Weekend culture watch: 19 picks including an ‘Angels in America’ for COVID times

Glenn Close and Andrew Rannells in “The Great Work Begins: Scenes From Angels in America”
Glenn Close and Andrew Rannells in “The Great Work Begins: Scenes From Angels in America.”

A star-studded “Angels in America” event that draws parallels between the AIDS crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, a cello extravaganza with Yo-Yo Ma and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and a musical salute to Judy Garland. Those are just three of 19 online concerts, streaming theater productions, virtual art exhibitions and other cultural experiences for your viewing consideration this weekend. Here’s our latest rundown, all times Pacific.

“The Great Work Begins: Scenes From Angels in America”
Glenn Close, Patti LuPone, Jake Gyllenhaal, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Dano, Laura Linney, Alan Cumming, S. Epatha Merkerson and Andrew Rannells are among those participating in this hour-long production, which consists of scenes from playwright Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play. 5:30 p.m. Thursday; available through Oct. 12. Free; donations accepted for amfAR’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Virtual CelloBello Gala 2020
Yo-Yo Ma, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Alisa Weilerstein are among the acclaimed cellists taking part in this afternoon of music and conversation. Noon Sunday. $100.


“Hold On to Me Darling”
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Cera and Gretchen Mol star in a one-night-only live table read of Kenneth Lonergan’s comedy about a celebrity who returns to his Tennessee hometown. 4 p.m. Sunday. $10; proceeds to benefit the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre in Hollywood.

“Get Happy: Angela Ingersoll Sings Judy Garland”
Emmy nominee Ingersoll reprises her salute to the legendary entertainer in this one-night-only livestream event. 4 p.m. Sunday. $35.

“Sex and Consequences”
Isabella Rossellini livestreams four performances of her comical but scientifically based exploration of mating and reproduction in the animal world. 4 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Sunday; also Oct. 24-25. $15.

Isabella Rossellini stops in her tracks, her eyes fixed on a California scrub jay.

Jan. 25, 2019

“Power to the People!”
This is the third installment of the “Sound/Stage” series of concerts filmed at an empty Hollywood Bowl in August. Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing “Sorrow” from William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American.” Also: a song from soul singer Andra Day. 10 a.m. Friday; available for 30 days. Free.

New Original Works Festival 2020
REDCAT’s annual showcase for new works by local theater, dance and multimedia artists goes virtual for its 17th edition. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, with repeats Friday and Saturday; new programs stream Nov. 5-7 and Dec. 10-12. $8-$15; festival passes, $36.


“Women of the Baroque”
An online edition of Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s annual Collaborative Works Festival continues with this program featuring tenor Nicholas Phan, soprano Amanda Majeski and others. 5 p.m. Friday; available through Sunday. Free. and

“The Carolyn Bryant Project”
The California Institute of the Arts’ Center for New Performance streams a 2018 performance of Nataki Garrett and Andrea LeBlanc’s fact-based drama about the fateful interactions that lead up to African American teen Emmett Till’s murder in 1955 Mississippi. Available on demand Friday through Oct. 22. Free.

“Sites & Sounds From Big Ears”
Jazz trio the Bad Plus performs from the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tenn., in this online offering presented by the annual Big Ears Festival. 5 p.m. Friday; available through Sunday. $15, $18.

“She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms”
A high school student mourning the loss of her sister embarks on a fantastical quest in this new online adaptation of Qui Nguyen’s teen-themed tale. Available on demand from noon Friday to 10 p.m. Sunday; also Oct. 16-18. $20.

“Cinema ’62 A-Go-Go”
Presented by Vitagraph Films 360, this nostalgic celebration of the movies of 1962 features live interviews and musical performances. Guests include film critic Leonard Maltin, humorist Charles Phoenix and “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden. 3 p.m. Saturday. $13.

“The Party Hop”
Dramatists Play Service presents Tony winner Ben Platt (“Dear Evan Hansen”) and “Booksmart” costars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever in Natalie Margolin’s new comedy about quarantined college students moving from virtual party to virtual party. Available anytime. Free.

After she’d cast them to play best friends in her film, Olivia Wilde invited actresses Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever to meet for the first time over lunch.

May 15, 2019

“The Moth Virtual StorySLAM: Home”
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents an interactive edition of this storytelling series, with tales inspired by artist Do Ho Suh’s recent installation “348 West 22nd Street” and a chance for viewers to share their stories. 7:30 p.m. Friday. $8; $10.

“The Phantom of the Opera”
Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo star in the 25th anniversary staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. 11 a.m. Friday; available for 48 hours. Free; donations accepted.

“ESMoA’s Experience #47: Freestate”
The El Segundo Museum of Art presents Cole Sternberg’s online multimedia installation inspired by the movement for California to secede from the United States. Thursday through March 27. Free.

Mark Robson
The Piano Spheres pianist kicks off Boston Court Pasadena’s fall music series with a filmed concert featuring Beethoven’s “Diabelli Variations.” 8 p.m. Thursday through Oct 14. $20; season passes available. Register at

“Stars in the House”
The cast of the classic primetime soap “Knots Landing,” including Michele Lee, Donna Mills, Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark, reunites in a new installment of the online series hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley. 5 p.m. Friday. Free; donations accepted, with proceeds going to support the Actors Fund. and

“Absolutely Halloween”
The Santa Monica Playhouse takes its annual family friendly Halloween musical online. Available on demand, for 72 hours after purchase, through Oct. 31. $10 per family.

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