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Feb 11th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Theater

The Reason to Be

The Reason to BeLocal Jewish Theatre company connects people with the Jewish experience

Every time they stage a new play, she’s remembered. Liliana Moraru, in many ways, was at the forefront of getting Santa Cruz’s Jewish Theatre launched, along with renowned local director/teacher Wilma Marcus Chandler and Claire Cameron. In 2009, Chandler gathered a group of actors and crewmembers, many connected with Temple Beth El in Aptos, and asked if they would be associated with putting together large-scale productions at the temple. However, the temple’s schedule wasn’t able to accommodate mounting major theater productions.

The next year, in 2010, the fledgling group morphed into a legitimate company with its first major production, “Crossing Delancey.” Moraru was supposed to be a part of the project, but sadly, she passed away before seeing the play. The company, now on its feet, knew its official name—The Liliana Moraru Santa Cruz Jewish Theatre. From there, the community theater group has been performing and producing steadily, with work that is either written by a Jewish person or has at the heart of the play a topic important to Jewish life.

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Theater

The World Accordion to Al

The World Accordion to Al

He’s lampooned hernias, morbid obesity and surgical catastrophies. Now Weird Al shows us the lighter side of the apocalypse.

It’s tempting to read between the lines of “Skipper Dan,” a Weezer-esque pop-rocker off “Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest album, Alpocalypse. Here, the veteran musical satirist sings from the perspective of an actor who starred in every high school play and graduated first in his class at Juilliard, only to end up as the tour guide on the Jungle Cruise ride at a Disney Park: “Now I’m laughing at my own jokes, but I’m crying inside … I should’ve listened when my grandfather said, ‘Why don’t you major in business instead?’” In light of Yankovic’s own academic creds (after scoring straight As throughout high school and graduating as valedictorian at age 16, he earned a degree in architecture at California Polytechnic State University), could this song be a veiled confession that he’s fed up with playing “My Balogna” and “Eat It” night after night?

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A&E

Wag More, Bark Less

Wag More, Bark Less

Lifelong dog friendship inspires children’s book series ‘Adventures of Jack and Rugby’

It was the dogs that brought them together. Tory Beale and Cynthia Messer had known each other throughout their sons’ schooling, but it wasn’t until the two families coincidentally adopted puppies within a few months of each other that they began to meet for weekly play-dates. Puppy play-dates, that is.

“As the dogs got to be good friends, we got to be good friends,” says Messer. Amidst those first years of puppy teething and potty training, little did the women know that their adventures with the dogs would form the makings of a children’s book. And as that first book evolved, they wrote another; and then two more. Finally, they had a series.

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A&E

Not Fade Away

Not Fade Away

UCSC’s ‘Attics of Our Lives’ exhibit helps keep the spirit of the Dead alive

Nearly two decades after The Grateful Dead’s demise, the band continues to inspire near-religious devotion among its worldwide fan base. If you never caught a Dead show back in the day, you might well wonder what all the squawk is about. Nicholas Meriwether, director of the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library, offers an excellent explanation for the lasting impression that the band has made.

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A&E

Casting Call: Sunday, Oct. 30

Casting  Call: Sunday, Oct. 30

Attention: Working, professional, up-and-coming and aspiring actors, Impact is hosting a casting call for the films that you see published in GT this week. Please bring a headshot and resume (if you have them) as well as a demo reel or any other professional video footage on a DVD (if you have it). If you don’t have professional acting materials, no worries, just come prepared. Scripts will be present at the auditions, or you can cut them out of the paper, or download below.

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A&E

Birth of a Wearable Art Ball

Birth of a Wearable Art Ball

MAH’s bold Halloween outing promises to be a visual treat

Give a Santa Cruzan a reason to don a costume and he or she will not disappoint—the chimerical and freakish are celebrated on the streets of downtown each Halloween in all their outlandish splendor. As if Halloween alone were not reason enough, this year marks the first ever Wearable Art Ball at the Museum of Art & History (MAH), with the easy-to-work-with theme, Fractured Fairy Tales. Imagine the modern open space as a blank canvas on which to paint a whimsical Halloween portrait the Brothers Grimm would be proud of—the idea is simply a match made in, well … Santa Cruz.

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A&E

Bursting at the Seams

Bursting at the Seams

Local craftsman designs totes for men

The murse—a man purse. That’s the slang term for a messenger bag, a tote—anything that a man uses to carry his stuff around. Just like women, men also have things to haul around. Now, they can do it in style and without that dreaded “murse” title attached to their carryall. Meet Garrett Kautz, who has revolutionized the idea of a man-purse and made it not only hip and stylish to carry a tote bag, but extremely practical, very manly, and quite rugged. So much so that his rough and tumble bags are being sold at places like Unionmade (a very Americana/manly/upscale store in San Francisco), as well as at local Downtown Santa Cruz retailer Stripe.

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A&E

The Poems of Rob Wilson

The Poems of Rob Wilson

Editor’s note:  In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Rob Sean Wilson, a professor of literature, creative writing, and cultural studies at UC Santa Cruz. He was founding editor of the Berkeley Poetry Review in 1974 as a graduate student in English at UC Berkeley. He has continued writing works of scholarship and poetry from Hawai'i to Hong Kong. His latest book is called “Beat Atttitudes: On the Roads to Beatitude for Post-Beat Writers, Dharma Bums, and Cultural-Political Activists” which will be published by New Pacific Press of Santa Cruz, an offspring of Literary Guillotine Bookstore.

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A&E

Lighting Up

Lighting Up

Blue Light Safety Project offers shelter but raises questions

Imagine walking down a dark street flickering with shadows. Or worse, imagine that you are being pursued by someone unsafe on that same dark street. Now picture a halo of blue light glowing from a nearby porch. Imagine that this blue light signifies a safe place to stop, make a phone call—or perhaps even share a meal or stay for the night.

If it sounds comforting to know that there are safe houses where you can seek refuge in your neighborhood, that’s exactly what organizers of the Blue Light Safety Project intend. The idea is simple: anyone can install a blue bulb in their porch light bulb socket and this will let neighbors, community members or passersby know that they are welcome to knock on the door if they feel threatened or unsafe.

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A&E

What's Up, Doc?

What's Up, Doc?

Real stories take center stage in 23rd Annual Pacific Rim Film Festival (schedule below)

Truth may not be stranger than fiction, but reality is every bit as compelling in this year's edition of the Pacific Rim Film Festival. Now in its 23rd year, Santa Cruz's favorite free film festival unspools Oct. 14-19, at three locations: The Del Mar Theatre, the Rio Theatre, and Cabrillo College Watsonville Center. As usual, the festival presents films from all around the Pacific Rim, from China, Japan, the Philippines, India, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia to Mexico, Hawaii and the U. S. mainland. And of the 19 films served up in this year's festival, nine are documentaries, including the opening night kickoff event and the closing night benefit. Three other films in the lineup are fact-based stories, lightly fictionalized accounts of real people and real-life events.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster