Welcome to the latest edition of Plum Viewing, my weekly roundup of arts and culture to view online. Happy viewing!
Let’s start with a reader recommendation (Thank you, Diane!) Emilia is based on Emilia
Bassano, who for centuries has been referred to as the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. In 2018, playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcom decided to fill in the blankings and show us Emilia as a writer, wife, lover, mother, muse. First performed at London’s Globe Theatre, Emilia later moved to the Vaudeville Theatre where it was filmed. A biting comedy, it received three Olivier Award nominations in 2020 and the Noel Coward Award for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play. Lucky for us, it has been restored and edited for online viewing. It’s streaming until November 24 and tickets are pay-what-you-can and can be reserved here.
Let’s stay in London but add a little American flair. Do you know what the world needs now? More Stephen Sondheim. Truly! Well fear not because that’s exactly what we have with Marry Me a Little, a bittersweet musical revue featuring songs by the master himself. Here’s the plot: Two lonely hearts in NYC, alone in their apartments on a Saturday night. In this one-act play, our strangers pass the time by sharing secrets, unshared fantasies, never knowing that they’re just a floor away from each other. Together, they resurrect songs from many of Sondheim’s classics including Anyone Can Whistle, Follies, Company, and A Little Night Music. I am SO watching this!! It was filmed at Cirencester’s Barn Theatre and is streaming until November 22. Tickets can be reserved here.
Let’s switch gears now and countries and head back to Canada and to la belle province. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra continues to offer beautiful performances, which we can enjoy digitally. On Tuesday, Nov 24, we have Music and Poetry: Alexander Shelly conducts Richard Strauss and Siebelius, featuring Canadian soprano Adrianne Piezconka. Tickets are $20 and once purchased, performances can be viewed for up to 14 days. You can reserve your ticket here.
The wonderful team at Toronto’s Factory Theatre, under the direction of powerhouse artistic director, Nina Lee Aquino, are bringing us The Satellite Season: Canadian Stories in Orbit. Featuring six world premieres and one re-imagined Canadian classic, the 2020/2021 season will be entirely digital and will be presented absolutely free of charge, so that everyone across the country (world!) can enjoy and access their work. I have enjoyed so many wonderful and powerful performances at Factory Theatre and I’m thrilled Nina and her team are able to share their incredible work more widely. The world premiere of David Yee’s An Act of Faith, was on Nov 19 and it can be watched here.
As long time Plum readers will remember, we are big fans of Kathleen Edwards. We all tuned in to watch her live concert at Quitters, her coffeehouse in Ottawa, on August 24 to mark the release of Total Freedom, her first album since 2012. Oh, that was a good afternoon indeed. Well, for us Kathleen fans, we now have another “live” performance to enjoy. As part of Toronto’s Massey Hall Live Series in 2018, Kathleen performed fan-favourites and premiered songs we are now enjoying on her acclaimed Total Freedom album. The set is just over 30 minutes and it is pure joy!! Watch it here.
And, and 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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