Looking for a few more ways to scratch that cultural itch? I’ve got thoughts …
Read "Michelangelo: God's Architect"
Pick up a copy of William E. Wallace’s immaculately researched book, “Michelangelo: God’s Architect.” It’s a little off the beaten path of my beat, but as an account of the final years of one of the most dynamic artistic sensibilities of all time, Wallace’s book is a riveting experience for lovers of any art form. The pandemic has given me a break from my strict diet of theater, and few books have provided me a richer diversion from my normal labors than this encounter with Michelangelo at an advanced age, and how he fared with the last architectural, sculptural and painterly projects of his life. Just one of the amazing facets is the sheer volume of documentary record that was left about Michelangelo, who died in 1564 at the age of 88; Wallace, a professor of art history at Washington University in St. Louis, reveals here his masterly skills as a biographer.
Watch "Les Blancs"
Go to NT Live, the streaming service overseen by Britain’s National Theatre, for a rare absorption in Lorraine Hansberry’s final play, “Les Blancs.” The author of the acclaimed “A Raisin in the Sun,” Hansberry died at the age of 34 and bequeathed to us a glorious theater legacy. This version of “Les Blancs,” set in a turbulent African country set on a post-colonial future, was directed for the National Theatre in 2016 by Yael Farber, whose credits include an extraordinary adaptation of August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie.” Her sexually and racially charged revision, transplanted to South Africa and retitled “Mies Julie,” was a sensation in Washington and New York. Free. Available from July 2-9 on the National Theatre’s YouTube page.
Join "The Shakespeare Hour Live!"
Join the weekly conversation with Shakespeare Theatre Company over the myriad subjects Shakespeare explored on “Shakespeare Hour Live!”, every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by the group’s artistic director, Simon Godwin, and company dramaturge Drew Lichtenberg, the hour-long digital program offers trenchant commentary on many aspects of Shakespeare’s canon. Each week, they invite scholars, critics, actors and directors to talk with them, and field questions from the public. (I took part in the May 13 edition: “Hope & Rebirth.”) Upcoming episodes include “Shakespeare and Clowns,” on July 8; “Shakespeare and America” on July 15; “Shakespeare and Opera” on July 22 and “Shakespeare and Politics” on July 29. The guests will include New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd; actors Hamish Linklater and Harry Lennix and Francesca Zambello, Washington National Opera director. $10; free for Shakespeare Theatre Company members. shakespearetheatre.org.