Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jun 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Dressing Hedwig

ae hedwig1Two Santa Cruz teenage friends reunite under the bright lights of Broadway 

When Arianne Phillips and Valerie Marcus Ramshur were teenage friends in Santa Cruz, they spent their days cutting and re-sewing clothing bought from weekend trips to the Bargain Barn. Now, 30 years later, the duo is still designing clothes, but their skills are on display on a much larger stage—Broadway.

As the costume designer and associate costume designer, respectively, for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Phillips and Marcus Ramshur are taking the style notes they gleaned from the early ’80s Santa Cruz New Wave scene and using them to bring to life the story of a transsexual punk rocker from East Berlin who flees to the United States in search of stardom. Neil Patrick Harris will play Hedwig in the stage adaptation of the cult classic book by John Cameron Mitchell, which opens April 22 on Broadway.

For Phillips and Marcus Ramshur, growing up in Santa Cruz proved to be highly appropriate training for this production. “The message of Hedwig is the same as the lifestyle that Santa Cruz really encourages, which is be yourself,” says Phillips.

“People come to Santa Cruz to find who they are as human beings and artists and citizens of the world, and this piece is very much like that as well,” adds Marcus Ramshur.

Phillips attended Santa Cruz High while Marcus Ramshur was a student at Capitola Junior High. After high school, they went their separate ways, both independently pursuing career paths in the realm of theater, film, fashion and music.

Marcus Ramshur has worked on more than 12 Broadway productions, and Phillips’ resume includes two Academy Awards nominations, a British Academy of Film and Television award, and a 17-year collaboration with Madonna.

Phillips, who worked on the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 2001, was asked to reprise her role as costume designer for the Broadway premiere. It had been 30 years since Phillips and Marcus Ramshur were in the same room together, but they reconnected when Phillips reached out via social media.

“When I got the call, the first person I thought of was Valerie,” Phillips explains. “I’ve never worked on a Broadway production, which has its own process and protocol. It was clear I was going to need someone to help shepherd me though the process as well as someone to rely on to get the show up and running. To have the opportunity to reunite with her after 30 years and as professional adults was super exciting.”

Since that call, Marcus Ramshur and Phillips have rekindled their friendship as professionals, working together to create visual magic onstage.

Though they are based on separate coasts, the Santa Cruz ties remain strong. Both maintain they couldn’t have gotten to Broadway without the creative nurturing they got from Santa Cruz. “Growing up in Santa Cruz as kids we were allowed and encouraged to be as creative and unique as possible. We got shot out into the world and we realized we had been exposed to art, artists and free-thinking political debate,” says Phillips.

“Hedwig is just a very magical piece,” says Marcus Ramshur, “and Santa Cruz was a very magical place to grow up.” 

Comments (1)Add Comment
Real Journalists Get the Basic Facts Right!
written by Eric Sasaman, April 10, 2014
I'm not sure why the simplest of details manages to get all jacked up, especially when they are decades old. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is not based on a book. It began life as an Off-Broadway cult hit musical. The text (which in musical theater is called "the book") is by John Cameron Mitchell, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Trask. This mistake is sloppy. The use of the word "book" for the unsung portion of a musical's script is almost as old as the medium itself and one would think that if handed a story about a genre that a writer has only slight knowledge of then that writer might want to do just a bit of homework. One would think. It's just sloppy.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

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

 

Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’