The best of 2021: In entertainment and the arts, a year of cautious reemergence
Last year, social distancing ruled our cultural lives. We stayed home for the most part with our books, TVs and personal screens, venturing out if we were lucky for the occasional porch concert or staged event viewed from the safety of our cars. This year, as vaccines became widely available, movie theaters started to reopen in spring, then museums and playhouses. Concerts returned; nightclubs filled. Of course, we still aren’t back to a pre-COVID normal. Masks stay on when we join an audience, and with each new coronavirus variant we approach future plans with caution. But through it all, arts and entertainment creators pressed forward, helping us make sense of our times and sometimes providing welcome escape.
Looking back, 2021 was a year of triumph and tragedy. Read on as our critics and reporters reflect on the year in entertainment and the storylines that grabbed headlines, plus our top picks in the year’s books, movies, theater, television, music, video games, art, architecture and more.