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40 awesome things to do in NYC in March

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Dynamite things to do

Wine Riot 69th Regiment Armory; Mar 4–Mar 5; Various times; $65
Ditch the stuffiness of orthodox wine tastings at this laid-back drinking spree that touts 350 varieties culled from every corner of the globe. Get schooled with 20-minute crash courses on topics like vinting and pairing, then hit the floor to sip elegant yet underused bottles like Vinho Verde whites from Portugal or sweet muscats from California’s Quady Winery. 

Morbid Anatomy Museum Flea Market The Bell House; Mar 6; Noon–6pm; $1
Collect rare books and antiques, eerily cute taxidermy and repurposed skulls at this bustling fair full of morbid curiosities. The Morbid Anatomy Museum has culled together some of its favorite artists to bring you jewelry and decor from beyond the grave. Just make sure it's dead before you wear it. At the holiday edition be on the look out for Krampus cards and bizarre ornaments.  

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Fifth Avenue; Mar 17; 11am; free
No St. Patrick's Day in NYC would be complete without staking out a spot at this parade, which makes its 255th march up Fifth Avenue. (The event is even older than the United States; it was started by a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army in 1762.)

Saint Patrick’s Day for Sinners The Bell House; Mar 18; 9pm; $20
The ever-excitable Wasabassco Burlesque crew celebrates the wildest day of the year with a lovely lineup of flame-haired dames, including Varla Velour, Nasty Canasta, Sydni Deveraux and others, plus ginger sideshow stuntman and illusionist Albert Cadabra. If you’re inspired by all the bare flesh on display, flash a bit of green in the emerald-underwear contest.

Macy’s Flower Show Herald Square store; Mar 20–Apr 3; 10am; free
You could easily spend hours sniffing the aromatic blooms at this popular annual two-week floral exhibition, this year dubbed “America the Beautiful.” The ground level of Macy’s Herald Square transforms into a not-so-secret garden that’s covered in floor-to-ceiling greenery depicting the purple mountain majesties and fruited plains. 

Major movie and theater premieres

Knight of Cups
We’ll hear nothing negative about director Terrence Malick—nothing! Since rebounding with The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life, the visually ravishing stylist has been working consistently. His latest is an L.A. drama starring Christian Bale. Knight of Cups opens on March 4.

Cemetery of Splendor
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Thai director nicknamed “Joe” (can you blame us?), has taken his place as a visually inspired artist. His latest is set in a hospital where a compassionate nurse tends to the victims of a baffling sleeping coma. It’s an art fix that will last the year. Cemetery of Splendor opens on March 4. 

The Brothers Grimsby
Remember Sacha Baron Cohen? Even he seems to realize characters like Borat and Bruno require plenty of downtime, during which we can all recuperate. His new comedy has him playing the slacker brother of a hardheaded British superspy. The Brothers Grimsby opens on March 11. 

Midnight Special
Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) is one of the most interesting genre specialists working today. Doubling down on his usual actor, Michael Shannon, Nichols does well by sci-fi, resulting in a film that bears flattering comparison to Close Encounters. Midnight Special opens on March 18.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
If simply reading that title doesn’t make you exhausted by the prospect of yet another superhero franchise, get happy—this one has Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill) and several more interesting actors, like Jesse Eisenberg. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25.

Hilarious comedy shows

Punderdome 3000 Littlefield; Mar 1; 8pm; $6, at the door $7
Jo Firestone and her Rodney Dangerfield impersonator father, Fred, host this beloved competition, in which the first 18 individuals or duos to sign up at the door attempt to pun-up each other's spontaneously produced word-play. Winners are determined by a "human clap-o-meter" and go home with a kitchen appliance.

Roomie Raiders The Creek and the Cave; Mar 2; 8pm; free
Whether you and your roommate have been together since sleepaway camp or were a match made in Craigslist-heaven, this live comedy game show is the chance to show you two are the perfect pair. Each show begins with stand-up sets by real comedian roommates, then hosts Tim Unkenholz and Joe Welkie ask The Newlywed Game–style questions like "What's your roomie's favorite color?" and "Which ex would your roommate say was the most attractive?"

Comedy at Stonewall Inn; Mar 5; 7pm; $10 plus two-drink minimum
Chrissie Mayr and Oscar Aydin host this monthly showcase of gay and gay-adjacent comedy at the historic bar. At this month's Pride fundraiser, they welcome hilarious acts Emma Willmann, Matteo Lane, Whore at the Bar and more to tear up the stage.

Cole Escola Is the First Gay President The Duplex; Mar 26; 9:30pm; $15 plus two-drink minimum
The saucer-eyed costar of Logo's Jeffery & Cole Casserole returns with his solo comedy act, which offers to reveal new facets of a talent that gleams with scrappy razzle-dazzle. Blending boyish mischief with dizzy charm and the ruthless coyness of a starlet bent on fame, Escola's comic persona suggests a street urchin raised by The Match Game.

The Later Show with Katie Kester UCBEast; Mar 27; 8pm; $5
Kester's hybrid talk-variety show isn't all that late, but it's just as funny as what you'll catch on the tube. The comedian welcomes Charla Lauriston (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Aparna Nancherla (@midnight) and more. 

Awesome shows and concerts

Slayer Capitol Theatre; Mar 2; $49.50–$84.50
A couple founding fathers have departed from Slayer's lineup in recent years—guitarist Jeff Hanneman's tragic passing and the sacking of drum titan Dave Lombardo—but regardless, last year's newest release, Repentless, dealt out speed thrash with the same ferocity the genre-pioneering band is known for. Prepare yourself for reverential head banging to the dark gods of metal.

DIIV Market Hotel; Mar 3–Mar 5; $15, at the door $17
At the newly reopened Bushwich venue Market Hotel, Zachary Smith Cole and co. air the new tunes from their sophomore album, Is the Is Are, which refines the formula developed on their 2012 debut: shoegazey reverb, pyschedelia vocals and pounding postpunk beats to boot.

Beach House Webster Hall; Mar 14–16; $22
Amid the glut of synth-heavy dream-poppers popping up in recent years, ethereal Baltimore duo Beach House remain the reining maestros—touring behind their 5th and 6th albums, Depression Cherry and Thank You Lucky Stars, both released last year, the band brings its lush-yet-intimate atmospheres, glowing vocals and towering light fixtures to Webster for a three-night run.

Oneohtrix Point Never + Liturgy Warsaw; Mar 17; $22
For his latest album Garden of Delete, avant electronic artist Daniel Lopatin forwent his former drone explorations  to mine a new, unexpected sound palette: 90s nu metal. Experimental electronic music never sounded so explosive—especially with black metal renegades Liturgy in the opening slot.

Rihanna + Travis Scott Barclays Center; Mar 27, 30; $30.50–$170
Catch Ri Ri playing two massive stadium gigs in support of her newest album, Anti, which finds the defiant Bajan popstrel working her Caribbean patois above tropical beats and slower, more brooding atmosphere than her previous high-energy material. 

Marvelous theater performances

Blackbird Belasco Theatre; Through June 11; $39-$145
Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams play a couple with a grisly and mutually scarring past. David Harrower’s razor-sharp relationship play is bound to leave you stunned and shocked.

She Loves Me Studio 54; Through June 5; $52-$147
Lovely Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi star in this Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the 1963 musical comedy about perfume-store clerks in love. 

The Crucible Walter Kerr Theatre’ Through July 17; $42-$149
Hot off her success in the movie Brooklyn, Irish thespian Saorise Ronan plays a possibly possessed teen in Arthur Miller’s classic 1953 drama. Ivo van Hove, European master director, gives the piece a fresh immediacy.

Eclipsed John Golden Theatre; Through June 19; $77-$146
After a scorching run at the Public Theater last year, Danai Gurira’s Liberia-set drama transfers uptown, starring a sensational Lupita Nyong’o (20 Years a Slave). 

Disaaster! Nederlander Theatre; Through July 3; $59–$145
Do you like trashy disaster flicks of the '70s? Do you like funk and disco from the same era? Put them together and you have this groovily retro camp musical extravaganza! 

Can’t-miss LGBT events

Guys Paint Night Baked Tribeca; Mar 1; 6pm; $70
Find your male muse and try your hand at fine art while instructor Kyle Andrew Szpryka shows you the basics. You'll be treated to either wine or baked dessert goodies, and all supplies will be provided. But try not to dress to impress, let you get splatter on your best getup. 

Joseph Cavalieri: “International Year of De-Light” The OUT NYC; Mar 1–31; 10am; free
Artist Cavalieri's illuminated, painted-stained-glass images give a pseudoreligious treatment to a wide variety of kitschy subjects.

Iron Lady Tender Trap; Feb 16; 9pm; free
Comedian Max Bernstein welcomes his favorite LGBT (and LGBT adjacent) comics and performers to Greenpoint from big and small stages across New York.  

The Queens of Tuesday Boots and Saddle; Mar 1–Apr 26; midnight; free
Every Tuesday Boots and Saddle, three queens rule the stage. Pattaya Hart presents Herro at 6pm, Ari Kiki presents Tacky at 8pm and Brenda Dharling presents Turn Me Out Tuesday at 10pm.

Medium of Desire: An International Anthology of Photograph and Video Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; Mar 1–Mar 16; noon; free
This erotic new show by fourteen artists from nine countries bridges cultural differences with the unifying theme of desire.

Delicious food and drink opportunities

11th Annual Coffee and Tea Festival Brooklyn Expo Center; Mar 19-20; $10, VIP $35
There’s no alcohol at this 11th-annual bean-and-leaf showcase, but you’ll be getting a different kind of buzz with caffeinated cups from more than 60 exhibitors, including regional favorites like Greenpoint’s Café Grumpy, Queens’ small-batch roasters Jailhouse Coffee and Serendipitea from Manhasset, NY. Attendees can geek out at expert-led seminars on topics like tea-blending and matcha-brewing, or go head-to-head with other amateur baristas in a latte-art showdown for a $250 cash prize.

Brisket King of NYC Sanders Studios; Mar 16; $90
Head to Clinton Hill for this annual meat mecca hosted by Jimmy's No. 43. This year's event pays homage to new takes on brisket that reflect the ethnic traditions of New York City, crafted by butchers and pitmasters from Marlow and Daughters, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Kimchi Smoke and Mable's Smokehouse. Between all-you-can-eat plates and bottomless drinks, J. Fox of Hudson & Charles will dazzle crowds with a beef-carving demonstration using a whole steer. 

Edible Manhattan's Good Spirits 2016 La.venue; Mar 3; $65
This ever-popular booze bash returns for its seventh year, showcasing new spirits, beers and products from distinguished brands, all paired with bites from New York City restaurants. Wet your whistle with offerings from the likes of Coney Island Brewing Company and Brooklyn Gin, while snacking on baked treats from Orwashers, oysters from L&W Oyster Co. and burgers from Dirty Burger.

New York City Duck-Off Jimmy's No. 43; Mar 20; $26.87
Feast on all manner of duck, from confit to waffles, at this no-holds-barred cook-off hosted by Slow Food NYC. Chefs will compete using bird from Hudson Valley Duck Farm to win your vote during a two-hour, afternoon tasting event. Your do-good ticket, which includes over a dozen samples and price-slashed drink specials, will help raise funds for Slow Food NYC's Urban Harvest, promoting good food education for NYC students in the South Bronx and East Harlem.

NYC Craft Beer Festival 2016 Lexington Avenue Armory; Mar 25-26; $55, VIP $75
Hand Crafted Tasting Company hosts this springtime bacchanal pouring more than 150 different suds from 75 local and national breweries. Your ticket is good for two-and-a-half hours of limitless beer-sampling, along with a spread of curated bites including links rom Rosamunde Sausage Grill and liquor-infused confections from Tipsy Scoop. Still thirsty? Pony up another twenty bucks for an extra hour of boozing. 

Spectacular art shows

“Flatlands" Whitney Museum of American Art, through Apr 17
Five contemporary painters—Nina Chanel Abney, Mathew Cerletty, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Caitlin Keogh, and Orion Martin—share an approach to representational imagery that relies on flattened forms and color. While their debt to the cartoonish qualities of Pop Art and Chicago Imagism is obvious, these artists eschew the anarchic optimism of both for expressing a certain 21st century anomie, conjuring, in the words of the curators “a sense of space that is dimensionless and airless.”  

“Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, through Apr 20
The work of this renowned Swiss artistic duo ruminates on the everyday and how we deal with it, framing experience as a dialectic of minor epiphanies and incidental absurdities. Their most famous piece, a 1987 video titled, The Way Things Go is a demented masterwork of comic timing that follows the chain of causalities created by an enormous Rube Goldberg contraption built out of wood, metal, Styrofoam and castaway objects (tires, jugs, buckets, ladders).

Marcel Broodthaers Museum of Modern Art, through May 15
Broodthaers may be the most important artist you never heard of. Originally A critic and poet, he became a leading figure in European art during the 1960s and 1970s. His enigmatic works helped to create the template for contemporary installation art and practically invented the Conceptualist genre known as “institutional critique.” He was that classic figure of art history, the innovator who writes the checks eventually cashed by others. Presenting 200 works in multiple mediums, this retrospectiveoffers a long-overdue appraisal of his career.

“Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 15
The Old Master period in Western Art History was, let’s face it, a sausage fest with women pretty much relegated to the role of artist’s model or mistress. There were, however, a few exceptions, one of whom is the subject of this Met showcase. Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) was primarily a portrait artist, but her style and technique rivaled those of her contemporary, Jacques-Louis David. Remarkably, she was completely self-taught, but that didn’t prevent her from being accepted into the prestigious Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Her exceptional oeuvre is vividly brought back to life in this retrospective, the first ever accorded the artist. 

Isa Genzken, Two Orchids Doris C. Freedman Plaza Central Park, through Aug 21 
The German artist who stuck a giant rose on the facade of the New Museum reaches back into her floral bag of tricks with this pair of gargantuan orchids measuring 34 and 28 feet high, respectively. Last installed at the 2015 Venice Biennale’s, these meditations on nature versus artifice pop up outside Central Park just in time for Spring.

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