To encourage social distancing during the spread of COVID-19, we are altering our regular “Event Horizon” section for the foreseeable future. While many local events are on hold, we will clue you into at least one local experience — this week: A preview of Lil' Miss Story Hour's Black History Month celebration— and recommend some things you can do at home or safely out and about. Please continue to support the arts during this difficult time. 

A Pho Love Story

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A PHO Love Story

Author Loan Le delivers wholesome hilarity in A Pho Love Story, the tale of two Vietnamese-American teens who fall in love despite the longtime feud between their quirky-but-lovable families. After spending years avoiding one another because their families own competing restaurants in the same neighborhood, teens Bao and Linh are drawn together in a secret relationship through mutual attraction and shared experiences. There’s more to this novel than a sweet love story, however. The book is also an insight into Vietnamese culture, an homage to food and an affectionate look at the relatable foibles of family.

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Checking In with Michelle Williams

Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams gets personal about depression in this podcast on coping with mental health challenges. Each week, Williams interviews a new guest, talking frankly about depression, anxiety and other struggles and sharing strategies for self-care, restoration and support. Williams is an excellent host, gently guiding her guests through their stories and encouraging them to open up and share. The discussions that result are intimate and revealing, creating a sense of commiseration with the audience that lets them know that not only are they not alone, there is hope for finding internal peace.

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Funfair

Build the best theme park in town in this new card drafting game from Good Games Publishing. Created for two to four players, Funfair has you build fancy attractions, hire staff and add modifications to your park to bring in new guests. The gameplay is fast and fairly easy to master, although the strategy aspect is a bit more engaging and likely earned the game its 14+ age recommendation. The best part of the game is that Funfair avoids negative player interaction, making it a nice activity devoid of the feuds and grousing that can sometimes ruin an afternoon of play. In short, Funfair is perfect for days when you really want to play a game, but cabin fever has made the prospect of friendly competition a little dicey. 

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Willy’s Wonderland

Nicolas Cage has never been particularly selective in his role choices but as he enters the twilight of his career he seems to be hellbent on picking the weirdest scripts possible, much to the delight — or chagrin — of many. Willy’s Wonderland is the latest in Nick’s odyssey of oddities, placing him in an abandoned children’s pizza arcade and pitting him against its decrepit animatronic denizens in the fight of his life. His character never speaks in the film but a fun supporting cast fills in the gaps just fine. It’s not a masterpiece of cinema, but it is a bizarre, funny and gory way to spend an evening.