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Dec 19th
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Theatre

A&E - Theater

Boomers On Broadway

Boomers On Broadway

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.

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A&E - Theater

Lift Off

Lift Off

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.

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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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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire