James Earl Jones as King Lear: Your free quarantine must-watch of the day

James Earl Jones in a 1974 production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” in New York’s Central Park.
(All Arts)

Before he was the voice of Darth Vader or Mufasa or even CNN, James Earl Jones and his booming basso profundo loomed large as King Lear.

The veteran star of stage and screen portrayed the monarch gone mad in a 1974 performance of “King Lear,” filmed at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. The stellar cast included Raul Julia, Rosalind Cash and Paul Sorvino.

A film of the performance is available for streaming anytime, for free, at, a website created by WNET, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations.

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 Wednesday’s list, all times Pacific.


‘Abraham in Flames’
A young girl comes of age in Tehran in a 2019 performance of this chamber opera with music by Aleksandra Vrebalov. The work is inspired by librettist Niloufar Talebi’s personal experiences as well as the writings of Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou. Available anytime. Free.

‘Tiny Beautiful Things’
Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s “Stars in the House” series presents Nia Vardalos and company in a live reading of Vardalos’ poignant stage adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” advice column. 11 a.m. Wednesday. Freewill contributions appreciated. and

Glendale Noon Concerts
Pianist Brendan White plays pieces by Rachmaninoff and Steven Stucky. 12:10 p.m. Wednesday. Free.

‘Tito on Timbales’
Ballet Hispánico hosts a watch party for a performance of choreographer William Whitener’s 1984 work celebrating Latin jazz legend Tito Puente; a Q&A follows. 4 p.m. Wednesday. Free. and

The Homebound Project
Actors including Marin Ireland, Thomas Sadoski, Amanda Seyfried and Alison Pill join forces with such playwrights as Qui Nguyen, Sarah Ruhl and Rajiv Joseph for a new series of short theatrical works to benefit the national campaign No Kid Hungry. 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with subsequent editions scheduled for May 20-24 and June 3-7. $10 and up.

‘Enoch Into Space’
This short documentary on the LACMA at Home web page explores artist Tavares Strachan’s efforts to create an orbiting memorial to pioneering African American astronaut Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. Available anytime. Free.

Paul Gordon’s musical update of Jane Austen’s novel gets a viewing and a cast party via Zoom. The production stars Kelli Barrett of Broadway’s “Doctor Zhivago.” 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. Free. Register at


CIM Sessions
This new series from the Catalina Island Museum continues with a live-streamed special marking the 125th birthday of silent film star Rudolph Valentino. It features author and Hollywood Forever Cemetery tour guide Karie Bible. 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Free. On Instagram @CatalinaMuseum

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