Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: It’s all about “The Lion King” live-action remake. Critics are ooh-ing about the visual effects — also that the movie is soul-less. TV/Streaming: Maybe this will be the weekend when I catch up with the new season of “Jamestown” on PBS. In other news, “The Office” and “Friends” are exiting Netflix — will the world as we know it survive? Music: I heard a rumor that Josh Groban is recording a new album filled with country-music classics, which will probably cause minor heart attacks in most of my Grobanite friends. Books: Once a week, I go to a bookstore hoping that a newly published title will ignite my interest. This summer, there’s been nothing, which is a good excuse to re-read old favorites like “The Makioka Sisters.” Sports: We’ve entered the post-ESPYs fallow season: nothing but baseball on ESPN, and something called “cornholing,” whose slang meaning apparently escapes the minds of most straight people. Finally: When it’s this hot I wish I had a backyard swimming pool. I guess cold showers will have to do.

“The Magic Flute”: Eye-Popping

Before I mention anything else about “The Magic Flute” at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, let me say that Louis Langree conducted a delightful, spirited Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. I mention the players first because most of the attention of this Komische Oper Berlin production, co-directed by Suzanne Andrade and Barrie Kosky, has focused on the visuals. Understandably so: making extensive use of animation, the production is a 1920s silent-movie updating, with nods to Buster Keaton, Nosferatu, and Louise Brooks. The Queen of the Night is a monstrous spider. Among the singers my favorites were Julien Behr as Tamino and Maureen mcKay as Pamina. I have heard some complaints that by tying the performers to the animation they were robbed of the chance to interact with each other. I did not find this bothersome, so enchanted was I by the whiz and whirr of the visuals and the orchestral playing. I also appreciated the omission of the spoken dialogue. Instead we got a honky-tonk playing snatches of Mozart’s fantasias in C minor and D minor. The production plays through Saturday — get your tickets here.

“Ghosts Of Versailles”: Heavenly

I’m going up to Cooperstown later this month to see the new production of “The Ghosts of Versailles” at Glimmerglass Opera. Until I file my report, here’s a review of the evening by Joseph Dalton in Albany’s Times Union.

Reason #477 To Avoid The Emmys

They didn’t nominate Christine Baranski, star of “The Good Fight.” And “Game of Thrones” got 32 nominations. That’s right: 32 nominations! Soon there will be a category for Best Catering.

Mirren & McKellen: “Good Liar”

The trailer for this fall release makes it look like sneaky fun. The rich trappings, the suspense-filled script, the presence of Russell Tovey as Mirren’s grandson. (She’s graduated to grand-mum roles!) But there’s something a bit forced about the trailer’s tone — trying too hard to gin up the suspense into horror-movie territory. Hmm.

Dev Patel As David Copperfield

Patel radiates charm and vitality, which makes him a good choice for the role in this new movie directed by Armando “Veep” Iannuci. A fresh take on Dickens’ celebrated novel, The Personal History of David Copperfield boasts a stellar British cast, led by Dev Patel in the titular role and also including Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, and Gwendoline Christie. Adapted by Iannucci alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, the comedic tale centres around on one of Dickens’ most cherished characters, the good-hearted David Copperfield, who is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian 19th century England.

Beyonce Embraces Meghan Markle

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (3rd L) and Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (2nd L) meet cast and crew, including US singer-songwriter Beyoncé (C) and her husband, US rapper Jay-Z (R) as they attend the European premiere of the film The Lion King in London on July 14, 2019. (Photo by Niklas HALLE’N / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images)