Plum Viewing

Maggie Fairs
4 min readMay 13, 2022


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

Hello lovely readers! My goodness, I owe you all a very big apology for completely dropping the ball on Plum Viewing. It has been nearly two months since the last one, which is shocking, I know. I have no excuse other than to say, it was a combination of work, travel and well, life. Many of you have been in touch to say that you’ve missed this little newsletter and I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

So, as a promise to you and myself, Plum is back with its weekly format of in-person and online suggestions and recommendations for all manner of arts to enjoy.

With that, here we go!

Martha Wainwright has just released her memoir, Stories I might regret telling you, which needless to say is brilliant and has a tone that is pure Martha. This is, after all, the person who titled one of her albums, I know you’re married but I’ve got feelings too. My god, I adore her.

Well, to promote this new memoir and her new album Love will be reborn, Martha is doing a series of performances and book tour talks and let’s thank the gods that a few of these talks are live streamed. On Sunday, May 15 at 12 pm ET, you can tune in to see her or just purchase your ticket in advance and plan a lovely Sunday evening with Martha as your guest of honour (that’s what I’ll be doing). Either way, it’s not to be missed. Tickets are $25 and you can purchase yours here.

Staying with the Wainwright family (can you even imagine a summer campfire singalong with Martha, Rufus and Lucy — heaven!) Rufus Wainwright is currently on a tour called Unfollow the Rules. On Monday, May 16, he’ll be at Toronto’s Massey Hall; Thursday, May 19, he’ll be at the NAC and on Saturday, May 21 he’ll be back home in Montreal for what will no doubt be a hero’s welcome. I have my ticket and shall report back! Check out his full concert tour here to see if/when he’ll be visiting your city.

Our friends at Jazz at Lincoln Center are back with this gem: three-time Grammy Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Cécile McLorin Salvant, who is debuting her new album Ghost Song. For those of us not lucky enough to make it to Jazzy’s Club to see her in person, we can enjoy the webcast, which is available on demand through May 18. Details are here. .

And, why stop there. While we’re still with these lovely humans, let’s also enjoy this fun performance: an hour-long interactive introduction to the blues with a live band and led by charismatic blues singer Catherine Russell. I can think of worse ways to spend an hour (she says to herself as she scrolls Twitter…). Tickets are $10 and can be found here.

Okay, now this is fun. The House of Gucci is a sensational story of murder, madness, glamour, and greed. Delightfully portrayed by Lady Gaga, clearly having the time of her life, Jared Leto, in full method mode and Adam Driver being, well, Adam Driver.

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) recently premiered the movie on YouTube, followed by a discussion with fashion journalist Teri Agins, who wrote the book on which the movie is based.

For those not in the know (no judgment..well, maybe just a little…), here’s the sordid story: “On March 27, 1995, Maurizio Gucci, heir to the fabulous fashion dynasty, was slain by an unknown gunman as he approached his Milan office. In 1998, his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli — nicknamed “The Black Widow” by the press — was sentenced to 29 years in prison for arranging his murder. The Gucci story is one of glitz, glamour, intrigue, and the rise, near fall, and subsequent resurgence of a fashion dynasty.” I mean, you really can’t make this up!

Anyway, we can don our favourite Gucci knockoffs, pour ourselves an Aperol Spritz (of course!) and enjoy it all here.

Make Laugh not War, is the theme at Joe’s Pub as comedy group Unitard take us along for the ride with their very ‘dangerous adult comedy’. Led by irrepressible Mike Albo, Nora Burns, and David Ilku, they bring us spicy sketches, satire and songs. We can enjoy it all, free of charge, here.

And, to end, a book recommendation. Now that we are finally experiencing warm weather (my goodness, this was a LONG winter), what better why to celebrate than with a good healthy dose of royal smut! After all, we need something to tie us over until the next season of The Crown.

And, who better to deliver this than Tina Brown (she of the Vanity Fair Diaries and The Diana Chronicles fame). She’s back now with The Palace Papers, a smut filled romp through the past 50 years of the British royal family and the whole cast of characters they have given us. I am halfway through and absoluting loving it! Brown, ever the master of the put down, gives us this lovely turn of phrase to describe Prince Andrew, ““a coroneted sleaze machine”. I mean. Yes.

You can read snippets of Brown’s recent interview with The Cut here. And, do go to your local bookstore to pick up a copy. It is just delicious!

It is so lovely to be back with all of you 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!

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