Photo courtesy of BigStock/Tiplyashin Anatoly
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to force us inside and social distance, many of us are flying through our watch lists on various streaming services. Until the day that the curtains rise on various theatres around town, I too will be streaming, reading and watching at home on the couch.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
What felt like the “it” movie for a while, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a French foreign film that is set in France during the late 18th century. Marianne, a young painter, is commissioned to paint a portrait of a young aristocrat named Héloïse. Their relationship as artist and model slowly develops into something more as a budding romance starts, despite it being forbidden.
Possibly overshadowed by the success of the powerhouse that was Parasite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire has an approval rating of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and has received universal acclaim. A love story all in French? What could be more romantic?
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Amazon, Audible, Kindle, etc.
Red, White & Royal Blue is by New York Times bestselling author Casey McQuiston, who has created a world we honestly would love to have lived in. Alex Claremont-Diaz’s mother is the current President, which makes him the equivalent to a young royal. However, Alex has some personal issues with the real Prince of England, Henry. After an awkward altercation that risks international relations, Henry and Alex have to fake a bromance for the tabloids for damage control. But damage control quickly turns into a secret romance that could risk everything, for the both of them.
Growing up as a young queer kid in high school, I always wanted a story like this. I saw friends read countless Nicholas Sparks books about heterosexual characters or even rom-com movies. I would have loved to have read this book as a high schooler.
Finally, a show that features a great lesbian couple has surfaced on Netflix. Feel Good is a six-episode show starring Mae Martin, who you may recognize from her various stand-up sets. Her character, whose name is also Mae, is a recovering addict. She begins a romantic relationship but struggles to control her addictive behavior that affects every facet of her life. Lisa Kudrow also provides some amazing dark comedic relief as her mom.
The show is exactly what we need in terms of queer content. It’s refreshing to see a queer person on a show deal with something other than coming out. Not many shows in the mainstream feature lesbian couples, let alone deal with a real life situations like addiction.
Newcomers: Star Wars
Wherever you stream your podcast
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a Star Wars fan. I remember watching the original three with my dad as a kid, and then him taking me to all the new prequels in the theaters. I’ve played the games, I’ve read some of the books, and of course I’ve seen the spin-offs. Many of us have seen the movies as kids, but imagine being in your early 30s and never having seen any of the movies. That’s what Nicole Byer (Nailed It!) and Lauren Lapkus do in their podcast Newcomers: Star Wars.
After watching each movie, they discuss with a super-fan what worked, what didn’t and what they were confused about. Highly recommended for any Star Wars fan, as it’s hilarious to hear them going through the franchise for the first time.
The COVID-19 crisis has greatly impacted the theatre community of the Twin Cities, and as such, many actors, crew members, and staffers have felt the brunt of closures across the region. Many theatre companies have provided options for members of the public to support these companies during this difficult time.
Brave New Workshop- Donations
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres- Gift Cards
Guthrie Theater- Donations
History Theatre- Donations
HUGE Improv Theater– Donations
Jungle Theater- Donations
Lyric Arts– Donations
Minnesota Opera- Donations
Mixed Blood Theatre– Donations
Park Square Theatre- Donations
Theatre In The Round- Gift Cards
Theater Latte Da– Donations
Yellow Tree Theatre– Donations
We are updating this list as necessary. If your local theatre company or theatre house is soliciting charitable donations in response to the COVID-19 crisis, please email [email protected] and we will update the online version of this article.