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During Times Of Quarantine, Streaming Services Bring Broadway To You

COVID-19 has basically guaranteed that a lot of us won’t be leaving our homes anytime soon. Many of us are scrambling to figure out how to occupy our days while we keep ourselves healthy and happy. Binge-watching some of our favorite “streamable” shows is a given, but what if you had the ability to travel to your favorite museums, operas, or Broadway shows, all without leaving your couch. Thanks to certain online servers, art and culture lovers everywhere can now make their way to their favorite Broadway plays and operas that are now closed off to the public. 

BroadwayHD is a streaming service that was launched back in 2015. The service does exactly what you’d expect and brings actual recordings of live Broadway performances into your home. The company statement exclaims that “BroadwayHD was created with the goal of making high-quality theater accessible to everyone globally.” 

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The platform itself offers users a seven-day free trial, after that users will have to pay $9 a month to keep the service, fairly typical for any streaming service. Subscribers will have access to shows that are no longer on Broadway such as Cats, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Many of the recordings were also made exclusively for the platform, such as original performances of Kinky Boots.

BroadwayHD is also known for its “playlists” of plays, most recently they made one to honor Women’s History Month which included plays exclusively made by female theater-makers and playwrights, as well as feminist performances, including all female renditions of popular Shakespeare plays, A Night with Janis Joplin, and Driving Ms. Daisy

In addition, “BroadwayHD is celebrating theater legend Stephen Sondheim for his 90th birthday and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 72nd with a special tribute playlist including some of their most beloved productions. The playlist includes Gypsy, Putting It Together, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,  Cats, Phantom Of The Opera, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and more.”

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Besides streaming services for Broadway plays and virtual tour services for the world’s most popular museums, the Metropolitan Opera decided to join in on offering digital cultural entertainment to the public during this time of isolation. This past week, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it would be streaming performances of some of its most famous shows to the public starting this week. The best part? They’re offering it for free.  

“The Metropolitan Opera announced that it would stream encore presentations from the award-winning Live in HD series of cinema transmissions on the company website for the duration of the closure. We’d like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times. Every night, we’ll be offering a different complete operatic gem from our collection of HD presentations from the past 14 years,” Met General Manager Peter Gelb shared in a statement.

Instead of presenting each opera as an option to watch at any time like a regular streaming service, the Met will be instead hosting “Nightly Met Opera Streams” in which each performance is scheduled at the same time every night. Beginning on Monday March 16th, the Met posts a different opera performance to its homepage at 7:30 p.m. where it will remain available until the next day when the next performance is uploaded. For a full list of performances, simply go to the Met Opera’s homepage. So while you may not be able to go out and tour the MoMA, go see Wicked, or relive the magic of Carmen, the digital world has made it possible to still maintain some cultural habits in times of quarantine.

Art Museum

Virtual Museum Tours Offer A Taste Of Culture In A Time Of Quarantine

Coronavirus has caused millions worldwide to quarantine themselves, and thousands of different industries to adjust to the way they’re running their businesses in order to prevent the further spread of this novel virus. One of the most recent and significant changes the world has seen is the closing of hundreds of cultural attractions such as all Broadway productions, Disneyland, and multiple museums. While you’re on your leave from work and waiting for the world to figure out how to further stop this virus, there’s a multitude of things you can do to entertain yourself from home. 

If you’re one of the millions of individuals who had plans to visit any of these cultural landmarks within the coming months and are now disappointed that you had to postpone, have no fear, as many museums worldwide have begun, or are continuing to, offer free virtual tours through their establishments via their website for your viewing pleasure until you can safely visit them again. Here’s a list of just a few options of places you can “travel” to through your computer screen:

The British Museum in London is located in the heart of the city and holds some of the most famous mummy remains in Europe. Their virtual tour allows users online to travel through the archives and explore the historical contexts behind some of the more predominantly known pieces. 

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The Guggenheim Museum in New York is known for its iconic spiral staircase architecture and multitude of art pieces from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Google’s Street View lets visitors walk the staircase online and stand in front of any piece from any era that they please, all from their couch. 

Google in general is the main reason all of these virtual tours are possible. Their Arts and Culture department recently partnered with over 500 museums and galleries worldwide to deliver virtual tours that make users feel like their standing in the museums themselves. This effort was already in motion before the corona pandemic, however, now more than ever Google is emphasizing their newest feature that delivers just a taste of the culture all of these establishments have to offer. 

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has two major online exhibits that show off two very specific art periods. The first is an exhibit exploring how American fashion evolved between the years of 1740 and 1895. It’s focus is on the textiles used and how gendered style developed from the colonial to Revolutionary eras of history. The second focuses on a series of Baroque paintings from famous Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. 

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The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea gives New York City’s MoMA a true run for its money. While the museum itself obviously emphasizes more modern works to come from Korean artists, the virtual tour seamlessly incorporates historical contexts to past art influences for the more modern exhibits. 

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has quickly become one of the most popular museums on the planet. The virtual tour explores not only the many works done by Van Gogh, but also takes users through the tragedy and genius that was Van Gogh’s inner workings. The museum itself holds the largest collection of work done by the artist, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings/sketches, and over 750 personal letters. 

These examples only scratch the surface of other tours and exhibits Google has given the public access too. The ability to travel across the world to one of the most famous museums all with the click of a button is truly the definition of living in the future. So explore some of the 500+ museum and gallery options today, and go where you’ve never gone before.