The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here
• To stream or not to stream: There IS no question. You absolutely should stream the Globe Theatre of London’s 2018 production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” which is up and running on the company’s YouTube channel through April 19. It is an awesome, gender-bending interpretation of the Bard’s great tragedy, starring the Globe Ensemble’s artistic director Michelle Terry in the title role. Female performers also fill in as his(her) bestie, Horatio, and Laertes, the brother of his main squeeze, Ophelia. We’ve previewed it for you and found it utterly riveting — although we must confess to finding it a tad disconcerting to see the very tall guy playing Ophelia (Shubham Saraf) looming way above the head of Laertes (Bettrys Jones). But we suspended our disbelief, and so should you. Here is a trailer to tease you: https://youtu.be/V-C2ZaK04v8. Best of all, the show is free. Turn on the subtitles. See it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdPqu598m68. And if you’re feeling generous, consider contributing to the Globe’s efforts at www.shakespearesglobe.com.
• Virtual Mozart: Opera San Jose’s final production of the 2019-20 season was supposed to be Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” But like practically all live arts performances these days, it’s been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So OSJ is offering up a replacement for Mozart-starved opera fans — a streaming version of its acclaimed, grand 2011 production of the composer’s rarely staged “Idomeneo.” The production, which featured more than 100 singers in the cast and chorus as well as members of Ballet San Jose, will be available for free streaming April 18-May 18. Go to www.operasj.org.
• Hop on the bus: Scores of in-bookstore author appearances have been jettisoned in recent weeks, but some enterprising booksellers have sprung into action. So it is with Michael Barnard of Danville’s Rakestraw Books, who is launching his Live at Home! series at 7 p.m. April 20 by booking Meredith May, author of “The Honey Bus,” for a session using the Crowdcast streaming service. May’s memoir recounts her life growing up with a beekeeper grandpa who conducted his business in a rusted-out old military bus in his backyard. The virtual book reading costs $5 and will net you a coupon code usable for any purchase at Rakestraw. Sign up at rakestrawbooks.com; clicking on Live at Home! will take you to the eventbrite purchase page, and you will be sent a link to the event 48 hours ahead of time.
• Road trip with art: Gallery Route One in the scenic Port Reyes Station was just about to launch its spring art exhibit and an annual art-in-schools program when both were scuttled by the new home-sheltering reality. So the gallery has put both projects online. Its “Spring 2020” exhibit — sculptures, paintings and photographs from 18 area artists — can now be viewed on the gallery’s website. And for good measure, the gallery has mounted art projects that kids can complete at home. You’ll find the exhibit and home-art project at the gallery’s website, https://galleryrouteone.org.
• Stanford Live online: One of the Bay Area’s major arts presenters, Stanford Live has had its season cut short by COVID-19. It’s staggering to think of the amount of artistic talent that has been taken from fans by the pandemic. But head to Stanford Live’s website and you’ll find videos of many of the performers that would have graced Stanford University this year, including Cuban singer Bobi Céspedes, pianist Lang Lang, comedian Colin Quinn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and many more. It’s all free at https://live.stanford.edu.