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What’s happening (digitally) in the local arts world

Lady Gaga curated the "One World: Together at Home" international special broadcast in support of frontline health-care workers.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images/file


Pop, Folk & World

PICKATHON: A CONCERT A DAY Oregon’s idyllic Pickathon festival has been recording stunning videos of performances for years — and one full set from its vast vault is going public every day at 4 p.m. for the next two months. This week’s lineup includes colorful soul rebels Tank and the Bangas (April 12), singer-songwriter Damien Jurado (April 13), and Ukrainian funk-folk foursome DakhaBrakha (April 15). Each video will be watchable for free on the festival’s Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon Music Twitch Channel for 72 hours after it goes up; any donations will go to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.


BLUEGRASS AT PASSIM Passim’s Down Home Up Here festival is now Down Home At Home, as bluegrass and bluegrass-adjacent bands and artists based in Boston and beyond turn on their webcams. If you like banjos, dobros, and crazy-quick picking, this fest’s weekend of workshops and concerts are bound to have the cure for what ails ya. A daily donation of $15 is suggested. April 18-19.

ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME What if Live Aid, but for coronavirus, and without the nauseating white-savior fantasy Christmas song? Enter this international special broadcast in support of frontline health-care workers and the WHO, curated by Lady Gaga and Global Citizen and stacked with A-listers including Elton John, Lizzo, Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, and Alanis Morissette. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon will provide dad jokes, I mean, host. Check broadcast listings at April 18, 8 p.m.



MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN: Live-streamed recitals are proving remarkably popular these days; pianist Jonathan Biss’s recent recital streamed by New York’s 92nd Street Y attracted over 160,000 viewers. Next up on the Y’s streaming agenda will be the fearlessly exploratory Boston-based pianist Marc-André Hamelin, with a compelling, century-hopping program devoted to composers ranging from C.P.E. Bach to Enescu. In a nod to the times, it will also include Liszt’s “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude” — “God’s Blessing in Solitude.” From Hamelin’s living room to yours. April 14, 7:30 p.m.





SHAKESPEARE ON THE COMMON ENCORES! Ah, now here’s a modest but welcome initiative that could cheer up a few theater-deprived Bostonians: Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is using social media to showcase actors in self-taped performances of monologues that they previously performed in CSC productions on Boston Common. So, for example, you can see the great Paula Plum enacting a scene as Portia from 1999′s “Julius Caesar,’’ or the inimitable Jeremiah Kissel re-immersing himself in his fiery 2015 portrayal of the Earl of Kent in “King Lear.’’ Other all-star performers who have agreed to appear in future monologues include Will Lyman, Karen MacDonald, John Kuntz, Will Lebow, Bobbie Steinbach, and Robert Walsh. The monologues are viewable on CSC’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, all at @commshakes

FLEABAG Before turning the fascinatingly messy title character into the protagonist of an Emmy-winning TV series, Phoebe Waller-Bridge introduced her in a one-woman stage show at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Six years later, after the series was a hit, Waller-Bridge brought the show back to the stage — Wyndham’s Theatre in London, to be precise — and one of those performances is going to be available to stream on Amazon Prime for two weeks. A 48-hour download will cost $5, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The proceeds will be given to charities that help people affected by the coronavirus, including the Fleabag Support Fund, which provides grants to theater freelancers deprived of jobs because of the pandemic. “I hope this filmed performance of ‘Fleabag’ can help raise money while providing a little theatrical entertainment in these isolated times,’’ Waller-Bridge said in a statement, adding with a characteristically mischievous admonition: “Now go get into bed with Fleabag! It’s for charity!’’


SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY If you missed last year’s superb SpeakEasy Stage Company production of “School Girls,’’ here’s a chance to stream a performance of Jocelyn Bioh’s play by Chicago’s acclaimed Goodman Theatre. Set in a girls’ boarding school in central Ghana in 1986, “School Girls’’ tracks the competition within a group of friends to become contestants in the Miss Ghana pageant, with the hope of going on to the “Miss Global Universe’’ pageant. Along the way, "School Girls'' asks us to consider the ways discriminatory beauty standards can damage the self-image of young Black women. In my review of the SpeakEasy production, I wrote: “Though deceptively small in scale and often comic in tone, ‘School Girls’ packs a considerable emotional wallop.’’ The Goodman production — which was captured during previews, before it was halted a few days before its scheduled opening night — is being offered for streaming on a pay-what-you-can basis, starting at $15, at




LUMINARIUM DANCE COMPANY Artistic director Merli V. Guerra and the troupe won some international kudos this past week with Guerra’s dance film, “The One I Keep.” It’s only four minutes long, but it’s a charming and provocative little creative offering that Spain’s Europa Film Festival honored as best film in the “Experimental” category. After a gentle “rain” of 1,600 snippets of secrets, the final image is a beaut. And while you’re on the site, check out the gifted filmmaker’s poignant “For you, to mentor me.”


Visual Arts

WRITING THE FUTURE: BASQUIAT AND THE HIP-HOP GENERATION Maybe the biggest of the Museum of Fine Arts’ 150th anniversary exhibitions was set to open April 5. What to do with several years worth of research and planning but to take it online, where visitors can explore the infamous golden child’s connections to 1980s New York City street culture. The first show to link Basquiat to his peers in the burgeoning graffiti and hip-hop scene, it enriches the experience of his famously surly, expressive canvases. Until you can see them in person, you can see every work in the show online — not to mention snippets from three documentaries chronicling the golden child and his moment.

N+T ASKS: Boston-based public art nonprofit Now + There is on pause from its art-making agenda — like everyone else — but the conversations it plans to convene for the length of our isolation fills the same void their work does in the real world. Their third online event asks “What can artists do now?” as a conversation starter on how culture can help us cope with collective trauma. Hosted by Now + There director Kate Gilbert, with artist Rachel Allen and urban designer Kenneth Bailey. April 17, 12:30 PM. Free. Register via



SHELTER IN PLACE GALLERY One inch is equivalent to one foot in Boston painter Eben Haines’s dollhouse-size Shelter In Place Gallery, where he mounts tiny shows by local artists. Depicting a cranberry bog beneath a moody sky, Wilhelm Neusser’s painting “Untitled (Large Bog for SIP)” unfurls onto the floor, and Sarah J. Gindel’s ornately framed images meditate on the female breast. Haines shares his installation process, too — the gallery is an artwork in itself.




'I’M FINE’ WITH KELLY MACFARLAND AND DAN CROHN MacFarland and Crohn check in with an impressive array of funny friends for this daily hangout. Confirmed guests for this week so far are Bethany Van Delft (Monday) and Tom Dustin (Thursday). Watch the show live on Crohn’s Facebook page, or grab the Zoom address there. Weekdays, 5 p.m.

ARTISANAL COMEDY This is usually a monthly show at the Dorchester Brewing Company, but host Bethany Van Delft is hosting it weekly on her Instagram. This week’s comics are Rae Sanni, Shalewa Sharpe, Andrew Orolfo, Liam McGurk, and Zilla Vodnas. April 15, 9 p.m. Instagram — @bethanyvandelft

THE LAUGH FACTORY The rush to livestream shows is giving fans a chance to check out some legendary venues, including The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, which streams live on weekdays. The lineups aren’t announced long in advance, but one recent show featured Tiffany Haddish, Craig Robinson, and Earthquake. Weekdays, 5 p.m.,, and Instagram at @LaughFactoryHW



KIDS’ ART PROJECTS AT PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM: Escaping the dull terror of the moment with online bouts of beauty has its appeal, but what about more practical things like keeping the kids busy while you’re trying to hit a work deadline? Peabody Essex has compiled a thoughtful site rife with activities, like an origami how-to (from its 2007 exhibition on the Japanese paper art), a downloadable coloring book of works from its collection, and a finger-puppet workshop. Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the museum debuts a new episode of PEM Pals, a video with stories and projects for the under-five set.


Cancellation announcements (since April 1)

Craft Boston, May 15-17

Boston Pops spring 2020 season, May 6-June 13

Williamstown Theatre Festival, summer 2020 season