National Theatre Live: Amadeus and Saint Joan
The NT’s production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus broadcasts live with an orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia on February 2. After that, catch George Bernard Shaw’s tale of the passionate peasant girl who became a soldier for God to drive the English out of France; Saint Joan has its live broadcast performance from the Donmar Warehouse on February 16. ntlive.nationaltheatre.org
This exhibition at L.A.’s Getty Museum captures the sly smiles, luminous expressions and expensive finery of well-to-do sitters circa the late 1700s. Subtitled “Pastel Portraits in 18th-Century Britain,” the show is packed with “opulent outfits topped with powdered wigs and elaborate hairstyles.” And you thought selfies took a lot of primping! getty.edu
Celebrate the life of poet Robert Burns, “the Bard of Ayrshire,” or, as a lot of Americans call him, “that guy who wrote ‘Auld Lang Syne.’” One option: The Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia, has a Festival of Scotland on January 24 with Celtic music, Scottish Country Dancing and a formal Burns Supper evening. hyltoncenter.org
The hail fellows of London’s Orlando Consort join the Folger Consort for two nights of medieval English tunes at the Washington National Cathedral. Hear sublime sacred vocal works “drawn from the extraordinary 15th-century Old Hall Manuscript” on January 6 and 7. folger.edu
Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse.
Don’t miss 12 little houses on display at The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. (on loan from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood) that tell the story of British homes over the last 300 years. Until January 22, you can admire a teeny-tiny terrace house, a diminutive Georgian manor and a very short high-rise apartment. nbm.org
Victoria on DVD
Those who can’t catch the January 15 premiere date of the series on Masterpiece on PBS should order this right now! The DVD of Victoria will be released on January 31.
Scotsfestival & International Highland Games XXIX
The Queen Mary (originally constructed in Clydebank, Scotland, now conveniently docked in Long Beach, California) holds its annual festival of Scottish culture, honoring nearly 50 Scottish clans and vendors on February 18-19. Expect competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts and Highland dancing. Plus, wee laddies and lassies can fight it out in the Wee Highland games. queenmary.com
The costume exhibit that lets you rummage around the closets of Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess is starting to wind down. But you can still admire the excellent sartorial sense of the Downton residents at The History Museum in South Bend, Indiana, until January 8 and then at the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, California starting February 12. dressingdownton.com
Queen Elizabeth II 2017
The official Buckingham Palace HM Queen Elizabeth II calendar is a great way to track your new year. With “over 60 classic images beautifully capturing the life of Her Majesty,” you’ll mark birthdays, meetings and dental appointments in the most regal, most royal company possible.
A United Kingdom
Based on a true story, this film tells the surprisingly little-known tale of the beautiful prince (David Oyelowo) of Bechuanaland (later Botswana) who fell in love with an ordinary English office worker (Rosamund Pike). Political machinations ensue as the mixed-race marriage clashes with neighboring South Africa’s apartheid system, threatening the Empire’s strategic hold on Africa. Thankfully, true love conquers all—even colonialism!—in a good date-night movie. A United Kingdom opens February 17.