Below is a calendar of theater opening* in March 2023 in New York, including seven shows on Broadway: a new Andrew Lloyd Webber, revivals of Sondheim, Fosse and Jason Robert Brown, a classic Ibsen play reimagined, a beloved best-selling novel brought to the stage (largely peopled by puppets)…and the Jonas Brothers.
Beyond Broadway, there is a new reggae musical by Suzan-Lori Parks at the Public, a new Ukrainian jazz musical at La MaMa, four theater festivals, one celebrating the Latino theaters of New York and another devoted to puppetry, two plays by Eric Bogosian, revivals of plays by Lynn Nottage and Tennessee Williams, and a new sequel to Oscar Wilde’s best known comedy. Flushing Town Hall offers a trilogy of concerts to celebrate Women’s History Month.And that doesn’t cover half of this busy month of March.
The calendar is organized chronologically by opening date*, but we must consider the dates subject to change, because COVID-19 is ongoing and unpredictable.
Each title below is linked to a relevant website.
Key: Broadway: Red 🟥. Off Broadway: Blue 🟦. Off Off Broadway: Green 🟩.
Digital or Hybrid Theater: Yellow 🟨 Theater festival: Orange 🟧. Immersive: Silver ⬜️ .
Puppetry: Brown 🟫 Opera: Purple🟪. Concert 🎶 Staged Reading 📖 Out of town 🚍
🟧Teatro Fest NYC 2023 a citywide festival of live drama, dance, music and conversations with Latin artists, will take place from March 1 to April 30, 2023, featuring 20 productions and 210 performances in at least nine theater venues:IATI Theater | INTAR Theatre | Pregones/PRTT | Repertorio Español Teatro Círculo | Teatro LATEA | Teatro SEA | Thalia Spanish Theatre
The plays starting today are “Trucker” at INTAR ( A darkly humorous new play about Mexican truckers by Mariana Carreño King), and “March is Music” at Pregones/PRTT (nine live concerts and one film premiere.)
🟦The Best We Could (MTC at NY City Center)
A cross-country road trip veers off course when family collide with the values of a changing world.
🟦Eric Bogosian’s 1+1 (Soho Playhouse)
An actress is lured into a lewd business and finds her fate is no longer in her own hands
🟩 sleeper (The Tank)
In this play by Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood, a character named Sleeper takes what should be a quick nap, but instead encounters a shape-shifting cast of characters, both real and imagined, as they grapple with burnout and self doubt
t 🎶 Women’s History Month Trilogy #1: Golden Girls (Flushing Town Hall)
Zoe Lyons Nieves and her musicians celebrate the music of Dionne Warwick, Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Carole King, and Petula Clark.
🟩The Rewards of Being Frank (New York Classical Theatre at ART/NY)
Alice Scovell’s sequel to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
🚍Quarter Rican (Mile Square Theater)
A hip-hop comedy by Gabriel Diego Hernandez about the ins and outs of new parenting, with musical asides by the main characters’ alter egos, MC Plátano, and DJ Quenepa.
🟦The Trees (Playwrights Horizons)
In this play by Agnes Borinsky, siblings Sheila and David unwittingly establish a utopian community in a public park after waking up and realizing their feet have rooted into the ground.
🟦Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Ruth Stage at Theater at St. Clements)
A return of last summer’s production of Tennessee Williams’ play set in an estate in the Mississippi Delta of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton tycoon.
🟧 Spark Theater Festival (TADA! Theater)
A festival through March 26l of more than 60 musicals, dance, solo shows, cabaret and plays, all of them works in development not open to review.
🟦📖The Heart Sellers (MTC)
By Lloyd Suh, Directed by May Adrales
one-time afternoon reading part of free Ted Snowden Reading Series at MTC
For new Americans Jane and Luna, life in the USA has left them feeling isolated and invisible – until a chance encounter brings them together on Thanksgiving
🟧 United Solo Theatre Festival Spring 2023 (Theatre Row)
A festival of some 40 solo shows through March 26, each getting a single performance.
🟧🟫Puppetopia! (HERE Arts Center)
Dream Music’s second annual puppetry festival will present new works through March 25.
🟩 Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Keen Company at Theatre Row)
In this first New York revival of a play by Lynn Nottage, 17-year-old Ernestine Crump adjusts to life after the passing of her beloved mother, and her father’s relocating the family in search of spiritual answers from Pensacola to Brooklyn.
🟥 A Dolls House (Hudson Theater)
Jessica Chastain stars in the play by Henrik Ibsen, rewritten by Amy Herzo, and directed by Jamie Lloyd, that updates one of the world’s most produced plays about Nora Helmer’s awakening, breaking away from the restrictions of married life and motherhood.
🟦 Dark Disabled Stories (The Bushwick Starr at The Public Theater)
Ryan J. Haddad’s newest autobiographical play is a series of unforgiving vignettes about the strangers he encounters while navigating a city (and a world) not built for his walker and cerebral palsy.
🟦 Misty (The Shed)
Arinzé Kene fuses live music, spoken word, and absurdist comedy about a journey through a city in flux, transporting audiences to the streets of gentrifying London.
🟩 Radio 477! (La MaMa)
The city of Kharkiv, its jazz history, and how it stood up to Putin. With texts and lyrics by Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan and music by Anthony Coleman.
🟫🟨Baobab (New Victory Theater)
Children’s theater full of puppetry, djembe drums, angoni’s strings, and the griots telling you a tale of long ago when the stars were still babies, and the trees and animals talked. Available in person and online
🟦The Coast Starlight (Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater)
In Keith Bunin’s new play, a young man armed with a secret that can land him in terrible trouble boards the Coast Starlight, the long-distance train that runs from Los Angeles to Seattle. With the help of his fellow travelers, all of whom are reckoning with their own choices, he has roughly one thousand miles to figure out a way forward
🟦 📖As Above (MTC)
One-time afternoon reading part of free Ted Snowden Reading Series at MTC
In this play by Christine Quintana about (among other characters) a once-prominent botanical researcher rebuilding her life, complicated human relationships mirror the relationships between trees and the mycelial networks that connect them
🟥 🎶 Jonas Brothers = 5 Albums 5 Nights (Marquis Theater)
Each of the five concerts dedicated to one of their albums, including Jonas Brothers; A Little Bit Longer; Lines, Vines, and Trying Times; Happiness Begins; and their forthcoming release, The Album.
🟦The Harder They Come (Public Theater)
Suzan-Lori Parks’ new musical adaptation of the 1972 movie of the same name, about a young singer in the fight of his life after he arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, eager to become a star, with music by Parks and Jimmy Cliff.
🟦 🎶 Dear World (Encores at City Center)
A concert version of Jerry Herman’s 1969 musical, with Donna Murphy starring as Countess Aurelia, a fabulous relic of fin-de-siecle Paris struggling to save her way of life
🟥Parade (Bernard Jacob Theater)
The Broadway transfer of the New York City Center production of this 1998 musical by Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Jew in 1913 Atlanta who was lynched after being convicted of murdering a 13-year-old factory worker. Starring Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond, and directed by Michael Arden.
🟩 The Black That I Am (HERE Arts Center)
Written by Karl O’Brian Williams, an ensemble explores blackness through drama, comedy, movement, and spoken word.
🎶 Women’s History Month Trilogy # 2: Paris is for Lovers (Flushing Town Hall)
Gabriele Tranchina sings “women-made” class songs, such as Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose,”
🟩 Dia Y Noche (Labyrinth at 59e59)
The unlikely friendship between Danny, a lower middle-class Chicano punk-rock kid who thinks he might be an artist, and Martin a Black upper-middle class band nerd who is gay and closeted.
🟥 Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ (Music Box)
A revival of the 1978 musical revue that had been directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse (with cast member Wayne Cilento, who now directs) with music by some two dozen composers, from Neil Diamond to Johann Sebastian Bach.
🟦 Drinking in America (Audible at Minetta Lane)
Restaging with star Andre Royo (The Wire) of the play by Eric Bosoian that brings to vivid life over a dozen colorful characters, each in the throes of intoxication.
🟩 The Good John Proctor (Bedlam at Connelly Theater)
Playwright Talene Monahon’s new look at the lead-up to the Salem Witch Trials, imagining the inner lives of the real girls at the center of the trials as they hurtle toward the events dramatized in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
🟦📖Watch Me (MTC)
One-time afternoon reading part of Ted Snowden Reading Series at MTC
Dave Harris’s play follows a love story of a couple from their first date, to their first time, to a reckoning with sex, ancestry, desire, and Black Jesus.
🟥 Bad Cinderella (Imperial Theater)
A musical by Andrew Lloyd-Webber with book by Emerald Fennell, that is a reworking and renaming of the Cinderella that debuted in London in 2021. Linedy Genao portrays a Cinderella no longer a damsel in need of saving, who finds herself and her prince in new circumstances which cause them to rethink the meaning of happily ever after.
🟦 Sancocho (WP Theater)
In this play by Christin Eve Cato two sisters are forced to confront the reality of their father’s rapidly declining health. Renata and Caridad clash over cultural divides, unearth old wounds, and reveal long-buried secrets, as Caridad’s sancocho bubbles on the stove
🎶 What’s Going On (Lyrics and Lyricists at 92NY)
Warren Adams (Motown: The Musical) and Michael O. Mitchell (MJ: The Musical ) conceived this theatrical concert exploring the work of Black songwriters and artists whose music is an essential part of the American Songbook
🟥Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Lunt-Fontanne)
Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford star in this third Broadway revival, directed by Thomas Kail, of the murderous musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler about the demon barber of Fleet Street, who, to revenge the wrongs committed against him, slashes the throats of his victims, and then delivers the corpses to the loving Mrs. Lovett downstairs to make pies of them.
🟪Der Rosenkavalier (Metropolitan Opera)
In this four and a half hour production sung in German (with English titles) of Richard Strauss’s grand Viennese comedy, soprano Lise Davidsen is the aging Marschallin, opposite mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as her lover Octavian, and soprano Erin Morley is Sophie, the beautiful younger woman who steals his heart.
🟦📖 An Oxford Man (MTC)
A one-ti🎶me afternoon reading, part of Ted Snowden Reading Series at MTC
Written by Else Went and directed by Emma Rose Went, this play tells the life and times of the first “modern” transgender man, Laurence Michael Dillon.
🟥🟫 Life of Pi (Gerald Schoenfeld Theater)
Lolita Chakrabarti, adapting Yann Martel’s bestselling novel a sixteen-year-old boy name Pi who is stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
🎶 Women’s History Month Trilogy # 3: I’m Every Woman (Flushing Town Hall)
Vocalist Emlie Surtees honors the music of famous female vocalists such as Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Olivia Newton John, and Aretha Franklin.
Opening night is usually not the same as the first performance on Broadway and frequently Off-Broadway as well. There is usually a preview period, of anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (sometimes a few months), where the creative team tries out the show before an audience. (Ticket prices are the same during this try-out period in New York, although in other theater cities ticket prices are often cheaper before opening night.) Opening night is when 1. the producers throw a party for cast, crew and investors. 2. the show is “frozen” (no more changes), and 3. the reviews are published/posted/broadcast. Professional reviews are forbidden, indeed, from being published before then in what’s called an embargo. But theater festival offerings and Off-Off Broadway shows often have no preview period or official opening night; they just start. It can be hard to find the date of the opening night; productions rarely state it clearly on their websites. But for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, I organize this calendar by opening night (when it exists and when I can find it) rather than first performance, as a way to support the continuing relevance of theater reviewing. Check out my essay: Broadway Opening Night. What It Means. How It’s Changed. 7 Facts to Clear Up The Confusion and Crystallize the Outrage.
What is Broadway 🟥 Off Broadway 🟦 and Off Off Broadway🟩 ?
Off-Broadway theaters, by definition, have anywhere from 100 to 499 seats. If a theater has more seats than that, it’s a Broadway house. If it has fewer, it’s Off-Off Broadway. (There is a more sophisticated definition, having to do with contracts, and more elaborate distinctions, having to do with ticket prices, number and location of theaters, length of runs, willingness to take artistic risks, etc.)
(Several performing arts venues in New York City, such as The Shed, Little Island, Park Avenue Armory and NYU Skirball, technically exist outside these classifications; I list them as Off-Broadway, even though they have more than 500 seats.)