BOLO Best Bets: Comedy festival, Shakespeare, skate art highlight our picks
Between fire season and the Delta variant, there’s no shortage of stuff to fret over. But we in Santa Cruz County are still holding up fairly well (at least compared to this time last year). This weekend, you can beat back anxiety at the opening of the Santa Cruz Comedy Festival, if you already have a ticket to the sold-out event (and not to worry, it’s going on for two more weekends after that).
Also, be sure to stay informed on the most buzzed-about arts events of the season, namely Santa Cruz Shakespeare (with a big weekend of performances in store) and the new Santa Cruz-flavored skateboard-art exhibition at the Museum of Art & History. And as if that all isn’t enough, we have you covered for all the MAJOR events coming up into the next year. To make your plans for Down The Line, click here. And follow along with BOLO on Instagram here, if you aren’t already.
Now, here’s what Team BOLO thinks you should know for the weekend and beyond:
Kellen Erskine: The Santa Cruz Comedy Festival comes to town for three consecutive weekends, beginning Saturday with headliner Kellen Erskine, who has performed all over the country, including on “Conan” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and he was voted one of the Top Ten Comics to Watch by TBS in 2017. This sold-out afternoon outdoors show takes place live at 4 p.m. in Laurel Park, behind London Nelson Community Center in Santa Cruz. Special guests are expected as well. Beach chairs and blankets are encouraged.
— Wallace Baine
Joe Kaplow: Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Joe Kaplow is just that kind of artist you might overlook in the great cornucopia of entertainment options in the world today. But Kaplow’s distinctive songwriter’s viewpoint mixed with easy-on-the-ear melodies like “Allison” and “Cathartic Rambling” make him a prime candidate for a breakout discovery, if not for the fickle music market then certainly for discerning listeners. Kaplow performs at Michael’s on Main on Saturday night alongside another super talented local songsmith, Henry Chadwick. Showtime is 8 p.m.
— Wallace Baine
“The Agitators”: Santa Cruz Shakespeare continues its comeback season with Mat Smart’s two-character play “The Agitators,” an evocative historical dramatization of the real-life decades-long, up-and-down friendship between 19th-century civil-rights icons Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, starring, respectively, SCS veterans Allen Gilmore and Patty Gallagher. Performances this weekend include Friday night at 8, Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. The show runs periodically through Aug. 29.
“RII”: Santa Cruz Shakespeare heads forthrightly into the post-pandemic live theater world with its first in-person performances in two years. The Shakespearean offering 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, highlighting today’s relevance of the story of the ill-fated King Richard. This weekend’s performances include Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., with following performances taking place periodically through Aug. 29.
— Wallace Baine
BOOKS & LECTURES
“RUN: Book One”: Writers Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell and illustrator L. Fury all got to collaborate with late member of Congress and civil-rights pioneer John Lewis on a graphic novel about Lewis’ early years in the movement. On Monday, the artists will come together for a virtual event, co-sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz chapter of the NAACP, to discuss “RUN: Book One” with the nephew of the congressman, Anthony Dixon, in a lively evening to be moderated by the NAACP’s Abi Mustapha. It all happens online Monday at 4 p.m. And it’s free.
THURSDAY, AUG. 19
Jennifer Otter Bickerdike: Writer and scholar Jennifer Otter Bickerdike is a born-and-raised Santa Cruzan, but she’s now an internationally recognized authority of rock ’n’ roll culture based in London, and a dyed-in-the-wool evangelist on any number of rock topics, including the 1980s scene in Santa Cruz. The author of the celebrated “Why Vinyl Matters” joins Lookout’s Wallace Baine to discuss her new book “You Are Beautiful, And You Are Not Alone,” a biography of singer and Andy Warhol muse Nico. This is a free virtual event, sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. Things get started around 7 p.m.
— Wallace Baine
Centered on creating beautiful, meaningful experiences out of flea market finds, Lori Powell’s thriving Santa Cruz...
Sip, Savor and Sway at Stockwell Cellars: PANA food truck will be serving its Venezuelan arepas to the tunes of George Zaferes of the Ten O’Clock Lunch Band and veteran Santa Cruz guitarist Dave Preschutti for Stockwell Cellars’ weekly event, which features rotating food trucks and musical talent.
Nicholson Vineyards Summer Series: The Nicholson Vineyards Summer Series brings new tastings and different food trucks every Saturday to the Corralitos foothills. The event continues weekly through the end of August; reservations are strongly recommended.
— Haneen Zain
KIDS & FAMILY
2nd Saturday on the Farm: Every second Saturday of the month, the Agricultural History Project hosts a family event that focuses on a specific area of agriculture. While the topic changes every month, there are several “usual” activities, including a cow-milking simulation, a kid-driven tractor and puppet shows. Bring your kids, mask up and enjoy the rich history of South County agriculture with activities to boot.
Downtown Santa Cruz Makers Market: With the latest COVID developments, you might be looking to participate in mostly outdoor events for a little while — and the downtown Makers Market is happy to oblige. Featuring food, art and wares from local vendors including Caldwell Botanicals, The Cruz Life and Barnwood Birdhouses, the market makes for a pleasant day out on the town.
— Max Chun
ENDING THIS WEEKEND
“Earth and Fire” at the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center: The SCMAC’s first show of 2021, “Earth and Fire,” is ending Saturday, so it will be the last chance to see how 24 artists explored the elemental relationship between earth and fire by way of ceramics and glass. The show features sculpture, wall hangings, jewelry and mosaics by local artists. The arts center is open Friday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
“The Art of the Santa Cruz Speed Wheel” at the Santa Cruz MAH: First Friday last week was busy — you might not have had a chance to stop by the MAH to see the exhibition of iconic Santa Cruz artist Jim Phillips on its opening day. Showcasing the largest collection of work by the seminal Santa Cruz skate and surf artist best known for The Screaming Hand, the MAH presents original works unseen since 1984. The exhibition runs through Jan. 2; museum hours are Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
— Laurel Bushman
Day on the Farm at Natural Bridges Farm: The often-quiet 3.5-acre farm adjacent to the Seymour Center grounds will be filled with speakers, music and an interactive art exhibit on Sunday. Hosted by the Homeless Garden Project, the Day on the Farm serves as both a gathering for members of the community and an opportunity to learn about the various activities and mission of the Homeless Garden Project. Holey Roller Bagels and Alta Organic Coffee and Tea will be providing food and beverages.
— Max Chun
Cinema Chaminade: “The Parent Trap”: Another week, another classic flick at the Chaminade, side by side with good wine, good food, and an even better view. This week it’s the beloved 1990’s remake and Lindsay Lohan breakout “The Parent Trap.” While still well known, it might no longer be the required kids’ viewing that it used to be. Bring your whole family to relive, or introduce, this Disney classic.
— Max Chun
The Shanks at Midtown Fridays: Every Friday in the heart of Midtown, a parking lot is transformed into a venue filled with local artists, food vendors and new performers. This week’s headline act, The Shanks, are a favorite Bay Area classic rock cover band with scores of gigs to their credit, including opening at major concerts and playing outdoor festivals.
— Haneen Zain
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF BOLO
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