Wallace Baine

BOLO Best Bets: Live theater is back, so is Mira Goto — and a ton more on the events front

Good afternoon, Santa Cruzans!

As you know, summer in Santa Cruz is high theater season and both Cabrillo Stage and Santa Cruz Shakespeare are in the midst of rolling out their new summer seasons. Pandemic restrictions will be in place but in-person live productions are officially back.

Cabrillo Stage this weekend is giving the spotlight to its pit orchestra, playing a concert of show tunes. And Santa Cruz Shakespeare opens both its productions next weekend with preview performances coming early next week.

Beyond the kickoff of live theater season, there’s also a full slate of live music, author events, street festivals, comedy shows and more. As you know, we’ve got your real-time BOLO events calendar here for your perusing. If you want to look out further and plan for events coming up later in the next year, we’ve got you covered via Down The Line here.

But with all the good stuff right in front of us, it’s worth staying in the now. And targeting the best of the best. Here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:


Veteran Santa Cruz stage actor Patty Gallagher
(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)


Cabrillo Stage Pit Orchestra: This weekend is the moment for Cabrillo Stage’s celebrated pit orchestra to shine without the actors, costumes and stage sets diverting the audience’s attentions. Under the leadership of conductor Jon Nordgren, the CSPO will revisit some selections from many of the great Cabrillo Stage shows of the past, with special guest vocalists and soloists. The show goes for five performances beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m. with in-person audiences at the outdoor amphitheater at Cabrillo College, with tickets also available for live streaming. Saturday and Sunday both have two shows, 2 and 6 p.m.


‘The Agitators’: Yes, it’s true: Santa Cruz Shakespeare is back with live, in-person theater at the Grove at DeLaveaga Park. For the 2021 season, coming out of the pandemic, SCS is going stripped down, with shows that feature small casts including Mat Smart’s ‘The Agitators,’ an evocative historical play that portrays the real-life decades-long up-and-down friendship between 19th-century civil-rights icons Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, starring SCS vets Allen Gilmore and Patty Gallagher. The first preview performance is Tuesday, July 20 at 2 p.m. in advance of the official opening night July 24.

Centered on creating beautiful, meaningful experiences out of flea market finds, Lori Powell’s thriving Santa Cruz...


‘RII’: Santa Cruz Shakespeare jumps joyously into the post-pandemic live theater world with its first in-person performances in two years. The second of two productions at SCS this summer is Jessica Kubzansky’s smart adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Richard II,” titled “RII.” The play, using Shakespeare’s own words, converts the Bard’s play into a three-actor showcase, highlight today’s relevance of the story of the ill-fated King Richard. Preview performances begin Wednesday, July 21 at 2 p.m. in the Grove at Delaveaga Park, before Opening Night July 25.

— Wallace Baine


Mira Goto
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)


Mira Goto: One of Santa Cruz County’s most promising young musicians, singer/songwriter Mira Goto (above) lives a double life in Santa Cruz and also in Nashville, where she continues to attract attention with her exquisitely produced country recordings, none more so than her most recent collection of songs “Nobody Warned Me.” Locally, she’s collected about the highest praise possible from both the NEXTies and from the weekly Good Times. Bursting out of the pandemic pause with new energy (and as a new mom), Goto showcases her best material Saturday, July 17 with a dinner-&-a-show performance at Michael’s on Main in Soquel. Showtime is 8 p.m.


Grateful Shred: Northern California is, of course, the rightful home to all things Grateful Dead, but SoCal has its own takes on the Dead’s astounding legacy, none more prominent than this popular Los Angeles band weaves together songs from the Dead’s many eras in an informal, folksy way. The band comes to town Sunday, July 18 to play at Felton Music Hall. Showtime is 8 p.m.


Keith Greeninger/Dayan Kai: Nobody does tough-yet-tender quite like the fine Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Keith Greeninger, who has quietly become the godfather of the local folk music scene. For all his success as a solo act, Greeninger has enjoyed some fruitful collaborations, none more so than with Dayan Kai, the wizard multi-instrumentalist with a natural instinct for harmonizing with his old friend. The two play together on two separate dates at Michael’s on Main in Soquel: Thursday, July 22, with a full band, and Sunday, July 25, in an acoustic show.

Wallace Baine


Promotional flyer for the 2021 West Cliff Food Truck Summer Series


West Cliff Food Truck Summer Series: Foodies and sunset lovers alike can rejoice as the West Cliff Food Truck Summer Series returns for its third season at one of the most iconic viewpoints in Santa Cruz. With favorites such as the Pana Food Truck and Taquizas Gabriel, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Eric Morrison & the Mysteries headline Midtown Block Party: Every Friday in the heart of Midtown, the parking lot at 1111 Soquel Ave. is transformed into a venue filled with local artists, food vendors and new performers every week. The block parties are scheduled throughout the summer. Having played over 150 shows, the Santa Cruz-based American soul band Eric Morrison & the Mysteries takes inspiration from the beauty of their hometown. The band’s 2017 first album, “No Wolves,” debuted at No. 32 on the roots rock charts.


Bargetto Art and Wine Festival: Over a century’s worth of Bargetto family history comes together for the 32nd annual art and wine festival. The festival — which continues Sunday — will encompass over 30 art and food vendors, in addition to a select wine tasting curated by Bargetto staff, and it’s all happening on the Soquel property that has been in the family since 1918, not long after brothers Phillip and John Bargetto emigrated from Castelnuovo Don Bosco, a small town in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.

— Haneen Zain


Promotional flyer for Record Store Day 2021


Record Store Day Drop: Music fanatics and vinyl collectors should save the date of this year’s second Record Store Day Drop. Hosted by downtown Santa Cruz indie music staple Streetlight Records, the masked, socially distant event will begin at 10 a.m., and participants will be called by number to claim their orders and browse the store’s inventory.


Exploring the Burn Zone: Butano State Park with Amy Patten: The fast-approaching first anniversary of the CZU Lightning Complex fire makes this a good time to reflect on the changes it caused, and on the future of the affected areas. Santa Cruz naturalist Amy Patten will guide this walk through Butano State Park, which saw 85% of its area within the burn perimeter. Despite this, scientists believe the forest’s health will improve going forward. Register for a unique — albeit possibly melancholic — experience.

— Max Chun


A promotional flyer for the Homeless Garden Project's Sustain in Place series
(Homeless Garden Project)


Online Tasting Series: An Evening with David Kinch: Fresh off the opening of his restaurant Mentone in Aptos, chef David Kinch joins Sustain in Place, a series of at-home tastings. Using locally grown crops from the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, Kinch will demonstrate how to cook a recipe from his new cookbook, “At Home in the Kitchen.” Guests can support the Homeless Garden Project by purchasing either the virtual presentation alone or in tandem with an event gift bag featuring local wine, fresh pasta from La Pasta Restaurant and more. Those purchasing a gift bag will also have the opportunity to harvest produce from the Homeless Garden Project Farm for the recipe Kinch will be demonstrating.

— Haneen Zain


A promotional flyer for Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History's Saturdays in the Soil event
(Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History)


Saturdays in the Soil: For obvious reasons, outdoor events have quickly grown in popularity. Every third Saturday, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History hosts the aptly named Saturdays in the Soil. Bring friends, family and kids to learn about local ecology, native plants and sustainable gardening methods and get an opportunity to work on keeping up neighboring Tyrrell Park.


Makers Market: Downtown Santa Cruz: The Downtown Santa Cruz Makers Market will feature local artists, cooks and other craftsfolk displaying their work on Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Lincoln streets. You can support small businesses including Dandy Roots, maker of beeswax candles and topical apothecary, and jewelry maker Sandcastle Magic, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

— Max Chun


Promotional flyer for Johnny Pemberton + Amy Miller comedy event


Johnny Pemberton and Amy Miller headline Greater Purpose Brewing: Stand-up comedians Johnny Pemberton and Amy Miller come together for a night of laughs at Greater Purpose Brewing in Santa Cruz. You might have seen Pemberton in the movies “Ant-Man” and “21 Jump Street” or the “Superstore” TV series; Miller, an Oakland native, has made a name for herself up in Portland, with multiple funniest-in-PDX awards to her credit.

— Haneen Zain


“Coyote in the Kitchen,” oil on linen, 78 by 80 inches, by Frank Galuszka
“Coyote in the Kitchen,” oil on linen, by Frank Galuszka


“Frank Galuszka -- About Then” at R. Blitzer Gallery: A professor of art at UC Santa Cruz since 1995, Galuszka’s enormous paintings run the gamut from classical figures to wild abstraction. Each painting pulses with texture, pattern and vivid color from edge to edge, and is layered with references to literature, art history, religious iconography, anthropology and symbolism. The exhibition is filled with show stoppers that should be seen in person for their full impact. On view through Aug. 31; open Tuesday and Thursday, 1-4 p.m., or by appointment.

“Brave New World” at Curated by the Sea: Towering columns bedecked with intricate and colorful cardboard flowers, leaves and insects filling up the window of pop-up gallery Curated by the Sea are hard to miss. These sculptures are the work of Dag Wieser, and are only part of a seven-artist show at the gallery on Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz featuring all local talent. Curated by Dee Hooker, the gallery is showing paintings by Chris Miroyan and F. J. Anderson, assemblage by Rich O’Rielly and Jack Howe, dartboard sculpture by Will Marino and digital collage, sculpture and wearable art by Rose Sellery. The show runs through Aug. 9. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, noon-4 p.m.

— Laurel Bushman


Helen Macdonald: UK-born writer and naturalist Helen Macdonald is most well-known for her stirring 2014 book “H is for Hawk,” about her connection to a hawk that she trained as a way to deal with the sudden death of her father. Her latest book, ‘Vespers Flight,’ is a collection of essays on the connections between the natural world and the human psyche, with a particular interest in the lives of birds, from songbirds at the top of the Empire State Building to cranes in Eastern Europe. She hosts a virtual event on Sunday, July 18, sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. The free event gets started at 11 a.m.

Wallace Baine