The virtual world uses less gas and offers free parking. In some ways, it seemed, at the beginning of the lockdown in March, like a savior. But now, five months in, it’s feeling a little tedious. Work meetings where the coffee comes from your own kitchen and the background never changes. Virtual gatherings with family and friends, where you’d much rather hug in person. Civic meetings and lectures. All our entertainment. Even, thank goodness, exercise classes to force us to stand up every now and then.
At this point, any commuting time we save is more than spent on juggling Zoom and livestreaming platforms, along with our more traditional media.
Theater, forced to go virtual, is finding its way through the pandemic. Theater companies in Los Angeles and around the country are streaming recordings of past hits and putting on new readings and performances. This week and beyond, we explore the wealth of opportunities to be entertained and uplifted—including three today. (Note: All performance times given are local to Los Angeles.)
Allergic to Walnuts – Skylight Theatre, Los Angeles Thursday, August 13, 3:00pm
Skylight Theatre offers a weekly web series on Thursdays at 3:00pm, and today’s offering is by Michelle Kholos Brooks, whose Hitler’s Tasters was the last play reviewed in person by the Larchmont Buzz. Today’s show – Allergic to Wallnuts – stars JoBeth Williams and Joe Spano as an awkward couple who declare their affection for each other and, in the course of conversation, discover it’s their first time being loved.
Free on YouTube and Facebook, accessed through the Skylight Theatre Company website here.
Behind the Concert: At Home with Amanda McBroom – Boston Court Pasadena – Thursday, August 13, 7PM
Often called “the greatest cabaret performer of her generation,” Golden Globe winner and Grammy-nominated singer Amanda McBroom will join us from her home for an intimate performance and Q&A to share work she’s developing during the pandemic, along with new songs she has written for her Shakespeare’s Heroine’s Cabaret, which she will perform at Boston Court in Spring 2021.
Free. Register here.
Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley: Broadway & Beyond – Broadway on Demand – Friday, August 14, 5:00pm
Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Celebrate the life of Marin Mazzie with this two-hour show filmed at Feinstein’s/54 Below in 2017, a year before her death from ovarian cancer. Mazzie and her husband Jason Danieley performed together on Broadway and around the country. The concert stream will feature a pre-show event with Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Mazzie’s co-star in Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate, beginning at 4:30.
Proceeds from this event will be donated to CSC (Cancer Support Community), Tina’s Wish and The Actor’s Fund through Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. For more information, click here.
$7.99. Purchase here.
NEO Fest – NEO Ensemble Theatre, Los Angeles – Friday, August 15, 7:30pm
Join NEO Ensemble Theatre for a fast-paced hour of monologues performed by company members, many of whom write their own. This weekly event occurs on the third Friday of each month. (Full disclosure: the author is a member of NEO and will be working the Zoom controls.)
Free. Join the Zoom stream here.
Don’t Feed the Animals – Fierce Backbone, Los Angeles – Saturday, August 16, 6:00pm
Local theater company Fierce Backbone presents a full read of Don’t Feed the Animals by Jon Christie. In addition, on Monday, August 24th at 7:25pm Fierce will host a full Zoom read of Concepcion, Getting Granny in the Grave by Cailin M. Harrison.
Free. To join, click here to email for a link.
Tuesdays with Morrie – Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre, Burbank – Friday, August 14 through August 30, Fridays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm (9 performances)
Tuesdays with Morrie will be streamed from the Lonny Chapman Theatre. On Friday, August 14th, attend the after-party open to ticketholders. Then, on Tuesday, August 18th, 1:30-2:00pm, ticketholders are able to join a live Zoom discussion online with Larry Eisenberg, TJ McNeill and author Mitch Albom, moderated by Doug Haverty, with an audience Q&A.
Tickets are $20 and are available here. They include digital Playbill, live event with Mitch Albom and access to the virtual opening night cast party. A unique pay-per-view access code will be sent 24 hours prior to access time and will be active from 8:00pm Friday to 4:00pm Sunday on the weekend of your choosing.
Love and Information –Theatre Workshop at Nantucket – August 19, 2020, 11:00am
Playwright Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information, comprising more than 50 short scenes ranging from seconds to minutes, offers unique opportunities for creative interpretation. Theatre Workshop at Nantucket has taken the opportunity presented by our unprecedented times to develop a virtual presentation.
Tickets are available here.
Theatre for One: Here We Are – Theatre for One, New York City – August 20-September 24, 3:00pm
Theatre for One: Here We Are is a series of eight world premiere microplays written & directed by black, indigenous and women of color in observance of the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment, which granted the right to vote primarily to middle and upper-class White women, while still leaving overwhelming numbers of Black, Brown, and Indigenous women disenfranchised. The show, which is one-on-one between an actor and an audience member, is rooted in the belief that intimacy and human connection is possible at any moment, at any time, and with any person. Ticket registration opens to the public Monday, August 17.
Free. For more information and to sign up in advance (mandatory), click here.
The Ballad of Emmett Till 2020 – The Fountain Theater, Los Angeles – Friday, August 28, 4:00pm
The original cast of the Fountain Theatre’s award-winning 2010 production of The Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza reunites for a livestreamed reading on the 65th anniversary of Till’s murder.
Tickets are $20. The reading will be available for viewing here.