Orton’s crazed spirit lives in JTC’s hilarious ‘What the Butler Saw’
Two Santa Cruz teenage friends reunite under the bright lights of Broadway
When Arianne Phillips and Valerie Marcus Ramshur were teenage friends in Santa Cruz, they spent their days cutting and re-sewing clothing bought from weekend trips to the Bargain Barn. Now, 30 years later, the duo is still designing clothes, but their skills are on display on a much larger stage—Broadway.
Complex family mysteries saturate JTC's 'Three Days of Rain'
Evidently we have the Jewel Theatre Company to thank for the much-needed downpour recently. There must have been some sympathetic juju involved in JTC opening a play called “Three Days of Rain” just when Santa Cruz needed it most! The phrase in the title, besides being at the top of everyone's weather wish-list for the past few months, turns out to have special significance within the context of the play itself, a generational drama about family, secrets, and destiny.
Shakespeare Play On breathes new life into Shakespeare Santa Cruz
For the past three decades, Shakespeare’s robust and witty dialogue could be heard echoing throughout The Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen outdoor theater at UC Santa Cruz on any given summer evening. Amidst food-scattered picnic blankets, the community sat rapt by the onstage antics of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or the drama of “Romeo and Juliet.”
But on Aug. 26, 2013, UC Santa Cruz announced that, due to worsening budget challenges to the university and the professional repertory company being deeply in debt, Shakespeare Santa Cruz would be forced to end its 32-year run.
Spirit of the ’60s alive in Richard Stockton's entertaining 'Are We There Yet?
They say if you remember the ’60s, you weren't there. But don't say it to Richard Stockton. The longtime stand-up comic, monologist, and chief perpetrator of the Planet Cruz live comedy revues not only remembers the 1960s (and the postwar decade that spawned them), he traces the influence of that era on the popular and political culture of today in his entertaining one-man comedy extravaganza, “Are We There Yet?” now showing at Broadway Playhouse.
New musical, ‘Lunch,’ launches at Cabrillo Stage
You can't get much further off-Broadway than Cabrillo Stage, at least geographically. Yet CS may be instrumental in launching a new musical on the road with its spirited production of “Lunch.” Instead of its usual year-end holiday production, CS opted this season for a new year's show, a modern urban fable about life, love, answered prayers, and second chances—a subject the authors know something about.
Drama unfolds in just 10 minutes at annual 8 Tens @ Eight Festival
It started as a local contest, challenging Santa Cruz and Bay Area playwrights to create complete plays that run exactly 10 minutes for possible inclusion in a miniature theater festival. Nineteen years later, The 8 Tens @ Eight Festival draws submissions from around the world, and is considered both a time-honored and well-loved tradition in the local theater scene.
Produced by Santa Cruz County Actors’ Theatre, 8 Tens @ Eight runs Jan. 3-26 at Center Stage Theater, and features all local actors and directors. This year’s contest winners include “Nevermore” by Kat Meads, “Speed Dating” by James Chadbourn, “Santa Story” by Mark Cornell, “Last and Always” by Allan Baker, “Motherhood” by Elyce Melmon, “Waiting for 7” by Phillip Hall, “The Return” by Ross Tandowsky, and “Strawberry Fields” by Ian McRae.
JTC dishes up folksy, lighthearted musical revue ‘Pump Boys and Dinettes'
After the intellectual acrobatics of its last offering, Tom Stoppard's “Arcadia,” the Jewel Theatre Company does something completely different for its new production, “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” It's all about the music in this lighthearted, country-pop musical revue. The Center Stage theater space is transformed into a roadside diner somewhere along Highway 57 in North Carolina, where a six-man musical combo and two perky waitresses invite the audience in for two fleet hours of songs, dancing, and good times.
An inside look at Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s final production, ‘It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’
Harking back to a time when the entertainment industry relied mainly on radio, this year’s Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) holiday production retells an American classic the same way a 1940s radio station would.
“It was a very common practice in the ’40s to perform a play on the radio,” explains Lydia Bushfield, SSC properties manager and prop master. “While it was being broadcast, an audience could come watch the radio actors while they voiced all the different characters and the live foley [or sound effects], and enjoy the story in person.”
UCSC’s Rainbow Theater celebrates 20 years of breaking down cultural walls and promoting dialogue
For two decades, Don Williams has opened every Rainbow Theater production at UC Santa Cruz with a boisterous call and response between himself and the audience: “Rainbow, Rainbow!” “Rainbow, Rainbow!”
The chant is both a greeting and a celebration between members of the company—the only student-run, multicultural theater in the UC system—and their supporters.