Plum Viewing

Maggie Fairs
3 min readJun 26, 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of Plum Viewing, my weekly roundup of arts and culture to view online.

So sorry for missing last week but I hope this jam-packed edition will make up for it!

Here are this week’s picks. Happy viewing!

Let’s start with Diane Flacks’ play Unholy, a powerful play about women and religion, which is now available for online viewing. I sadly missed this play during its run at Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre, so am thrilled to have the opportunity to see it now. An all Canadian cast, director and writer, this is another reason to be thankful for the breadth of talent we have here.

The Stratford Festival has been first and centre in the past couple of weeks for all the right reasons. They are truly embracing the mood of the moment and engaging in conversations that are difficult but incredibly important. The Festival recently hosted a panel discussion called, Black Like Me, past, present and future: Behind the Stratford Festival Curtain, a candid conversation with Stratford’s actors about their experiences at the Festival. These stories are incredibly powerful and important to watch and hear.

While you’re on the Stratford Festival website, do check out their latest online screening; The Adventures of Pericles. Such a treat!!

Showing that not even the coronavirus can stop a performance, renowned choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures have produced a 12-minute film version of his much anticipated production of The Red Shoes. Performed from their homes, backyards and gardens, this production is likely not what Matthew and cast originally had in mind, but it sure is charming!

London’s National Theatre is back with the Shakespeare fan favourite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staring Game of Thrones fan favourite Gwendoline Christie (aka Brienne of Tarth — also confession: I have never seen GoT, so don’t yell at me if this isn’t right. It’s the gospel according to Google!). It is streaming from June 25 to July 2. Pop the champagne cork and enjoy!

Let’s hop from the Bridge’s Theatre to the Old Vic and move from Game of Thrones to The Crown. Starring in a revival of Lungs, by the brilliant playwright Duncan Macmillan (he of the joyful Every Brilliant Thing and the gut-wrenching People, Places and Things fame) are Claire Foy (aka The Queen) and Matt Smith (aka Prince Philip). From June 26 to July 4, the Old Vic will air this production, which will be performed to an empty auditorium. Quite rightly, they are charging to watch this. Tickets can be purchased here.

If you have never been to the NYC West Village piano bar Marie’s Crisis, fear not! The show tunes mecca has now moved online. For anyone not familiar with this landmark, it is the holy grail for devoted show-tune lovers of all ages (no Broadway or Disney tune is off limits here!) The bar closed in March, but the music and the singing continue each night online. This place is genuinely more fun than any of us deserve but boy, it is needed right now!

And, finally, in honour of July 1, this was a good year for The Rose’s (see what I did there). In April, we said farewell to Canada’s first family of comedy, the wonderfully eccentric Rose clan and the full Schitt’s Creek gang. I will admit that I was late to the party in discovering this little gem of a show but man, did I make up for lost time. I binge-watched six seasons faster than Moira tears through her wall of wigs! So, for those of us in desperate need of an “Ew, David”, here is the Rose family on stage at the 92Y talking about the final season. It’s an all Canadian line-up, so think of this as your patriotic duty to watch.

Happy Canada Day!

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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