The Show Must Go On Hoopla!

By now, theater fans are finding creative and unexpected ways to connect with their favorite medium that have grown quickly in this time of necessity. In some places, socially distanced music festivals have brought performers back to the stage. Many streaming services are picking up content as quickly as they can, and streaming shows of bands and performers are helping to keep the stage lights lit.

Hoopla logoYour library access to Hoopla is another convenient way to get your musical fix! Whether you are an original cast recording purist or a movie musical enthusiast, you already have these soundtracks and more at your fingertips!

Hamilton’s stage recording made it to Disney+ streaming July 4th, 2020 for a monthly subscription fee, but did you know the music has been here all along? Not just stuck in your head, but here, on Hoopla! This musical, much like its creator and its subject, shattered expectations. This fictional take on a controversial American figure’s rise and fall is told through modern music and a cast so diverse and talented that it truly turns the world upside down.

Image of cover of Hamilton Original Cast RecordingImage of cover of Hamilton Mix Tape Continue reading “The Show Must Go On Hoopla!”

The Haunted Podcasts of Autumn

Image of frightened person courtesy of Camila Quintero Franco, via UnsplashWell, we’ve definitely turned the corner into the spookiest time of year. No, I don’t mean election season: I’m talking about the lead up to Hallowe’en. This time last year – and for the past five years – I’d be stepping out into the chill winds of Autumn to go read haunting ‘Ales from the Crypt in bars all over the city. Instead, we’ll be doing weekly Thrilling Tales Podcasts all October long of vintage spooky stories, for your shivery delight.

Never mind the hackneyed jump scares and bloated CGI monstrosities bursting from forth your TV screens this October, leaving nothing to your imagination. For real spookiness, there’s nothing quite like turning down the lights, pulling up the covers, and treating yourself to a mug of something warm, and a voice coming out of the darkness, reading you a thoroughly chilling story unearthed from the mouldering past. Nobody beats those bygone Edwardian and Victorian authors for casting a Continue reading “The Haunted Podcasts of Autumn”

100 Years of Agatha Christie

In October of this year, we get to celebrate Agatha Christie being brought into our lives. Her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in the U.S. in October of 1920. The United States was first to be introduced to Hercule Poirot. He would go on to be the main character in 33 of her novels, 2 plays, and 50 short stories, and be the only literary character to ever have a written obituary in the New York Times. His death was written into Agatha Christie’s novel Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. Poirot had his own television series that aired for 24 years on ITV, not to mention many renditions of his books made into movies, most recently Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Continue reading “100 Years of Agatha Christie”

Contemporary Plays Available as E-Books

Months into this pandemic, Seattle’s theatres are still dark and the Central Library’s amazing play file is still behind closed doors. Nonetheless, there are still ways for you to access play scripts virtually and stay engaged with some stimulating contemporary theatre as we all await the theatres’ re-openings. Here are three plays that are available to you even during the library’s closure as E-books on OverDrive.

Sweat by Lynn Nottage. Nottage is one of the strongest and most influential playwrights of our time, and her 2015 play Sweat, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is shining evidence of this. The play takes place in a bar in Reading, Pennsylvania and focuses on the struggles of the working class of that area. It explores problems of income inequality, gentrification, and racism among the people in that community, and it also jumps between different moments in time show the evolution of these problems over almost a decade. It is certainly a biting portrait of what economic oppression looks like in the 21st century, and its entanglement with many other social injustices. Sweat was to have opened the 2020 Season at Seattle’s ACT Theatre. Continue reading “Contemporary Plays Available as E-Books”

Shakespeare Shows and Shorts on Kanopy

If you’re like me, you’ve been spending the past few months missing going out to see plays and performance in Seattle’s theatre scene. As the days get warmer and brighter and summer seems just around the corner, we still don’t know whether we will be able to enjoy Shakespeare in the Park season as we have in past years. Of course nothing can make up for the experience of seeing the Bard performed live, but there ARE some excellent shorts, feature films, and recorded theatre productions based on Shakespeare’s work available on Kanopy. Here are just a few to get you started:

Macbeth, directed by Robert Goold

Starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood as Macbeth and Lady M, this film from 2003 sets the action onto a contemporary, vaguely “central European” backdrop with stylistic nods to Soviet propaganda artwork. It is also shot on location in an underground English abbey, giving us a very intense, intimate experience as viewers. The movie is based on a hugely successful play Continue reading “Shakespeare Shows and Shorts on Kanopy”