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Sep 02nd
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Theatre

A&E - Theater

Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals

Lori Rivera wears Multiple Personality Disorder well in sizzling “Smoke”

Humans are multi-faceted creatures, ruled by diverse and often contradictory impulses. Each of us has a sweet side and a cruel side, a brave face and a cowardly face, a capacity for smoothness and sophistication as well as for clumsiness and gullibility.

As the star of the one-woman cabaret “Smoke,” local vocalist Lori Rivera is a living portrait of humanity’s composite nature. Throughout the show, she rapidly switches back and forth between two different characters: a passionate but somewhat guileless woman named Celeste, and a sensual older woman named Francesca, who mentors Celeste in the ways of love.

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A&E - Theater

Goldfish in Alaska

Goldfish in Alaska

New theater director Gina Hayes stages work of famous poet
Starting up a new theater company in a small town like Santa Cruz can equate to making it as an actor in Hollywood. Meaning that it’s tough, not only to get it off the ground, but to keep it rolling. And that is exactly what 24-year-old UC Santa Cruz alumni Gina Hayes has set about to passionately do with her creation of Red Egg Theater. The one-woman company, spearheaded by Hayes, hopes to provide college students across the Bay Area, and particularly in Santa Cruz, with an option to act off-campus, and plug into community theater.

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A&E - Theater

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

Mountain Community Theater goes to the outer limits

Miguel Reyna started watching The Twilight Zone when he was just 8 years old. His ‘assignment’ was to record the shows for his mom who worked an evening shift. For the next four years, the young Reyna became addicted. “Your mind is blown away,” he says of the popular 1960s television show. “Watching those Twilight Zones gave me the chills at a young age and really put a different lens on life for me. Up until this day, the suburbs [anywhere] look like The Twilight Zone. The show is dated in the acting and dialogue, but they it’s relevant and timeless through the stories.”

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A&E - Theater

Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare Santa Cruz falls in love with ‘Romeo and Juliet’

It’s the love story that never dies. However, in this case, the lovers at the heart of the tale do have a tragic ending, but still, the story at large in “Romeo and Juliet” is one that endures time and spans generational differences. It is the classic tale of boy meets girl, families forbid the love affair, and the lovers go against the wishes of their families. It’s a story about love and what happens when people try to interfere, because, as we all know, don’t tell people what to do when they’re in love.

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A&E - Theater

Sandra Bernhard To The Rescue

Sandra Bernhard To The Rescue

Is it just us, or can this woman actually save the human race?

Sandra Bernhard rocks on stage, brightens up a scene whenever she’s got a co-starring TV gig, and happens to be one of the most outspoken comediennes/performance artists around. Fortunately, for us, Bernhard wants everybody to be ready—if not really conscious—for 2008. I caught up with The B recently and we got down and dirty. Read on …

Q: People love you here in Northern California.

A: And I love them.

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A&E - 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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A&E - 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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A&E - 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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A&E - Theater

Spare Chair

Spare Chair

Pisces Moon brilliantly takes an intimate look at the death penalty in ‘The Exonerated’

Capital punishment. Besides abortion, it’s one of the most controversial topics that send people into their fighting corners. It makes for a fascinating idea to interpret on stage, which is exactly what Pisces Moon theater company has done with its most recent play, “The Exonerated,” which opened last weekend at the Broadway Playhouse.

Director Susan Myer has this uncanny ability to do with a play what a great visual artist might do with their canvas. (This is not particularly surprising, being that Myer has a history in the fine arts.) She presents community theater plays unlike any I’ve ever seen. By now, audiences can expect to an enjoy a Myer production, and even learn a thing or two.

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A&E - Theater

The Real Thing

The Real Thing

New theater company raises the curtain for Tom Stoppard

Santa Cruz has long been a haven for theatrics (both on stage and off). The town is hardly lacking in drama. While virtual “plays” are often seen downtown everyday amongst our colorful cast of locals, theater companies in town also keep audiences delighted.

In a coastal community that’s saturated with creativity, our actors, playwrights, directors and their ilk are a close-knit crew. Many of these artists and the companies they perform with are firmly rooted in town, sort of like concrete. They’re not going anywhere.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Foodie File: Beer Thirty

Cups runneth over at Soquel’s new beer garden

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.