By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jimmy Kimmel is streaming nightly monologues from home, Willie Nelson and John Legend are playing music online, and Broadway stars like Idina Menzel are singing and chatting from their homes.
Movie theaters, theatres on Broadway and London’s West End, and concert venues may have shuttered their doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, but actors, comedians and musicians are giving life to the famous adage: The show must go on.
Comedians Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah this week began streaming monologues from their homes after production on their late-night television talk shows was shut down last week.
On Tuesday night, Colbert opened his CBS show outside his New Jersey house standing by his barbecue grill. The previous night, he performed his monologue from his bathtub, sitting in clouds of bubbles while clad in a suit and tie.
ABC’s Kimmel, in his “quarantine minilogue,” joked that being isolated at home with his family was proving a learning experience “I learned I have two young children. … Thank God for television. My blood type now is Disney positive,” he quipped.
NBC “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon launched his first 10-minute “At Home Edition” on Tuesday night and raised more than $19,000 for the Feeding America national food bank nonprofit. He plans to raise funds for a different charity every night.
“I wanted to put something out there for you guys so we can have some levity in these bizarre times,” he said, as his wife Nancy Juvonen operated the camera.
In Britain, a group of actors and directors said they will begin livestreamed readings of all of William Shakespeare’s plays on Thursday. “Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’ while quarantined by the plague – if he carried on, we can too,” organizers said in a statement.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera is livestreaming some of its most popular productions for free every night.
Rolling Stone magazine became the latest to launch a series of live online musical performances, starting with a set on Wednesday by Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson.
“Artists and venues around the globe are coming up with innovative ways to keep the lights on and the music playing, without leaving the house,” the magazine said in a statement.
Country music veteran Willie Nelson’s annual festival “Luck Reunion,” usually held in his Austin, Texas, backyard, will be livestreamed on Thursday with artists filming themselves at home. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and John Legend each performed “Together, At Home” shows on Instagram this week.
The shows, organized by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization, will next feature singer-songwriter Charlie Puth.
Broadway performers, including “Wicked” musical stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth will sing and chat about their careers from home in a daily “Stars in the House” mini-online show that also raises money for actors and backstage staff aid off by the closure of theatres last week.
With schools and libraries closing rapidly, actresses Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams launched a #SaveWithStories project in which they read children’s books on Instagram and Facebook.
The initiative also aims to raise funds for Save the Children and No Kid Hungry to provide books, games and food to kids facing months out of school.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Jonathan Oatis)