TV

The show must go on(line) for TV hosts, musicians amid Covid-19

US entertainers are taking their talk shows and performances online amid the virus outbreak

LOS ANGELES : 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.

Cinemas, 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.

Hosts 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.

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 said.

The Tonight Show host Fallon launched his first 10-minute At Home Edition on Tuesday night and raised more than US$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 began livestreamed readings of all of William Shakespeare's plays yesterday.

"Shakespeare wrote King Lear while quarantined by the plague - if he carried on, we can too," organisers said in a statement.

LIVE STREAMING

New York's Metropolitan Opera is livestreaming some of its most popular productions for free every night.

Rolling Stone 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, was livestreamed yesterday 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, organised by Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation, 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 laid off by the closure of theatres last week.- REUTERS

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