What’s Happening in Arts & Entertainment | June 26 – July 3

What we're checking out online this week in the arts

PHOTO: Joan Marcus | South Pasadena News | The original cast of Hamilton appearing in a live film version streaming on Disney+

Premiering July 3 on Disney+ is the highly anticipated film version of Broadway’s mega-hit “Hamilton”. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney+ decided to release the film a full year ahead of schedule due to Covid-19. “No other artistic work in the last decade has had the cultural impact of “Hamilton” – an inspiring and captivating tale told and performed in a powerfully creative way” said Walt Disney executive chairman Robert A. Iger. “In light of the extraordinary challenges facing our world, this story about leadership, tenacity, hope, love, and the power of people to unite against the forces of adversity is both relevant and impactful.”

This version is a “live capture” film that was made by filming two live performances of the original cast along with close-ups shot in between shows. While nothing can compare to a live performance, this film seeks to give everyone who watches it the best seat in the house and to bring this American story to a wider audience. “I’m so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought “Hamilton” to the screen”, said Miranda. “I’m so grateful to Disney for reimagining and moving up our release to July 4th weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I’m so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I’m so glad that we’re able to make it happen. I’m so proud of this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

Tribute to Balanchine premieres June 29 at 8pm and runs through July 14 at LincolnCenter.org. After George Balanchine’s death in 1983, the New York City Ballet honored its revered co-founder in a tribute performance. In this Live From Lincoln Center rebroadcast from 1983, the company presents three of Balanchine’s ballets. Vienna Waltzes features dancers Kyra Nichols and Sean Lavery, Heather Watts and Helgi Tomasson, Elyse Borne and Bart Cook, Karin von Aroldingen and Peter Martins, and Suzanne Farrell and Adam Lüders. Mozartiana, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, is led by Suzanne Farrell, Victor Castelli, and Ib Andersen. Who Cares?, with music by George Gershwin, features Lourdes Lopez, Patricia McBride, Heather Watts, and Sean Lavery. Robert Irving conducts the NYCB Orchestra.

The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Bridge Theatre, London.

Following their tenancy as executive director and artistic director of the National Theatre in London, Nick Starr and Nicholas Hytner opened Bridge Theatre, now home of the London Theatre Company. Streaming for one week beginning Thursday June 25, will be their magical and immersive production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream available at NationalTheatre.org.uk. Starring Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones fame as Titania, along with Oliver Chris, David Moorst and Hammed Animashaun. A feuding fairy King and Queen cross paths with four runaway lovers and a troupe of actors trying to rehearse a play. As their dispute grows, the magical royal couple meddle with mortal lives in the forest to hilarious but dark consequences.

The cast of Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba”.

On Friday June 6 and streaming all week, Cirque du Soleil invites you to their new 60-minute special featuring the best live show moments of La Nouba, Varekai, and Quidam! Find this and past specials at CirqueduSoleil.com/CirqueConnect.

Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” at The Met in New York City.

MetOpera.org continues to bring us the best and brightest in the opera world every night with their nightly opera series which debuts each evening at 7pm eastern time and runs for 24 hours. This Sunday’s offering is Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Mozart’s final completed opera is many things—mystical fable, earthy comedy, humanist manifesto, arcane Masonic credo. More than all this, though, it is one of the greatest testaments to the composer’s miraculous musical and theatrical powers. No matter how you approach or interpret the story, it whisks you away into its uniquely enchanted world, and, like the magic flute that gives the work its title, has the power to “transform sorrow” and “increase the joy and contentment of mankind.”

Join Brad Colerick for his weekly Wine & Song podcast at BlueGuitar.club. This week’s session features Beth Woods, Bob Cheevers, surprise guest artist, Jude Johnstone, Chauncey Bowers, The Flood, plus Wine Tip with Chiara Shannon of Mission Wines.

PHOTO: Robert Altman | South Pasadena News | Dael Orlandersmith in “Until the Flood,” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Catching up with Center Theatre Group, one can view a scene from “Until The Flood” from CTG’s Scenes From The Vault series. Pulitzer Prize finalist and celebrated performer Dael Orlandersmith explores the social uprising in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. Pulling from her extensive interviews with Missouri residents, Orlandersmith crafts a stunning theatrical experience that must be seen. The Chicago Tribune called it “palpably compassionate” and raved that it “achieves a great beauty by bringing us together rather than driving us apart.” And in the category of exciting things to plan for in 2021, CTG announced that their first production of what will eventually be a full, seven-play season will be Aaron Sorkin’s riveting adaptation of “To Kill A Mockingbird”, premiering April 2021 at the Ahamanson Theatre.

In more 2021 arts scene news, A Noise Within announced that their season will begin in February with MetamorphosesAn Iliad, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in repertory “pending the approval of public health guidelines”.

It gives me tremendous hope and fills my soul with excitement to see our local theatres making 2021 plans. The arts will always prevail.

“You use a glass mirror to see your face. You use works of art to see your soul” – George Bernard Shaw