gods and demigods with the deeply human love story of the brave hero Siegmund and the dignified Sieglinde (portrayed here by Jessye Norman, one of her generation’s most formidable dramatic voices) Starring Hildegard Behrens, Jessye Norman, Christa Ludwig, Gary Lakes, James Morris, and Kurt Moll, conducted by James Levine. Production by Otto Schenk. From April 8, 1989.

Thursday, March 4

On Women Festival 2021
This month-long festival begins today with “New Media Storytelling,” virtual works submitted by artists from all over the world. The audience can then vote on their favorites.

New Normal Rep
7 p.m. Available through April 4
In this play by Jack Canfora, directed by Marsha Mason, several years after tragedy impacted their lives, a family comes together once again for Thanksgiving dinner. While family members struggle to come to terms with residual anger, grief and guilt

Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
Mozart’s final completed opera, aka The Magic Flute, is many things—mystical fable, earthy comedy, humanist manifesto, arcane Masonic credo. Starring Golda Schultz, Kathryn Lewek, Charles Castronovo, Markus Werba, and René Pape, conducted by James Levine. Production by Julie Taymor. From October 14, 2017.

80s Mall Murder Madness
Broadway Murder Mysteries
8 p.m.
$10 or $25
Be a character in this murder of a 1980s mall developer (for $25) or just a detective helping to solve the crime (for $10)

amfar A Gala for Our Times
8 p.m.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Glenn Close will be honored, presented by Bette Midler and Julia Roberts, in this first virtual gala by the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Appearance by Billy Porter, performances by Kelly Clarkson, Ava Max and Rita Ora.

Friday, March 5

Swan Lake
New York City Center
6 p.m. on demand through March 14
The first production in the month-long Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival, it is one of the last live performances at City Center in 2020. The production replaces the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble. Will Bozier as The Swan/The Stranger, Liam Mower as The Prince, and Nicole Kabera as The Queen.

Bernarda’s Daughter’s: Mo(u)rning Call
7 p.m.
A work in progress by Diane Exavier about grief, inspired by Federico García Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba. “How does grief make survival possible? How do we live with grief in this city that has absorbed and witnessed the mourning of its countless inhabitants? And what else does grief open up to?” A digital EP will be sent after RSVPing

Britten’s Peter Grimes
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
Benjamin Britten’s gripping parable about an outsider fisherman’s persecution in a small Suffolk coastal village, and his slow descent into madness, offers one of the repertory’s most complex tenor roles as well as some of its most haunting and atmospheric music
Starring Patricia Racette (a trailblazing advocacy for LGBTQ+ artists), Anthony Dean Griffey, and Anthony Michaels-Moore, conducted by Sir Donald Runnicles.  Production by John Doyle. From March 15, 2008.

SuperYou Drive-In Concert
Broadway on Demand
8 p.m. through April 1
12.95 premiere, $3.95 afterwards
A virtual streaming of last year’s rock musical (plus backstage footage) that was presented at an upstate drive-in. “SuperYou” by Lourds Lane presents the journey of a woman who reconnects with her dreams when her superheroine creations come to life.

To The Moon
Creede Repertory Theater
8 p.m. ET Live. Then a recording available March 15-April 11
Beth Kander’s docu-drama is based on over 200 surveys and 20 in-person interviews with survivors of domestic violence,

Deaf Is Not A Dirty Word
The Tank
8 p.m.
Deaf Women share their trials and tribulations, inspiration, and humor. This show is inspired by The Vagina Monologues and Ihollaback! This show provides ASL with voice interpretation.

Happy Days
The Wild Project
8 p.m. available intermittently through March 11
Beckett’s post-apocalyptic vision, with Winnie buried in a mound of dirt and her husband Willie off to the side, filmed on stage without an audience, directed by Nico Krell, featuring Tessa Albertson and Jake Austin Robertson

Saturday, March 6

Dvořák’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. Starring Renée Fleming, Emily Magee, Dolora Zajick, Piotr Beczała, and John Relyea, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production by Otto Schenk. From February 8, 2014.

Not Smart
Metropolitan Playhouse
8 p.m.
This 1919 one-act comedy by Wilbur Daniel Steele concerns a Bohemian couple, artists Milo and Fannie Tate, on Cape Cod who find out their Portuguese maid is pregnant (the title is Portuguese colloquialism for a woman who has gotten pregnant out of wedlock)…andFannie starts suspecting that Milo is the father.

Ludic Proxy Fukushima
Japan Society
9:30 p.m.
Set a few years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, this video adaptation of Brooklyn-based theater-maker Aya Ogawa’s play Ludic Proxy follows a woman named Maho, visiting her older sister Maki who lives on the outskirts of the Fukushima nuclear evacuation zone….Using video games as a dramaturgy, viewers are asked to vote, in real time “audience polling,” on how Maho progresses through this harrowing set of circumstances, thus determining outcomes along the wa

Sunday, March 7

International Woman’s Day Celebration
La MaMa
11 a.m.
Showcasing world music, song, dance, poetry, storytelling and visual arts, tradition, and myth, with performances by artists from around the world.

Verdi’s La Forza del Destino
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
 Leonora is a young Spanish noblewoman and one of the repertory’s most tormented characters, who endures the losses of her father, her lover, and her brother—as well as the guilt of being indirectly responsible for each of these calamitous events—before eventually being killed herself. Starring Leontyne Price, Giuseppe Giacomini, Leo Nucci, and Bonaldo Giaiotti, conducted by James Levine. Production by John Dexter. From March 24, 1984.

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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