Hi all. As you’ve heard, it was another rough week with more rollbacks of openings. All of this week’s offerings are indoors. Well, as the Brits say, “keep a stiff upper lip” and let’s press on. 

‘The ODDyssey’

Every summer, the Getty Villa in Malibu hosts outdoor plays with themes fitting to the museum’s collection of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. With the Villa and Getty Center among the museums closed because of COVID-19, the in-person play this summer is being replaced with an online production.

Beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, the Getty Museum YouTube channel, in partnership with the Troubadour Theater Company, will present “The ODDyssey,” a skewering of Homer’s Odyssey. Homer’s epic poem chronicling a 20-year journey is transformed into five 15- to 20-minute webisodes. 

“‘The ODDyssey’ is told with all the characters on Zoom and, inspired by Zoom’s low-resolution quality, is retro styled with a variety of music and even some sitcom song remakes,” the museum’s blog said. “Think family friendly comedies like The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island.”

“‘The ODDyssey’ is a family-friendly, seat-of-our pants, stay-at-home ordered-up mix of wacky and whimsical storytelling by a cast of kooky, colorful characters,” Matt Walker, artistic director of the Troubadour Theater Company said. “Learn 12,000 lines in only five episodes. Our ‘ODDyssey’ is the Rosetta Stone of epic poems.”

Each episode will premiere at 3 p.m. on Sundays. All episodes will be available to view any time on the Getty’s YouTube channel. Admission is free.

Drive-in movies and concerts

Los Angeles Magazine has a round-up of all the drive-in movie venues, with links (https://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/drive-in-movie-pop-ups/). The links include one non-drive-in, the Melrose Rooftop Theater (https://melroserooftoptheatre.com), held at E.P. & L.P., an Asian fusion restaurant and rooftop bar at 603 N. La Cienega in West Hollywood. COVID-19 protections include limiting capacity and placing seats several feet apart.

Also on the list is the Ventura Fairgrounds, which is hosting drive-in concerts and a drive-in circus (https://www.concertsinyourcar.com). It’s an interesting concept and I’m hopeful they can pull it off. I hate the idea of our summer being completely devoid of concerts.

TV streaming

There are two shows on Apple Plus getting some buzz. The first is Tom Hanks’ World War II movie “The Greyhound,” originally slated for a theatrical release. He plays Navy Commander George Krause, whose ship is tasked with escorting 37 ships with soldiers and supplies across the North Atlantic, battling German U-Boats along the way.

In addition to starring in the movie, Hanks also wrote the screenplay.  

The movie also stars Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue and more. It’s about 90 minutes in length.

Apple Plus is also now offering the series “Little Voice,” produced by the same creative team behind the Broadway musical “Waitress.” 

The show is described as “a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York. It explores the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s.”

Little Voice follows Bess (Brittany O’Grady), a young woman juggling her dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter with a love triangle and struggling to care for her autistic older brother Louis (Kevin Valdez). 

Grammy Award winner Sara Bareilles, nominated for a Tony Award for her work on “Waitress,” serves as the series co-creator and songwriter. 

The show is produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions.

Hulu has the movie “Palm Springs,” a Groundhogs Day-like time loop movie featuring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. When carefree Nyles (Samberg) and reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Milioti) have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated when they find themselves unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other.

Available on Hulu on July 20, is the movie “The Assistant,” which Deadline.com described as being “clearly inspired by the revelation of Weinstein’s widely reported sexually predatory ways.”

“A searing look at a day in the life of an assistant to a powerful executive,” the movie production teams says. “As Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the insidious abuse that threatens every aspect of her position. When Jane decides to take a stand, she discovers the true depth of the system into which she has entered.” 

One reviewer described it as “a hard, but necessary watch.” 

Julie Garner stars as Jane.

One of the most interesting movies on Netflix right now is “The Old Guard,” starring Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne and Marwan Kenzari. Based on the comic, the movie is about four immortal mercenaries who’ve secretly protected humanity for centuries. They have become targeted for their mysterious powers just as they discover a new immortal.

Perhaps the best description comes from the promo for the graphic novel “The Old Guard: Book One: Opening Fire.”

“Old soldiers never die … and some of them don’t even fade away,” the promo reads. “Cursed with immortality, Andromache of Scythia and her comrades-in-arms ply their trade for those who can find — and afford —their services. But in the 21st century, being immortal is a difficult secret to keep and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates far worse than death.” 

It’s written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Leandro Fernandez. It’s available on Hoopla.

Miscellany

The silliest thing I found on the Internet this past week was the first act of “Hamilton” performed by voice impressionist Ricky Downes III as The Muppets. 

He voices Kermit the Frog as Hamilton, The Great Gonzo as Aaron Burr, Miss Piggy as Eliza Schuyler, Fozzie Bear as Marquis de LaFozette and Sam the Eagle as George Washington.

I’ve only listened to bits and bobs of it, but what I did hear cracked me up. You can listen for yourself at https://youtube/zZzDP-vQXao

The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach will hold an online auction beginning at 1 p.m., Sunday. The auction will feature over 160 items of Latin American and Latino art donated by the artists and collectors. The auction will help raise funds to help the museum overcome the challenges COVID-19 has created.

Starting bids are as low as $50. 

You can find a link to the auction on the museum’s website, https://molaa.org

 

Take me out to the ballgame

You won’t be attending any Dodger games this summer, but your likeness can. 

The Dodgers will put cutouts of fans into the stands for their home games. It’s pricey — $299 for your cutout to take a seat in the Dugout Club or the Pavilion Home Run seats and $149 for your cutout to take up residence in the field level or loge level seats. Fans will have the ability to select the section in the stadium in which their cutout will be placed, but not the exact row or seat.

At the end of the season, you will get the chance to take your cutout home, which will also be authenticated as game-used by Major League Baseball. You’ll need to upload a photo of yourself from the waist up and preferably be attired in Dodger Blue. All photos will need to be approved by the Dodgers prior to stadium placement. Details can be found at https://www.mlb.com/dodgers/fans/cutouts

I told you about the Huntington Library gardens being open. Last weekend, we went and even though it was blazing hot that day, we had a good time. 

Tickets for each week go on sale at noon, Tuesday. When I got mine, I entered into their ticket waiting room at about 12:15 p.m. and saw that I was something like 1,700th in line. Two things surprised me: First, the wait was surprisingly short and second, I was still able to get tickets for the coming Saturday.

We were comfortable with the COVID-19 safety measures the Huntington took — reducing capacity to about one-third, temperature checks before entering the grounds, requiring masks and the installation of hand sanitizer stations. 

We occasionally crossed paths with other patrons, but the grounds are spacious enough to make social distancing quite easy. 

My only quibble, and it’s a relatively minor one, is that the only place to eat, the Café 1919, was not taking meal orders, but rather had pre-packaged sandwiches and salads.

Also be advised that the water fountains are shut down, so bring your own water. On a day that hit 99 degrees, I regretted not taking more. 

That’s it for this week. Stay safe, stay strong.

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