March 2021 Theater Openings Week 3: Stars in the House AND Viral Monologues Anniversaries. The Last Five Years. Dorian Gray Updated.

Below are the day-by-day listings of online theater that is opening between March 15 and March 21. This includes the return of Viral Monologues on its first anniversary, a celebration of the first anniversary of Stars in the House, and the latest original cutting-edge closet classic from Theater in Quarantine, and Goodspeed Musicals goes on demand. Fionn Whitehead stars in a reworked Oscar Wilde, and the Metropolitan Opera offers a week of fan favorites.

Monday, March 15

Passing Through
On demand through April 4
An archived video of the 2019 musical production that tells the true story of a young man who journeys on foot from Pennsylvania to California, collecting stories as he goes.

Experiments: Three Ring Circus
La MaMa
7 p.m.
The play by Sean Patrick Higgins is a farce that explores interracial relationships at a family dinner where the hosts are a man, his wife and his mistress.

31st Annual Kleban Prize
New Dramatists via Broadway on Demand
7 p.m.
The evening will present musical performances from this year’s winners, Benjamin Scheuer (best known for The Lion, but also a recent music video Empty Stage) and Melissa Li and Kit Yan (best known for Interstate)

Red Bull Theater
7:30 p.m. Available until March 19
First performed in 1588, John Lyly’s complicated queer comedy where two young women, Gallathea (Olivia Rose Barrsesi) and Phillida (Layla Khoshnoudi), are sent by the fathers into the forest dressed as boys to avoid being offered as sacrifice to Neptune. The two meet and are immediately attracted to one another, each unaware that the other is in disguise.

The Last Five Years
Out of the Box Theatrics
7:30 p.m. available through March 28
In this beloved two-character musical about a love gone wrong by Jason Robert Brown, Nasia Thomas portrays Cathy telling her story backwards while Nicholas Edwards portrays Jamie, who tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.

Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A triptych of operatic vignettes based on the stories of E. T. A. Hoffmann, Offenbach’s late masterpiece about a poet’s three great loves may seem a light, frilly fantasia on its surface (it was a hit at the Parisian Opéra-Comique when it premiered in 1881), but it reveals hidden depths as the night wears on. Starring Anna Netrebko, Kathleen Kim, Ekaterina Gubanova, Kate Lindsey, Joseph Calleja, and Alan Held, conducted by James Levine. Production by Bartlett Sher. From December 19, 2009.

Tuesday, March 16

The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Barn Theatre in Cirencester with other UK theaters
Through March 31
Oscar Wilde’s story updated by Henry Filloux-Bennett to the present-day world of social media, starring Fionn Whitehead (star of Dunkirk and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch)

Daniel J. Watts’ Jam: The Only Child
Signature Theater of Arlington via Marquee
Available through May 7
The Broadway actor recounts his life as the only child of a single mother. 

Viral Monologues
24 Hour Plays
6 p.m.
The return of this #ACTA-winning series on its first anniversary. Minutes-long monologues written, rehearsed and recorded in 24 hours with starry casts, are presented one by one every 15 minutes on the company’s Instagram account.playwrights include  Playwrights featured this time: Alex Edelman, Lily Houghton, Hansol Jung, Anchuli Felicia King, David Lindsay-Abaire and Tom Kitt, Kenneth Lonergan, Cat Miller and Jonathan Marc Sherman. 

The Aran Islands
Irish Rep
7 p.m. available through March 28
Joe O’Byrne‘s adaptation of the book by John Millington Synge, whose visit to these Irish islands inspired him to write the play for which he is best known, The Playboy of the Western World. Irish actor Brendan Conroy stars.

Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A Gold Rush–era mining camp is the perfect place for a sweet-talkin’ bandit to fall for a gun-totin’ bar owner. Starring Eva-Maria Westbroek, Jonas Kaufmann, and Željko Lučić, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Giancarlo Del Monaco. From October 27, 2018.

Stars in the House anniversary special
8 p.m.
They started the show the day after New York’s stages were completely shut down (picture is from the first episode!), and now they’re celebrating a year’s worth of daily streaming. Guests include Annette Bening, Judy Kuhn, Melissa Manchester, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelli O’Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Keala Settle, Marc Shaiman

Wednesday, March 17

MTA Radio Plays: Episodes 7 to 9
A series of audio dramas created curated by Ren Dara Santiago and written by 17 playwrights to honor and celebrate the people that keep New York City running.

Anjou: The Musical Horror Tale and For Tonight
New York Theatre Barn
7 p.m.
Excerpts of two new musicals in development. 1. This modern Mexican opera, which recently had its English-language premiere, is a cautionary tale set in 16t​h​ century France, revolving around the massacre of Saint Bartholomew in 1572. 2. When their parents die of a mysterious illness in their small Welsh village, three surviving siblings are forced to fend for themselves.

Donizetti’s Anna Bolena
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
The first of Donizetti’s queen trilogy focuses on Anne Boleyn, second wife of the matrimonially prolific Henry VIII. Starring Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Gubanova, Tamara Mumford, Stephen Costello, and Ildar Abdrazakov, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Production by Sir David McVicar. From October 15, 2011.

No Exit
Fusion Theater NYC
7:30 p.m.
Live from Revelation Gallery, Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 play in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity, (popularizing Sartre’s phrase “Hell is other people.”)

Thursday, March 18

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Lincoln Center through Broadway on Demand
7 p.m. through April 11
Christopher Durang’s hilarious (but also touching) 2013 Tony winning Best Play is returning online for free (registration required), as part of Lincoln Center’s new Private Reels series, taken from their archives. Their description: Takes 3 mismatched siblings (played to the hilt by Kristine Nielsen, David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver), adds 1 boy toy (Billy Magnussen), throws in themes from Chekhov, pours it all into a blender and mixes it up. (My review)

Honestly Sincere
Theater in Quarantine
7 and 9 p.m.
Written by playwright Liza Birkenmeier, author of the 2019 play, Dr. Ride’s American Beach House, this latest offering by #ACTA winning Theater in Quarantine tells the story of a teenager who accesses a supernatural Nokia in 2002; the erotic danger of humiliation might be the only thing more powerful than a phone

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A portrait of the revolutionary title pharaoh, whose attempt to convert his society to the monotheistic worship of the sun leads to his overthrow. The singers share the stage with jugglers and acrobats. Starring Dísella Lárusdóttir, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein, and Zachary James, conducted by Karen Kamensek. Production by Phelim McDermott. From November 23, 2019.

Romeo and Julieta
Public Theater and WNYC
8 p.m. On demand through March 18, 2022
Shakespeare’s love tragedy as a bilingual audio podcast series directed by Saheem Ali and featuring Lupita Nyong’o and Juan Castano as the star-crossed lovers.

Becky Shaw
The Reading Series
8 p.m.
In this play by Gina Gianfriddo, newlywed couple fixes up two romantically challenged friends: Wife’s best friend, meet husband’s sexy and strange new co-worker. When an evening calculated to bring happiness takes a dark turn, crisis and comedy ensue. The six-member cast includes Jennifer Damiano and Andy Mientus.

Gutenberg The Musical
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
8 p.m. Available through March 21
A film of a new production of this 2003 metatheatrical musical (by the team who later created Beetlejuice the musical): Two aspiring playwrights, Bud and Doug, attempt to secure producers for their new musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg, singing all the songs and play all the parts in the hope of a Broadway contract.  Bobby Conte Thornton and Alex Prakken star.

Friday, March 19

New York City Center
6 p.m. on demand through March 28
Matthew Bourne’s dance-theater piece is a love story set in London during the Second World War, starring Ashley Shaw as Cinderella, Andrew Monaghan as Harry The Pilot, Michela Meazza as The Stepmother, Liam Mower as The Angel, and Alan Vincent as The Father.

Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
A feisty young noblewoman with a mind of her own. Starring Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Flórez, Peter Mattei, John Del Carlo, and John Relyea, conducted by Maurizio Benini. Production by Bartlett Sher. From March 24, 2007.

Saturday, March 20

Donmar Warehouse
3:30 p.m. ET
A live hour-long show mixing live performance, animation and sound to look at the impact of humans on nature. Free on the theater’s YouTube channel.

Ma Rose
New Federal Theatre
7 p.m. available until March 22
A reading of 1986 Cassandra Medley’s drama about an ailing matriarch sparring with women from other generations.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
Based on a Pushkin story, Tatiana is an intelligent but naive adolescent girl who is first rejected by an older, more worldly man, then blossoms into an elegant, rich, aristocratic woman and returns the favor when the two meet again. Starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Production by Robert Carsen. From February 24, 2007.

Winter’s Night
Metropolitan Playhouse
8 p.m. Available through March 24
In Neith Boyce’s 1916 drama, first developed for the Provincetown Playhouse, Rachel returns to her farm home with her brother-in-law, Jacob, after burying her husband.  As Rachel tells of her plans to leave and set up a dress-making business in order to have a life more like she desires, Jacob reveals his longtime unspoken love for her. 

Sunday, March 21

Little B’s Big Idea
1 p.m.
An original musical Becca Yuré that explore some of the challenges Little B and friends are navigating during the pandemic, like missing friends, remote learning, and big feelings. Free but requires registration.

The Oxy Complex
On demand through April 8
Set during the 500th day of quarantine, this dark comedy by Anna LaMadrid explores love, sex, loneliness, trauma, and the hormone that affects it all — Oxytocin, also known as “the cuddle” or “love” hormone. 

Anyone But Me
On demand through April 8
Sheila Carrasco explores the personas we create in order to get by. From the local grocery clerk, to your neighbor’s teenage daughter, to that lady from the cult

Handel’s Agrippina
Metropolitan Opera
7:30 p.m. available for 23 hours
Handel’s breakout opera masterpiece, Agrippina offers a wryly satirical look at the political maneuverings and personal entanglements of the Roman emperor Claudius, his cadre of advisers and hangers-on, and his cunning wife. This production updates the proceedings to the present day. Starring Brenda Rae, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Harry Bicket. Production by Sir David McVicar. From February 29, 2020.

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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