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Arts | Culture

Streamed plays and performances are popping up all over — here are a few more coming soon

The San Diego-raised playwright Mike Lew’s “Teenage Dick,” a riff on Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” is available to watch online via a theater in Chicago.
The San Diego-raised playwright Mike Lew’s “Teenage Dick,” a riff on Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” is available to watch online via a theater in Chicago.
(Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune)

A collection of virtual shows and special events to check out, from here and around the country

If the current burst of live-streamed performance keeps going strong even after the coronavirus threat has faded, at least we’ll be able to say we were there at the birth of an entertainment phenomenon.

Not that online streaming is new, exactly. But as theaters and other venues remain shuttered indefinitely in San Diego and across the country, artists are harnessing the tech in new and creative ways to get their work seen.

A few upcoming examples:

“The Corona Diaries Part 1"

The grassroots San Diego theater troupe Circle Circle dot dot is hosting this Facebook Live performance starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. The free show is made up of short, two-character works submitted by local writers and “inspired by a situation you’ve found yourself in during the quarantine period.” Actors will present the works live from their own homes.

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"#safeshow”

The San Diego Performing Arts League has rolled out this grassroots effort that encourages participants to self-tape a song, scene , monologue or dance number from a favorite play or musical (full instructions are here). The PAL then shares the results on its ArtsTix Facebook and Instagram pages.

“Teenage Dick”

This play is actually being streamed out of Chicago — but that’s OK, because it’s the internet! Plus, it has a good local angle: “Teenage Dick,” a very loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” set at a modern-day high school, is by Mike Lew (of “Tiger Style!”), who grew up in La Jolla and was recently resident artist at La Jolla Playhouse with his wife, Rehana Lew Mirza. The play was actually running at Chicago’s Theater Wit when the coronavirus closures began. Now the company is selling tickets to recorded performances (at $28 each) through April 19.

“The Rosie O’Donnell Show”

The ‘90s-legacy TV show returns for one night as a benefit for The Actors Fund. And O’Donnell is bringing aboard a long list of Broadway stars for the occasion, including Idina Menzel, Chita Rivera, Billy Porter and San Diego’s own Brian Stokes Mitchell. The show begins at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time) March 22 at Broadway.com and its YouTube channel.

BroadwayHD

This streaming service has been around since 2015, but suddenly it’s now one of the few places you can experience Broadway shows, even if not quite live. The service offers a wide range of both newer and classic shows, including such musicals as “Kinky Boots,” “An American in Paris” and the La Jolla Playhouse-launched “Memphis.” It’s also hosting such special events as Berkeley Rep’s just-ended streamed production of “Culture Clash (Still) in America,” featuring San Diego Rep playwright in residence Herbert Siguenza. BroadwayHD costs $8.99 a month but is offering a seven-day free trial.


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