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Theatre

A&E - Theater

Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet

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.

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A&E - Theater

Home on the Stage

Home on the Stage

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.

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A&E - Theater

The Big Send-off

The Big Send-off

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.”       

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A&E - Theater

Leading Rainbow

Leading Rainbow

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.

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A&E - Theater

Around the Rim in Seven Days

Around the Rim in Seven Days

Pacific Rim Film Festival celebrates 25 years of cross-cultural understanding

Break out the silver confetti! One of Santa Cruz's most beloved cultural events, the Pacific Rim Film Festival, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Originally inspired by the Hawaii International Film Festival, our own home-grown PRFF marks its first quarter-century with an expanded program centered around the theme "East Meets West: When Strangers Meet;” 20 films from 12 countries will unspool over seven days, Oct. 17-23, at four venues county-wide. And, as always, except for the closing-night fundraiser, every single film will be shown free of charge.

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A&E - Theater

Major Tom

Major Tom

Stoppard's ambitious 'Arcadia' launches new JTC season

Tom Stoppard's plays are not for the intellectually faint of heart. In his dazzling and accomplished “Arcadia,” the playwright's roving mind and lively wit concoct a densely-packed thematic narrative touching on mathematics and physics, English history and culture, landscape gardening, the Romantic movement, academic infighting, Lord Byron, and, of course, sex and literature. It's a long, smart, frequently funny play, and Jewel Theatre Company enhances its reputation for ambitious productions by staging “Arcadia” to kick off its ninth season.

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A&E - Theater

Divine and Conquer

Divine and Conquer

Shakespeare Santa Cruz hits one out of the park with ‘Henry V’

Shakespeare Santa Cruz has earned a sterling reputation for presenting the playwright’s classics in a contemporary light that everyone—from the seasoned theatergoer to the Shakespeare novice, and now Game of Thrones fans—can appreciate.

In its latest production, “Henry V,” which runs Aug. 6-Sept. 1 at the majestic Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen, SSC presents the final segment of the trilogy preceded by 2011’s “Henry IV Part One” and 2012’s “Henry IV Part Two.” Though less well known than, say, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare’s “history plays”—if you can get past the dull moniker—have their own share of action, wit and humor.

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A&E - Theater

More Than OK

More Than OK

Nearly flawless, Cabrillo Stage’s ‘Oklahoma!’ is musical theater at its finest

Oklahoma!” first opened on Broadway in March of 1943. From its first raised curtain, it was a bona fide hit and managed to run for more than 2,000 performances. Few were surprised—and even fewer minded—that it went on to be revived numerous times thereafter, enjoying national tours and foreign productions. The 1955 film version helped fuel its success, too—it created a real star out of then up-and-coming Shirley Jones. But somewhere as the show evolved, the musical love story set against the easy-breezy plains in 1906—the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (“Carousel,” “The King and I,” “The Sound of Music”)—managed to illuminate what it meant to be an American and, perhaps, what it is that makes us human.

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A&E - Theater

Love Match

Love Match

Laughter and love reign in SSC’s gorgeous ‘Taming of the Shrew’

Shakespeare Santa Cruz launches its 2013 season with a crowd-pleasing, often uproarious production of “The Taming of the Shrew.” The company has a newly rebuilt and reconfigured performance space to show off in the Sinsheimer/Stanley Festival Glen, with cleaner aisles and better sightlines for the audience (although to the lay viewer, nothing appears to be radically altered), and they inaugurate it in style with this visually gorgeous production.

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A&E - Theater

Child’s Play

Child’s Play

Inside the mind of the ‘Weird Al of children’s theater'

Often referred to as the “Weird Al of children’s theater,” Janinne Chadwick has spent the better part of the last 13 years rewriting traditional fairytales and folktales with a contemporary twist, and bringing them to life onstage.

Her most recent project, “Alice’s Avengers in Underland”—think “Alice in Wonderland” meets the 1960s Batman television series—will open Little People’s Repertory Theatre’s summer season, July 25-Aug. 4 at Park Hall in Ben Lomond.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Roger That

The late film critic Robert Ebert profiled in lively doc, ‘Life Itself’

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.