The Omicron variant has scuttled plans for many of the live showcases and festivals that typically crowd New York’s cultural calendar in January, but some are now offering online content, like New York Live Arts’s flavorful Virtual Artery.
On each day of the festival, a filmed version of a recent full-length production will be posted, starting on Thursday with Christopher Williams’s “Narcissus,” a queer retelling of the Greek myth featuring the New York City Ballet star Taylor Stanley. Friday’s release is “Light and Desire” by Colleen Thomas and a team of international collaborators, followed on Saturday by the musician Saul Williams’s “The Motherboard Suite,” a kind of movement concert directed by Bill T. Jones. Sunday’s addition is Raja Feather Kelly’s “Wednesday,” a dissection of the 1975 film “Dog Day Afternoon.” And on Monday, Kenyon Adams’s work “Prayers of the People,” which is structured like a church service, wraps up the virtual celebration.
All films will be available to view through Jan. 31. Tickets to the streams start at $5 and are available at newyorklivearts.org.
Children learn by imitating adults, and this weekend they can emulate one of history’s great role models: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What to Know About ‘The Beatles: Get Back’
Peter Jackson’s seven-plus hour documentary series, which explores the most contested period in the band’s history, is available on Disney Plus.
From Saturday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m., the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will honor his life. Free with museum admission (a detailed schedule is online), its programs include “The Heart of a King,” a shadow-puppet play by Nehprii Amenii that explores King’s work. Amenii will also help little audience members make shadow puppets and create their own theater stories, using bedsheets and flashlights.
Aspiring young activists can write to their City Council representatives about issues that concern them, as well as join the children’s musician Fyütch in designing posters for marches throughout the museum. And just as King had a dream for America, families have their own, which they can record on cloud-shaped paper and attach to the “Community Dream Cloud,” a hanging sculpture.
On Monday only, when Martin Luther King’s Birthday is celebrated, the nonprofit Repair the World will lead museum visitors in packing baby supplies for Little Essentials, a charity assisting low-income families.
Prefer a virtual event? Starting on Monday at 10 a.m., the Brooklyn Academy of Music will offer a free series of videos and workshops based on David Heredia’s “Heroes of Color” web series and books. The program, Heroes of Color HQ, streaming through Feb. 13, will teach about historical leaders and encourage children to create heroic tales. (Details are online.)
The pianist Marc-André Hamelin has a penchant for choosing unfamiliar repertoire. In doing so, his quicksilver playing has sometimes helped elevate the reputation of a neglected composer. His latest release on the Hyperion label is devoted to pieces by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. And while you might not deem C.P.E. obscure, exactly — what with being the most famous of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons — these works are hardly overfamiliar.
Hamelin makes spirited cases for hearing this music more regularly, beginning with the A minor Sonata. In its final movement, he handles some geysering phrases with appropriate intensity, while lending others a teasing air. The contrasts come hard and fast, but Hamelin’s approach always sounds well judged. As usual, Hyperion’s presentation is stellar, from the production sound to the liner notes (written by the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani). Though the label doesn’t participate in the streaming-service economy, it does provide free samples — and a free track download — on its website.
SETH COLTER WALLS
If Clothes Could Talk
Think of your favorite item of clothing. Perhaps it’s that worn-out baseball hat you’ve had since college, that lucky shirt you wore to a first date or a fuzzy scarf that your grandmother made for you.
If you have ever imagined the stories those clothes could tell, you’ll be in for a treat with “A Little Drape of Heaven,” a new audio play by the playwright Mahesh Dattani. He invites you to hold a piece of fabric and unlock a world of wonder as you sit in your own closet and listen to the story of a gentle sari that craves nothing more than to be worn.
Commissioned by This Is Not a Theater Company, this lyrical work elicits the perfect amount of warmth needed during a chilly winter night. A recording of the play will be available on Eventbrite through Feb. 15. Tickets start at $1 and grant access to the recording for 48 hours from the date selected.
Pop & Rock
Brevity is hardly in vogue among filmmakers these days, and “The Beatles: Get Back,” a new three-part documentary from Peter Jackson, makes a compelling case against it. Clocking in at nearly eight hours, “Get Back” invites viewers into the recording sessions during which the Beatles wrote and recorded their final studio album, offering an intimate, borderline exhaustive look at the song craft and interpersonal dynamics of one of the world’s most celebrated bands.
When it arrived to Disney+ in November, “Get Back” joined a saturated landscape of recent Beatles media. In the six half-hour episodes of “McCartney 3, 2, 1,” on Hulu, a nostalgic Paul McCartney reflects on less acrimonious times in the band’s history. His visibly awe-struck interlocutor, the producer Rick Rubin, isolates elements of Beatles songs — the bass in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” the guitar solo in “Taxman” — in order to unleash McCartney’s musical memories. In his new book “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present,” McCartney looks back at the words from more than 150 songs he wrote throughout his career. Any (or all) of these are worthy options for entertainment while weathering a weekend indoors.