17 culture picks: ‘Broadway Backwards’ with Jim Parsons, Cynthia Erivo, Glenn Close

Cynthia Erivo and Jim Parsons.
Cynthia Erivo and Jim Parsons take part in the benefit show “Broadway Backwards,” streaming through Saturday.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Bernadette Peters, Darren Criss, Matt Bomer and Kelli O’Hara star in a Broadway benefit, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic looks back at the Hollywood Bowl’s first concert a century ago. These shows lead our rundown of this weekend’s online concerts, theater, art and other culture for your viewing consideration. All times are Pacific.

“Broadway Backwards”
Big names in musical theater, including Tony winners Peters, O’Hara, Cynthia Erivo, Lea Salonga, Glenn Close and Brian Stokes Mitchell put gender-bending twists on classic show tunes in this benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Bomer, Criss, Debbie Allen, Cheyenne Jackson, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Jim Parsons also are featured. Available on demand through Saturday. Free; donations accepted.

“Easter Sunrise at the Hollywood Bowl”
The L.A. Phil’s “Sound/Stage” series looks back to 1922 in celebration of the venue’s first concert. The program includes works by Mozart and Bach plus performances by soprano Nadine Sierra and gospel duo Mary Mary. 10 a.m. Friday; available for 30 days. Free.


Editors note: The L.A. Philharmonic is getting ready to kick of its centennial season this fall.

Sept. 20, 2018

“Twyla Moves”
The groundbreaking career of dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is surveyed in this recent installment of the PBS series “American Masters.” Available anytime. Free.

“Underneath the Freeways of Los Angeles”
Echo Theater Company presents a live-streamed, interactive murder mystery set in East L.A.’s Hollenbeck Park in 1960 and inspired by historical events. 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Mondays; through April 26. $15-$25.

“Jessye Norman: Women of Legend, Fantasy, and Lore”
The soprano sings arias from Bizet’s “Carmen,” Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” and other operas in this 1994 installment of the PBS series “Live From Lincoln Center.” On demand through April 28. Free; registration required.

This series of short dance films curated by L.A.-based Jacob Jonas the Company continues with “Sit Still” featuring 7-year-old krump dancer Adeline Kerry Cruz. On demand, with new episodes dropping each Monday through May 8. Free.

“The MisMatch Game: Vax to the Max Edition”
Creator and host Dennis Hensley’s campy sendup of the 1970s game show returns with a pair of live Zoom events; with Julie Brown, drag artist Jackie Beat and others. 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $15, with proceeds to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Reservations at

“First Fridays Connected: L.A. at the Intersections”
The online version of the Natural History Museum’s monthly salon series returns with a panel discussion on the climate crisis plus a cocktail demo, a DJ set by Francesca Harding and a performance by singer-violinist Sudan Archives. 6 p.m. Friday. Free. or register for the Zoom link at


She was a girl with a violin and a shy voice in a church choir.

Sept. 27, 2018

David Benoit in Concert
The jazz pianist and his trio perform in this livestream event. 7 p.m. Saturday. $25-$40. or

“JJJJJerome Ellis: Three Psalms”
The Afro Caribbean poet, performer and composer offers musical settings of three Old Testament hymns in this REDCAT presentation. 5 p.m. Saturday. $8-$15.

Simone Porter and Hsin-I Huang
Violinist Simone Porter and pianist Hsin-I Huang play pieces by Mozart, Prokofiev and others in a 2019 performance filmed at the Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo. Available anytime through June 30. Free.,

“Moving Through”
Metro Art joins forces with Lincoln Heights’ Pieter Performance Space for this monthlong series featuring dance and movement demonstrations and performances filmed in and around Union Station in downtown L.A. 7 p.m. Thursday; available on demand afterward; new episodes April 8, 15 and 22.,

“The Completely Different Late Show”
Performers from the Groundlings’ main company present live improv comedy. 7 p.m. Friday. $12.

“Return to Palmyra”
The Getty updates its 2017 virtual exhibition “The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra,” about the trading center and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with new material from Arabic scholars. Presented in English and Arabic. Available anytime. Free.


In recent weeks, the world has watched helplessly as members of Islamic State have laid waste to millennia-old temples at the ancient ruins site of Palmyra in Syria.

Oct. 2, 2015

City Garage in Santa Monica streams its 2016 staging of playwright Young Jean Lee‘s exploration of Shakespeare’s tragedy. 8 p.m. Friday through noon April 9. Free; donations accepted.

Bora Yoon
The Korean American vocalist, composer and mixed-media artist performs as part of the Musco Center’s “Live From Home” series. 7 p.m. Friday. Free; registration required.

“A Trio of Treatments: Conserving Manet”
The Norton Simon Museum streams this three-part series about efforts to clean and conserve three paintings by the 19th century French modernist. Available anytime. Free.

Our recurring coronavirus-era arts-viewing recommendations are posted every Thursday.