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COVID-19 Update, March 26, 2021: Vaccine Diplomacy

Signs of spring: The vaccination rollout is speeding up, and signs of life are everywhere in the industry. Reasons for worry: New infections are plateauing, not shrinking, and in some places increasing. Some states may be opening too fast and debacles like Miami's Spring Break threaten to turn into super-spreader events. Meanwhile, the nations of the world are jousting for access to vaccines, even as the US may soon have a glut. The EU and the UK are in open conflict, India is looking to solve its open problems, and poorer nations want the West to share. The spat over the AstraZeneca vaccine further complicates the picture. It's time for everyone to pull together, but will they?

The latest:

President Biden ups the ante, aiming for 200 million vaccinations in the first 100 days of his administration: tinyurl.com/5xewrek6.

Meanwhile, the US looks at an upcoming vaccine glut: What to do with it? tinyurl.com/6tt75k3z.

The more contagious and deadlier UK coronavirus variant is spreading quickly across the US: tinyurl.com/38dkh63t.

The battle rages between the EU and the UK over vaccine access: tinyurl.com/vwpcckf2.

In a new, US-based clinical trial, the AstraZeneca vaccine is shown to be 79% against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effective against severe cases, with no severe events: tinyurl.com/x49pbt5u. An independent review board pushes back, raising concerns that the data is out of date and incomplete: tinyurl.com/3cutda4t. Revised test results confirm its effectiveness: tinyurl.com/2d5fnyht.

A new study shows that vaccinated mothers pass coronavirus antibodies to their children in utero and via breast milk: tinyurl.com/v7byf8xd.

New unemployment claims come in at 685,000 significantly beating expectations; it's the lowest figure in a year: tinyurl.com/pm6dtmyb.

Applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program will open April 8: tinyurl.com/bac73kfs.

The Regal Cinemas chain will open across the US on April 2 for the release of Godzilla vs. Kong: tinyurl.com/326zv374.

Some Americans are heading to the Caribbean in search of vaccine: tinyurl.com/j6zkzjvm.

The cruise industry calls on the CDC to reopen US ports: https://tinyurl.com/3bd4r8tc.

Food for thought:

The West has cornered the market on vaccines; can a new US patent open the door to better worldwide distribution? tinyurl.com/nfr6zc74. Drug companies defend their collective monopoly on vaccines: tinyurl.com/48u88p9y. A new forecast says that the amount of vaccine produced by this year will be enough to inoculate 70% of the world if distributed equitably; trouble is, most of it is reserved for wealthy countries: tinyurl.com/wf5mm6f3. Why global vaccine inequality is bad for everyone: tinyurl.com/e2j26j8u.

More vaccines are in the works. Here's a look at them and how they work: https://tinyurl.com/5fsfzr68.

Around the country:

In California:

In April, the state will expand vaccination eligibility to anyone over 16: tinyurl.com/562ezkdy.

Touring giants AEG and Live Nation begins notifying furloughed staffers to return to work: tinyurl.com/43u5fdje.

Two cases of the Brazilian coronavirus variant are found in San Diego County: tinyurl.com/hp3eshmk.

Following a burst of controversy, the state decides to allow cheerleading at high school football games: tinyurl.com/f6nr827s.

Take a look at COVID safety practices in the state's cinemas: tinyurl.com/cf5c9zus.

Actors Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco delays in-person performances until 2022: tinyurl.com/ansa7a9h.

In Connecticut:

Westport Country Playhouse announces an all-virtual season: https://tinyurl.com/3h4vtcey.

Goodspeed Musicals puts off reopening until the fall: https://tinyurl.com/d3jnzz7u.

In Florida:

As of Monday, all Floridians over 40 will be eligible for vaccination: tinyurl.com/43cz7t48.

The Spring Break chaos in Miami leads to 1,000 arrests: tinyurl.com/9mpp33pu. Curfew is extended until April 12: tinyurl.com/24dk9n9s. New infections are rising in Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties, mostly among people under 50 and possibly connected to tourism: tinyurl.com/294hv8xh.

The union that represents 9,000 Disney World workers demands immediate access to vaccines: tinyurl.com/2pw3mtt9.

Mar-a-Lago, the club owned by former President Trump, closes partially, after several staff members test positive for the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/m2c9dbms. The venue goes ahead with a 500-person event on Sunday: tinyurl.com/5xcbnfev.

In Illinois:

Chicago's infection numbers are rising, driven by new cases among younger people: tinyurl.com/3dbtstyn.

Some Chicago restaurants are in no hurry to reopen for indoor dining: tinyurl.com/mhs8xtdw.

In Massachusetts:

More than one million of the state's residents are now fully vaccinated: tinyurl.com/2fw2bdh9.

Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will be open this summer tinyurl.com/46bdsf23.

In Michigan:

The state is experiencing a worrying spike in new COVID-19 cases: tinyurl.com/4ze2xer3.

In New York:

New COVID infections are on the rise again: https://tinyurl.com/2kmm2b8w.

The state lowers vaccination eligibility to those 50 and over: tinyurl.com/453525t7.

Mayor De Blasio announces a new effort to get Broadway workers vaccinated. A mobile unit for Off Broadway workers is part of the package: tinyurl.com/3ed63x5r.

Madison Square Garden offers new options for patrons to provide the vaccine/health status verification to gain admission: tinyurl.com/ptjv3pcu.

New York City announces a series of free downtown performances in May: tinyurl.com/52fh83xz.

A new piece choreographed by Bill T. Jones, set to reopen the Park Avenue Armory, is postponed when three dancers test positive for the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/7jn3dynr. It has since been rescheduled for May 19 - 26. Meanwhile, In April, Park Avenue Armory, launches its Social Distance Hall season of pandemic-responsive commissions with the world premiere of SOCIAL! the social distance dance club, a new interactive and experiential movement piece: www.armoryonpark.org/.

A case of the Brazilian coronavirus variant has been found in Brooklyn: tinyurl.com/xtxb3bbp.

In Nevada:

The state's test positivity rate falls below 5%, meeting a key World Health Organization metric: tinyurl.com/44232hws.

Caesar's Entertainment, having lost more than $2 billion in the pandemic, sues its insurers to pay up: tinyurl.com/3jwtb6vc.

In Virginia:

The coronavirus kicks Virginia Commonwealth University out of the men's NCAA tournament: tinyurl.com/ctjhz24u.

Around the world:

In Germany:

A pilot study in Berlin aims to devise a strategy for reopening theatres and concert halls: tinyurl.com/49zryekd. More about the project here: tinyurl.com/fdy4juna.

In Hong Kong:

The Pfizer vaccine is put on hold after a packaging flaw is discovered in one batch of vials: tinyurl.com/2k3ma8ry.

In India:

The country is caught between a second COVID-19 wave and vaccine skepticism: tinyurl.com/5xn9cy2j.

As new infections surge, the country cuts back on vaccine exports: tinyurl.com/davtrhcp.

In Japan:

Fans from outside the country will be not allowed at the Tokyo Olympics: tinyurl.com/64h4fwa6.

In Papua New Guinea:

The island nation escaped the pandemic, until it didn't: tinyurl.com/5sw63rme.

In the UK:

More than half of the country's adults have now received the vaccine: tinyurl.com/yy3pzkf.

The West End is coming back to life. A new production of the musical Hairspray opens in June: tinyurl.com/4tvthbdx. Ian McKellen will take the title role in Hamlet in Windsor beginning in June: tinyurl.com/y2sxbtbc. Jersey Boys will return in July tinyurl.com/4fs6xaz2. The musical Pretty Woman returns in July: tinyurl.com/58vsx92k. The musical & Juliet returns in September: tinyurl.com/dtjentxc. A revival of the popular two-hander Love Letters will open in May: tinyurl.com/xht8kew. The musical Death Drop opens in May: tinyurl.com/keu39b. Shakespeare's Globe will reopen on May 17, with -- as a pandemic precaution -- no intermissions: tinyurl.com/4r4namvm.

The announced revival of Sunday in the Park with George, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, is delayed indefinitely, due to restrictions on travel and theatre capacities: tinyurl.com/4am6xppm.

Thousands take to the streets in London to protest COVID lockdown: tinyurl.com/svsmxm7d.

A new plan to have pub owners check patrons' vaccine status causes controversy: tinyurl.com/nsmmdrmh.

The Cineworld chain, which includes Regal Cinemas in the US, goes for another round of funding as a hedge against further pandemic losses: tinyurl.com/hu3dj37b.


New webinar from Martin by Harman: Pitching Lighting Designs: Workflows for Renders and Plots with Craig Rutherford, March 30, 11am CDT; register at: tinyurl.com/n88sy954.

Obsidian Control Systems offers training videos covering the NX4 lighting console and ONYX lighting control platform. A training video series covering the compact NX2 lighting controller will be available soon: https://tinyurl.com/3j9vafje .


The Actors Fund presents Rise Up with Arts which will broadcast virtually, live on World Theatre Day, Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:30pm ET. It will include dance performances from stars of Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars as well as feature cast members from Chicago, Rock of Ages, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Tickets, priced at $26.47 (£19), are available at www.riseupwitharts.com.

Starting March 30, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will stream Blues Suite, a 1958 work Choreographed by Ailey. The performance is from 1985: tinyurl.com/ttz3cs6p Amas Musical Theatre presents Home Sweet Homeland, a one-act play by Joanna Rush, March 29 through April 4. Tickets are free but reservations are required at www.amasmusical.org. All proceeds will benefit Amas Musical Theatre's education programs. Directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, the cast features Robert Cuccioli and Laila Robins, among others.

Art Lab presents the musical Amour, featuring a score by Michel Legrand. The cast includes Derrick Baskin, Drew Gehling, Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey, Adam Pascal, Christiani Pitts, Thom Sesma, Rachel York, among others. Performances are April 2, 3, and 4, at 8pm ET. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at: tinyurl.com/app/.

Andris Nelsons conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra in an all-Russian program of Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1 and Tahiti Trot; chamber music performance featuring American composer Eda Rapoport's Poem, Op. 14, for viola and piano, with BSO violist Michael Zaretsky and pianist Randall Hodgkinson: tinyurl.com/284kwmc9.

Broadway Backwards, the annual charity concert that gives an LGBT spin to classic showtunes, will stream March 30. The event benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in New York: tinyurl.com/3j9wmy75.

Keen Company presents the world premiere of a newly commissioned audio play All We Need Is Us by James Anthony Tyler, beginning March 26 at 7pm EDT for free on your favorite podcasting apps like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more: search "Keen Company Hear/Now" wherever you listen. Directed by Jamil Jude, the production features MaameYaa Boafo, Ronald Emile, Ari'el Stachel.

Maestra Music, the not-for-profit organization supporting the women who make the music in the musical theatre industry, hosts its inaugural spring concert event, Amplify. Directed by Kate Baldwin and produced by Baldwin, Georgia Stitt and Laura Ivey, Amplify 2021 is hosted by Brooks Ashmanskas and Andréa Burns. The evening will include performances from Ashley Park, Nikki M. James, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tanya Birl, Kenita Miller, Shelley Thomas, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney, along with appearances from Anais Mitchell, Kirsten Childs, Helen Park, Rona Siddiqui, Britt Bonney, Kristy Norter, Dionne McClain-Freeney, Meg Zervoulis, Kat Sherrell, Nicole Rebolledo, Maestra founder Stitt, and a special appearance by Bernadette Peters. It happens March 29 at 8pm ET, with an interactive pre-show at 7pm. Register or purchase VIP tickets at: tinyurl.com/4a6h4fdw.

Metropolitan Playhouse presents a new free reading, livestreamed at no charge, with talkback to follow: He Said and She Said, by Alice Gerstenberg. It is available March 27, starting at 8pm, through March 31 at 10pm ET. Running time is one hour: www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/watchhesaidshesaid.

Running April 3 - 4. San Francisco Opera streams its 2016 co-production, with Santa Fe Opera and Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, of Gaetano Donizetti's 1843 opera buffa Don Pasquale. The cast includes Maurizio Muraro, who embodies the title role of an older bachelor who seeks a young wife. The "cast of superb singing actors, Heidi Stober, Lawrence Brownlee, and Lucas Meachem. Director and costume designer Laurent Pelly collaborates with set designer Chantal Thomas and lighting designer Duane Schuler: sfopera.com .

Weekend playlist: Judi Dench offers a supremely melancholy "Send in the Clowns," from A Little Night Music: tinyurl.com/57bpp4x4.

Australian musical theatre legends Marina Prior and Michael Cormick team up for "All I Ask of You," from Phantom of the Opera: tinyurl.com/3czjk7v3.

Ariana DeBose gives a modern pop spin to Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Shall We Dance?," from The King and I: tinyurl.com/cu68eerp.

Elton John produces a California vision of "Tiny Dancer:" tinyurl.com/rca62d8u.

A group of Black Broadway stars offers the stirring anthem "Stand for Change:" tinyurl.com/3ukmrsnb.

That's all for the week. Have a great weekend. Stay safe. Vaccinate. -DB

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Previous LSA COVID-19 Updates: plasa.me/lsacovid19resources.

(26 March 2021)

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