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.
Slow start, but big finish in SSC “Othello”
It's cold on these foggy summer nights in the Festival Glen up at UC Santa Cruz. But don't worry: the action heats up to stunning conclusion in "Othello," the third production of Shakespeare Santa Cruz's 29th summer season. It does take a while for director Pam McKinnon's modern-dress production of Shakespeare's tragedy of love, race and jealousy to catch fire; the intensity of the second half, including McKinnon's gutsy staging of the finale, far outshines the slower-moving first half with all its exposition. But a few impressive key performances—most notably Corey Jones' majestic Othello—keep the audience intrigued throughout.
Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s ‘Love’s Labors Lost’ shines
Rap music, dancing soccer players, dreadlocks, joint smoking, and a bicycle cop eating donuts would come as no shock to any Santa Cruzan. That is except, perhaps, as elements of a Shakespeare production. Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s 29th season includes all of these things and then some, and succeeds in carrying the markedly era-confined play over into the 21st century.
Under the clever direction of Scott Wentworth, Shakespeare Santa Cruz breaks “Love’s Labor’s Lost” from its traditionally unpopular role. On opening night, well-timed laughter spills from coat-clad audience members that sit in the UC Santa Cruz Festival Glen and trickles across the wooden set back through a backdrop of redwood trees. “Love’s Labor’s Lost” is a highly intellectual work that uses the elaborate witticisms of Shakespeare in the 1590s to grapple with the victories and inadequacies of language in relationships. The droll plot tests the oaths of the king and his men, sending them on abrupt forays into matters of the heart when the Princess of France and her ladies come to stay. The play dabbles with everything from love, to loss, to sex, to death, learning, duty, and wisdom.
Actor Corey Jones takes a deep look at his Shakespearean character
It takes one passionate actor to agree to play the same role twice, but when Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Marco Barricelli, asked Corey Jones if he would star as Othello for the second time in his career, Jones jumped at the opportunity.
A resident actor at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria for the last three years, Jones earned his acting chops with a wide variety of roles ranging from Max Dettweiler in “The Sound of Music,” to Macbeth, to Aslan in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” But it was not until he scored the role of Othello at PCPA, that he discovered his true passion for Shakespeare.
Show’s actors, ensemble ignite the Cabrillo Stage
When director Trevor Little took on the task of bringing all the glitz, glamour and grime of 1931 Germany to life, he had one choice: go big or go home. Lucky for us, he chose the former. With an awe-inspiring cast of commanding vocalists and dancers, an enveloping storyline that mixes romance, promiscuity, fascism and enough lingerie to make anyone’s head spin, Little’s rendition of “Cabaret” ends Cabrillo Stage’s summer season with a bang.
SSC delivers vibrant and riotous 'Lion In Winter'
If you've never seen the fabled 1968 film, The Lion In Winter, well, that's a shame. But it means you'll have the pleasure of discovering the witty James Goldman play on which it's based for the first time in the vibrant new production from Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Still, even if you know the film and/or play well, can recite the dialogue like the Pledge of Allegiance, it only means you'll get an extra kick from the infusion of vitality this delicious SSC production brings to the material.
‘Cabaret,’ one of the hottest musicals of all time, hits Cabrillo Stage
Since American Musical Theatre of San Jose closed its doors in 2008, Cabrillo Stage has had some large shoes to fill. But with a brand new performance space at Crocker Theater and a young company of actors that is determined to bring Broadway to Santa Cruz, they are more than up to the task.
And so are the 25-year-old leads of this summer’s “Cabaret” at Cabrillo Stage. Aptos High School graduate Briana Michaud and Big Apple veteran Roddy Kennedy are prepared to wow even the least musically inclined theatergoer come July 23 when “Cabaret” opens.
Shakespeare Santa Cruz delivers ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ Adler_Marion
People always say you should never mix business with pleasure. But Shakespeare Santa Cruz director Scott Wentworth and his leading lady onstage and in life, actress Marion Adler, could not disagree more.
After nearly 24 years of marriage, the Stratford, Ontario natives will head up the production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” opening July 24 at UC Santa Cruz’ Festival Glen. While theatergoers will recognize Wentworth for his role as Nick Bottom in last season’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or Brutus in “Julius Caesar,” this year he will work solely behind the scenes as director, giving Adler her chance in the spotlight as the Princess of France.
Known as Shakespeare’s most modern comedy, the play centers on King Ferdinand of Navarre and his three noble lords who have sworn off women in favor of their studies. As you can imagine, that plan flies out the door as soon as the Princess of France arrives with her entourage of beautiful young women, and the drooling men fall head over heels in love.
Cabrillo Stage gets in the groove with exuberant 'Swing'
Movie musicals of the 1930s liked to advertise themselves as “All Singing! All Dancing!” to let Depression-weary audiences know they were in for a good time. In much the same spirit we get “Swing,” the second offering in this year's expanded Cabrillo Stage summer musical theater season. All singing, all dancing, “Swing” is a lively, uptempo production without dialogue, plot or story, whose energetic ensemble sings and dances its way through more than two dozen classic big-band numbers from the ’30s and ’40s.