Plum Viewing

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

Hello lovely readers. Well, here we are again. This week, many of us welcomed snow (this is Canada after all!), vaccines (for those lucky enough) and well, snow. Thank God it’s Friday, as a wise person once said.

So with that, here are this week’s picks. Enjoy!

The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto has launched a gorgeous new series called Music of My Life, where stars of the stage and screen discuss music that inspires them.

Filmed at beautiful Koerner Hall, the first episode features none other than Johnny Rose himself, Mr. Eugene Levy. What an absolute treat!! Here’s a link to Eugene Levy’s picks, which you can watch for free.

And, stay tuned to this. Upcoming guests include: Celebrated pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, musician and composer Steven Page, star of the stage and screen Cynthia Dale, and Paul Shaffer, musician and David Letterman’s musical director. It is indeed a very Canadian feast.

Let’s stay with our music theme with this gem: The Cole Porter Years, brought to us by the wonderful folks at New York’s Town Hall, a venue I dearly miss!

Streaming from April 26–28, it features songs from The Gay Divorce, Anything Goes, 50 Million Frenchman and Kiss Me Kate. My goodness, what didn’t he write! At the end of 2019, another great, Harry Connick Jr., paid tribute to Cole Porter in a high octane Broadway show, which you can read about here and Mr. Fairs and I were lucky enough to see in NYC. Oh travel…

Tickets for the Town Hall show are $30 and can be purchased here.

Belgium’s Ontroerend Goed has once again used its favourite trick of turning spectators into participants with this new production, T.M. A short and sweetly uplifting encounter that offers the emotional pleasure we are dearly missing from theatre but without feeling like a conventional drama. (Fun Fact: On Ontroerend Goed’s website, their script anthology is called All Work and No Plays — so clever!) T.M. is available to stream until April 25 and you can find tickets here.

Okay, this is fun and for me at least, outside my comfort zone. It’s Beethoven’s Fidelio, retold as a musical graphic novel. Who knew!

Here’s how it’s described on the Kennedy Center website: “Our version by dramaturg and librettist Kelley Rourke and illustrator Erik Teague, with Leonore as superheroine, features our talented Cafritz Young Artists performing Beethoven’s glorious score.”

It runs for just under 20 minutes and is available to enjoy for free here.

Caryl Churchill is an incredibly talented playwright who is described as changing the language of theatre. As The Guardian pointed out, it is hard to imagine the landscape of contemporary drama without her. She has authored more than 30 plays, a handful of adaptations and a clutch of radio plays. Each a landmark in the history of our theatre culture. Love and Information is no different. Here’s the focus: We live in a world where information bombardment is in danger of leading to atrophy of memory, erosion of privacy and decay of feeling. I think I can speak on behalf of all of us when I say we can ALL refer to this premise, especially now.

First performed in 2012, it features 100 characters performed by 16 actors over a 110 minute period. It is streaming for free by London’s Barbican Theatre from Thursday 29 April — May, 7.30pm. You can reserve your ticket here.

This popped up as part of my YouTube scrolling recently and it’s just too magnificent to keep to myself. It’s Patti Smith performing at the 2016 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony where she performed on behalf of Bob Dylan, who was that year’s recipient. In true Dylan style, he decided hmm, not so much for me, so the wonderful Patti Smith performed one of his songs, A hard rain’s a-gonna fall, which is my favourite Dylan song. I know Patti describes this as ‘humiliating’ but honestly, to my mind, it is so beautiful and human. I love it. Enjoy!!

See you next week my lovely readers!

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!

And, if you’d like to receive Plum Viewing weekly, send me a note at maggiefairs@gmail.com and I will add you to my mailing list.

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