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Entertainment & Arts

‘Cats’ is your quarantine must-watch of the day. (No, seriously, it is.)

Elaine Paige in “Cats”
Elaine Paige as Grizabella in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats.”
(Joth Shakerly / PBS)

Long on spectacle but short on story or substance, “Cats” is a show many love to hate — and the disastrous, star-driven 2019 film adaptation did Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical no favors.

But a lack of narrative and profundity aside, what’s not to like? The show has singable melodies, amusing costumes and acrobatic dancers in near-nonstop motion. Of course it’s fluff. Let go of any expectations beyond being entertained and you just might enjoy yourself.

Check out a filmed version of the musical from 1998 starring Elaine Paige, who originated the role of Grizabella, a.k.a. the cat who sings “Memory.” You can stream the whole kitten caboodle — sorry — for free for 48 hours beginning at 11 a.m. Friday on the youtube.com channel Webber helped to set up to feature his work.

Looking for other ways to engage with culture during your coronavirus quarantine? We’ll continue to share picks for streaming concerts, online musicals, virtual art exhibitions and more. Here’s Friday’s list, all times Pacific.

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“Lucia di Lammermoor”
Legendary soprano Joan Sutherland sings the title role of a Scottish lass caught in the middle of a bitter feud when the Metropolitan Opera streams its 1982 production of Donizetti’s dark musical drama. It’s in Italian with English subtitles. Available 4:30 p.m. Friday to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Free. metopera.org

L.A. Dance Project Digital
This new online platform from the local company founded by choreographer Benjamin Millepied features streaming performances, rehearsal footage, interviews, daily dance workouts and more. Available anytime. $9.99 a month, $69.99 annually, seven-day free trial. ladanceproject.org

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“Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A.”
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Country uses macrographic images to get you up close and personal with some local creepy-crawlies in the museum’s first online exhibition. Available anytime. Free. nhm.org

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“Socially Distant Theater: The Solo Show as Seen by Hirschfeld”
The Al Hirschfeld Foundation launches online exhibitions of drawings by the cartoonist famed for his caricatures of Broadway stars and others. Available anytime through June 20. Free. alhirschfeldfoundation.org

“Scrimmage”
East West Players’ Theatre for Youth presents a livestream of a 2019 performance of this drama about two young Asian American brothers who take divergent paths in high school. A panel discussion follows. 4 p.m. Friday. Free. facebook.com/ewpartseducation

CalArts Expo 2020
The California Institute of the Arts’ annual showcase of works by students, alumni, faculty and staff moves online. It features visual art, short films, music and more. Noon Friday. Free. expo.calarts.edu

Virtual Beastly Ball
The L.A. Zoo’s annual fundraiser moves online with host Joel McHale and appearances by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Kratt Brothers, Dave Matthews, Lance Bass, James Corden, Slash and players from the Dodgers, Lakers and Rams. 6 p.m. Friday. Free. beastlyball.lazoo.org, facebook.com/LAZoo and youtube.com

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“¡Gaytino! In Conversation With Dan Guerrero”
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes presents the artist and activist, creator of the autobiographical solo show “¡Gaytino! Made in America,” in a livestreamed discussion. 7 p.m. Friday. Free. zoom.us or facebook.com/LAPlazaLA

Our recurring coronavirus-era recommendations are indexed in the same place previous event listings (sigh) used to post.


Newsletter
Your essential guide to the arts in L.A.

Get Carolina A. Miranda's weekly newsletter for what's happening, plus openings, critics' picks and more.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
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