Stay Online with Weekend of Digital Events

Even as vaccines start rolling out in the North Bay, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to halt in-person gatherings in 2021.

Due to social-distancing, several North Bay organizations are hosting online events boasting music, theater and other family-friendly delights this weekend. Here’s a round up of what’s worth looking forward to.

Virtual Film

Each year, countries from across the globe submit their best films for consideration in the Academy Awards Best International Feature Film category. For the last 17 years, the California Film Institute has screened many of these acclaimed films in “For Your Consideration,” a screening series that normally takes place at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. Due to the pandemic, this year’s series screens directly to the audience at home, with online access to a selection of more than two-dozen movies. “For Your Consideration” is live now and runs virtually through Feb. 11. Single tickets, $7–$12; all-access pass, $55–$75. Cafilm.org.

Virtual Theater

Years before the Covid-19 pandemic, award-winning virologist Dr. Nathan Wolfe proposed a then-ignored plan to protect the economy from pandemics. Now, Wolfe’s story is told in a new one-man show. “The Catastrophist” was recently written by Wolfe’s wife, acclaimed playwright Lauren Gunderson, and it’s currently debuting in a world premiere digital production starring William DeMeritt (Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole World, HBO’s The Normal Heart) and helmed by Marin Theatre Company in collaboration with Washington, D.C.–based company Round House Theatre. The online production is available to stream through Feb. 28. $30. Marintheatre.org.

Virtual Concerts

Each summer, world-renowned classical ensembles and soloists come to North Bay for the Music in the Vineyards chamber music festival. This past summer, the festival moved online due to the pandemic, and organizers are keeping the music going into the winter for the first time in the festival’s history with this weekend’s virtual winter festival. The online affair features four string quartets performing music that ranges from Beethoven to traditional Scottish folk tunes. The program also features a family concert that acts as an introduction to string quartets for young ones. Tune in on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29–30. Free. Musicinthevineyards.org.

The next day, Jan. 31, the Napa Valley Music Associates presents their first virtual concert. The group is celebrating its 26th annual “Mostly Mozart in Napa Valley” on Youtube. The online showcase will include works by Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven as performed by featured guest artists such as vocalists Emily Thebaut and Dr. Christina Howell, as well as guitarist Dr. George England and pianist Aaron Petit. Tune in on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 2:30pm. Free; $25 suggested donation. Napavalleymusicassociates.org.

Virtual Reading

Lured by the myths and mysteries of the American West, author and historian Sherry L. Smith writes about the region’s indigenous people and contemporary characters. This week, Smith reads from and talks about her new book, Bohemians West: Free Love, Family & Radicals in Twentieth Century America, as part of Book Passage’s ongoing online Conversations With Authors series. The book examines a particular moment in American history as told through letters between poets Sara Bard Field and Charles Erskine Scott Wood, and Smith appears in a discussion with Peter Coyote on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 4pm. Free. Bookpassage.com.

Virtual Concert

Renowned trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis (pictured) spent much of 2020 writing a new instrumental work in response to the events that unfolded over the last year. The Democracy! Suite is an inspiring reflection on the political, economic and social issues that dominated headlines all year. Fear not, The Democracy! Suite also carries an uplifting message of how the country can collectively create a better future. Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet in a virtual performance of The Democracy! Suite, via the Green Music Center, on Saturday, Jan. 30. 7pm. $10 and up. Gmc.sonoma.edu.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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