"Semmelweis," a musical theater work that pays homage to the pioneering physician who first saw the need for antiseptic procedures in the operating room, will be streaming for free throughout May.

Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

Local News Matters Arts & Entertainment newsletter

End your week with a bit of culture to unwind and refresh. Sign up for our surprising and inspiring options in our weekly newsletter, delivered on Thursdays with news about Bay Area arts and entertainment.

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

• A medical hero: We wonder what 20-second ditty he was humming? Ignaz Semmelweis, the Hungarian-born obstetrician who pioneered the concept of hand-washing as a necessary antiseptic procedure in the mid-19th century when he realized women were dying during childbirth from infections their own doctors were transmitting, is the subject of a theatrical operetta. “Semmelweis,” a 75-minute work composed by Raymond Lustig with a libretto by Matthew Doherty, was premiered by the Budapest Operetta Theatre at the Bartók Plusz Opera Festival in 2018 and will be available for streaming beginning at 10 a.m. May 2 and continuing throughout the month. The production, with an all-female cast but for the baritone in the doctor’s role, is free to view, but donations made on the website will raise funds for organizations that are combating the coronavirus. Access it at www.Doctor-Semmelweis.com.


• Virtual magic: San Francisco’s Magic Theatre company is known for serving up a steady stream of world premieres in its home at the Fort Mason Center. And it had a doozy going with “Don’t Eat the Mangos,” Ricardo Pérez González’s critically raved-about drama about a struggling Puerto Rican family battling illness, storms and dark secrets. Then the shelter-in-place era began and Magic had to cut the “Mangos” run short. Now the play is back as a Magic Theatre streaming option through May 11. Viewing the acclaimed 90-minute production costs $15 at magictheatre.org


• Representing the East Bay: Oakland has been the setting and inspiration for some wonderfully provocative films in recent years, including Boots Riley’s surreal and allegorical “Sorry to Bother You” and the comedy/drama from Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, “Blindspotting,” a brilliant observation of life in contemporary Oakland. Now comes “All Day and a Night,” a hard-hitting drama about a father and son trying to overcome the vicious cycle of gang violence in the East Bay. Ashton Sanders, so endearing in “Moonlight,” and the always masterful Jeffrey Wright star in this film written and directed by Bay Area native Joe Robert Cole. It starts streaming May 1 on Netflix.


• From rags-to riches-to-radicalism: Berkeley journalism prof and historian Adam Hochschild spins a whopper of a true tale in his new book “Rebel Cinderella” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 3034 pages). Rose Pastor Stokes, a dirt-poor Russian Jewish immigrant who spent more than a decade rolling cigars to support her family,  captured the fancy of all America and beyond in 1905 when she married the scion of a rich and influential New York family. Even more amazingly, she went on to become, using both her charm and her estimable wits, a social justice champion renowned for her oratorical prowess and powers of persuasion. Join the author for a free virtual event hosted by BookShop West Portal at 6 p.m. April 30. Go to www.bookshopwestportal.com to RSVP via Eventbrite and you will receive a link to the event.


• For the kiddies: The Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary celebration continues to serve up some rewarding streamed concerts. The current offering is a family-friendly show starring the Grammy-winning Bay Area musician, author and educator Mister G (aka Ben Gundersheimer), whose series of kids albums have won him a legion of fans of all ages. His show features popular Bay Area musicians Michael Franti and Narada Michael Walden as guest stars and includes a virtual tour of the park. The concert is streaming for free through May 2 at www.goldengatepark150.com.