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Your summer 2021 media guide: In-person premieres, series finales, and new beginnings

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This special edition of the “Reliable Sources” newsletter is a look ahead to the next three months in pop culture, politics, business, tech, and more.

The summer of 2021 is about vaccinations and unmaskings and in-person premieres and “post-pandemic life” -— albeit at different paces for different people. And plans keep evolving as Covid-19 evolves. “As more people get vaccinated and government Covid regulations seem to change by the week, concert and theater venues are scrambling to keep up and figure out when and how to welcome back the crowds they depend on,” Adam Nagourney of The New York Times wrote. The Hollywood Bowl, for instance, is now on “Plan C.”

Whether Plan C or D or E, it’s going to be a summer of Roaring ’20s parties and “TikTok mobs.” It’s “America’s Reunion Summer,” as Jennifer Levitz of the Wall Street Journal proclaimed. Hopefully it’ll be a “summer of play” for kids and a “summer of reconnection” for adults and a summer of health for all. Let’s get to it with calendar listings, movie previews, new book releases and more.

Premieres, finales, and new beginnings

June 1: The beginning of Pride Month

June 9: The Tribeca Film Festival opens in NYC

June 14: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” welcomes back a full studio audience

June 18: The Obama Portraits begin a nationwide tour at the Art Institute of Chicago

June 24: The “Conan” finale airs on TBS

June 27: The BET Awards

July 3: The Hollywood Bowl reopens with Kool & the Gang

July 6: Shakespeare in the Park returns to Central Park

July 9: “Black Widow” lands in theaters

July 10: The Boston Symphony Orchestra opens its Tanglewood season, resuming live performances “for the first time since March 2020″

July 27: The Summer Olympics are slated to begin in Tokyo

July 29: Lollapalooza, “one of the first multi-day music festivals to return,” begins at Grant Park

August 30: The US Open begins in Queens

September 2: “Hadestown” reopens on Broadway, two weeks ahead of the NYC theater industry’s broader reopening

September 2: The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival begins

Tribeca will be a big moment

It has all the makings of a New York-is-back moment: “In The Heights,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s love letter to Washington Heights, will open the iconic Tribeca Film Festival on June 9, two days before its long-awaited wide release. To make it an even bigger event, the festival is holding screenings in every borough. “Tribeca has been moving forward with an increasingly in-person festival as the city continues to emerge from pandemic restrictions,” Deadline’s Patrick Hipes reports. “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” will have its world premiere on June 11. Steven Soderbergh’s crime drama “No Sudden Move” will premiere on June 18. And there are many more…

Hollywood’s comeback story

Megan Thomas writes: “Hollywood loves a comeback story and the stage appears set for one in entertainment this summer. If this weekend’s pandemic box office record for ‘A Quiet Place II’ and the movie ads on billboards and building sides along Sunset Blvd. are any indication, it’s popcorn season once again. I saw families lined up outside the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. over the weekend to see ‘Cruella,’ a street that’s been ghostly for most of the pandemic. It feels like Los Angeles is slowly waking up…”

Key theatrical dates

June 11: “In the Heights.” June 18: “Luca,” “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” and “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.” June 25: “F9.” July 2: “The Forever Purge” and “Summer of Soul.” July 9: “Black Widow.” July 16: “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” July 23: “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania,” “OLD” and “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins.” July 30: “Jungle Cruise.” August 6: “The Suicide Squad.” August 13: “CODA,” “Free Guy” and “Respect.” August 20: “Reminiscence” and “Cryptozoo.” August 27: “Candyman” and “The Beatles: Get Back.”

And that’s just a sampling of the films coming to theaters this summer. (Some will also stream at the same time.) Check The AP and Rotten Tomatoes for fuller lists.

Streaming events

Along with day-and-date releases like “In The Heights” and “Black Widow,” there are lots of streaming-only events on the calendar. Lisa Respers France has a streaming guide to June here. Some dates:

June 7: Season two of “Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries” on AcornTV. June 9: “Loki” on Disney+. June 17: A revival of “iCarly” on Paramount+. June 30: “America: The Motion Picture” on Netflix. July 2: “The Tomorrow War” on Amazon Prime Video and the first installment of the “Fear Street Trilogy” on Netflix. July 23: “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” on Netflix and season two of “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+. August 18: “Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu.

Global sports highlights

The UEFA European Championship begins June 11… the Tour de France begins on June 26… the Wimbledon Championships return on June 28… The NBA Finals start on July 8… and the Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 23, despite many misgivings about the Olympic plans. The NFL preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game between the Steelers and Cowboys on August 5. The Paralympic Games are slated to begin on August 24.

A few of this summer’s new books

New nonfiction titles this week include Dan Abrams’ “Kennedy’s Avenger;” Sasha Issenberg’s “The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage;” Carol Anderson’s “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America;” Bill Bratton’s “The Profession;” Clint Smith’s “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America;” Jean Becker’s “The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H. W. Bush’s Post-Presidency;” and Alice Waters’ “We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto.”

Next week’s new releases include Lawrence Wright’s “The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid” and Emma Goldberg’s “Life on the Line: Young Doctors Come of Age in a Pandemic.” And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the brand-new paperback edition of my book “HOAX,” which also comes out next Tuesday.

Here’s a very incomplete look at other titles coming out this summer. June 15: Scott Borchert’s “Republic of Detours: How the New Deal Paid Broke Writers to Rediscover America;” George Packer’s “Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal;” and Rosecrans Baldwin’s “Everything Now: Lessons from the City-State of Los Angeles.” June 22: Mike Rothschild’s “The Storm is Upon Us,” about QAnon. July 6: Christopher Cox’s “The Deadline Effect;” Elie Honig’s “Hatchet Man;” and Michael Pollan’s “This is Your Mind on Plants.” July 13: Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang’s “An Ugly Truth,” about Facebook; Rachel B. Vogelstein and Meighan Stone’s “Awakening,” about #MeToo; and Mark Levin’s “American Marxism.” July 20: Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell’s “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” July 27: Ilhan Omar’s autobiography “This Is What America Looks Like.” August 3: Adam Serwer’s “The Cruelty is the Point.” August 17: Lizzie Johnson’s “Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire.”

For more, check out LitHub’s list. And for further lists, including fiction titles, check out TIME, Vulture, or the NY Post.

Key media industry dates

June 7 to 11: Apple’s WWDC 2021

June 12 to 15: the E3 gaming expo

June 25: the Daytime Emmy Awards air on CBS and Paramount+

July 6 to 17: the Cannes Film Festival, though there are many “uncertainties”

July 13: Primetime Emmy nominations are announced

July 23 to 25: Comic-Con festivities are @Home for a second year

Summer wildcards

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will welcome a baby girl sometime this summer.

A cat will likely join the Biden household.

Discovery and WarnerMedia will reveal the name of their to-be-combined company.

The New York Times may strike a deal with The Athletic. Axel Springer may spring for Axios.

Amazon Prime Days will likely take place in June, but the dates have not been announced.

The Pentagon’s UFO report may be released.

Events near you

Via local media sources, here are some local what-to-do recommendations for folks in the Hudson Valley of NY, the Hamptons, the DC area, Chicago, and the SF Bay.

Notes and quotes

— The New York Times ended its pandemic-era At Home print section on Sunday with a hopeful message: “We are heading out the door.” (NYT)

— Smithsonian museums are reopening on a staggered schedule throughout the summer. (WJLA)

— Theme parks are also reopening and expanding capacity, step by step. Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, says “I think we will see the pre-pandemic experience return later in the summer.” (WaPo)

— Savvy news sites have it both ways: The Los Angeles Times, for example, has a list of “20 gloriously crowded, sweaty and loud music festivals” andthe 20 shows worth staying inside for this summer.”

— And here’s some useful advice to end on: “Before filling up your calendar, take a moment to slow down and carve out some open, unstructured time to rejuvenate and prepare yourself for post-pandemic life.” (NYT)

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

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