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Jun 30th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

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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Literature

What Next?

What Next?

A unique Bookshop event poses tough questions regarding the inexorable inevitability of death
Something about the uncertainty of what happens after death leaves people shaking in their boots. Is there an afterlife? Do we simply cease to exist? Mankind has been asking these questions for centuries, yet the mystery still remains.
However, the way in which people respond to death varies drastically by culture. Renowned dancer, teacher, choreographer and director Tandy Beal, along with her husband, composer Jon Scoville, became interested in the topic of the afterlife and decided that it should be discussed openly instead of people cowering away from the subject and keeping it under wraps.

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Theater

Challenging Times

Challenging Times

Actors’ Theatre faces financial troubles
The recession has lambasted everything from mom-and-pop businesses to large corporations, but perhaps the most battered and bruised entity is the arts. We all remember the financial debacle that nearly canceled Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s 2009 summer season, but now the tides have turned on one of Downtown Santa Cruz’s own.

Tucked into the back corner of an unassuming Center Street building, sits Actors’ Theatre, an 88-seat black box where locals have come to see classical, contemporary and new plays, as well as improv, for the last 25 years.

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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’