Arts Are Essential | What’s Happening in Arts & Entertainment May 21 – 28

PHOTO: SPHS Drama | South Pasadena News | A Scene from SPHS Drama Production of MacBeth.

South Pasadena High School’s drama department will offer a free, fully produced movie version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, streaming online on May 22. The extraordinary production of one of Shakespeare’s most popular works is packed with the scintillating mix of ghosts, witches, sword fights, and suspense expected from the famous tale of the damaging effects of boundless ambition. But due to pandemic-era restrictions, the SPHS drama department innovated a new approach to the play: Actors rehearsed for several months on Zoom and then worked in outdoor, COVID-safe rehearsals until each actor was ready to be filmed separately in front of a green screen. Performances then were edited together to create a fun combination of a recorded live production and a movie. Macbeth will stream on May 22 at 3 and 7 p.m. at southpasdrama.com.

Desiree Elder appears in “George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America.” Image captured by Hemamset Angaza.

Center Theatre Group remembers George Floyd with an exploration of his legacy and impact on America through a unique performance and discussion of his murder’s influence on the American Theatre and the larger society. “George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America,” is based on a poem written by John Lee Gaston White, adapted for the screen by John Lee Gaston White and Lakisha May; and directed and produced by Lakisha May. Three female dancers, four voiceover actors and a moving soundscape propel “George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America,” a blending of poetry and movement that celebrates George Floyd. His death, along with that of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and others, were the catalyst for what many are calling a modern-day civil rights movement.

The piece will premiere on Center Theatre Group’s Digital Stage at CTGLA.org/GeorgeFloyd Tuesday, May 25 at 10 am and will available until June 25, 2021. The performance is paired with a discussion, “Journey Towards a New American Theatre: George Floyd’s Lasting Impact,” which will stream live at YouTube.com/CTGLA on Tuesday, May 25 at 4 pm and is available on demand indefinitely. Both videos are available free to the public.

Image: Vyacheslav Mishchenko | South Pasadena News | The Happy Family, a new podcast on Parson’s Radio Theatre

Parson’s Nose Theatre continues to delight with their Radio Theatre podcasts. This week they premiere two new episodes, “Box and Cox” by John Maddison Morton and “Happy Family” by Hans Christian Anderson. Before “Fawlty Towers” was “Box and Cox”, an immensely popular one act play, written in 1848 by British playwright John Maddison Morton, deemed “the best farce of the 19th Century” by the New York Times. A souffle of silly comedy performed by PNT Company Members Barry Gordon, Mary Chalon and Lance Davis, with sound engineering by David Bennett.

Parson’s Nose Radio Theater loves Hans Christian Andersen. Tonight, Denmark’s greatest storyteller gives us the tale of Mama and Papa snail, who live under the dock leaves by the pond, and whose greatest dream is to be fried and served with butter in the Manor House. Adapted by Lance Davis for City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs “Spring ArtNight 2021”. Performed by PNT company members Mary Chalon and Lance Davis, with Sound by David Bennett.

Free to the public, 24/7. Available on Apple, Spotify “wherever you get your podcasts” and also at www.parsonsnose.org. “Alexa! Play Parson’s Nose Radio Theater!”

Image: Renee Fleming stars in THAIS at The Metropolitan Opera

MetOpera.org kicks off their Rare Gems week with Massenet’s “THAIS”, Monday May 24. When the most voluptuous, sought-after courtesan in the world meets an ascetic monk whose life is devoted to God, you know erotic sparks are going to fly. And when the clash takes place in a glorious, but rarely performed, opera by Massenet, it’s a delight to the ear just as much as to the eye. Renee Fleming is every inch the glamorous Thais, swathed in elegant gowns designed by Chirstian Lacroix. Thomas Hampson is the tortured man of God. This production by John Cox, which premiered in December 2008, brilliantly sets the stage for a confrontation as old as civilization itself.

At long last, some very exciting news! The Wallis is ready to invite us back to their beautiful campuse starting June 23. Summer @ The Wallis kicks off with “Tevye in New York!”, a World Premiere production performed in The Wallis’ new outdoor space on the Promenade Terrace, which houses lighting and sound, and accommodates 100 socially-distanced audience members each night.

Ever wonder what happened to Tevye, wife Golde and his daughters after the curtain came down in Fiddler on the RoofTevye in New York! finally answers those decades-old questions. Travel back in time and follow Tevye as he fights for his piece of the American dream in 1914—from his journey with his daughters across the Atlantic Ocean, through Ellis Island and into the crowded streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This production is written and performed by Tom Dugan. Tickets atTheWallis.org