Iconic musician and activist Frank Zappa is the subject of the new "ZAPPA" documentary, out on streaming Friday, Nov. 27, through Chicago's Music Box Theatre. // Courtesy of Music Box Theatre

Sound check: The life and times of ‘ZAPPA,’ out for streaming Friday

Music-Box-At-Home presents the “Zappa” documentary for streaming rental; The Venue livestreams a benefit show; and UNICEF rolls out the stars for a benefit show.

‘ZAPPA’ at home

While a full-scale movie premiere might not be an option right now for actor and filmmaker Alex Winter’s all-access documentary about legendary musician and political activist Frank Zappa, you can still enjoy a Music-Box-at-Home presentation of the “ZAPPA.” With access to archival footage and appearances from Zappa’s widow and a wide spectrum of his musical collaborators, the doc explores his background and life outside the spotlight of his musical career. Chicago’s Music Box Theatre offers 48-hour streaming rentals of the film starting Friday, Nov. 27, at musicboxtheatre.com; a portion of the proceeds will defray the theater’s staffing and operating expenses during the pandemic closures. For those who live close by, the Music Box Theatre also offers concessions packages for pickup, featuring a selection of sodas, candy, popcorn, beers and wine; visit the site for details.

Giving globally

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, offers humanitarian aid around the globe to help children become healthy and well-educated. On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the organization partners with Johnson & Johnson to host the Change Maker virtual fundraiser, a night of music and discussions about UNICEF’s mission and how you can help make children’s lives better during this pandemic crisis. The streaming event will feature performances by Katy Perry, P!NK, Sofia Carson, Liam Payne and the Ndlovu Youth Choir, as well as appearances by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom, Halima Aden, Billie Eilish, FINNEAS, Téa Leoni, Heidi Klum and other members and supporters of the organization. A one-time $100 donation (or more) provides access for all members of a household to virtually attend the live event. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at unicefchangemaker.org.

Giving locally

The Fox Valley Music Foundation hopes to bring a little music to patrons this Giving Tuesday with The Venue’s house ensemble running a playthrough of The Doors’ album “Strange Days.” As COVID-related venue shutdowns linger, Aurora’s The Venue is one of a growing number of establishments in need of support during these tough times. The livestream performance kicks off the foundation’s charity drive and month of livestreaming performances; donations made between Sunday, Nov. 29, and Friday, Dec. 5, will be split between The Venue and the Fox Valley Music Foundation. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, streaming at facebook.com/TheVenueAurora and The Venue’s YouTube page. Donations are welcome at themusicvenue.org/donate.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at bshamie@dailyherald.com, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).



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