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May 27th
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Theatre

A&E - Theater

Discovering a Jewel

Discovering a Jewel

Santa Cruz’s own equity theater company soars
In an era when the arts are still getting hit hard financially, and money is so tight that people are hawking things at pawn shops, occasionally, some good rises out of the ashes. And when that good is in the form of the arts, it’s even more inspiring. That’s exactly what’s been happening lately with Jewel Theatre, a local theater company which continues to garner attention for its plays, and for its professional theater status as the only equity company in town, other than Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Just months ago, the company debuted its play, “Clouds,” set at the Broadway Playhouse, directed by renowned local theater director Susan Myer Silton. This time around, Jewel is putting on a production of the musical, “Company,” directed by its own founder and artistic director, Julie James.

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A&E - Theater

‘Street’ Jam

‘Street’ Jam

Unconventional methods work for this new play
We all know the drill: the ushers seat the audience, the lights dim, the curtain goes up, and the play begins.

But what happens when all theatrical boundaries are removed, blurring the separation between the on-stage drama and reality, with no clear start or finish? Santa Cruz producer Alan Fox is determined to find out. Last week, Fox debuted his second career production, an original musical called “The Street”—think “Cabaret” meets Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

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A&E - Theater

Tropical Punch

Tropical Punch

Lively cast makes the most of Cuba-set comedy 'Clouds'
Four men, one woman, a vintage Cadillac, and miles and miles of hot, dusty roads on the island of Cuba, 10 years after the Revolution. Are they in Paradise or Hell, on the road to destiny or disaster? The answer is all of the above as the opinions of these characters—and the audience—shift like errant trade winds from moment to moment, in Michael Frayn's comedy, “Clouds,” the lively inaugural production of the sixth season of Santa Cruz's own Jewel Theatre Company.

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A&E - Theater

Comedic ‘Clouds’

Comedic ‘Clouds’

Director Susan Myer Silton returns with a new—and funny—endeavor
She’s back. After a year-long sabbatical, revered local theater director Susan Myer Silton is back in the director’s chair, and this time around, she’s ratcheting everything up several notches. And that’s a hard feat, considering that Myer Silton is the co-founder and artistic director of the popular and edgy Pisces Moon theater company that for years has been turning out stellar dramatic work. But with her new play, “Clouds,” produced by Jewel Theatre of San Jose, Myer Silton is indeed upping the ante. This time around, she’s working with an equity company, and staging a play that’s using some equity actors, and in addition, she’ll play only the role of director this time. No longer does she have to write the grants, hire the lighting guy and so on. Her skills are purely focused on one thing—directing “Clouds,” which opens on Sept. 16 at the Broadway Playhouse in Santa Cruz.

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A&E - Theater

Busy Signals

Busy Signals

Our obsessions with cell phones becomes evident in new play
Gerry Gerringer, artistic director of Actors’ Theatre, is kicking off the company’s 26th season with a play you’ve probably never heard of. “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” may not have the theatrical history of a Shakespeare comedy, but it’s the perfect example of what’s hot right now in contemporary playwriting.

Sarah Ruhl, who was nominated for a 2010 Tony award for her play “In the Next Room,” wrote this new dark comedy, which revolves around Jean (Julia Cunningham), a woman who answers a stranger’s phone when it won’t stop ringing, only to find out that the man is dead. Rather than seek medical assistance for him, Jean gets herself entangled in his dysfunctional relationships with his alienated widow, his commanding mother and his mysterious mistress, and even falls in love with his lonely brother.

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A&E - Theater

Here and Now and There

Here and Now and ThereTandy Beal’s representation of the afterlife looks downright inviting
“HereAfterHere: A Self-guided Tour of Eternity” is a new musical produced by Tandy Beal that deals with a topic intimately connected to each and every one of us—death and the afterlife. Logically, we know this point in our lives is inevitable, yet no one seems to want to face the macabre topic head on. “HereAfterHere” will force you to confront your destiny in an honest and at-times humorous way and will leave you pondering the possibility of the afterlife like you never have before. 
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A&E - Theater

Challenging Times

Challenging Times

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.

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A&E - Theater

Moor Or Less

Moor Or Less

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.

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A&E - Theater

Lovely ‘Lost’

Lovely ‘Lost’

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.

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A&E - Theater

Learning From Othello

Learning From Othello

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.

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The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.
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