City Paper is not for tourists
Why stream Contagion during the coronavirus pandemic when you could watch a comedy about the bubonic plague? For $20, Olney Theatre Center is offering stay-at-home audiences a chance to see The Amateurs, Jordan Harrison’s critically hailed play about a medieval theater troupe trying to stay several furlongs ahead of the Black Death that decimated 14th century Europe. If their new biblical drama about Noah is a hit, the players will earn a prolonged run at court, a rare chance to perform at a safe social distance from diseased groundlings. Rather than depress present-day audiences, director Jason King Jones says The Amateurs offers relevant laughter and hope. “No one would have guessed, back when we chose to produce The Amateurs, that we would be dealing with our own pandemic,” Jones says. Because the play’s run at Olney was cut short by the coronavirus, the theater got permission from two unions, the playwright, and the publisher to allow streaming through what would have been the end of the run. “I’m grateful that we can share it online,” Jones says. “If there’s anything we need right now, it’s hope.… a reminder that there’s spring after the dark winter. We all need that.” You can stream Olney Theatre Center’s production of The Amateurs online through April 5. $20. —Rebecca J. Ritzel
The National Arboretum’s eagle cam
Heartbreak. Betrayal. Reconciliation. That was last year’s love story of Liberty and Justice, the hottest bald eagle couple in the District. The duo delighted the dedicated viewers of the “Eagle Cam” above their nest as they took on new suitors, raised baby bald eagles, and came and went from their nest above the Southwest police academy. However, after an intense mating season, the pair has gone missing and their camera is turned off. But for the eagle-eyed viewer, never fear: Mr. President and First Lady, D.C.’s other bald eagle couple, are live streamed daily from their nest in the National Arboretum. While the pair haven’t given us the same drama as their police academy counterparts, anything is possible in this nest. The live stream allows you to watch the eagles hang out on branches, fly in and out of their nest with twigs, and eat. The name of the game in eagle watching is patience, but if you wait long enough, you might get to see some special moments you wouldn’t otherwise witness if you weren’t peeking through a camera mounted high above a bald eagle’s nest. If nothing else, the stream’s sounds of chirping birds, rustling branches and clicking talons is calming. The live stream is available at naeaglecam.org. Free. —Chelsea Cirruzzo
Virtually tour the Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral’s response to growing coronavirus concerns is a cross between a spiritual tale and a Nicolas Cage movie. Recent headlines proclaiming the church’s donation of masks—yes, they were found in the crypt—to local hospitals are drawing the most attention. Meanwhile, the church is hoping to bring routine and familiarity to these uncertain times via live streamed church services, including a weekly Holy Eucharist. But the National Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, has a lot more to offer. And that’s not surprising, seeing as the impressive house of worship has been around since the early 20th century. It rallied community morale during World War II through special monthly services. Although such community events are part of the problem now, the National Cathedral is ready once again with curated online offerings. From the comfort of your living room, you can learn about the cathedral’s collection of gargoyles and grotesques (including the difference between the two) and hear more from experts about sculptures of Darth Vader and the other neo-Gothic creatures that adorn the building. Not an architecture buff? You can watch organist George Fergus’s demonstration, complete with an explanation of the unique instrument, or contribute to the National Cathedral’s 500,000 LEGO brick replica project. And finally, you can support photographer Colin Winterbottom and composer Danyal Dhondy by watching a time lapse video of light moving through the cathedral’s stunning stained glass windows. The Washington National Cathedral’s online offerings can be found at cathedral.org/online. Free. —Sarah Smith
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