Happy birthday, William Shakespeare: How the Bard can be your quarantine must-watch


Happy birthday, William Shakespeare. You don’t look a day over 455.

To mark the occasion, we’re recommending a selection of the Bard’s best, starting with Patrick Stewart as the tragically ambitious warlord in a 2010 modern-dress production of “Macbeth.” It’s free to stream anytime at

Elsewhere, you can find Stewart’s “X-Men” costar Ian McKellen in a television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2008 staging of “King Lear.” It’s available anytime on the streaming service Broadway HD ($8.99 a month, seven-day free trial).

Belgravia” actress Tamsin Greig plays a gender-swapped Malvolio — i.e. Malvolia — in a National Theatre production of the comedy “Twelfth Night.” You can stream it free for seven days beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday at

And finally, Danielle Brooks (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Grantham Coleman (“The Americans”) lead a black cast in the Public Theater’s 2019 Shakespeare in the Park staging of the rom-com “Much Ado About Nothing.” It’s free to stream anytime at

There are other ways to engage with a little culture during your coronavirus quarantine. We’ll keep sharing picks for streaming concerts, online musicals, virtual art exhibitions and more. Here’s Thursday’s list, all times Pacific.

Hear Now E-Festival
With this year’s showcase for new works by local composers postponed till 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hear Now Festival will be posting highlights from previous years. Up first: A 2018 performance featuring the UCLA Philharmonia under conductor Neal Stulberg joined by the Lyris Quartet. Available anytime. Free; donations accepted.


“I’ll Quarantine Myself With You”
The musical theater duo jackbenny, comprised of twin brothers and L.A. natives Jack and Benny Lipson, perform a selection of their own compositions in this live show. 8 p.m. Thursday. Free. On Instagram @jackbennynow

“The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol”
This website re-creates a 2012 survey of abstract art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles curated by MOCA’s then-director Jeffrey Deitch. Available anytime. Free.

“Into the Woods”
Deaf Broadway presents a reading, recorded over Zoom and featuring actors proficient in American Sign Language, of the Stephen Sondheim and James Levine musical inspired by classic fairy tales. Available through Friday. Free.

“L.A. Theatre in the Time of a Pandemic and Beyond”
To kick off Center Theatre Group’s online initiative L.A. Theatre Speaks, artistic directors from companies such as East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse will take part in a livestreamed discussion of challenges facing the local theater community. 3 p.m. Thursday. Free. and

Each day’s recommendations are indexed in the same place where our regular event listings (sigh) used to post.