Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Aug 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Full House

ae_jewelJewel Theatre debuts “The House of Blue Leaves”
The Pope is coming to town. OK, not the real Pope, and not this town, but that’s the premise of a play debuting at Center Stage and produced by Jewel Theatre. “The House of Blue Leaves,” written by John Guare and directed by Susan Myer Silton, tells a compelling story about celebrity worship, not listening to other people, family and even humiliation.

The story unfolds in Queens, New York, on Oct. 4, 1965, when the Pope is coming to America. Our cast is a wild bunch of characters: There’s Artie, a zookeeper, who hopes to strike it rich as a songwriter. He’s married to a woman named Bananas. And yes, she really is fruity. She’s a homemaker whose son, Ronnie, just joined the Army. Meanwhile, Artie is having an affair with his neighbor, Bunny, who’s trying to push Artie to make contact with an old Hollywood friend. And on top of all that, Ronnie is planning to blow up the Pope.

 

Sure, on paper, the story sounds absurd, but it was the recipient of several Tony Awards and had a good run on Broadway. Combining its notable awards with a powerhouse cast and one of Santa Cruz’s best directors, there’s no doubt that this play will be one to watch. Especially as it’s a part of Jewel Theatre’s lineup for this year. The young company continues to sell out every show it produces.

“Many people spend their lives reaching for something they see as better—fame, celebrity—rather than appreciating what they have and loving the people they are with,” says Silton, speaking to one of the key themes in this play.

It’s true. Who doesn’t browse the Internet and swing by TMZ.com or read People magazine, or watch Entertainment Tonight. Lots of people—whether they will admit it or not—take part in celebrity worship. Who wouldn’t want Julia Roberts’ paycheck, Brad Pitt’s good looks or Angelina Jolie’s lips?

“I think the message of the play is that you need to be present in the life you’ve made,” says Silton. “You will get more out of it than you will constantly looking for something else or at the future, rather than what’s occurring in the moment.”

Silton is an adventurous director who really understands her actors and offers them a wealth of information about their characters, and the play itself. She even goes so far as to dialogue with the playwright to really get his or her insight into what makes their play tick. In this case, she’s done just that with the famous Guare.

“What you love about her [Silton’s] work is that as a director, she has been an actress, too,” says Julie James, artistic director of Jewel Theatre, who also plays Bananas in this play. “She really looks at things and sees different layers. She makes it OK to play and try out things. She makes it feel organic for the actor.”

Those are key elements in why James asked Silton to come on board with this play, a work that she chose because “it is really examining and exposes the human condition,” she says.

 


“The House of Blue Leaves” runs Sept. 8-25 |at Center Stage, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz, 425-7506, jeweltheatre.net. Show times are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual