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Theatre

A&E - Theater

Terrific Tens

Terrific Tens

18th annual 8 Tens @ Eight one of the best ever

The philosophy behind Santa Cruz Actors' Theatre's annual short play festival, 8 Tens @ Eight, has always been what I call the Bus Theory: if one play doesn't get you where you want to go, there'll be another one along in 10 minutes. What's great about this year's festival is the quality of the plays overall is so high. Not one of this year's eight 10-minute plays ever runs completely out of gas; all are well-written, well-acted, and cleverly staged, and most have a story arc that delivers the viewer to a valid destination.

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A&E - Theater

Embracing Strength

Embracing Strength

New performance piece at Motion at the Mill explores how limitations can create opportunity

The first thing you should know about “Your Body is Not a Shark” is that it is not about triumphing against impossible odds. “This isn’t a piece about Joan [Jeanrenaud] and Denise [Leto] and their conditions, nor is it a piece about heroically overcoming these things,” says choreographer Cid Pearlman, referring to her collaborators on the performance piece, who grapple with multiple sclerosis and laryngeal dystonia, respectively. “It’s a piece that’s about the possibilities for generating creativity within limitation—we want to be careful not to create a false heroic narrative.”

“Your Body is Not a Shark” encompasses dance, live music, and sound collage, and runs Jan. 17-20 at Motion at the Mill. Examining the creative process through the prism of physical limitation and difference, the production is choreographed by Pearlman, with an original score composed by Joan Jeanrenaud, text by poet Denise Leto, and musical direction by Maya Barsacq.

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A&E - Theater

O Unholy Night

O Unholy Night

Cabrillo Stage shakes up the season with a Marx Brothers-inspired holiday hootenanny

Breaking with traditional Christmas sentimentality, the musical farce “A Night at the Nutcracker,” takes its inspiration from classic Marx Brothers’ comedies, and imagines what might happen if, behind the scenes of “The Nutcracker Ballet,” a villainous thief plotted to make off with the money for the show, and the Marx Brothers—Groucho, Chico and Harpo—arrived to save the day. 

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A&E - Theater

The Quack Pack

The Quack Pack

Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s ‘Ugly Duckling’ revamp promises to entertain and inspire

Anyone who has ever felt left out, or survived high school for that matter, will appreciate Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s holiday show, “Honk!” The charming and heartfelt production is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, “The Ugly Duckling.”

“Essentially it’s a great allegory for bullying,” says actress Megan Smith, who stars as Ida, the duckling’s mother. “Being a person who is different from the dominant culture, how it affects your home and social life, and how to deal with that.”

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A&E - Theater

Laughing Through The Tears

Laughing Through The Tears

Cabrillo’s ‘Black Snow’ puts protagonist through series of unfortunate events; hilarity ensues

Reality and satire are the same,” said dissenting Soviet writer Vladimir Voinovich in reference to his country.

“I thought that was a great quote,” says David Ohanesian, dramaturg at Cabrillo College Theater Arts. “It made me think about today in the United States, and I was thinking about how many of us get our news and our sense of American life through satiric comedies these days—and how it almost makes it easier to swallow the indignities.”

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A&E - Theater

Two Left (Wing) Feet

Two Left (Wing) Feet

Choreography and social issues merge at Santa Cruz Dance’s ‘Looking Left’ festival

Peter Carpenter has a bone to pick with Ronald Reagan. It began, of all places, at a gay country bar in Los Angeles and eventually evolved into “My Fellow Americans,” an evening-length dance performance choreographed by Carpenter, which critiques the Reagan administration from an LGBT perspective. This weekend, Reagan’s politics, and plenty of other social issues, will be placed under the microscope at “Looking Left/Chicago,” a dance festival at Motion at the Mill, featuring pieces by Carpenter and several other talented dancers and choreographers.

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A&E - Theater

Dueling Divas

Dueling Divas

Queens struggle for power in JTC's ambitious 'Mary Stuart'

Two great divas from the local theater scene play two of the greatest divas in history in “Mary Stuart,” the inaugural offering of the Jewel Theatre Company's 2012-2013 season. This historical play dramatizes the conflict between Queen Elizabeth Tudor of England and her cousin, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, a volatile pair of queens brought to life con brio at Center Stage by JTC veterans Diana Torres Koss and Julie James.

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A&E - Theater

Rascals and Royals

Rascals and Royals

Comedy and kingship rule in SSC’s funny, moving ‘Henry IV Part 2’

Sir John Falstaff rides again in “Henry IV Part 2,” the third production in Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s 2012 summer season. The sequel to last year’s popular “Henry IV Part 1,” returning director Scott Wentworth’s production offers plenty of drama—death and loss, kingship, statecraft, rebellion, family dynamics, and the passing of the crown from one generation to the next, along with a resonant meditation on aging that runs throughout the play.

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A&E - Theater

SSC Achieves Greatness

SSC Achieves Greatness

Mistaken identities and musketeers make ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ a rousing success

‘Twelfth Night’

Shakespeare Santa Cruz continues to brighten up our foggy coastal summers with imaginative live theater. The company launches its 31st season with “Twelfth Night,” one of Shakespeare's most enjoyable and accessible romantic comedies. Directed by SSC Artistic Director Marco Barricelli, this lively production floods the stage with knockabout farce, yet leaves enough breathing room for moments of poignant reflection on the ways romantic love can be found—and lost.

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A&E - Theater

Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage

Cabrillo Stage hits a homerun with ‘Anything Goes’

There are pros and cons to producing one of Broadway’s most adored musical comedies, littered with hits by one of the most quoted American Songbook composers of the 20th century. Among the pros? Everyone knows the songs. The cons? Everyone knows the songs. Fortunately for Santa Cruz theater fans, Cabrillo Stage deftly avoids the pitfalls of familiarity and presents Cole Porter’s endearing vehicle, “Anything Goes,” to great success.

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