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Mark G. Meadows: “Live From the Living Room”
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Jazz pianist Mark G. Meadows started 2020 on the rise. He was booking club gigs in New York, orchestrating a new musical for the Kennedy Center, and serving as music director for the play Choir Boy at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Then the coronavirus hit, and the popular man about town found himself moving in with his in-laws. From his new, hopefully temporary digs, Meadows keeps making music. On the night of Wednesday, May 13, he joins Strathmore’s weekly series of “Live From the Living Room” concerts, featuring past and present artists in residence. Expect original pandemic-inspired tunes, American Songbook classics and a guest appearance from his wife to plug his Venmo account. “People have been so generous,” he says. “It’s been a surprisingly revealing experience.” As much as he misses playing for a live audience, the pandemic has proven that he has many loyal fans in D.C. and beyond. Meadows is best known for his collaborations at Signature Theatre, where he starred in Jelly’s Last Jam and music directed several other shows. It’s unclear how long he’ll be broadcasting from his in-laws’ living room, but nearly each week he streams a show from his own social channels. Normally, 75 percent of the reason he performs is for audience feedback. When it comes to livestreams, “you just have to enjoy it for yourself,” he says. Each time, he feels a little more connected to listeners he can’t see. “This is going to be the new normal for a while, and we are all learning,” Meadows says. Mark G. Meadows performs May 13 on Facebook Live at 7:30 p.m. Free. —Rebecca J. Ritzel
Botanical Brainiacs trivia
In many ways, the United States Botanic Garden is the perfect place in D.C. It designs its living exhibits around the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological importance of plants. An hour in the so-called living museum proves that windowsill succulents aren’t just trendy, they’re good for your brain. Unfortunately, at a time when those plants would help most, COVID-19 has forced the USBG to close its doors. But on May 14, it’s rolling out the perfect event for plant lovers. The garden’s virtual Botanical Brainiacs trivia night, hosted in partnership with District Trivia, will offer mood-boosting social time and brain-boosting trivia. According to the USBG, Botanical Brainiacs is perfect for everyone from “budding scientists to full-bloom experts.” Come prepared to answer questions about plants, science, and the pop culture surrounding them. The 45-minute game will have your thumbs feeling green and your brain feeling sharp. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 14. Registration is available at usbg.org. Free. —Sarah Smith