The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here
I stream, you stream, we all stream for our entertainment these days. Here are a few timely recommendations.
• Mahler and more: Join Michael Tilson Thomas, music educator par excellence, as his highly praised “Keeping Score” documentary series with the San Francisco Symphony rolls out yet another free-streaming debut at 5 p.m. March 28, when both versions on Gustav Mahler, “Origins” and “Legacy,” become available on the symphony’s YouTube channel. MTT traveled to Bohemia to make the documentaries in the composer’s old stomping grounds, and each episode includes concert-length performances of his music. Previous releases still available on the channel include documentaries on Aaron Copland, Charles Ives and Dmitri Shostakovitch, and there will be more to come in future weeks. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0wRztEPtQWDXUybBpYRpaA
• Bliss out with Biss: The 92nd Street Y concert venue in New York began live streaming classical music concerts on its stage a while back with a fantastic recital by San Francisco pianist Garrick Ohlsson, but is now more safely self-quarantining by streaming them from the performers’ own homes. Celebrated pianist Jonathan Biss, playing from his New York home, is up next, performing the final three of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas at 4:30 p.m. our time (7:30 p.m. EDT) on March 26. Biss, hailed as “one of his generation’s deepest musical thinkers” by the New York Times, is just completing a massive recording cycle of all 32 sonatas. https://www.92y.org/archives/jonathan-biss-piano
• Take flight (online): TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is offering its recently canceled production, “They Promised Her the Moon,” for streaming, BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT FAST if you are interested. Tickets ($15-$50) for the online presentation only last until March 30. The streaming lasts through April 12. The play by Laurel Ollstein centers on trailblazing aviator Jerrie Cobb, one of the Mercury 13 female pilots who famously completed the same training regimen as NASA astronauts. Go to www.theatreworks.com.
• Stage on the small screen: TheatreWorks isn’t the only Bay Area troupe in the streaming game. San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater is offering streaming versions of two of its recently canceled productions: “Toni Stone,” the world premiere play about the titular baseball player who broke into the Negro Leagues in the 1940s, thereby becoming one the first women to play professional ball; and “Gloria,” Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ provocative dark comedy about awful office workers who experience a tragedy and somehow wind up even more awful. Both shows are available through April 5 ($15-$100) on the ACT website, www.act-sf.org.
• A night at the opera: New York’s storied Metropolitan Opera has stepped up big time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Big Apple’s arts world. The company is posting on its website each day a different opera from its “Live in HD” series that you can watch, for free. A new opera arrives each night at 7:30 (EDT) and remains there for 23 hours. This week features several Wagner works. The company plans to keep this up for the foreseeable future. Go to www.metopera.org.