Plum Viewing

Maggie Fairs
4 min readOct 30, 2020


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

Well dear readers, it’s official. We have moved into the red wine part of the year, with of course a few ice cold martinis thrown in for good measure (after all, there is always Cocktail Friday, lest we forget). So, pour yourself your favourite drink of choice and settle in to this week’s picks.

RACE is a provocative play written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet (he of Glengarry Glen Ross fame) that tackles one of America’s most controversial topics. It focuses on three lawyers played by Ed O’Neill, David Alan Grier and Alicia Stith who are defending a wealthy white executive played to perfection by Richard Thomas. Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad is our director for this production. Needless to say, this is not to be missed. It is streaming until Nov 2 and tickets are $5. You can buy yours here.

Next. let’s revisit an old friend. Some readers may remember The Weir, which we enjoyed together in the July 24 edition of Plum Viewing. You’ll recall that it was beautifully re-imagined by the Irish Rep Theatre, with the five actors filmed in five different locations and brought together almost seamlessly using the same background. Well, our clever friends at the Irish Rep have done it again, this time with Eugene O’Neill’s tragic tale, A Touch of the Poet about the immigrant experience and generational aspiration, which was first performed in 1958. This production was planned for this year and has now been reimagined as a digital presentation. It’s just as powerful with gorgeous dialogue and incredible storytelling. It’s available free of charge and streaming until Nov 1. Reserve your ticket here.

After these two powerful performances, I think we need the calming effect of music to give us time to think and what could be a better soundtrack than the NY Philharmonic. While this year’s season is cancelled, the orchestra has made many of their former recordings available online through a library of video and radio recordings, The series NY Phil Plays On includes Mahler, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart, to name just a few. And, NY Phil Bandwagon, is a series of concerts featuring musicians playing at some of NYC’s most recognized locations. Simply divine and just what our soul needs at the moment!!

For those Halloween loving readers, here are two real treats (and yes, I meant to say that!!)

The Village Halloween Parade is an NYC tradition. During normal times, the parade travels through Greenwich Village with costumes and characters that are truly out of this world. It’s quite the sight and the atmosphere is so much fun! Mr Fairs and I were spectators when we lived in NYC. Whoopi Goldberg was the parade master and rather than throwing out Halloween candy, we got condoms! It’s that kind of parade :) Well, not to be stopped by COVID, this year’s parade will be the first ever Double Magnificent Intergalactic MINIATURE Halloween Parade. It is streaming from 7 pm ET on Halloween night and I’m sure it will NOT disappoint!!

For those traditionalists looking for a spooky Halloween experience, you are in luck. I give you Macbeth: A Surround Sound Experiment. It’s an audio performance of Macbeth with 14 actors lending their voices, including Laila Robins (The Lion in Winter),

Tamara Tunie (Better Call Saul), Derek Wilson (Future Man) and Joel de la Fuente (The Man in High Castle). For a proper Halloween-esque experience, you’re advised to wear headphones and listen by candlelight — or, better yet, no light at all. You can almost hear Lady Macbeth now!! Tune in from October 31 — November 1 and tickets are $13

Lastly, we know what we’ll be doing on Tuesday, Nov 3. Yep. America. All eyes will be on you. For those of us who will be channel surfing from one talking head to another (we see you Wolf Blizer!), there is an alternative. The Greene Space in NYC have a live broadcast of WNYC’s show On the Media with hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield and their first-ever live election night show. It will feature expert interviews, music, comedy, reflections and reactions from the OTM crew. So, while it is still politics (there really is no getting away from this on Tuesday!), think of it as a safe space to hang out. Sign up here.

And, for those of us really looking for an alternative, the wonderful writer Susan Orlean (she of the Orchid Thief and New Yorker fame) has agreed to live tweet on election night in her usual alcohol fueling style. Some of you may remember her drunken rant in July where she spoke for ALL of US when expressing her feelings about COVID-19. It was hilarious! So, for equally ‘insightful’ commentary, I highly recommend you follow her on Twitter on Tuesday. It will not disappoint!!


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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