The only kind of COVID update I enjoy does not come from a press conference, it comes from an email (or social media post, or text message) letting me know that another musician or theater artist I enjoy has made work available to watch online. These announcements feel like special treats just for me, as I pace my tiny apartment trying to convince myself to try an at-home workout, but these treats are for everyone, so mark your calendars and spit-shine your internet connection because these stream-able performances are delicious. As always, donate money to artists/venues/arts organizations if you can, and artists, if you have an event you’d like to get listed, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Home: Songs of Hope & Healing 4
In collaboration with recording studio Mysterious Red X, Artist Home presents the latest installment of its Songs of Hope and Healing concerts, filmed and recorded live at MysteriousRedX and featuring Clinton Fearon Music, Birch Pereira & the Gin Joints, Bodies On The Beach and Asterhouse. Some merch will be available for purchase and other avenues for financial support made available—everybody wins.
Earshot Jazz Live at The Forum: Jacqueline Tabor
Town Hall Seattle’s latest live stream collaboration with Earshot Jazz promises to provide a bluesy, sultry Saturday evening featuring vocalist Jacqueline Tabor and “a new ensemble of Seattle jazz masters.” Check out Tabor’s version of “The Lady in the Gown” from her 2018 live studio session with KNKX Public Radio to get in the mood, then hook up your best speakers for showtime.
The Seagull Project: Great Souls Series
A theatrical experience for your ears: local Chekhov-centric theater company The Seagull Project has released a podcast version of its Great Souls reading series, which features company actors and talented guest performers reading (usually) classic Russian stories, plays and poems. The first podcast episode, Chekhov’s Fools, features Peter Crook reading Chekhov’s A Work of Art, Julie Briskman reading Black Iris by Nadezhda Teffi, and, to mix things up, Sunam Ellis reading Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Available through 4/13
The Wooster Group: Brace Up!
In even less-traditional Chekhov, downtown New York theatre fixture The Wooster Group’s 2003 production of Brace Up!, an interpretation of The Three Sisters directed by company co-founder Elizabeth LeComte and featuring longtime Wooster collaborator Willem Defoe, is available online through next Monday. Wrote Hilton Als in his 2003 New Yorker review: “Using technology (the actors speak less to one another than they do to the microphones and video cameras onstage) and comic absurdity (they deliver their speeches with a kind of sidelong wink and never reach the end of the play), they push 'Three Sisters' into the realm of performance as performance, something quite separate from the conventional realist theatre’s goal of representing life as it is.”
Available through 4/19
Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava and The Magic City
One trillion years ago while creating the April issue of Seattle magazine, I included Manual Cinema’s production of Frankenstein at the Moore Theatre in our monthly Datebook of recommended arts events. While everything in that Datebook is now canceled (you should still check it out and show these artists/companies some extra love!), Manual Cinema is now streaming two of its other, magically low-tech, live-cinema style theatrical performances, Ada/Ava and The Magic City, through April 19.
Available through May 2020
Coriolis Dance: Voluntary Caesura
Multi-hyphenate dance artist Christin Call, co-founder of Coriolis Dance, was gearing up to premiere her new evening-length piece Ad astra per aspera this month when the coronavirus cancellations hit. While Ad astra is on hold until July, Call is releasing her lyrical dance film Voluntary Caesura for free (use code “athome2020”) through the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. “A dancer in the fog of depression struggles to move through her day. When she and a musician meet for rehearsal, they feel the presence of someone from the past. Is their shared experience a potential for connection or an omen of her own fate?”
Carla Körbes: After the Rain
Last weekend, beloved former Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Körbes performed a solo excerpt from Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. “In our time of isolation I wanted to make art in the backyard this morning,” she wrote on YouTube. “Here is a version of Chris Wheeldon's classic work as a solo because my partners are all in quarantine.” At just three minutes it’s more amuse-bouche than full meal, which makes it a perfect working-from-home art break.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The generous soul who uploaded the 2002 film version of David Schmader’s solo show Straight: A Conversion Comedy to YouTube deserves some extra all-purpose flour as a quarantine gift, because this show is a quarantine gift to us all. Schmader's deep-dive into the horror that is conversion therapy is earnest, insightful, wry and laugh-out-loud funny: “Unlike a lot of people grossed out by Christ, my negative feelings don’t stem from childhood.”