Here are a few of the best events happening Thursday through Wednesday and how to tune in (all times are Eastern).
Spotlight on Plays: ‘Love Letters’
Thursday at 8 p.m. on YouTube
Watching Bryan Cranston and Sally Field perform a reading of this 1988 play by A. R. Gurney shouldn’t be so different from seeing it live. When it’s staged, the epistolary romance typically features two characters, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, sitting next to each other reading their correspondence aloud. In this version, the actors will be performing from home, but onscreen they’ll appear to be side by side.
When: 8 p.m., and again at 11 p.m.
Live from the New York Public Library: Stacy Schiff’s ‘Cleopatra’ with Tim Gunn
Thursday at 8 p.m. on Zoom
For more than 2,000 years, Cleopatra has been a magnet for rumors, legends and symbolic associations. When Stacy Schiff’s biography of the ancient monarch was published in 2010, it was celebrated for the way it handled her legacy. “Ms. Schiff strips away the accretions of myth that have built up around the Egyptian queen and plucks off the imaginative embroiderings of Shakespeare, Shaw and Elizabeth Taylor,” Michiko Kakutani wrote in her review for The New York Times. The author will join Tim Gunn, a fashion expert and history fan, to discuss the importance of the past and the complexities of biographical writing. Registration is free and can be completed here.
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Zoom. Registered viewers will receive an email containing a link and a password to access the conversation. A video recording of the event will be available on the New York Public Library’s YouTube page starting on Friday.
Sylvester Stallone Hosts a ‘Rocky’ Watch Party
Thursday at 7 p.m. on Facebook
This 1976 boxing film is inspiring but in a slightly unconventional way. The hero, played by Sylvester Stallone, is more tenacious than talented. He prevails, in his own way, because he can take a punch without going down. In that sense, it’s a fitting movie for our current moment, when so many people are on the ropes. Fan can watch the movie and chat with Stallone during this live viewing party. Maybe he’ll have some advice about how to slog through a difficult situation.
When: 7 p.m.
Where: The MGM Studios Facebook page.
Amazon Live: John Legend
Friday at 1 p.m. on Amazon
The R&B superstar’s follow up to his 2018 Christmas album won’t drop until June 19. But during this live event, he will perform songs from the forthcoming release, including “Bigger Love,” the title track, and “Conversations in the Dark.” Legend will also talk with fans, who can submit questions for him on his social media posts before the stream begins or use the platform’s chat function to pose them in real time.
When: 1 p.m.
Where: Amazon Live.
Virtual Tango Festival
Friday at 2 p.m. on Zoom
Social distancing guidelines may continue to discourage unnecessary physical proximity for some time, but it’s never too soon to start learning tango, a style of partner dance from South America. This year’s festival, which continues through May 25, will offer instruction for individuals and cloistered couples as well as concerts and lectures on the dance form’s history and its relationship to contemporary issues. Events can be booked individually for $12 or in larger packages.
When: 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., through Monday at 9 p.m.
Where: Zoom. Participants can register on the Philadelphia Tango School website.
‘Eureka Day’ Charity Reading
Friday at 8 p.m. on Play-PerView
Jonathan Spector’s public-health comedy was topical when it was first staged in 2018. The play follows the board members of a progressive private school that doesn’t require its students to be vaccinated as they try to contend with a mumps outbreak. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made its central themes, especially its focus on the tension between individual freedom and collective responsibility, even more relevant. For this reading, the cast of the 2019 Colt Coeur Off Broadway production will reunite under the direction of Adrienne Campbell-Holt. Tickets start at $5. Proceeds will benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign and Colt Coeur.
When: 8 p.m.
Movement at Home
Saturday on Facebook
The history of techno music in Detroit stretches back to the 1980s when the style was first developed in the area by pioneers like Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. Since 2000, the city has regularly hosted an electronic dance music festival over Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the genre’s roots. Movement, its most recent iteration, has been the standard-bearer since 2006. This year’s live event has been postponed until September, but the organizers have put together a three-day digital dance party to share pulsing beats with those who are in need of a little rhythm and movement.
When: May 23 through May 25.
A Virtual Reading of ‘Our Lady of 121st Street’
Saturday at 8 p.m. on the LAByrinth Theater Company website
Many of the online offerings that have cropped up recently try to provide their beleaguered viewers a dose of positivity and optimism. But gallow’s humor can sometimes be more effective at clearing the gloom than its sunnier entertainment counterparts. This play by Stephen Adly Guirgis about a stolen corpse and the dysfunctional mourners who have gathered in its honor definitely tends toward the darker end of the comedic spectrum. Laurence Fishburne, Dierdre Friel and Bobby Cannavale will join eight of the original cast members from the 2003 cast for the free reading.
When: 8 p.m.
Memorial For Us All
Sunday at 6 p.m. on Instagram
This Lincoln Center series gives people who have lost someone to the coronavirus a way to join a larger community to honor the deceased, grieve together and begin the healing process. Each Sunday, a new performer lends their talents to the secular remembrance. Kelli O’Hara, the acclaimed actress and singer, will be this installment’s featured talent. She’ll sing several tunes, including Stephen Sondheim’s song “Take Me to the World” from the musical “Evening Primrose,” and Cole Porter’s “So In Love” from “Kiss Me Kate,” which she starred in last year on Broadway. Names of loved ones who have died from the virus can be submitted online to be included in the ceremony.
When: 6 p.m. Past ceremonies are available on demand on the Lincoln Center website.
National Memorial Day Concert
Sunday 8 p.m. on YouTube
This year’s commemoration of American military personnel who have died while serving is bound to be even more poignant than usual. Over the past few months, many civilian workers who were deemed essential have also had to put their lives on the line for their fellow citizens. Christopher Jackson, who originated the role of George Washington in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton,” will kick off the tribute with his rendition of the national anthem. Cynthia Erivo, Trace Adkins and Renée Fleming are among the other performers scheduled to appear. And Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will host.
When: 8 p.m. The concert will be available on demand through June 7.
Parade of Heroes
Monday at 11 a.m. on Facebook
Under normal circumstances, many of us would gather on Memorial Day for processions that honor the country’s fallen soldiers and ring in the unofficial beginning of summer. These events have been canceled or retooled to comply with social distancing guidelines. This virtual gathering hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford will feature performances the singer-songwriter Tori Kelly, the Lincoln Way Marching Band and Acapop! KIDS, a group of young a cappella performers. LL Cool J, Rob Lowe and Mario Lopez will also participate.
When: 11 p.m.
Tap Family Reunion
Monday at 5 p.m. on JoyceStream
In celebration of National Tap Dance Day, the Joyce Theater is streaming selections from “And Still You Must Swing,” a piece by the art form’s pre-eminent practitioner Dormeshia, that was performed at the New York venue in 2019. She performs alongside Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith, two other tap masters, and Camille A. Brown, a dancer and choreographer known for her explorations of African-American identity. A conversation among Dormeshia, Grant and Smith, moderated by Aaron Mattocks, will be posted at 6 p.m.
When: 5 p.m. The stream will be available for 24 hours.
Virtual Selected Shorts: Choose Your Own Reality
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on YouTube
During crises, it can be difficult to sort what is true from what’s false, and what’s real from what’s imagined. In this installment of the Symphony Space series “Selected Shorts,” B.D. Wong, Marin Ireland, D’Arcy Carden and Paul Giamatti will read stories that suggest the nature of reality is tough to pin down even at the best of times.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Symphony Space YouTube channel.
Maya Salam contributed research.