From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here's a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER TURNS TO YOUTUBE
Iconic composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is making some of his filmed musicals available for free on YouTube.
On Friday, the 2000 West End adaption of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" starring Donny Osmond will be streamable, followed a week later by the rock classic "Jesus Christ Superstar" from the 2012 arena show starring Tim Minchin.
Further shows will be announced later, all hosted by the YouTube channel The Show Must Go On. Each show will be available at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific for a 48-hour period online, with no charge or sign up required.
BROADWAY LEGEND SICK WITH VIRUS
Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has tested positive for COVID-19.
The actor and chairman of the board of The Actors Fund announced the news of his diagnosis in a Twitter video, reassuring fans that he was already beginning to feel better. He says his wife and son don't have symptoms.
In a statement, The Actors Fund said Mitchell's diagnosis is an example "of why it is vitally important that we each do everything we can to slow the spread of this virus."
Mitchell won a Tony for his lead performance in the 1999 musical "Kiss Me, Kate." Other Broadway figures who have tested positive include Gavin Creel, Aaron Tveit and Laura Bell Bundy as well as composer David Bryan. It has claimed the life of four-time Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally.
CARNEGIE HALL, CHICAGO OPERA CANCEL SEASONS
Carnegie Hall has canceled the rest of its season because of the new coronavirus and is projecting a $9 million operating deficit on its $104 million budget.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago also scrapped the remainder of its season.
In a statement Thursday, Carnegie says it is "assessing the Hall's overall programming and operations with an eye to redefining them for the next and future seasons in response to the changed economic conditions."
"It will take considerable time, even after we reopen Carnegie Hall, before we can expect to see a full recovery, and, even then, this is likely to be over an extended period," executive director Clive Gillinson says. "With this in mind, we are taking immediate steps to safeguard the fiscal health of our institution as well as plan creatively for the future."
Carnegie canceled all events in its auditoriums through July 25. It also called off summer tours for its National Youth Orchestra of the USA, NYO2 and NYO Jazz but hopes to host the musicians and have local events around residencies at suburban Purchase College.
Carnegie expects to re-open in mid-September ahead of opening night on Oct. 7.
The Lyric Opera postponed its production of the musical "42nd Street" from May 29-June 21 this year to the spring of 2022. The staging is from Paris' Theatre du Chatelet.
"Blue," by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson, was put off from June 16-28 to next January. "Proving Up," by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek has been postponed from January to a later season.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift is helping out a Nashville record store closed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grimey's co-owner Doyle Davis said Thursday the store got a call last week from Swift's publicist asking how Swift could help. It was the just after Nashville's mayor issued a stay-at-home order and Davis was sending all the employees home.
The store, which also serves as a small concert venue, has been a Nashville fixture for 20 years, working closely with local record labels and many up-and-coming artists.
Swift's donation will provide direct relief to the store's 10 full time employees and three months of the health care costs for the store's group insurance plan.
"It was completely out of the blue," Davis said. "It gives me a sense of security, knowing we are solid. ...Now I know my people are taken care of."
Davis said he's never seen Swift in the store but her publicist assured him she has purchased records there.
Are you feeling bored staying at home due to coronavirus home quarantine? Due to the lock down situation – imposed by the Government to prevent Coronavirus outbreak – in the whole country, most of the offices, supermarkets restaurants, and other public places have been shut down. In this situation, you can hardly meet your friends. Even if you go out of home it might risk your life. For the safety of you and your family members you need to stay at quarantine for some more days otherwise you may get contaminated by the deadly COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus 2019. Now how to keep your mind engaged in the quarantine days! In this article we are going to review the Netflix series “Stories by Rabindranath Tagore”.
The soul enriching writings of Rabindranath Tagore ameliorated Bengali literature with contextual modernism. This polymath author was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. If you have read the novels of Tagore, and imagined the characters inside your mind, don’t miss the drama “Stories by Rabindranath Tagore” created by renowned Indian director Director Anurag Basu. The 26 episodes of this series have been plotted through the adaptation of original stories written by Rabindranath Tagore. Translating the novels into drama, this Netflix series will also entertain those who have never read any writing of Rabindranath Tagore.
The Indian film director Anurag Basu is notorious for his unique stories and creative style of visual storytelling on the silver screen. Starting career as an assistant director in television serials Basu proved his talent in making versatile television shows under varied genres. After stepping his career in film direction Basu got huge applause from critics and audiences. With the Stories by Rabindranath Tagore, Basu has made a memorable comeback to television after a huge gap.
Image: Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
The ‘Stories By Rabindranath Tagore’ is composed of 26 episodes based upon 14 great stories by Tagore including Chokher Bali, Atithi, Charulata, Shasti, Nosto Neer, Tyaag, Monihara, Kabuliwala, Maanbhanjan, samapti, Detective, Chutti, etc. With the shade of his own talent the director Anurag Basu decodes the stories of Tagore into life-drama keeping the main themes almost unchanged. To narrate each story, the director assigns about two to three episodes. However, a few short stories have been covered in single episodes. Though each episode is 60 minutes long, you won’t feel it tedious. What makes these episodes highly entertaining is the showcase of unique background, authentic costumes of artists and atmosphere complying with each different story.
Watching “Stories by Rabindranath Tagore” you will go back to the conservative society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The heartwarming Characters – like Binodini, Bihari, Tarapodo, Giribala, charulata, Fotik, Gokul, Kusum, and so on. – portrayed by Tagore can introduce you with the various dimensions of complex human nature comprising kindness, sanctimony, greed, revenge, love, lust, self-esteem, etc. Each character will make you rethink the true meaning of life through the lens of morality.
Image Source: Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
In these stories Tagor shaded light upon the emotions, desires, dreams, and dignities of women which was never seen before in the concurrent subcontinent literature. For instance, in the story ‘Chokher Bali’ Binodini denies to sacrifice her lust even if being a widow. In another story ‘Maanbhanjan’, Giribala was neglected by her husband for Latika, a famous theater heroine. Instead of shading tears for her bad luck, Giribala starts a new life as an actress and eventually acquires the top-most position in media which was a long-cherished dream of Latika. Finally the revenge was taken gracefully. The way how Tagore spoke for women empowerment in his stories will leave you thrilled.
The stories of Tagore also reveal the thoughts, passions and dignities of women. In the story ‘Samapti’, the new bride Mrinmoyi questions the norms of society which imposes post-marital binding solely on women leaving men’s life same as before. Through the voice of Mrinmoyee Tagore questions is it really necessary for women to get married? In the story ‘Shasti’, Chandra becomes the scapegoat of patriarchal society. In the story ‘Dui Bon’, Tagore highlights two dimensions of women character. One woman character endows passionate romance and another woman character offers selfless love like a mother.
Image: Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
Another amazing fact of this series is each story is linked with the next one in a natural flow of life. The technique of visual story-telling will not only amuse you, but also help you to understand the narratives in an easy manner. The show was filmed in a colossal set built in several locations of old Kolkata. Each story nicely demonstrates the cultural references, political situation, as well as social manifestations.
What is more? In each episode, you will enjoy some mind-blowing songs by Tagore which wonderfully blend with the respective theme of each story. Tagore’s Bengali songs have been re-created and tuned through the voices of notorious Indian singers including Shalmali Kholgade, Shaan, Arijit Singh, etc. on the whole “Stories by Rabindranath Tagore” is must-watch drama which can make your quarantine entertaining.
A bleary-eyed Chris Cuomo, saying he wanted to be a cautionary tale for his audience, anchored his CNN show from his basement Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Via remote link, he interviewed Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, an emergency room nurse and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who expressed worry about one of Cuomo's symptoms.
"Brace yourself," Cuomo told viewers, "not for a hoax. But for the next few weeks of scary and painful realities. This is a fight. It's going to get worse. We're going to suffer."
Cuomo looked pale, his eyes watery and red-rimmed. He took a few deep breaths to compose himself. He repeated himself. Even Gupta said he didn't look good, and said he'd call later to talk about a tightness Cuomo was feeling in his chest.
The 49-year-old newsman, whose brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has logged just as much television airtime lately with daily briefings on how the disease is affecting his state, said earlier that he knew it was a matter of time because of how often he was exposed to people. He said he's staying in the basement of his Long Island home to protect himself from his wife and children.
The New York governor, who appeared with his brother on CNN by remote link the night before, also used the personal story to warn others during his press briefing Tuesday. He noted that he had scolded Chris for having their 88-year-old mother, Matilda, visiting Chris' home two weeks ago.
"It's my family, it's your family, it's all of our families," he said. "This virus is so insidious, and we have to keep that in mind."
Chris Cuomo said he thought his mom would be safer at his house than in her New York City apartment, but his brother persuaded him to have her stay at his sister's place in Westchester County.
Some competitors, including Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera of Fox News Channel, and Joy Reid and Ali Velshi of MSNBC, sent best wishes to Cuomo through social media Tuesday.
He said he appreciated the sympathy from well-wishers but tried to deflect it.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to keep doing the show," he said. "But who knows?"
One of the most unsettling things about the disease, he said, is hearing from doctors that there really isn't much he can do now except "suck it up."
"The best medicine is not to get it — prevention," he said in a pre-show discussion with colleague Anderson Cooper.
Most people who get the virus have mild to moderate symptoms and recover. But for older people, and those with underlying medical conditions, the disease can be dangerous. More than 3,000 people have died in the U.S. alone.
Andrew Cuomo, 62, and the CNN anchor are sons of the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, and that teasing big brother-little brother dynamic often enlivens their appearances together. The governor called him his best friend.
"He is going to be fine," he said. "He's young, in good shape, strong — not as strong as he thinks he is, but he will be fine."
Chris got a measure of revenge Tuesday night, referring to his brother as "Captain Banana Hands."
Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like "Home" and "Pickup Man," has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61.
Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis. Diffie's publicist Scott Adkins said the singer died Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, due to complications from the virus.
Diffie, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 25 years. His hits included "Honky Tonk Attitude," "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)," "Bigger Than the Beatles" and "If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)."
"Country music lost one of the good guys today," Naomi Judd said in a statement.
Diffie's mid-90s albums "Honky Tonk Attitude" and "Third Rock From the Sun" went platinum. Eighteen of Diffie's singles landed in the top 10 on the country charts, with five going No. 1. In his 2013 single "1994," Jason Aldean name-checked the '90s country mainstay.
Diffie shared in a Grammy award for best country collaboration for the song "Same Old Train," with Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart and others. His last solo album was 2010's "The Bluegrass Album: Homecoming."
"Joe Diffie, one of our best singers and my buddy, is gone," Tanya Tucker said in a statement. "We are the same age, so it's very scary. I will miss his voice, his laughter, his songs."
"Joe was a real true honky tonk hero to every country artist alive today," singer John Rich said in a statement. "No one sang our music better than he did, and to see his life and artistry cut short is beyond tragic. He was loved, cherished and respected by all of country music and beyond."
Toby Keith extended his condolences to Diffie's family, saying in a statement, "A great traditional voice will live on cuz I'm putting his music on now. Here's a beer to ya, Joe. Go get your reward."
Deanna Carter said she was "shell shocked" by the news and had hoped to perform again with Diffie this year. "He was a powerhouse that stopped people in their tracks, both on and off stage," she said in a statement.
Diffie is survived by his wife, Tara Terpening Diffie, and seven children from four marriages.