Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Holiday Shows to Keep You Entertained at Home

Twas the week before the holidays
And all through the Hammer
Live shows were being cancelled
Silence had replaced the clamour.

Advised to minimize contact
As the pandemic raged on
We return to lock-down ways
But that holiday spirit feels gone.

For those missing the arts already
Beyond James is here to assist;
With a variety of shows you can watch from home,
Summarized below in a list.

So stream your favourites
And bring on the festive cheer.
From all of us at Beyond James
We wish you a happy holidays and new year!

In Winter

In celebration of the coldest season, the Canadian Opera Company assembled a thematic concert that brings together holiday favourites and seasonal classics. Featuring the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and artists of the COC Ensemble Studio, the hour-long concert includes selections like “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Deck the Halls, The Twelve Days of Christmas and O Holy Night. The program also introduces a new work, “In Winter” by composer Ian Cusson with text by Metis writer Katherena Vermette. In Winter is available online for free until June- so there’s lots of time to enjoy.

Lost & Found

Part mixtape, part time capsule and part community conversation, Suitcase in Point invites audiences to join Sodienye Waboso Amajor as she responds in real time to recordings on a mysterious cassette tape that she stumbles across one day. The tape follows all of the quintessential Hallmark holiday movie themes- from being lost in love, to finding yourself and discovering home- the appropriately named Lost & Found Mixtape promises a moving journey containing spoken word, music and more. Lost & Found is available to be streamed for free directly from Suitcase in Point’s website.

Messiah/Complex

Handel’s Messiah is a timeless holiday tradition. If you weren’t able to catch your favourite version this year, Toronto’s Against the Grain offers a pandemic-friendly theatrical version. Recorded last year in anticipation of a 2020 lockdown, this version of Messiah brings together an all-Canadian cast and showcases landscapes from coast-to-coast in a 78-minute production that has been hailed by the New York Times, LA Times and more. In consideration of the current pandemic circumstances, Messiah/Complex is available to be streamed for free (or donation) until January 9.

The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries

Outside the March Theatre was one of the first arts organizations to successfully pivot at the start of the pandemic to offer individual audience interactions. The Toronto-based company’s Ministry of Mundane Mysteries promises a customized, improvised one-hour auditory adventure over the phone to bring a little spice to anyone’s day-to-day life through an absurd, but somehow completely relatable premise. They’ve received rave reviews from the New York Times, CBC and more. The experience is only $20, and options are available for international calls, multiple participants, or to donate an experience for someone struggling with isolation and loneliness.

Editor’s Note: Two separate writers for Beyond James were involved in works featured in this article. The writer of this article participated in the production of Messiah/Complex; a regular contributor is a featured performer in Lost & Found.

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