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Dec 20th
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Theatre

A&E - Theater

Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind

New play re-imagines the lives of famed Siamese twins Chang and Eng

Growing up, renowned Bay Area playwright Philip Kan Gotanda remembers hearing the term “Siamese twins.” But it wasn’t until he was an adult that he came across a blurb written about the men for which the term was coined: Chang and Eng Bunker. Born in 1811 to Chinese parents living in Thailand (formerly known to Westerners as Siam), the twins came into the world conjoined by a band of cartilage at their chest.

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A&E - Theater

A Midwinter Night's Dream

A Midwinter Night's Dream

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Cid Pearlman and an international cast bring a piece of Estonia to Santa Cruz in ‘From Estonia With Love

It all began in Estonia. Cid Pearlman was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching at Tallinn University for the 2009-2010 academic year. She spent the long winter instructing and researching, but most importantly, collaborating with five talented dance artists, three Estonians and two Americans: Tiina Mölder, Rain Saukas, Helen Reitsnik, Alexis Steeves and David King.

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A&E - Theater

Ghost Protocol

Ghost Protocol

Dead ex completes offbeat romantic triangle in JTC's entertaining 'Blithe Spirit'

A standard device of the classic drawing room comedy is the man with too many women: a wife and an ex-wife; a wife and a mistress; dueling girlfriends. In 1941, Noel Coward added a new, um, element to this classic situation in his comedy, “Blithe Spirit,” about a man, his wife, and the ghost of his previous wife (deceased). A fizzy concoction as dry as a martini, written as an antidote to the gloom of World War II, “Blithe Spirit” materializes once more in an upbeat and elegant new production by Jewel Theatre Company, the season finale to its seventh season.

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A&E - Theater

Off the Cuff

Off the Cuff

Hilarity and humanity collide at the Santa Cruz Improv Fest

For those with a basic familiarity of improvisational theater, the words "improv" and "comedy" may be so closely related as to be virtually synonymous. Due in large part to the success of the television program Whose Line is it Anyway? and the ComedySportz live improv franchise, the theater genre is commonly associated with short-form gag-sprees, chock full of puns and one-liners.

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A&E - Theater

Inner Demons

Inner Demons

Local artists explore emotions—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in new dance theater showcase

This isn't the first time that Per Haaland and Carol Fields have collaborated on performance art, but it might be their best effort yet.

Haaland—a local dance theater stalwart—has produced a provocative piece, entitled “But I Will Stay,” which focuses on the idea of attaining enlightenment and accepting emotion. Whereas Fields has created a multimedia performance, called “Exit Through a Revolving Door,” which presents the joys and perils of working as both an artist and in the tech industry. This weekend, the pair will present their united artistic visions in two showings at The 418 Project in Downtown Santa Cruz.

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A&E - Theater

G is for Gangsta

G is for Gangsta

Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs earns street cred with edgy and experimental pop

Though 33-year-old Merrill Garbus is the master of mimicking sounds, has the ability to sing in all sorts of pitches—first apparent in tUnE-yArDs’ 2009 debut, BiRd-BrAiNs—and is frequently decked out in eye-catching face paint, that’s about as far as her relation to birds goes.

“I like imitating things with my voice,” says Garbus. “There is something pleasurable about that—this idea that I’m not stuck with having to be any one voice, but that I can be free to explore that voice.” Though born and raised in Connecticut, the singer/songwriter is now thoroughly thriving in Oakland, Calif., a city which, along with the rest of the Bay Area, Garbus finds both fashionable and liberating.

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A&E - Theater

Beyond the Breakup

Beyond the Breakup

Dietzman & Co. examines heartbreak in debut showcase

It all started with a rough break up. Well, two actually. “Literally we were offered the show, my partner and I broke up a week later, and then I moved to Santa Cruz,” says Sierrah Dietz, co-director of “It Just Is,” an upcoming dance showcase. The performances run April 13-15 at Motion at the Mill.

Dietz’ longtime friend and fellow choreographer, Molly Katzman, was also experiencing a difficult breakup at the time when the pair was given the opportunity to direct the production. “When we were questioning what this show was going to be about, it was so clear that that was where I was,” explains Dietz. “I couldn’t vocalize anything that was going on for me and I just needed to get it out somehow.”

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A&E - Theater

Splitting Heirs

Splitting Heirs

Toxic family ties explored in JTC's engrossing 'Hello & Goodbye'

Two of Santa Cruz's best known and most dependable actors receive a gift of a play in the Jewel Theatre Company's new production of Athol Fugard's “Hello & Goodbye”—a gift that keeps on giving to local audiences in this intense evening of dramatic theater. Played with both terrific brio and aching subtlety by Mike Ryan and Julie James, and directed by Bay Area theater veteran Jessica Heidt, Fugard's two-character drama emerges as an incisive, microcosmic look at family, class, and cultural dysfunction in South Africa of the recent past.

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A&E - Theater

‘Becoming Britney’

‘Becoming Britney’

How this bold, inventive original musical conceived by Bay Area locals is suddenly the hottest ticket in town. Head to the Retro Dome!

Let’s face it, Britney Spears is an acquired taste. The headlines. The turmoil. The shaved head. How much are we willing to tolerate from our pop divas?

A lot, apparently.

Still, we always seem to come back to the troubled singer, to use her vernacular, “one more time.”

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A&E - Theater

Tip of the Tongue

Tip of the Tongue

Local improv troupe, Freefall, throws out script in favor of drama

The idea of being onstage in front of a sold-out audience without a script is the stuff of nightmares. But one person’s terror is another’s ultimate thrill—especially if you’re one of the five talented members of the Santa Cruz-based Freefall Improvisational Theater troupe.

“One of the biggest payoffs is when you’re on stage and you don’t know why or how you’re doing what you’re doing,” says Bob Giges, one of Freefall’s founding members. “You really have no conscious control of what you’re doing. It’s just like, ‘Hey I’m going there,’ and your mind can’t really catch up with it. You do things that are faster and funnier and more intense than your mind could ever do. It takes you over and when you have that experience of being immersed into that so much it’s just ... like nothing else in my life.”

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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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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

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