Digital theater and dance will never replace the real thing. That's it, that's the end of that sentence.
That said, in these strange times, I am overwhelmingly grateful to the artists, near and far, filling the hole in my heart (and schedule, and sense of community) created by the necessary cancellation of live performances. Between archival videos of stage performances and new digital space events happening in real time, one could easily fill a social calendar with an excellent, varied selection of work.
Like what you see? If you're able, donate to the artists and arts organizations that are getting you through this time of isolation—and other artists as well. Making high-quality digital work can be complicated, time-consuming, and most of all, expensive. Please remember to contribute to the smaller companies and individual artists you love, without expecting entertainment in return. It will feel good, I promise. And artists, if you have an event you’d like to get listed, email me at email@example.com.
4/2 & 4/3
Lysistrata, Pittsburgh Public Theater PlayTime series
Far away but forever in our hearts, erstwhile Seattle theater artist Marya Sea Kaminski (co-founder of Washington Ensemble Theatre and former associate artistic director of Seattle Rep) is currently hosting online theater readings every Thursday and Friday night from Pittsburgh, where she’s now artistic director at Pittsburgh Public Theatre. On deck this week: the Greek war play that is really a sex comedy, Lysistrata, starring Tamara Tunie.
One Man, Two Guvnors, National Theatre at Home
Every week, London’s National Theatre will share one of its high-quality archival productions on its YouTube page, and this week we’re in for a treat. Long before Carpool Karaoke, James Corden starred in this title role: a hungry, unemployed musician who accidentally ends up working for two small-time criminals in London’s East End. It’s got twists, turns, mistaken identities, sandwiches, skiffle music—it’s theatrical comfort food at its farcical finest.
4/2, 4/4 & 4/5
You Had Me at Cello, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
If you’ve been enjoying Yo-Yo Ma’s #songsofcomfort series on Twitter, tune into this concert of cello ensemble music curated by Joshua Roman, former SSO principal cellist and current artistic director of the Town Hall Music Series. Originally performed in September 2019 as part of Town Hall Seattle’s Homecoming Festival, the concert features current SSO cellists Efe Baltacıgil, Meeka Quan DiLorenzo and Eric Han.
Simone Pin Presents the Virtual $6 Holler Show
Steller local burlesque-centric dance company Simone Pin Productions has one hell of a lineup for your Friday night entertainment: their “virtual party” includes performances by badass company namesakes Shay Simone and Annya Pin, as well as frequent collaborators Caela Bailey, TAQUEET$!, Onyx Wolf and Adra Boo. DJ Big Ugly will provide music all night, and admission costs go to support this company and its artists.
Fridays @ the 5th
For the musical theater-loving teens trapped at home, The 5th Avenue Theatre has converted its Fridays @ The 5th Series to a weekly online program. What that means: Every Friday at 4 p.m., Washington state high schoolers can tune in for a free, 45-minute digital workshop with professional theater-makers via Zoom. Artists and topics will vary week to week; this Friday enjoy a Q&A session with actor Lisa Estridge, who 5th Avenue fans will know from Mamma Mia!, Xanadu and many more.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Local filmmaker Wes Hurley’s delectable 2014 web series Capitol Hill features a laundry list of fantastic Seattle performers, including host BenDeLaCreme and Waxie Moon, who stars as “an innocent young girl who escapes the terrible backwater hell-hole of Portland, Oregon and comes to beautiful Seattle, Washington, in hopes of a better life.” Not only will the laughter brighten your day, but you’ll also get to remember what it looks like to be out and about in Seattle. Sigh.