SSC's 'Three Musketeers' a palpable hit.
En garde! Prepare for serious roistering in “The Three Musketeers,” the second production of Shakespeare Santa Cruz's 30th Anniversary season. Adapted from Alexandre Dumas' evergreen swashbuckling classic, it's beautifully staged by director Art Manke outdoors in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen. In this dynamic production, plots are hatched, troths are plighted, honor is impugned and defended, wars are fought, and swords are crossed at every opportunity. If it all feels a bit breathless, it's still rousing good fun.
Dumas' picaresque novel was first published in serial format in 1844. This new adaptation by playwrights Linda Alper, Douglas Langworthy, and Penny Metropulos (commissioned for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1999) is impressive in its fidelity to the breadth of Dumas' novel. Plot-furthering climaxes chase each other across the stage at breakneck speed. Manke keeps the action fleet and fluid, in and out of the many compartments, balconies, terraces, draperies, and stairwells of Michael Ganio's formidable set. Some incidents feel rushed, but it's worth noting that director Richard Lester needed two feature-length films to tell the same story this adaptation covers in a fast couple of hours.
In a black-on-black topography delineated only by texture, a thick viscous muck marches upward at an angle within a deep steel frame. This tarry density contrasts with the reflective, burnished darkness beyond, suggesting a dangerous precipice looming against shining sky. Carved deep within the tarry cliff, small oblong chambers are scribed with lines suggesting growing seeds. A small cluster of metal type floats above the dark horizon like seeds just released in the wind in an untitled work by Michelle Stitz.
Stitz in her most ambitious and successful works seems to seek that dangerous fulcrum between profoundly minimal and disturbingly unresolved. Just a hair more clear, linear or prescriptive and they could become prettily prosaic, but with any less information, could seem empty of content. That’s a slender hair upon which to hang a reputation and Stitz runs right up to that hairsbreadth, and balances right there, on the precipice.
Local composer, Phil Collins, named county’s Artist of the Year
Though he shares his name with the former Genesis frontman, chances are, unless you’ve taken a music class from longtime Santa Cruzan Phil Collins, or seen him conducting a local ensemble, you wouldn’t be able to pick him out in a crowd. And that’s just fine with him.
Collins enjoys the work he does behind the scenes. For every moment he has spent onstage playing piano or guitar, he has spent an equal amount of time out of the public eye, planning lessons, writing grants for various musical organizations he is involved with, and studying the musical traditions of indigenous peoples around the world.
Local production company uses new journalism to reveal ‘IceWars’ over riches beneath melting Arctic sea
When CNN correspondent Kaj Larsen had the opportunity to head to the North Pole to report on geopolitical events that are surfacing as global warming, causing the Arctic ice to melt, he looked to his roots to help him tell the story.
“I knew I wanted to partner with production companies that had a talent for telling unknown but important stories,” says the Santa Cruz native. So he called The Impact Media Group, a local production company, to collaborate with him on the project.
Santa Cruz musician, Veronica Elsea, reconciles sight and sound
Last Christmas, Veronica Elsea was strolling down Pacific Avenue when she heard the ear-splitting screech of a busker wailing on a guitar. Without hesitation, she walked over to the musician and said, “I’ll give you 10 bucks if you let me tune your guitar.” The performer obliged, Elsea altered the strings, and she walked away.
Elsea, an accomplished music composer and former member of the Santa Cruz County Symphony, was born blind. She and her twin sister—who is also visually impaired—were delivered prematurely and laid in incubators for the first two months of their lives.
When the girls were three, their mother bought a piano, and it wasn’t long before they proved they were musically inclined. “I was always terrified of the idea that you take a blind kid and plop them in front of a piano and they’re this incredible musician,” laughs Elsea, who used to pull all-nighters memorizing sheet music for the symphony. “But [music] was always something that came fairly easy to us.”
Local Girls Develop Tangerine Moon magazine
A collection of Tangerine Moon magazines is perfectly displayed on a coffee table. Its publishers sit, poised to explain their latest venture. But these aren’t suits, this is Santa Cruz mom Elise McCandless and her 12-year-old daughter, Kelly.
Tangerine Moon, a seasonal publication with its spring issue now available for $4.95 at Bookshop Santa Cruz, is the creative product assembled by local middle school students Gina Condotti, Morgan Eidam, Athena Greenleaf, Sophie McCallum-Spalaris, Kelly McCandless and Megan O’Hara. The magazine’s first edition was released this past January.
The current edition, which was released this past May, labels itself as “a magazine by girls who love to write,” includes book recommendations, a centerfold highlighting original dress designs and fashion advice, a recipe for stir fry, an advice column and so much more for all the growing girls looking to prepare for a pleasant spring season.”
Freshly Redesigned it is a California Dream
The new director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, Nina Simon, champions “the participative museum” and promises to make MAH a more interactive place, part of the daily life of the community. For tangible evidence of how exhilarating a “participative museum” can be, visit the redesigned Oakland Museum of California.
The museum has three components: the recently redesigned California art and California history buildings, and a natural sciences building which reopens in 2012. Originally dedicated in 1969 as the “museum of the people,” the post-modernist Kevin Roche-architected building was lauded then as an example of innovative museum design. Sprawling over four city blocks in the Lake Merritt side of downtown Oakland, its scored concrete exterior rises forbiddingly above street level, but atop the broad, welcoming staircase the concrete forgets to be fortress-like. Light plays dramatically on the interlocking planes of buildings and staircases and leads the visitor to arbors and gardens, restaurant and inviting tables amid trees and nooks where artworks delight. A huge Viola Frey figure guards the entrance to the art wing.
How are couples navigating pinched bank accounts in a shaky economy?
After nine years as a marketing manager, Santa Cruz resident Jack Carr, 35, was laid off from his job. It was 2009, the height of the economic downturn. But that wasn’t the only thing taking a downturn. His relationship with his live-in girlfriend was also strained.
In August of 2010, the couple broke up, but moving was not a financial option. So they kept their Santa Cruz rental, claiming separate bedrooms. Carr finally secured a job one year later.
His ex-turned-housemate started to date again a few months after their split, but Carr had to postpone dating until he could recover financially.
“If I get back out there, I’ve got to find stuff to do that’s free,” Carr says. “It’s not like I could take someone out to a nice dinner.”
After paying back debts accumulated while on unemployment, Carr had to buy new work clothes and deal with delayed car repairs. Plus, his income has been reduced by more than $1,000 per month from what it was previously.
As a result, he says he’s “had to change the way I think about dating.”