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To-Do List: Socially distanced columbia arts and entertainment picks (Aug. 12-19)

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THEATER

The Pack

A star-studded cast performs three short plays by Drama Desk-winning playwright Eugene Pack, who created the off-Broadway comedy show Celebrity Autobiography, in which he performed. The Los Angeles Times has called Pack “a prodigiously gifted storyteller.” Let’s Meet Up stars Matthew Broderick and John Leguizamo. Hold features Sherri Shepherd and Blair Underwood (Rules of Engagement). Aunt Cora showcases Rachel Dratch and Andrea Martin (Second City TV). The virtual benefit performance happens on Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. via guildhall.org and costs $50. PAT MORAN

TV

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Once upon a time, back before snarky Internet comments and such, there was a wonderful show that made fun of the many, many cheesy, cheap, badly acted and otherwise awful movies that are out there in the entertainment landscape. Mystery Science Theater 3000, the show where an amiable lug (either Mike Nelson or Joel Hodgson) and his two robot pals hurl zingers at cinematic turkeys like I Was a Teenage Werewolf, is widely available on Netflix, Amazon and even YouTube. Most of the episodes are hilarious, and you don’t even have to come up with your own jokes! VINCENT HARRIS

INDIE

The Microphones’ Microphones in 2020

Over the course of a couple of decades, Phil Elverum built a modest profile making quiet, contemplative, intensely autobiographical music under a handful of names, most famously The Microphones and Mount Eerie. Over the course of the perfectly palindromic 44 minutes and 44 seconds of Microphones in 2020, Elverum examines — in one long, unbroken stream of nonlinear thought — his career, but also himself, the world he lives in, and his wild swipes at distilling meaning from the madness that surrounds him. Its beauty, like life’s, comes in the mundane details — a whispered account of watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, nights stargazing on rooftops with close friends, the uncertainty of existence. PATRICK WALL

THEATER

Crumbs From the Table of Joy

A live-stream reading of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s coming-of-age story reunites the cast of the 2016 Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse production. It’s 1950, and a Black widower tries to start a new life with his two young daughters. Nottage spins her tale with a firm grasp of the gap between wish-fulfilling melodrama and grinding reality. Proceeds will benefit the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Access starts at $10 for the reading, which can be viewed Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 15 at 11:30 p.m. at arts-people.com. PAT MORAN

SPORTS

Champions League soccer

Footy fans rejoice. UEFA Champions League competition has resumed after a five month pause in action. Eight clubs remain, looking to grasp European football’s most coveted prize, including a resurgent FC Barcelona and seemingly unstoppable German giants Bayern Munich. Quarterfinal matches start Aug. 12 and come fast and heavy, with seven games in 11 days culminating in the final on Aug. 23. Get your football fix via the CBS Sports channel or streaming on the BR/Live app. CAM POWELL

LIVE-STREAM

To Be Free: The Sounds of Nina Simone

Nina Simone’s accomplishments were legion: Jazz vocalist, songwriter and civil rights activist. Starting as a cocktail lounge pianist, Simone went on to become an icon whose every effort displayed passion, emotional honesty and exemplary technique. This homage to the Black chanteuse features recording artist JaQuita May. A portion of the proceeds go to the Loveland Foundation, an organization committed to supporting communities of color, especially Black women and girls. Donations are encouraged for those viewing this presentation, which takes place Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. via facebook.com/axelroberts. PAT MORAN

[Online copy corrected.]

FILM

A Night At The Drive-In

One sliver of a silver lining to come from the pandemic might be a gentle resurgence in drive-in movies. In addition to longtime holdouts still offering weekend double features, major sponsors such as Wal-Mart and Amazon have worked to make the moviegoing experience accessible in a socially distanced world. On Aug. 12, at The Big Mo drive-in in Monetta, Amazon and Michael B. Jordan present a timely double feature — billed together as Movies to Open Your Eyes. Here, Spike Lee’s 1989 classic Do The Right Thing stands next to Jordan Peele’s 2017 classic-in-the-making Get Out, to offer perennially relatable and entertaining dissections of American race relations. Free tickets to the 8:45 p.m. screening can be found at amazonscreenings.com. BRYAN C. REED

MENTAL HEALTH

Clean Out Your Inbox

It’s time to do a deep dive into that email inbox and get rid of all that clutter, and you’ve got the time right now to do it. If you’re seeing three or four messages from Sirius XM or Bed, Bath & Beyond, start cleaning them up so you can find that email from your mom that she keeps asking you about. Or maybe you’ll find the work emails that you forgot about, and then madly scramble to get your work done before the panic attack sets in. Either way, it’s time to start deleting. VINCENT HARRIS

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