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Jul 31st
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Theater

Passion Play

Passion Play

A few words with those who know Shakespeare best

When it comes to Shakespeare Santa Cruz, there’s much ado about something. Year after year, the revered company brings William Shakespeare’s words to life on our side of the western world. This year, season 26, features two Shakespeare plays, one play by J.M. Synge and another by Samuel Beckett. And at the endgame of this season (with the holiday show) artistic director Paul Whitworth will take a bow and move on to his next endeavor.

The summer season delivers four compelling shows: “Much Ado About Nothing” directed by Kim Rubinstein, “The Tempest” directed by Kirsten Brandt, “The Playboy of the Western World” directed by Robert Moss and “Endgame” directed by Peter Lichtenfels.

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Theater

Round Two

Round Two

The curtain rises for ‘Kiss Me Kate’

When the words “Kiss Me” are in a play title, you can expect fireworks, chemistry and plenty of romantic tension. All of the above, of course, create the perfect fodder for a musical, and that’s exactly what Cabrillo Stage has tapped into with its second summer production this year, “Kiss Me Kate.” Staged in the  Cabrillo College Theater, the show will be a much larger scale production than “Little Shop of Horrors,” which is showing until July 22 at the Erica Schilling Forum on the Cabrillo College campus. The classic story follows two couples that are starring in “The Taming of the Shrew.”  In essence, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at a behind-the-scenes play, featuring quarreling lovers. Is there anything better to see onstage?

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Literature

Elizabeth Tells All

Award-winning local writer, Elizabeth McKenzie visits Bookshop Santa Cruz

Elizabeth McKenzie needs a strong cup of coffee. She just blasted into California on a plane from Italy and she’s a little wiped out. The up-and-coming member of literature’s elite is headed home to Santa Cruz, where she’ll begin another exhausting, but rewarding adventure—a book tour for her first novel, “MacGregor Tells The World.”

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A&E

Movie With Might

Movie With Might

Jolie shines in ‘A Mighty Heart’

Watching a woman wail for her just-pronounced dead husband gets to you. How could it not? And when the woman in question has just undergone a five-week ordeal, trying to find her kidnapped husband, you can’t help but get emotional when watching her breakdown. This pivotal scene happens at the end of A Mighty Heart, which opens at the Nick and stars Angelina Jolie in an understated, spellbinding performance as Mariane Pearl, the woman whose husband is killed in the film.

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A&E

Horse of a Different Color

Horse of a Different Color

Local opera singer shines on ‘America’s Got Talent’

When Dorothy Donell was 21, she was gearing up for an audition at Juilliard, the prestigious fine arts university. But fate decided to step in. And so did her horse—it bonked her in the mouth and her tooth was chipped, prompting her to visit her uncle’s dentist, and there she met her husband, a recent dentistry grad. Life took a different direction for her at that point. While Donell’s dreams of studying opera at Juilliard went untapped, she didn’t stop singing. Many years later, another horse (and her exquisite voice) would open new doors for her—as in live television.

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A&E

Love Pains

Love Pains

Documentary exposes love’s dirty deeds

Love—it is fundamentally wonderful, nutty, crazy and unexplainable. There are high school sweethearts, adult lovers, marriage partners and then there’s psychotic love, the type that has the capacity to overlook things like abuse, or say, maybe someone throwing acid in your face to purposefully disfigure you. This type of “love” is at the heart of Crazy Love, a wildly disturbing, yet fascinating documentary that takes a look at an obsessive relationship that spans about 50 years.

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A&E

The Living Dead

The Living Dead

Young Santa Cruzans show off their zombie flick at the Rio

I usually detest gory films. And zombie movies. Puh-lease. What about gory, zombie student films? Could prove to be a bloody mess (both onscreen and in the production value). But when three young filmmakers (two recent UC Santa Cruz grads and one current junior) came knocking, and knocking, and knocking on GT’s doors, we knew their film had some life.

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A&E

Gamers, Not Geeks

Gamers, Not Geeks

Two Santa Cruz video game designers break down life as a gamer

At Sundance, they wear Ugg boots, hair is coiffed, and “independent” movies are splashed across the screens. Glamour is in full force. At the Independent Game Festival (IGF)—which was held in San Francisco in February this year—it’s a vastly different independent scene. This one is without the paparazzi fuss and the Hollywood hoo-hah; it honors independent artists who make video games.

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A&E

Cows, Boxes and Poetry

Cows, Boxes and Poetry

The Tannery Project gets its first residents with the Dead Cow Gallery

At the entrance to Highway 9, a rickety homemade sign says in white painted letters, “Dead Cow Gallery.” With that sort of advertising, you have to turn on your blinker and veer down the gravely driveway to find out exactly what “Dead Cow Gallery” is. Is it a real gallery, out in the midst of a construction site? Is it a new burger joint? Or is it the latest leather shoe store? You’re not sure what you’ll find, but the sign is too mysterious and the location too bizarre to do anything else but take yourself on an adventure.

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Theater

The City of Lights

The City of Lights

Mountain Community Theater finds a new approach to drama

Three guys walk into a bar: Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and Elvis. Surreal? Yes. But the concept isn’t too far from reality or from Santa Cruz, as the encounter happens on stage this weekend with Mountain Community Theater’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” The quirky and reportedly “hilarious” play, written by über funny man, Steve Martin, takes place in Paris, 1904. In a mysterious bar somewhere in the City of Lights, these three geniuses stumble upon one another. Normally, that might seem like an idea that’s way too over the top. But in the hands of Martin, we are likely to forget the impossibility of such a meeting, and instead eavesdrop on what this strange gathering of men will bring about. (Laughs, for sure.)

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The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

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