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55 incredible things to do in NYC in March

Written by
Jennifer Picht
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Things to do

"David Bowie Is" Brooklyn Museum; Mar 2-Jul 15; $20, weekends $25
Over the course of five decades, David Bowie drafted the new rules of rock & roll—and the rest of us are still trying to keep up. After breaking ticket records at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the touring exhibition “David Bowie Is” hits NYC in March, with more than 400 objects from the celestial pop icon’s life, including costumes, lyric sheets and performance clips. 

Flamenco Festival New York City Center MainStage; Mar 3–5, 9–11 at various times; tickets start at $83
Take in performances by Eva Yerbabuena, Jesus Carmona and other world-renowned flamenco dancers during this six-day festival. The lively music and passionate choreography just might leave you shouting “olé!”

Sumo + Sushi PlayStation Theater; Mar 3, Mar 4; $45, with bento box $89
Witness the outsize glory of live Sumo wrestling at this special show, which pits real champions—weighing up to 600 pounds—against each other on the mat. Opt in for a bento box with your show, so you can eat your anxiety while the pros make the earth shake. Or if you're particularly daring, you can step in the ring and take on the big guys. Better start doing some pushups now.

Ultra-Mega Oscars 2018 Nitehawk Cinema; Mar 4; $30
Williamsburg’s premier movie house and eatery is setting up a photo booth and giving out a prize for Best Dressed, which means this is the place to rock that sultry number with the plunging neckline. Your ticket includes a $30 food-and-beverage voucher so you can make use of cheeky specials like the I, Tonya–inspired “The Incident” (shredded pork knee—yikes) and Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri–inspired "Drinkwater Road" (doughnuts).

The Orchid Show New York Botanical Garden; Mar 3–April 22; weekdays $20, weekends $25
Ooh and ahh over illuminated geometric sculptures fashioned out of orchids at the New York Botanical Garden’s annual show. Daniel Ost, one of the world’s leading floral artists, created this year’s multicolored display.

The Armory Show Piers 92/94; Mar 8–11; $47, $25–$35 students and seniors
Armory Week’s namesake event started life in 1995 as a funky gathering of young downtown dealers at the Gramercy Park Hotel, and has since grown into one of the art world’s biggest events. Previous Armory Shows have featured separate fairs-within-the-fair devoted to 20th-century modern and contemporary art, respectively, but now the two are combined into one event showcasing more than 200 galleries from 30 countries, as well as talks, programs, performances and commissioned artworks.

St. Patty’s Beer Mug-Making Workshop Brooklyn Glass; Mar 11 at 2pm and Mar 17; $195
Make an emerald-green mug to hold your Guinness in this St. Patrick’s Day–themed glass-blowing workshop. You’ll work with the instructors to fashion a sturdy mug out of glass heated to 2,100 degrees.

A Brief History of Irish Food Brooklyn Brainery; Mar 13; $12
Wonder why your mom always makes corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day? Unpack the complex history of Irish (and Irish-American) cuisine with author Sarah Lohman at this Brooklyn Brainery lecture.

Stout and Whiskey Tasting Class Bedford Cheese Shop; Mar 14; $75
Indulge in a little St. Patrick’s Day tipple at this tasting class inspired by the Emerald Isle. The fromage experts at Bedford Cheese shop will pair two stouts and two whiskeys with corresponding cheeses for your dining pleasure.

Mac & Cheese Smackdown Brooklyn Expo Center; Mar 18; $55, VIP $70
Grab your sporks and warm up with NYC’s best mac and cheese contenders on Sunday, March 18 at Brooklyn Expo Center. Time Out New York is blowing it out even bigger and better this year featuring 20 of the city’s best restaurants to battle it out for the ultimate showdown to crown New York’s top mac. Mac + free beer + tunes, what more could you need? Follow the fun with #macsmack on Instagram and Twitter.

Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade at various locations; Mar 18; free
The British first conquered New York City right in Brooklyn Heights, and centuries later the Irish American Parade Committee still commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn (as many of the committee members’ forefathers were involved in that war) and celebrates Irish-American contributions to New York City. At 12:45pm, the procession also honors the heroes and victims of 9/11.

Macy’s Flower Show at Macy’s Herald Square; opens Mar 25; free
New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike flock to this floral-filled exhibition, where jaw-dropping arrangements decorated to fit a specific theme are on display for two weeks. The theme for this 44th annual installment at the megachain’s Herald Square location is "Once Upon A Springtime," so expect to see a lot of plays on fantasy-inspired settings and storybook scenes.

Food and drink

Good Spirits Pier A Harbor House; Mar 8; $60-$70
Everyone will be in good spirits after imbibing new varieties from trusted brands like Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve mixed into warm cocktails from the their very own mixologists. Bites from Gramercy Tavern, Maison Premiere and Karasu are on hand to help compliment the drinks.

NYC Winter Wine Festival PlayStation Theater Mar 10; $69-$83
This event might be taking place right on the cusp of winter and spring, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying hundreds of international wines alongside those made right here in New York state. Sip the samples of vino alongside hors d’oeuvre and live music, and take home a custom wine glass.

Coffee & Tea Festival NYC Brooklyn Expo Center; Mar 10-11; $10-$35
Get innocently buzzed at this event celebrating the bean and the leaves. There will be 75 vendors, such as Bai, Teavana and Chameleon Cold Brew pouring samples of coffee and tea for those who need a major weekend boost.

Dessert Goals River Studios; March 17, 18, 24, 25; $17-$35
Everyone's favorite sugar-induced coma event is back this year with its spring iteration. The saccharine Instagram-friendly afternoon is where guests sample some of the trendiest and tastiest sweets from around the city. This year's event includes goods from Supermoon Bakehouse, Tiny Kitchen Treats, POP cake shop and Mochidoki, among others.

Open Market 2018 Highline Stages; Mar 8; $150-$350
Celebrate the hip downtown neighborhood with this annual indoor block party packed with neighborhood businesses. Nosh on treats from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Santina and Bagatelle, while shopping sample sales at high-end retailers like Theory and DVF.

Music

Kelela Irving Plaza; Mar 2; $33
This innovative R&B singer's 2013 mixtape, Cut 4 Me, carved a distinctive niche via the interplay between her soulful vocals and the album's eclectic production, which pulled from underground club sounds. On her debut album, Take Me Apart, she expands upon that project, refining her songwriting skills with meticulous detail and a cinematic narration of her triumph of self.

Dear Nora Park Church Co-Op; Mar 2; $12–$14

Blast to the early aughts past with this Park Church gig—Katy Davidson's sophomore indie-folk record as Dear Nora, Mountain Rock, won her a cult following in 2004, and for good reason. The barebones lyricism—which you can hear on last year's Orindal Records reissue—feels as striking and inventive in 2018 as it did a decade-and-a-half ago.

Tune-Yards; Brooklyn Steel; Mar 9; $31 
The Afrobeat-inspired pop experimentalist airs her ever-nimble vocal gymnastics, most recently heard on her new LP, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life. Though the artist describes the new record as turning “inward,” we nonetheless anticipate a sweaty dance party to ensue.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Terminal 5; Mar 10; $30
The ’80s new-wave stars Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark returned last year with The Punishment of Luxury including The Punishment of Luxury: B-Sides/Bonus Material. Catch the English electronic rockers in action at Terminal 5 on March 10.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Brooklyn Steel; Mar 12; $35
Twenty-five years on from its formation, this groundbreaking post-rock outfit is no less grand in its sound and intentions. If anything, the band has just become more explicit: its newie, Luciferian Towers, is accompanied by a list of political demands including prison abolition, an end to foreign invasion and the dismantling of borders. Framed by radical leftist politics amid the current political moment, hearing the band live takes on a different collective significance.
Four Tet National Sawdust; Mar 19–23; $20
Kieran Hebden's kaleidoscopic tapestries of found sounds have morphed in recent years from ambling "folktronica" to a form of abstracted club music. His hodgepodge of ramshackle sounds always impress live, but more than anything, we're hoping he brings along his massive aerial array of MIDI-programmed string lights to this run of intimate gigs.

Justin Timberlake Madison Square Garden; Mar 21; various prices
A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra’s swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of peak Michael Jackson, making magic night after night with a crack big band.

Mount Eerie Knockdown Center; Mar 22; $22–$25
Phil Elverum, whose two-decade career includes the fuzzy indie-rock of The Glow Pt. 2 and black-metal-influenced folk of Wind's Poem, released what may be his most deeply personal album in 2017. For such a poignant songwriter, that's saying a lot, but it makes sense in context: That record, A Crow Looked At Me, documents the aftermath of his wife's death from cancer in 2016 and his experience raising their daughter. The ever-active Elverum has already announced a new album for 2018 titled Now Only.

Of Montreal Knockdown Center; Mar 27; $25
Perhaps the foremost proponent of modern-day glam rock, this outfit from Athens, Georgia does predecessors such as Bowie and T. Rex proud, routinely serving heaping portions of sassy, eccentric art rock. Here, the nearly two-decade-old band—led by the always-flashy, always-amusing Kevin Barnes—hits town in support of its 2018 album White is Relic/Irrealis Mood.

Film

Love, Simon
This potentially groundbreaking teen movie stars Nick Robinson as a high schooler who falls for a male classmate over emails he signs “Love, Simon.” It’s adapted from Becky Albertalli’s YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Mar 16

Tomb Raider
Taking over from Angelina Jolie as video-game heroine Lara Croft is Oscar-winning Swedish star Alicia Vikander in a new reboot. An origin story for the catacomb adventurer, this Tomb Raider promises decent acting as well as spectacle. Mar 16

Isle of Dogs
It’s Wes Anderson’s second stop-motion animation after Fantastic Mr. Fox, so you know what to expect: quirky humor, talking animals, Bill Murray and lots of the Texan auteur’s usual handmade élan. Mar 23

Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg’s first sci-fi movie since War of the Worlds follows gamers Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke into a VR world. Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Tron, all delivered with Spielberg’s panache. Mar 29

Acrimony
Madea’s Tyler Perry gets serious with a psychological thriller in which no one will be cross-dressing as a grandmother. Instead, Taraji P. Henson will be playing a wronged wife looking for payback. Mar 30

Comedy

Peter Smith and Sandy Honig's The Bongo Hour Slipper Room, Mar 7; $10–$25
Every month, two of New York’s most beloved comedic minds craft a mysterious new night of deranged performances at the legendary Slipper Room, leading us to ask...what madness awaits at the Bongo Hour? Join night creatures Peter Smith, Sandy Honig, burlesque goddess Luna Love and silky-smooth musical director Ben Moss for this off-the-wall night of comedy, variety, music and dance breaks.

Handmaid's Tale: The Musical The Bell House, Brooklyn, Mar 8; $10–$15
Could the sheltered, groan-inducing millennial bastion known as Brooklyn become a dystopian terror state? Is New York destined to be the future base of Gilead? Fearless comedians Marcia Belsky and Melissa Stokoski take aim at their generation with Hulu's A Handmaid's Tale as their ammunition in this self-deprecating musical parody of the hit show. They bring Brooklyn's grim future to life with a cast of all-stars: Eudora Peterson, Sophie Santos, Karolena Theresa, Tim Platt, Greta Titelman, Drew Anderson, Arti Gollapudi, Farah Brook, Isabel Martin, Jr. and Tommy McNamara.

Thug Passion Presents Union Hall, Brooklyn, Mar 11; $8, at the door $10
One of NYC's most reliably dope duos—Courtney Fearrington and Shalewa Sharpe—bring their wickedly divine appreciation series of black cinema to Union Hall. Study up on the movie if you want to keep up—when it comes to roasting, these two go fast, funny and hard.

Las Culturistas Live: I Don't Think So Honey The Bell House, Brooklyn; Mar 16; $20
Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang—arbiters of pop trash and the comic masterminds behind the addicting pop culture podcast Las Culturistas—take over the Bell House for another riveting live adaptation of the show's crown jewel, a one-minute rant called "I Don't Think So, Honey." Fifty comedians will be granted one minute each to go on a bitchy screed about anything in culture that grinds their gears. Gird your loins, and prepare to memorize many new rules of culture.

Riverdale Live The Duplex, Mar 21; $10, at the door $15 plus two-drink minimum
The endlessly cheerful duo of Sophie Santos and John Trowbridge make a loving tribute to the high camp, hot bodies and hard aesthetic of the CW's dark Archie Comics adaptation. To prove their knowledge of the lovers of Kevin Keller, South Side Serpents and other Riverdale characters, Santos and Trowbridge will take on nearly every role from the series' cast. Hide your secret love-children and six-pack abs now—none will be spared from this satire.

LGBT

Bright Colors and Bold Patterns SoHo Playhouse, Through Mar 11; $59–$99
The hilarious Jeff Hiller currently stars in Drew Droege's lovingly brutal portrait of an outrageous and increasingly intoxicated gay man—a spiny puffer, inflated with prickly defenses—at a sanitized same-sex wedding. Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) directs the NYC production, which is now on its second encore run. If you are now or have ever been a gay man, see this show.  

Heaven on Earth: Rihanna China Chalet, Mar 3; $15–$20
Where were you when Aaliyah dropped “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” in 1994? Or the first time you heard Britney Spears’ Blackout? How many times did you watch Spice World on VHS? Commemorate the anniversaries of the most significant artifacts of pop divadom at this decadent monthly getdown. Jam out to your icon’s hits and b-sides among fellow fans in totally comprehensive costumes. This time, hosts Ruby Fox, Aquaria, Youvegotnomale, Linux and Terence Edgerson serve the best bops from the supreme Pisces diva, Rihanna. Start working on your Alyssa Edwards vs. Tatianna choreography now!

Josh Sharp Sings! Live! Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, Mar 4; $15, plus $12 minimum
Twisted southern-bred sketch and improv master Josh Sharp returns to the Joe's Pub stage for this sweet night of strange song covers and goony comedy. Between renditions of D'Angelo and Adele classics, he'll be joined by fellow powerhouses Jo Firestone and Phoebe Robinson. Now that he's stealing the show on The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, Sharp is likely to become an even hotter commodity. Catch him while you can.

Papi Juice Elsewhere, Brooklyn, Mar 16; $10–$20
The party institution that has already changed the face of NYC's queer nightlife returns, this time with an unbeatable, Avengers-level team-up with Asian-dominant party Bubble_T. Step into a sweaty, giddy dancefloor ruled by POC revelers and their friends at this special night.

Hater's Roast The Town Hall, Mar 23; $22–$152
In Latrice Royale's immortal words: "The shade of it all!" Watch Trixie Mattel, Thorgy Thor, Phi Phi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, Jinkx Monsoon, Ginger Minj, Trinity Taylor and other RuPaul's Drag Race divas shred one another to bits at this deliciously savage roast night.

Dance

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance at the David H. Koch Theater; Mar 8–25; $10–$175
The modern-dance legend is still going strong at 87. Among the many offerings in this three-week engagement are the world premiere of Taylor's 147th piece, Concertiana, as well as brand-new works by Doug Varone and Bryan Arias.

Heidi Latsky Dance: D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D. at the Baruch Performing Arts Center; Mar 8–10; $21
Latsky, who has has done important work on themes of disability, explores our fascination with bodily difference in a new work that is part dance and part art installation. Featured artists include aerialist and double amputee Erin Ball.

Stephen Petronio Company: Bloodlines at the Joyce Theatre; Mar 20–25; $26–$66
Petronio extends the lineage of postmodern dance with a program that includes the premiere of Hardness 10, featuring original music by Nico Muhly. Also on the lineup are Merce Cunningham's Signals and an excerpt from Petronio’s Underland.

Joanna Kotze: What will we be like when we get there at New York Live Arts; Mar 28–31; $15–$20
The ruthlessly elegant Kotze continues her investigation into process with a site-specific multimedia performance that reunites her with artist Jonathan Allen, dancer Netta Yerushalmy and composer Ryan Seaton.

Theater

Three Tall Women at the John Golden Theatre; Feb 27–June 9; $49–$149
The ascendancy of Laurie Metcalf continues with the Broadway premiere of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1994 drama, in which an elderly woman shares the stage with two younger versions of herself. Bookending Metcalf, age-wise, are Alison Pill and two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson.

Lobby Hero at the Hayes Theater; Mar 1–May 13; $99–$149
To christen its newly renovated flagship, the company revives Kenneth Lonergan's 2001 play about a conflicted security guard. Awkwardness avatar Michael Cera leads an ensemble that also includes handsome movie person Chris Evans.

Mean Girls at the August Wilson Theatre; starts Mar 12; $99–$179
We want to say one word to you, just one word: Plastics. Tina Fey adapts her cult-fave 2004 film comedy, a sly depiction of predators in the high-school food chain, into a Broadway musical with tunes by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde).

Miss You Like Hell at the Public Theater; Mar 20–May 6; $70–$150
An undocumented Mexican immigrant and her estranged teenage daughter take a road trip across America in a timely new musical by Quaira Alegría Hudes (In the Heights) and singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. Lear deBessonet directs a company led by Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent).

The Iceman Cometh at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre; Mar 22–July 1; $79–$350
In Eugene O'Neill's long and pained drama, pipe dreams go up in smoke at a 1912 Greenwich Village saloon when drunken barflies are confronted with the feebleness of their delusions. Screen and stage royal Denzel Washington stars in the latest revival, directed by George C. Wolfe.

Art

“Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables” Whitney Museum of American Art; Mar 2–Jun 10, $22; seniors, students $18; 18 and under free
The image of Ma and Pa—with Pa holding a pitchfork—is one of the most iconic in American Art. But there was much more to the artist behind it, Grant Wood, than that one painting. (For one thing, he was a closeted gay man living in the Depression-era Midwest.) With its wide selection of portraits, landscapes and scenes of rural life, this show will reacquaint viewers with a master they think they know, but probably don't.

“Yinka Shonibare MBE: Wind Sculpture (SG) I Doris C. Freedman Plaza; Mar 7–Oct 14, free
British-Nigerian artist Shonibare (who appends the honorific MBE to his name in recognition of his receipt of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) is adding some additional color to Central Park with and undulating Fiberglass sculpture covered in bold shapes sporting a palette of bright hues. According to the artist, the schemes is inspired by the beaches near his childhood home in Lagos, Nigeria, but they also recall the batik fabrics (produced in Indonesia by the Dutch to export to Colonial Africa) that have become a signature reference in his work.

“Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s” Neue Galerie New York; Mar 8–May 28, $20, seniors $15, students and educators with valid ID $10. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, children under 12 not admitted. First Friday of each month 6–8pm free
The show title pretty much says it all for this historical survey focusing on the state of modern artists during the rise of Hitler. The Nazis, of course, would later ban all forms of modernism in favor of a style of realism heavy on the propaganda, and this exhibit presents work reacting to the gathering storm by such seminal figures as Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Max Ernst and Oskar Kokoschka, as well as lesser known names like Richard Oelze.

“Being: New Photography 2018” Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Mar 18–Aug 19, $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. For discounts, order tickets in advance at moma.org. Fri 4–8pm free. Film tickets free with museum admission; screenings-only admission $12, seniors $10, students $8, children under 16 free
The theme of the 2018 edition of MoMA’s annual round-up of emerging photographers is “lived experiences and circumstances.” It's being tackled by a range of styles and genres from conceptual to more-or-less conventional portraiture.

“Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now)” The Met Breuer; Mar 21–July 22, Suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
Jeff Koons meets Donatello as The Met Breuer explores 800 years of figurative tradition in Western sculpture with a survey that eschews chronological treatment for felicitous juxtapositions of various works across the centuries.

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