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Daily distraction: Livestream a McNally play, watch ‘The Wire,’ make something!

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.

I wonder what your new routine is like. To give you a peek behind the curtain, I begin most days watching TikTok videos. It’s not a thing I used to do, but my random — if semi self-curated — scrolling is now a comfort to me. In the videos, farmers still make the rounds to feed their animals, nurses take breaks from grueling hours to bust a move, teens and college kids home from school are endlessly creative in how they express themselves in these unsure times. Maybe I’ve become sentimental, but seeing these little reminders of life beyond my three-bedroom apartment prepares me to tackle the day.

Here are some things to look forward to this Monday.

1) Watch a classic (and timely) drama — live

In honor of the recent passing of playwright Terrence McNally, is livestreaming a reading of his play “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” on their Facebook and YouTube pages.. The drama follows two straight couples who spend a weekend on Fire Island in the midst of the AIDS epidemic and are forced to reckon with their responsibility to the gay community. The performance benefits the Actors Fund and stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ari Graynor, Zachary Quinto and Celia Kenan-Bolger. McNally died of coronavirus complications March 24 and his drama, about isolation, a pandemic and a country in crisis raises urgent questions for today.

2) Finally see “The Wire”

If you can’t wait for the next episode of “The Plot Against America,” perhaps it’s time to finally take the dive and watch one of David Simon and Ed Burns’ other projects — namely, “The Wire.” It’s something of a punchline that many people enamored with the Baltimore-set crime show insist that you must see it. Even Simon was once asked if he had seen “The Wire.”. Well, if you haven’t yet, you finally can — even if you don’t have an HBO subscription. For a limited time if you go to or [](] you can stream “The Wire,” “The Sopranos,” “Veep” and scores more shows and movies. Give it a try and see why so many annoying people say that Omar Little is the best character of all time.

3) Make something — anything!

“Minecraft” and “SimCity” are fun and constructive games for everyone, but they’re also more screen time and lately, we’ve all been getting enough of that. If you have some Lego lying around, why not build whatever comes to mind — no need to follow instructions. If you have puzzles to be assembled, stretch those fine motor skills. You could sew a new garment, knit a sweater or crochet a stuffed animal. You can draw a pet, roommate or spouse or — if you have the supplies — paint them. The more analog an experience you can muster, the better. Make some great quarantine art.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture fellow. He can be reached at [email protected]


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