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Daily distraction: Mixology, ‘Hamlet’ and ‘All of a Kind Family’

Cocktail glasses

Cocktail glasses Image by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images


Welcome to your daily distraction, our recommendations for ways to stay engaged and entertained while we socially distance ourselves to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can find our past recommendations here; many of the opportunities we’ve highlighted are ongoing.

We’re close to the end of our third week of social distancing. In Denver, where I’m isolating with my family, the weather is taking a general turn for the summery. Even without going outside, it’s nice to see; it’s easier to keep spirits up on a bright day. Here are three ways to find some distraction today.

1) Take a mixology class

In the flood of news these past few weeks, one item has put the impact of social distancing in new perspective: Nationwide, according to Nielsen as reported by Eater, alcohol sales are seriously up — wine by nearly 28%, spirits by 26% and beer by 14%. If you, like your homebound peers, have decided to stock up on liquor, why not learn how to put it to good use? Take the quick, informative SkillShare class “Cocktail Secrets” to get started on learning how to make a drink you’ll genuinely enjoy.

2) See “Hamlet” as you’ve never seen it before

Sure, you know “Hamlet,” but not like this. The Wooster Group, the renowned New York experimental theater company, is famous for taking plays apart and reconstructing them in ways that are entirely new. Their “Hamlet,” which the company is streaming online for free through April 7, is an attempted reconstitution of a 1964 production of the play starring Richard Burton that was filmed and screened across the globe. The catch: Only fragments of the film have survived to this day. Quite a lot of theater is available online right now; this is likely to be one of the most surprising, exciting and disorienting offerings available.

3) Read (or re-read) “All of a Kind Family.”

The Forward book club is currently reading “Bread Givers,” a fairly adult novel about the 1920s Lower East Side. But we’ve been talking a lot about “All of a Kind Family,” the children’s series that, for many of us, gave us our first ideas about what it was like to be a Jewish immigrant to America in the early 20th century. This is a stressful time, and totems from childhood can be deeply reassuring. So return to “All of a Kind Family,” or if you have kids yourself, share it with them for the first time.


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