Streaming! You know what it is. You know why we’re doing it. Here are some intriguing-sounding online events happening April 24-30. The emphasis is on local projects, though the great Chicago comedy group Second City is in the mix, too.
Northwest Arts Streaming Hub (NASH)
Keep a lookout for NASH, a lockdown-inspired project bringing local artists to your preferred device: performances by comedians and theater groups; studio tours with object-makers; much, much more. The plan is to set up a clearinghouse of videos (each artist/group will have its own NASH page), plus a web channel with regular programming. NASH plans to launch 5 p.m. Friday, April 24 at nwartstream.org. As of this writing, it already has a few dozen artists in several categories ready to go: theater (The Seagull Project, Jet City Improv), music (Amy Denio, Early Music Seattle), cross-disciplinary artists (Ezra Dickinson, Alice Gosti), more.
NASH has an advisory board to keep equity (of artists, of disciplines) on the front burner: Vivian Phillips, Miles James, Simon Okelo, others. For quality control, NASH is helping artists buff up their streaming with technical advice (plus ring lights for those who don’t have them). Artists and arts organizations are strongly encouraged to keep applying. More info: facebook.com/groups/nwartstream.
Live from Our Living Rooms: A Virtual Benefit for Our DIY Community’
A Friday, April 24, telethon (of sorts) launches a double handful of artists from their living rooms to your preferred device: Kimya Dawson, SassyBlack, Jeremy Enigk, Lisa Prank, Kepi Ghoulie (of the Groovie Ghoulies) and many others. Hosts The Vera Project and Artist Home promise to donate 100% of the proceeds to “our most beloved unconventional venues and the gig and production workers that make them possible, a majority of which do not qualify for formal means of institutional support.” Check out The Vera’s Project’s social-media spots (like facebook.com/theveraproject) for details and links. Starts 7 p.m.
Physical Distancing Intimate Conversations with Dani Tirrell
The ace choreographer and CD Forum curator Dani Tirrell hosts a series of Instagram interviews with artists around Seattle. Up at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 25: Aviona Rodriguez Brown, who started her career as a child model for The Bon Marché and has gone on to do a ton of stuff, from singing Selena songs in contests to acting, directing and stage managing. Expect a conversation about nuts-and-bolts theater stuff, queerness and people-of-color representation (good, bad, ugly) in the theater scene. Watch here: instagram.com/cdforum.
Ruff Reads: Seattle Shakespeare Company’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’
The downer: Over the past several weeks, Seattle Shakespeare Company had to cancel productions (“Troilus and Cressida,” “Macbeth”), plus statewide touring productions, in-school residencies and more, leading to layoffs of over 60 artists, technicians, teachers, and box-office and house staff. The upper: At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25, artistic director George Mount is leading a free, 90-minute cut of “Romeo and Juliet,” starring some of its touring cast: Anuhea Brown, Adrian Padilla, Marquicia Dominguez and others. This is a great chance to see some young talents flex their rough-and-ready skills through a familiar classic. (And for parents, that’s a 90-minute home-schooling block you don’t have to fill.) Available at seattleshakespeare.org/ruffreads.
Monique Franklin’s solo show “Mama’z Muezz” — about Black American motherhood, as well as viewpoints from various mothers of African descent throughout history — was directed by the great Valerie Curtis-Newton and premiered in 2014. “Mama’z Muezz” is getting a digital revival courtesy of CD Forum, followed by a post-show Q&A with Franklin (also a spoken-word artists known as Verbal Oasis) hosted by CD Forum curator Dani Tirrell. The event streams with watch parties at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. April 29 via a Zoom meeting. “Mama’z Muezz” is free, but CD Forum strongly encourages supporting the artist. More information (including a link to register and Franklin’s Venmo, PayPal and Cash App links) at cdforum.org.
Second City: ‘The Last Show Left on Earth’
If you have liked performers on “Saturday Night Live” anytime in the past, say, 45 years (from Gilda Radner to Tina Fey and beyond), or just comedy in general (Bob Odenkirk, Stephen Colbert, many others), you’ve liked performers from The Second City in Chicago. In response to the pandemic, Second City is cobbling together “The Last Show Left on Earth” on Thursdays through at least May 7 viewable via Topic/Boundless Entertainment sites (youtube.com/topicstories, facebook.com/topicstories). The shows are livestreamed on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and free for 24 hours. The April 30 buffet will be hosted by Christina Anthony (“Mixed-ish”) with musical guest Valerie June. Some of the talents popping up throughout the series: John Hartman (“The Good Place”), Claudia Michelle Wallace (“Key & Peele”), Fred Willard (“Modern Family,” “Best in Show”), scads of others.
Capitol Hill Arts District Streaming Festival
This extravaganza of Capitol Hill talent is nascent and moving fast, so we don’t have all the details as of this writing. What we do know: Northwest Film Forum, led by Vivian Hua, is organizing and inviting 12 groups to program 12 festival blocks April 29-May 3. There will be lots of different kinds of programming: music (Capitol Hill Block Party, Crybaby Studios), theater (Washington Ensemble Theatre and Annex Theatre), literature (Hugo House), dance (Velocity Dance Center), queer/drag (Beauty Boiz), film (Longhouse Media), cirque noir (SubKulture Cabaret) and more. The CD Forum is also involved, and they do a little bit of everything, but it’s a good guess curator Dani Tirrell (creator of the hit dance/performance piece “Black Bois,” and who, if this week’s streaming list is any indication, has been very busy during the pandemic) will bring something great. Watch bit.ly/caphillarts2020 for details as they develop.
In Conversation: Robert Battle and Donald Byrd
This should be interesting, and not just for dance heads. On April 18, Spectrum Dance Theater would have performed the Seattle premiere of “Greenwood,” the fifth commission by chorographer Donald Byrd (Spectrum Dance Theater) for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The piece references a horrific 1921 massacre in Greenwood, an affluent Tulsa neighborhood that was also known as “Black Wall Street.” (One hideous fact: Eyewitnesses reported some white aggressors shooting, and dropping firebombs, from airplanes. In all, 35 square blocks were destroyed.) The performance has been postponed, of course. Instead, Byrd had a conversation with Ailey artistic director Robert Battle, moderated by Vivian Phillips (available at vimeo.com/409992444). All three are fascinating thinkers — and, some might argue, Byrd is congenitally incapable of being dull. This conversation, as well as some Spectrum dances being rolled out from the vaults especially for stay-at-home viewing, are at youtube.com/spectrumdancetheater.
Stay Home with SAM
Since closing its physical locations, Seattle Art Museum — like others — has made a digital pivot, feeding its Facebook and Instagram accounts with sights, facts and activities for the homebound. (Examples: Making a home sculpture inspired by John Grade’s “Middle Fork,” that giant tree made of small pieces of wood hanging in SAM’s lobby, or drawing a song like Georgia O’Keefe did in her painting “Music — Pink and Blue No. 1.”) Its Stay Home with SAM posts also show some intriguing behind-the-scenes stuff such as SAM’s Asian Paintings Conservation Center (which cares for things like thousand-year-old silk paintings) and the case of the weeping Buddha, an eighth– or ninth-century brass statue cast in Kashmir that, for molecular-chemistry reasons, “weeps” down its body. Intrigued? Check out samblog.seattleartmuseum.org for more.
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