The Omicron variant has scuttled plans for many of the live showcases and festivals that flood New York’s cultural calendar in January, but some now offer content online, such as New York Live Arts’ tasteful Virtual Artery.
A filmed version of a recent full-length production will be posted on each day of the festival, starting Thursday with Christopher Williams’ Narcissus, a strange retelling of the Greek myth starring New York City Ballet star Taylor Stanley. Friday’s release is “Light and Desire” by Colleen Thomas and a team of international collaborators, followed on Saturday by musician Saul Williams’ “The Motherboard Suite,” a movement concert of sorts directed by Bill T. Jones. Sunday’s addition is Raja Feather Kelly’s “Wednesday,” a dissection of the 1975 film “Dog Day Afternoon.” And on Monday, Kenyon Adams’ work “Prayers of the People,” which is structured like a church service, wraps up the virtual celebration.
All films can be viewed until January 31. Tickets for the streams start at $5 and are available at newyorklivearts.org.
Children learn by imitating adults, and this weekend they can imitate one of history’s great role models: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What you need to know about ‘The Beatles: Get Back’
Peter Jackson’s seven-hour documentary series, which explores the most contentious period in the band’s history, is available on Disney Plus.
From Saturday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m., the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will honor his life. Free with admission to the museum (a detailed schedule is online), the programs include “The Heart of a King,” a shadow puppet show by Nehprii Amenii that explores King’s work. Amenii will also help little spectators create shadow puppets and create their own theatrical stories, using sheets and flashlights.
Young aspiring activists can write to their city council representatives about issues that concern them, and work with child musician Fyütch to design posters for marches throughout the museum. And just as King had a dream for America, families have their own dream, which they can record on cloud-shaped paper and stick to it. the “Community Dream Cloud”, a hanging sculpture.
Only on Mondays, when Martin Luther King’s birthday is celebrated, the nonprofit Repair the World will guide museum visitors to pack baby supplies for Little Essentials, a charity that helps low-income families.
Prefer a virtual event? Beginning Monday at 10 a.m., the Brooklyn Academy of Music is offering a free series of videos and workshops based on David Heredia’s “Heroes of Color” web series and books. Streaming through February 13, the program, Heroes of Color HQ, teaches about historical leaders and encourages children to create heroic stories. (Details are online.)
The pianist Marc-André Hamelin has a preference for choosing unknown repertoire. In addition, his quicksilver playing has sometimes helped to raise the reputation of a neglected composer. His latest release on the Hyperion label is devoted to pieces by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. And while you might not think of CPE as obscure, being the most famous of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons, these works are hardly too well known.
Hamelen argues in favor of hearing this music more regularly, starting with the Sonata in A minor. In the last part, he deals with some geyser phrases with appropriate intensity, while giving others a teasing air. The contrasts come hard and fast, but Hamelen’s approach always sounds well judged. As usual, Hyperion’s presentation is superb, from the production sound to the liner notes (written by the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani). While the label doesn’t participate in the streaming service economy, it does offer free samples — and a free song download — on its website.
SETH COLTER WALLS
If clothes could talk
Think of your favorite piece of clothing. Maybe it’s that worn baseball cap you’ve had since college, that lucky shirt you wore on a first date, or that fluffy scarf your grandmother made for you.
If you’ve ever imagined the stories those clothes could tell, you’ll be spoiled for choice with “A Little Drape of Heaven,” a new radio play from playwright Mahesh Dattani. He invites you to hold a piece of cloth and open up a world of wonder as you sit in your own closet and listen to the story of a soft saree who wants nothing more than to be worn.
Commissioned by This Is Not a Theater Company, this lyrical work elicits the perfect amount of warmth needed on a chilly winter night. A recording of the play will be available on Eventbrite through February 15. Tickets start at $1 and grant access to the recording for 48 hours from the selected date.
Conciseness is hardly in vogue among filmmakers these days, and “The Beatles: Get Back,” a new three-part documentary from Peter Jackson, makes a compelling case against it. Clocking in at nearly eight hours, “Get Back” invites viewers to the recording sessions in which the Beatles wrote and recorded their last studio album, offering an intimate, borderline exhaustive look at the singing and interpersonal dynamics of one of the world’s most celebrated ties.
When it arrived on Disney+ in November, “Get Back” joined a saturated landscape of recent Beatles media. In the six half-hour episodes of “McCartney 3, 2, 1” on Hulu, a nostalgic Paul McCartney reflects on less bitter times in the band’s history. His visibly awe-inspiring interlocutor, producer Rick Rubin, isolates elements of Beatles songs—the bass in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” the guitar solo in “Taxman”—to unleash McCartney’s musical memories. In his new book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, McCartney looks back on the words of more than 150 songs he wrote during his career. Any (or all) of these are worthy options for entertaining while weathering a weekend indoors.