Plum Viewing

Maggie Fairs
5 min readMay 20, 2022


Welcome to the latest edition of Plum Viewing, my weekly round-up of arts and culture to enjoy online.

Hello lovely readers! Well, I have had an action packed week. I was in Ottawa this week for in-person meetings, conferences and cocktail receptions with real life humans. My goodness, it was glorious. I met many of my wonderful work colleagues for the first time (many of whom were much taller than their sitting zoom image would lead you to believe) and caught up with dear friends not seen in two plus years. Such an absolute treat. Even the sun cooperated, giving us this gorgeous sunset on our last night.

Ottawa sunset over the canal

Do you know who else was in Ottawa? Yep, the future heir to the British throne, Prince Charles and Camilla were in town as well. Despite the fact that they too were staying at our fancy hotel, they did not crash our cocktail reception, which honestly, was their loss! And, here’s a fun fact: if you’re reading Tina Brown’s delicious book The Palace Papers, you’ll know that Charles insists on bringing a few of his creature comforts with him when he travels, the most noteworthy of which is his favourite brand of ‘lavatory wipes’ (toilet paper for us mere mortals). So, I wonder if Kleenex Velvet was smuggled into the Chateau Laurier this week?!

And with that image in your head (you’re welcome!) here are this week’s picks!

Macbeth is having a moment. Currently performing on Broadway, we have James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, joined by the amazing Ruth Negga. Streaming on AppleTV, we have the powerhouse duo Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth, which is brilliant. So, not to feel left out, the always daring Red Bull Theater is streamlining their 2019 production which was adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt with its all-female cast. It’s described as “a raucous, sometimes impish, very dark-edged revel and a must see.” It is streaming until May 29. Tickets are $25 and you can reserve yours here.

MCC Theater is back with its annual gala Miscast, which is streaming for all to enjoy. For those not familiar with Miscast, here’s the concept: Broadway’s hottest stars perform songs from roles in which they would not traditionally be cast. And the results are thrilling! Among this year’s performers, we have Andrea Martin, Lea Michelle and Kelli O’Hara, and many, many more. It’s streaming on Sunday, May 22 starting at 6:30 pm with Broadway Trivia. Tickets are $30 and you can get yours here.

Mr Fairs and I have been devouring (pun intended!) Stanley Tucci’s new season of Searching for Italy on CNN. If you are not watching it, I am sad to say, you are most definitely missing out. It’s so good! Stanley is the perfect host and travel guide. What I would not give for an invitation to the Tucci house for dinner.

Until that happens, here is the routine Mr Fairs and I have adopted. We watch the previous week’s episode on a Saturday evening with a cocktail (of course!) and after the episode, full of inspiration and a very strong desire to pack up everything and move to Italy, we cook a gorgeous meal. (Well, truth be told, Mr Fairs cooks a gorgeous meal and I move to the ‘wine portion’ of the evening. Really, it’s better that way.)

So, I was delighted to find this to share: Culinary Tourism with Rob Rosenthal, presented by the 92Y. It’s an online and interactive session in which Rosenthal, a classically trained cook and cookbook author who writes and reports on culinary tourism for Food & Wine, Huffington Post and The Daily Meal, gives us a tutorial on what it takes to really taste a country’s cuisine. Let’s think of it as homework to get that prized invitation from Mr. Tucci. It’s happening on Thursday, May 26 at 6:30 pm ET and you can reserve your ticket here.

Staying with the 92Y (or 92NY as it is now known), on Sunday, you can tune into a conversation with acclaimed comedians Alison Leiby and lIana Glazer on Leiby’s new one-woman show, Oh God, A Show About Abortion.

Here’s the description: “Hailed as the “Best Political Comedy of 2021” by The New York Times, Oh God is a hilariously candid and fearless account of Leiby’s own experience navigating the big questions and mundane details of a personal decision — exercising reproductive rights in America. Hear them discuss the creation of the show — why Leiby decided to tell her story, the fraught politics of talking frankly about abortion right now, anecdotes that didn’t make it into the show, and much more.”

It’s streaming on Sunday at 7 pm ET and is available on demand for the next seven days. Tickets are $7 and you can reserve yours here.

And, here’s something to enjoy away from our computer screens. It’s an audio play from our friends at Vancouver’s Arts Club. The Cull, by Michele Riml & Michael St. John Smith, described very tongue in cheek as a ‘biting new drama’ tells the story of Emily and Lewis who are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with their best friends. While a forest fire rages out of control in the local mountains, the conversation around the dinner table turns many corners: catching up on family events, reminiscing about their teenage years, and debating about what it means to be a “good person.” But when an unexpected gift turns the seemingly civil conversation about the local wolf cull into a fierce personal argument, a secret is revealed that threatens the stability of the “pack,” turning this particular dinner party into a night of eat or be eaten.

It’s streaming until July, and surely a fun way to get your 10,000 steps in :) You can download it here.

And, to end, I will leave you with this gem. Honestly, despite its many, many faults, it is clips like this that make you happy Twitter exists. Some wise soul has taken the final dance from Dirty Dancing (which we ALL know!) and set it to the opening song of The Muppet Show. Well, let’s just say, it’s something you can’t unsee. Here it is again.

Have a gorgeous long weekend and see you next week!

And, an ask: While we’re enjoying these wonderful performances, let’s remember that for the arts organizations producing this incredible content, this is their livelihood; not a hobby. If we can, now is our time to continue to support our incredible arts community!

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