Thursday, July 23, 2020
I’m going to the theater this Sunday! My oldest son invited our family Zoom group to join him on Sunday at the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival’s performance of As You Like It. You can come too–the show runs July 17-26. Tickets cost $10.00 up to two hours before showtime, then settle down on your couch, and enjoy the live show. On Zoom. (Link below).
Hamilton is showing on-demand on Disney+, the Irvine Barclay Theater just free-streamed Amadeus . . . it’s never been easier to access the theater. Yes, I know it’s not the same as an in-person live performance, with the anticipation, the bustle of the lobby, and that matchless chemistry between performers and audience when nothing else seems to exist. But I would have given a lot to have seen theater at home back in the days when going out was limited by four children and a tight budget. And here we are in 2020, the year of living differently.
So I did a little research. Here is a sampling of what’s streaming from Hawaii to New York to London. Note: some are free and some have a ticket price per household:
- Hawaii Shakespeare Festival: http://hawaiishakes.org/ Now playing live on Zoom: As You Like It. Coming soon: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Merry Wives of Windsor. My son who goes every year says they’re fantastic.
- Hershey Felder, live from Florence. A musical storyteller. We’ve seen two shows during the pandemic: Irving Berlin and Beethoven and I understand more are coming. https://www.hersheyfelder.net/
- Nightly Met Opera streams. https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/ Free streaming from the Met web site daily. Also available through the Met Opera on Demand apps for smart TV devices. Scroll down and you will get the schedule. Right now it starts with Monday, July 20, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and ends with Sunday, August 2
Wagner’s Die Walküre
- Broadway Direct: https://broadwaydirect.com/where-to-watch-musicals-online-the-musical-lovers-guide-to-streaming/ It lists a combination of theater productions and film adaptations on streaming services you may already have, such as Carousel (2013, Live from Lincoln Center) on Amazon Prime, Springsteen on Broadway (2018) on Netflix, Kinky Boots on Broadway HD.
- Billboard: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9335531/coronavirus-quarantine-music-events-online-streams The place that lists “All the Livestreams and Visual Concerts to Watch During the Coronavirus Crisis.” Check out this week’s offerings on https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9420899/livestream-concerts-week-of-july-20 and add some future events to your calendar, like the Monterey Jazz Festival, Sept 25-27.
- London has a site https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/stage-shows-musicals-opera-free-stream-online_51198.html which brings you “Stage shows, musicals and opera you can watch online now for free.”
When do the lights go on? In London, indoor performances may open in early August with distancing as part of Stage Four. https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/theatre-news/news/indoor-theatre-performances-given-the-green-light-from-1-august
Broadway’s theaters will remain closed to the end of the year and beyond. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/theater/when-broadway-reopening-coronavirus.html
Southern California? I’m not even going to look it up. I am looking forward to the day when we can have audiences again for the choral group I belong to, the Festival Singers http://www.festivalsingers.net/about-us/ . We were having a wonderful season here in Orange County until COVID hit and I have it on best authority that a great program is planned for our reopening, whenever that may be.
In the meantime, to see a first-hand view of what it’s like “When the Show Can’t Go On,” be sure to read Hal Chamber’s blog at https://www.rsc.org.uk/blogs/whispers-from-the-wings/when-the-show-cant-go-on . He’s assistant director at the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Then plan an evening to settle in and watch a show. The box office is always open.
Today’s Notable Headlines
“Pasadena Playhouse’s COVID-era plan: A new streaming platform for theaters,” Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-07-22/pasadena-playhouse-live-streaming-platform-covid-theater
“Beyond Zoom plays: The future of theater in the age of coronavirus,” The San Francisco Chronicle, July 22, 2020. https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/theater/beyond-zoom-plays-the-future-of-theater-in-the-age-of-coronavirus
“Worth the risk? Pittsburgh theaters’ comeback caution deserves our support,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 22, 2020. Sharon Eberson goes way beyond my old home town to look at what it takes for theaters to open. https://www.post-gazette.com/ae/theater-dance/2020/07/22/Is-reopening-theaters-worth-the-risk-On-the-arts-column-Sharon-Eberson/stories/202007170080
Why am I doing this?
The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. It is my intention to journal the events of these days from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary crisis.
You are on History’s Edge.