High Brow Culture: Free and Low Cost Online Theatrical Performances (Fri., 4/17/20)

Don Giovanni (Craig Verm) is duded up for an epic encounter with the effusive Elvira (Corrie Stallings).

Pittsburgh Opera’s produced top shows like Don Giovanni and now has a daily video feature called Intermezzo. (photo: David Bachman Photography

What Did You Watch This Week? If the likes of Netflix’s “Tiger King” is decidedly not for you, if you’ve just binged your way through all of “Ozark,” “Manifest,” and “Succession,” and if the immediate opportunity to crack open a new True Crime narrative is dead to you, here are some johnny-on-the-spot alternatives.

You like crime, you like drama, you like celebrity actors taking on off-type roles; you’ll like
Shakespeare. No, really, you will. And you can watch a “live” performance right now,
performed and produced by the very best companies since the bard ever walked the boards.

The Globe Theatre Company: Hamlet, starring Michelle Terry (free).

The Royal Shakespeare Company: King Lear, starring Ian McKellen (free with trial).

The Royal Shakespeare Company: Macbeth, starring Christopher Eccleston ($8.95)

Okay, you need something you can “watch” while you also work on that jig saw puzzle, practice
your purl-one, knit-two, or Friday’s NYT Crossword? Well, opera will do the trick, and you can
see for yourself tonight.

The Salzburg Festival: Verdi’s La Traviata (free).

The Royal Opera: Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte (free).

The Metropolitan Opera: Verdi’s Rigoletto ($4.99).

By the way, the Pittsburgh Opera, while it may not offer full virtual productions, does offer daily
videos, including single arias and less time-consuming clips from its vault of famous works. The daily feature is called Intermezzo.

If classic plays are more to your liking, and you can suspend the immediacy that live theatre
offers, bypass the box office and take a front row seat to enjoy these productions. And, yes, you
are allowed to bring your drink into the theater, too.

PBS’s Great Performances of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, starring Kevin Kline (free).

London’s Apollo Theatre production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons starring Zoë Wannamker and
David Suchet (free with trial).

UK’s National Theatre will host a new production each Thursday night, lasting for one week of
viewership. “Opening” on Thursday, April 16, is the stage adaptation of Robert Louis
Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

Also, if your hunger for real theater requires a weekly fix, check out PICT’s (Pittsburgh Irish &
Classical Theatre) lecture series, hosted by the company’s artistic and executive director, Alan

In the privacy of your own living room, feel totally free to offer up a standing ovation if any of
these dramatic experiences move you. Many of them will.

Cool Pick By C. Prentiss Orr