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Feb 27th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Theater

Tropical Punch

Tropical Punch

Lively cast makes the most of Cuba-set comedy 'Clouds'
Four men, one woman, a vintage Cadillac, and miles and miles of hot, dusty roads on the island of Cuba, 10 years after the Revolution. Are they in Paradise or Hell, on the road to destiny or disaster? The answer is all of the above as the opinions of these characters—and the audience—shift like errant trade winds from moment to moment, in Michael Frayn's comedy, “Clouds,” the lively inaugural production of the sixth season of Santa Cruz's own Jewel Theatre Company.

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Theater

Comedic ‘Clouds’

Comedic ‘Clouds’

Director Susan Myer Silton returns with a new—and funny—endeavor
She’s back. After a year-long sabbatical, revered local theater director Susan Myer Silton is back in the director’s chair, and this time around, she’s ratcheting everything up several notches. And that’s a hard feat, considering that Myer Silton is the co-founder and artistic director of the popular and edgy Pisces Moon theater company that for years has been turning out stellar dramatic work. But with her new play, “Clouds,” produced by Jewel Theatre of San Jose, Myer Silton is indeed upping the ante. This time around, she’s working with an equity company, and staging a play that’s using some equity actors, and in addition, she’ll play only the role of director this time. No longer does she have to write the grants, hire the lighting guy and so on. Her skills are purely focused on one thing—directing “Clouds,” which opens on Sept. 16 at the Broadway Playhouse in Santa Cruz.

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Theater

Busy Signals

Busy Signals

Our obsessions with cell phones becomes evident in new play
Gerry Gerringer, artistic director of Actors’ Theatre, is kicking off the company’s 26th season with a play you’ve probably never heard of. “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” may not have the theatrical history of a Shakespeare comedy, but it’s the perfect example of what’s hot right now in contemporary playwriting.

Sarah Ruhl, who was nominated for a 2010 Tony award for her play “In the Next Room,” wrote this new dark comedy, which revolves around Jean (Julia Cunningham), a woman who answers a stranger’s phone when it won’t stop ringing, only to find out that the man is dead. Rather than seek medical assistance for him, Jean gets herself entangled in his dysfunctional relationships with his alienated widow, his commanding mother and his mysterious mistress, and even falls in love with his lonely brother.

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Theater

Here and Now and There

Here and Now and ThereTandy Beal’s representation of the afterlife looks downright inviting
“HereAfterHere: A Self-guided Tour of Eternity” is a new musical produced by Tandy Beal that deals with a topic intimately connected to each and every one of us—death and the afterlife. Logically, we know this point in our lives is inevitable, yet no one seems to want to face the macabre topic head on. “HereAfterHere” will force you to confront your destiny in an honest and at-times humorous way and will leave you pondering the possibility of the afterlife like you never have before. 
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Literature

The Science of Space

The Science of SpaceMary Roach’s latest book illuminates the strange yet true facts of space travel
If you thought her first three books (“Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers,” “Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife,” and “Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex”) were disgusting, yet you were struck by the strange affliction of being unable to put them down, just wait until you read “Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void,” Mary Roach’s fourth scientifically based book that explores the oddities of human beings in unusual situations—this time focuses on space travel.
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A&E

Arts and Crafts

Arts and CraftsThe Crafter’s Studio opens for its second time
It’s a blistering hot day in late August, and a woman ducks out of the heat and sweeps through the front door of The Crafter’s Studio, rushes straight to Rebecca Clinger, and says something along the lines of, “I heard there’s a class where I can make pajama pants. Sign me up.”
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Literature

Real Meal

Real Meal‘Women Food and God’ is a delicious literary meal
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”    —Carl Jung

Geneen Roth’s incisive and well-written book “Women Food and God” is a timely book. I don’t know if eating problems have proliferated but women today certainly discuss them more openly than in previous generations.
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A&E

The Little Store That Could

The Little Store That Could

First-time business owner opens hippie chic boutique
It was March, Terra Lynn’s birthday, and she and a friend were perusing their Chinese astrological signs on an iPhone app. Lynn discovered she was a “water dog,” and one of her descriptive features was that she was also a “wallflower.”“I’m a one-on-one kind of person … I don’t like being the center of attention,” she says.

So when she opened up her own hippie chic boutique at the south end of Pacific Avenue this summer, and decided to name it Wallflower, she was choosing a very non-wallflower sort of lifestyle. As a person who doesn’t like to be the center of attention, she just thrust herself into it.

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Literature

Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring

Plus Good Times Book Picks
Jonathan Franzen’s latest release lends impellent view to modern America

For anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of reading part time local author Jonathan Franzen’s works, his stellar new book “Freedom” is just the place to begin. Epic in theme, yet with a microscopic clarity of character, “Freedom” delves deep into the American psyche posing handfuls of those pesky ‘what if’ questions that human beings plague themselves with on a daily basis. What if I didn’t get married? What if I didn’t have children? What if I chose a different career? Will asking these unanswerable questions really help us move forward with our lives?

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A&E

The City

The CityImpact Media Group takes business to the city but stays grounded in Santa Cruz
It’s hard to make a name for your business on a global scale when you’re based in a small town like Santa Cruz. It’s even harder if you’re a production company.
Impact Media Group on Soquel Avenue may be 340 miles from Hollywood, but the company has a history of accolades including a 1984 Academy Award nomination for founder Eric Thiermann’s film In the Nuclear Shadow: What Can the Children Tell Us? and an Oscar for his 1986 documentary short Women for America.

Thiermann, who was in the first graduating class at UC Santa Cruz, founded the company in 1976. Impact started out producing a documentary about artists in maximum security prisons, then moved on to filming music videos starring artists like James Brown, then on to high profile weddings. Today, Impact creates everything from documentaries, to technical product videos for Silicon Valley companies, to TV commercials for brands, to educational videos and everything in between.
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Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
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Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia