5 free events: Recasting ‘Friends,’ Laura Dern on ‘Smooth Talk’ and more

5 free events: Recasting ‘Friends,’ Laura Dern on ‘Smooth Talk’ and more

We’ve rounded up a selection of performances and events to stream this week. Have a favorite performance that we missed? Leave us suggestions in the comments below.

Television
Zoom Where It Happens: ‘Friends’

When: Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern
Where: Zoom; link sent with registration

Gabrielle Union will host an all-Black cast reading of “Friends” as part of the Zoom Where It Happens series, which aims to “catalyze voters and amplify the fight for voting rights and electoral justice, through culture and entertainment.” Joining the “Bring It On” star will be Sterling K. Brown, Ryan Bathe, Uzo Aduba, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope, with direction by Salli Richardson-Whitfield.

The evening will spotlight the nonprofit When We All Vote. Earlier this month, the series presented a recasting of “Golden Girls,” starring Alfre Woodard, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sanaa Lathan and Regina King.


Film
‘Smooth Talk’ with Laura Dern, Joyce Chopra and Joyce Carol Oates

When: Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: Zoom; Register here

The New York Film Festival may have taken the show online and on the road (to drive-ins, that is), but the allure of the Free Talk series remains. On Wednesday, “Smooth Talk” director Joyce Chopra joins Laura Dern (who starred in the film) and Joyce Carol Oates (who wrote the 1966 short story that inspired the production) to chat about the 1985 release, which is screening at this year’s festival as part of NYFF58 Revivals. Turner Classic Movies host Alicia Malone will moderate.

Words
Story/Teller with Walter Mosley, Leon Addison Brown and Jamia Wilson

When: Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: The Center for Fiction Crowdcast; register here

Here’s a different take on book club. The Center for Fiction’s “Story/Teller” series draws together actors to read passages from new works of fiction. The reading, which aims to “give audiences a taste of the language, characters and story,” is followed by a discussion with the author of the work.

This week, actor Leon Addison Brown performs selections from Walter Mosley’s “The Awkard Black Man,” a collection of 17 short stories. The prolific writer will speak with Jamia Wilson, executive director and publisher of Feminist Press.


Music
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road

When: Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern
Where: Farm Aid website and YouTube channel

Farm Aid is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a three-hour-long concert event featuring more than 20 artists. Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Norah Jones, Neil Young and Dave Matthews are among the performers to be featured during the evening. The concert will also include stories from farmers across the country.

Originated by Nelson, Young and Mellencamp in 1985, the Farm Aid concerts raise money to support the nonprofit’s mission to “keep family farmers on the land.”

“Since we started in 1985, Farm Aid has kept its finger on the pulse of farm country and deployed funds and resources to help farm families confront the challenges they face,” Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid, said in a press release. “It’s clear that this is a critical moment for farmers and ranchers. We risk losing their important contributions to our communities and our families if we do not adequately respond as a country.”


Theater
‘Romeo and Juliet’

When: Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern
Where: Shakespeare’s Globe Youtube channel

Want to watch “Romeo and Juliet” but only have a quick 90 minutes to spare? The Globe Theatre’s “Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank” version of the play offers the perfect opportunity for students, families and busy theater lovers to brush up on this classic. Bonus: the Globe has also prepared materials to help teachers and families dive deeper into the production, which was filmed in 2019.

The play will be available to stream after its Sept. 28 premiere until February of next year.

Top Image: Laura Dern in "Smooth Talk." Janus Films.