a view from the stage at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
City Life

BOLO Best Bets: Dance, theater, music and a 10K whet our appetites pre-Thanksgiving

Friends, Thanksgiving plans will take care of themselves. There’s no point in stressing out too much on the marathon cooking, the heavy eating, and/or the uncomfortable conversations with relatives. The best thing you can do now is to divert yourself with modern dance (at Cabrillo College), musical theater (the Colligan Theater), swingin’ country/Western and jazz (Kuumbwa Jazz Center), poetry (online), or even a bracing 10K (or 5K) run across the Westside. Choose one (or more) to get yourself in the best possible shape for Thanksgiving. You’ll thank yourself for it.

— Wallace Baine

Lookout Santa Cruz’s BOLO (Be On the Lookout) calendar is “your place to go for things to do” in Santa Cruz County.

See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here. And as if that isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year with Down The Line, a listing assembled by Wallace Baine that’s your key to getting tickets before they sell out.

Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:

(Click category headers for full BOLO listings in that category.)


Cabrillo College's Crocker Theater

Cabrillo Dance Concert: The creative life is beginning to resemble normal again at Cabrillo College’s Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts (VAPA) complex. This weekend, the students and faculty at Cabrillo’s dance department present their big fall dance show at the beautiful Crocker Theater. Performances are both Friday and Saturday evening at 7 p.m. The Crocker is open again, but masks are required.

— Wallace Baine


DJ Mark Farina in action
(Via Facebook)

Mark Farina: Chicago-born DJ and musical troublemaker Mark Farina is known mostly in the Bay Area for creating the rich house-music scene in San Francisco known as “Mushroom Jazz,” which we’re going to presume is a psychedelic reference rather than marinara sauce. Though the Mushroom Jazz boom peaked in the ’90s, Farina continues to explore the far reaches of downtempo hip-hop and house music. Farina comes to the Felton Music Hall on Friday.

James Durbin: Can you believe it’s been 10 years since Santa Cruz’s James Durbin turned Fox’s “American Idol” into a showcase for his own brand of fist-pumpin’ rock ‘n’ roll? It’s been a long journey since then for the super-talented performer, and Durbin is back in Santa Cruz, still spreading the gospel of rock. He comes to Michael’s on Main in Soquel to burn through the catalogue of his favorite rock anthems from Petty, Led Zep, Beatles, Doors and tons more. This is a dinner-and-a-show date. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the music at 8 p.m. $50 gets you both.

Carolyn Sills Combo: Great double bill for local fans of genuine country/Western with the wonderful Carolyn Sills and her band, supported by Sharon Allen and Dusty Boots. Sills leads a dynamic band that includes steel guitarist Charlie Joe Wallace, vocalist Sunshine Jackson, guitarist Gerard Egan and drummer Jimmy Norris, and together they’ve become a force in Western swing in Northern California, most recently releasing the fine concept album “Return to El Paso,” envisioning more songs inspired by Marty Robbins’s “El Paso.” Lots of great music at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Saturday night. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Django Festival All-Stars: You know you’re a legend when you’re known by only a single name. Such is the case with the great Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. In tribute to the immortal Django comes this five-piece band which recontextualizes Django’s amazing “hot jazz” sound for the 21st century. The All-Stars bring their big sound to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Monday. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Rosebud: Though not technically a Grateful Dead tribute band, the five-piece band Rosebud hangs heavily with the Dead as well as covers of the many Dead offshoots like Old & In the Way, the Jerry Garcia Band, Kingfish, and even some originals from bandleaders Scott Cooper and Lachlann Kane. Rosebud reminds Deadheads of what to be grateful for on Thanksgiving Eve, at Felton Music Hall.

— Wallace Baine

Presented by Sempervirens Fund

The August 2020 CZU wildfire scorched over 85,000 acres of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. California State Parks redwood...


A flyer for the 2021 Santa Cruz Turkey Trot

2021 Santa Cruz Turkey Trot: Get up and moving early on Saturday with a 10K or 5K run beginning at Antonelli Pond on the Westside; there’s also a 1K event for kids. The 1K begins at 7:45 a.m., the 5K begins at 8 a.m., and the 10K begins at 8:45 a.m. Registration ends Thursday, so if you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time! Welcome the holiday season with a challenge.

Live Oak Grange Rock, Mineral, Gem, and Jewelry Sale: Head to Live Oak Grange this weekend for a look at the many pieces of jewelry and decorations available at this annual event put on by the Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society. With the holidays coming up, this is a great place to look for interesting gifts for gem and jewelry enthusiasts.

Downtown Makers Market: If you’re looking for unique, homemade crafts to give as gifts this holiday season, hit downtown for the Makers Market. Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Lincoln streets will feature goods made by local artists, cooks, musicians, and more.

— Max Chun


Jewel Theatre's 2013 production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes."
(Steve DiBartolomeo)

“Pump Boys and Dinettes”: Hey Santa Cruz theater fans, that sense of deja vu you’re feeling is because the newest production at Jewel Theater Co. is in fact a revival of a hit show from 2013 that is being restaged at the beautiful Colligan Theater at the Tannery. “PB&D” is a rollicking musical set in the fictitious Double Cupp Diner and with music that touches on everything from rock to country to gospel. The new production stars Jewel’s artistic director, Julie James, as well as Christopher Reber, Ric Iverson, Brent Schindele, Diana Torres Koss and many more. And this week it is presented Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at a 2 p.m. matinee.

— Wallace Baine


12-inch-by-12-inch paintings from Cabrillo Gallery's 12x12 Invitational
(Via Instagram)

12x12: An Open Invitational”: Big deal over at Cabrillo College, given that the Cabrillo Gallery is open to in-person visitors for the first time since March 2020. The new show on display at the Cabrillo Gallery showcases the best work from an open invitational of all local artists in everything from painting to printmaking, photography to sculpture, all of it tied together by format: Everything is 12 inches square. The show will be up at the gallery until Dec. 3, in the library building on the uphill side of Cabrillo College.

Exhibitionist”: Fashionista alert: This weekend marks the last chance to catch the creative chaos of the explosion between art and fashion collide at Curated By the Sea in downtown Santa Cruz. The show, titled “Exhibitionist,” features the work of 20 “wearable art” artists from the annual fashion/art show “Pivot,” including Charlotte Kruk, Rose Sellery, The Great Morgani, and many more. “Exhibitionist” runs through this weekend and closes Saturday at 703 Front St., Santa Cruz.

Collective Consciousness”: In its latest show, the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz is featuring the work of art students at Shared Adventures at Hope Services Watsonville’s Developmental Disabilities Program, featuring abstract work acrylic on canvas. Also includes works by Charles Sutton, Alan Sonneman, Robert Hyatt and Robert Blitzer. The show is up through Wednesday at the Blitzer in the Wrigley Building on the far west side of Santa Cruz.

“Mi Casa es Tu Casa”: Pajaro Valley Arts in Watsonville has mounted its ambitious “Mi Casa es Tu Casa” art exhibit at the downtown PVA gallery. The theme for this year’s event is “History, Loss, and Healing,” with a long roster of participating artists including Amalia Mesa-Bains, Carmen Leon, Priscilla Martinez, Shmuel Thaler, Myra Eastman and many others. Among the scheduled happenings this week is a discussion of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book “Braiding Sweetgrass” on Zoom on Thursday, plus a workshop with artist Graciela Vega on making arpilleras, multicolored patchworks of fabric from South America. The PVA Gallery is at 37 Sudden St., downtown Watsonville.

— Wallace Baine


A flyer for the Morton Marcus Memorial Reading

Morton Marcus Memorial Reading: The late Santa Cruz poet and critic Morton Marcus is honored each year by a memorial poetry reading, this year featuring his friend and contemporary Gary Young, who is not only a Pushcart Prize-winning poet but an accomplished fine-arts printer as well. Young, a well-known figure at UC Santa Cruz, closes out the fall 2021 Living Writers Series sponsored by the UCSC Literature Department and the Creative Writing Program. The virtual reading takes place Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

Stephen Kessler/Dion O’Reilly: Santa Cruz-based poet, translator, and journalist Stephen Kessler is ready to celebrate the release of his latest book of poems, “Last Call.” He’s doing so in a virtual “Zoom Forward” reading presented by phren-Z, Catamaran Literary Reader and Bookshop Santa Cruz. Joining Kessler for the evening reading is another local poet, Dion O’Reilly, a member of The Hive poetry collective, and the author of her debut book of poems, “Ghost Dogs.” Things get started at 5 p.m.

— Wallace Baine

Learn more about the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) and how to support and connect with this center for...


Comedian Terrell "Big-T" Butler on stage

Greater Purpose Comedy Night: Terrell “Big-T” Butler: An Oakland native who cites Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor as influences, Terrell Butler brings his award-winning standup to Greater Purpose. Butler, winner of the 2016 Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Competition, has hosted several livestream TV shows and produced a pair of radio shows, “The Bridge” and “The Rise N’ Grind Show.”

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Comedy Night: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing brings in comedians from the Bay Area and beyond for shows every week. Regulars from the Punch Line San Francisco, Cobb’s Comedy Club, Rooster T. Feathers bring the laughs to the Westside on Wednesdays.

— Haneen Zain


People work on the grounds outside the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Saturdays in the Soil: Join fellow nature enthusiasts and staff from the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum for another Saturday in the Soil. Learn about local ecology, native plants and animals and sustainable gardening while working with other community members to clean and maintain the museum grounds. Layer up and bring the family, and maybe hit Seabright beach afterward for more sunshine and local scenery.

— Max Chun


A flyer for the Boardwalk Bites and Brews festival

Boardwalk Bites and Brews: This Thursday and Friday bring the final installment of the Boardwalk’s private event chef, Scott Meyer, delivering food paired with beers from Santa Cruz and beyond; this week’s menu includes a turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwich, stuffing tots and fried artichoke hearts. You can pair this event with music and movies, too: There will be a live band at nearby Neptune’s Stage on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Superbloom is this week’s act), and movies on the beach at 6:30 p.m. Fridays (this week featuring “The Nightmare Before Christmas”).

Sip, Savor and Sway at Stockwell Cellars: Every Friday, Stockwell Cellars invites a different food truck and new musical talent to feed and entertain guests at its Westside tasting room. This week, enjoy a glass or bottle of wine while listening to Samba Cruz’s mix of Brazilian music and jazz plus food from Saucey’z food truck.

— Haneen Zain


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