The blossoms are still blooming.
(This is part of my “Entertainment During a Time of Coronavirus” Newsletter series, which you can sign up for here.)
When I was a youngin, growing up in South Africa, I was obsessed with Fame, the TV series and the movie. I would imagine I was friends with Irene Cara and that I was one of the students at the High School for the Performing Arts, spilling out onto the streets of New York City, dancing on top of taxis and doing flying pirouettes in the air, and not stuck in the living room of our Benoni home. So you could say I ticked off a small bucket list item when I got to take a class — through the magic of Instagram Live — with Debbie Allen, who played Lydia Grant, and is a legendary dancer/choreographer/actress and director in her own right (I had no idea she directed a whole bunch of Grey’s Anatomy episodes, among her repertoire!) It was so fun to take direction from Ms Debbie, to try instantly remember my left from my right foot, and to forget for a few moments about the news going on around us. I know I am really lucky to be able to have taken the 45 minutes off to recharge and I’m super grateful for it. I’m glad all these talented people are still sharing their skills with us. Without sounding trite, it’s more important than ever to actively look for, and collect, moments of joy, where possible.
So, with that in mind, today’s list of things to do now that we can’t go out anymore…
1. Comedian Melissa Goldman is hosting a comedy night via Google Docs. Yes, you read that right! A truly novel idea to keep the funny alive. She did it last Saturday and will be doing it this coming Saturday again, and for the next Saturdays to come, it seems. She has a bunch of other comedians joining her so that it really has a bit of that communal stand-up vibe going.
2. The Sofa Singers are re-convening this Friday at 7:30pm GMT, after gathering together online to create a choir, led by James Sills, earlier this week. I was at the Creative Mornings talk where James had us all singing together as one and it was tons of fun. Here’s a BBC news insert on what to expect if you join in.
3. As we know, SXSW was one of the major events cancelled because of the Coronavirus. One of the venues in Austin, The Skylark Lounge, is still hosting live events, with a digital tip jar for their artists. You can see the schedule on their Facebook page, but last night was Wednesday Jazz, so they’re trying to stick to what their programming would have been.
4. I know this is called In a New York Mile but that’s just a figure of speech for how fast things change, and have changed in the last few days, so let’s pop over to South Africa for a quick moment. The Standard Bank Art Gallery has made its #LumieresDAfriques exhibition available online. 54 artists have created a single work of art inspired by their confidence that the 21st century will be the century of the African continent. You can visit the gallery here — tell them your favourite South African in New York sent you ;)
5. Finally, if ‘ambient music and sensory experiences’ are more your thing, Rhye and Diplo have been getting together to do “Corona Sabbaths,” where they play instruments and use their voices in lovely harmony and all.
Until tomorrow, when I’ll have a special weekend edition of this newsletter for you, here’s Dame Judi Dench being a little off her rocker.