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Theater Roundup Three plays open this weekend

AE_theaterThe Sweepers
As the newbie theater company on the scene, Fox Whole Productions may have found a unique niche with its first production, “The Sweepers.” Not only is it a compelling story of women whose husbands and sons go off to the war, and the secrets that these women hold behind, but director Alan Fox has gone to lengths to create an interactive experience for theatergoers.

As patrons arrive, they will be greeted by actors (in character), and during intermission the audience will be treated to locally catered Italian finger foods.

Fox’s ‘extras’ for this show are a result of him admittedly acknowledging that people just don’t seem that inclined these days to attend theater, unless it’s musical theater. Not disheartened, Fox felt confident that he could woo people back to the seats, and if things go as he plans, hopefully the show will be sold out at the Broadway Theater and patrons will experience a new form of ‘drama.’ “The Sweepers” plays at Nov. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at the Broadway Theater, 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15-$17. Purchase tickets at Streetlight Records, or visit brownpapertickets.com, or call 1-800-838-3006.

event_grapesThe Grapes of Wrath
This fall, the legendary Cabrillo College unveiled its new Crocker Theatre, a stunning, gargantuan, and impressive performance house for the college’s theater arts productions. Following the unveiling, the school is opening its “inaugural production,” with a showing of “The Grapes of Wrath,” directed by faculty member Sarah Albertson. The show opens Nov. 6 and runs to Nov. 21.

For those who might be unfamiliar with the classic tale, “The Grapes of Wrath” follows the Joad family as they journey across America during the Great Depression, where they are met by “one challenge after another and they struggle to keep the family together,” Albertson says. The play stars local actor/former acting teacher Ian McRae in the part of Rev. Jim Casy. McRae was an apprentice to the notable acting giant, Sanford Meisner. Albertson says she chose the play in part based on the current economic times. “I didn’t want to do anything frivolous,” Albertson adds.

Highlights for the play include using the new theater space in all its glory—meaning, expect to see things flying around, and look for legitimate bodies of water to make an appearance.

“The Grapes of Wrath” will be showing at the Cabrillo Crocker Theatre, Nov. 6-21, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Tickets are $18/general; $15/students and seniors. For more information, call 479-6331 or visit ticketguys.com.

The Santa Cruz Idol Mystery

Elves are always known for being mysterious, so what happens when you throw together some theatrical elves? You get a spoof of American Idol, on stage, at a local restaurant.

‘Head elf,’ Rita Wadsworth, of the local theater company, Elf Empire Productions, has been performing and producing dinner theater in town for years via her company. For the first two weekends in November, she and a team of actors will perform their original production, “The Santa Cruz Idol Mystery,” directed by Stuart Serman, and written by Wadsworth and Carolyn Hyatt.

For $40, patrons get a full meal at Peachwood’s Steakhouse, and a showing of this play, which basically follows the story of auditions held for an American Idol type of show in Santa Cruz, laced with some murders and other epic dinner theater delights.

Music, laughter, acting, dinner, spoofing, it’s the perfect place to find a few wild elves.
“The Santa Cruz Idol Mystery,” runs on Sundays, Nov. 8 and 15 at Peachwood’s Steakhouse, 555 Highway 17, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $40. For more information, call 426-6333 or visit elfempire.com.

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