Arts Are Essential | June 25 – July 2, 2021

As we look forward to Independence Day on July 4, The Metropolitan Opera is showcasing some of the great American composers whose operas have appeared on the Met stage. On Monday, June 28, Nico Muhly’s “MARNIE” will stream for free for 24 hours. This contemporary musical thriller, which had its Met premiere in 2018, is a haunting adaptation of the 1961 Winston Graham novel that also spawned Hitchcock’s film of the same name. Chronicling the exploits of a disturbed young con-woman whose repressed childhood trauma triggers multiple shifts of identity, the opera supplies a plum role for a mezzo-soprano, a cinematic staging, and some of the most colorful and vibrant 60s-inspired garments ever to grace the Met stage.

The 5th Dimension performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969, featured in the documentary SUMMER OF SOUL. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)” June 25-July 6, 2021. This first week of the film’s U.S. theatrical run is being shown as a limited engagement at The El Captian Theatre. El Capitan guests will be able to see a display of Harlem Cultural Festival memorabilia and receive a mini poster, while supplies last.  Daily showtimes forSummer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)” are 10:00AM, 1:15PM, 4:30PM, 7:45PM.

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present.  The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.

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B.B. King performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969, featured in the documentary SUMMER OF SOUL. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

“Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” is the first official project under the recently announced Onyx Collective brand. The winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival will be released theatrically by Searchlight Pictures and will begin streaming on Hulu in the U.S. on July 2, 2021. The film will also stream internationally through the Star offering on Disney+ on a date to be confirmed. Rated PG-13

Tickets are now on sale at and at  All seats for this engagement are reserved, all ages, and are $18.

Artwork – Michael Hurtt-Hall and Sofia Mata, supervised by Sheldon Donenberg,
courtesy of Shakespeare Center LA

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: A Virtual Live-Action Graphic Novel” is presented by Shakespeare Center LA and directed by Shakespeare Center LA Artistic Director Ben Donenberg in a ground-breaking treatment that brings the Scottish play alive as a graphic novel.  It streams online as a live “watch party” June 24 to 27 and then on demand until July 30. This unique presentation stars Emmy Award winner Keith David as Macbeth.

Donenberg says, “’Macbeth’ cries out for the kind of visual and dramatic treatment that comes alive in graphic novels, which can be a highly immediate theatrical form.  The graphic possibilities of one of the most haunting and gory tales in all of civilization seems ready made for the creative geometry of comic book panels and our pandemic life in zoom boxes.”

In this “Macbeth,” live actors and haunting sound accompany original illustrations of post-apocalyptic moors, ghostly castles, bloody battlefields and more. Macbeth’s ruthless ambition and escalating path of bloody carnage is laid bare in a dynamic illustrated production for audiences of all ages. Watch trailer here.

Tickets, $25 per household, are available at  Live “Watch party” performances are Thursday June 24th and Friday June 25th at 7:30 pm, and on Saturday June 26th and Sunday June 27th at 3:00 and 7:30 pm; then available on demand through Friday July 30.  All ticket holders will be able to view the production on-demand up to 3 times.  As a new art form, this first presentation of “Macbeth” may have future iterations.

In celebration of Juneteenth, Unmasked features one-act plays, filmed inside The Wallis’ Lovelace Studio Theater, by four of the country’s preeminent voices in American theater: Dominique Morisseau (Tony Award-nominated book writer, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations), Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play), Ngozi Anyanwu (Good Grief), and Stacy Osei-Kuffour (“Watchmen”). “With new interest and vigor, the country has been engaging in conversations and celebrations about this nationally forgotten moment in our collective history. The Wallis and Black Rebirth Collective have joined together to introduce to some and celebrate with many the triumphant spirit of this day through these plays by four extraordinary Black female playwrights, Dominique Morisseau, Jocelyn Bioh, Ngozi Anyanwu, and Stacy Osei-Kuffour reclaim the Black female perspective in American Theatre, and we celebrate the liberation of their voices.”  – Unmasked Co-directors Kimberly Hébert and Camille Jenkins. Streaming now through Sunday July 4 at