Weekender: ‘Hunchback,’ free Cabrillo Festival rehearsals, ‘Book of Will’ playwright visit and more
Of all of humankind’s engineering breakthroughs and technological advances, this time of year I wonder if any of them can top a rope hammock tied between two shade trees and a well-made margarita. Here’s to savoring the summer.
Now, on with the show.
This Just In!
Newly booked upcoming shows this week include the genre-blurring jazz quintet Butcher Brown at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Dec. 8, soulful organ man Melvin Seals & the JGB at Felton Music Hall for back-to-back concerts Nov. 1 and 2. Dope Lemon, the nom de stage of Aussie singer/songwriter Angus Stone, drops in at The Catalyst Oct. 17. And look for the edgy and adventurous trumpet player known as Balkan Bump at The Catalyst Dec. 2. Check out our curated list of the best in upcoming performances and appearances in Santa Cruz County in Down the Line.
B9: What’s what in the week ahead
Here they are, nine necessary know-abouts for the week ahead. It’s the Shakespearean B9:
1. Local writer Lara Love Hardin has an amazing story to tell of transcending shame and saving her own life. Hear her tell that story at Bookshop next week.
2. The great actor Paul Whitworth takes on one of Shakespeare’s most immortal roles as “King Lear” opens at Santa Cruz Shakespeare.
3. One of Santa Cruz’s most underappreciated musical masters, Marty O’Reilly, returns with a full band on Saturday evening at Moe’s.
4. Yes, you still have a golden chance to catch “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at Cabrillo Stage this weekend.
5. Exceptional stand-up comedy show at the always entertaining Brookdale Lodge as comic Adam Newman visits the area.
6. Co-artistic directors at Santa Cruz Shakespeare team up to tell the inspiring story of “The Book of Will.”
7. Attention all Dooners and all those who love Bonny Doon: The DoonArt studio tour opens up 30 artists studios all throughout the gorgeous mountain community.
8. Boulder Creek invites everyone up to the mountains on Saturday for the Boulder Creek Block Party.
9. If you can’t dance to the delicious classic ska sound of The English Beat, you might want to consider talking to your doctor.
One more weekend for ‘Hunchback’
Cabrillo Stage’s new production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” heads into its final weekend at the Crocker Theater on the campus of Cabrillo College. If you haven’t checked in on Cabrillo Stage in a while, it’s true that the company has new leadership, as well as new energy, with first-year artistic director Andrea L. Hart. But that doesn’t mean the acclaimed musical theater company is back at Square One. Read the full story here.
Open rehearsals time at Cabrillo Festival
Reminder that the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is on the cusp of its kickoff. Just as it has been doing for years, the Cabrillo Festival will be holding free open rehearsals in the coming days, beginning Sunday evening, where you can swing by the Civic and watch the Festival Orchestra rehearse.
These rehearsals are a tradition at the Cabrillo Fest and they are a savvy audience-building tool as well. By definition, most of the pieces at the festival are unfamiliar to audiences and the rehearsals are a great way to get to know the nuances of a piece and make it all that more meaningful and powerful when it’s heard in concert. Check out the rehearsal schedule and find a time to peek in. It’ll pay off come concert time.
And then, Aug. 1 launches the Festival itself with “In the Works,” featuring pieces from the next generation of composers. And it’s free!
The author of “Will”
Big opportunity on Sunday up at the Audrey Stanley Grove. Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s latest performance of Lauren Gunderson’s “The Book of Will” will include a visit by the playwright herself. Gunderson is one of the most celebrated playwrights working in America today. Her plays often center on overlooked women in history. “Book of Will,” by contrast, focuses on two men, the Elizabethan actors who took it upon themselves to save William Shakespeare’s work by publishing the first folio edition of his plays.
Gunderson will be at Sunday’s 7 p.m. performance and will be around to chat with the audience after the show, around 9:15 p.m. or so.
The latest from Watsonville Brillante
You may remember the astounding years-long project to mount a series of mosaic tile murals on the downtown parking garage in Watsonville, known as Watsonville Brillante.
The latest part of the project is set to be unveiled Aug. 1, featuring close to 40 individual panels devoted to different cultural heritages. As part of the build up to the unveiling, artist Kathleen Crocetti is offering to take a photo of any community member in front of the new heritage panel of their choice. She’s devoting her Saturday to do that, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Interested? Sign up here.
Poet laureate Fatemi find funds
Congratulations to Santa Cruz County poet laureate Farnaz Fatemi who was one of only four poets laureate in California to receive a big new grant from the Academy of American Poets.
Farnaz will receive $50,000 from the AAP to conduct a series of nine pop-up poetry workshops for teens, once a month, featuring several local poets to guide and inspire teens to write about how they were impacted by the fires of 2020 and the floods of last winter.
Know any ghost stories?
Writer and editor Nancy Lynn Jarvis is looking for contributions to a compilation she’s going to call “Santa Cruz Ghosts.” If you have a good spooky yarn, set in Santa Cruz, of 3,000 words or more, reach out to Nancy at email@example.com. Deadline is Sept. 15. You don’t have to be a published author to give it a shot.
A wrap for July Trivia — join us in August
Wow, what a fabulous time was had by all at our monthly Trivia Night last Tuesday at Abbott Square. I was thrilled to be joined by my old friend Sven Davis as co-host. Sven was a master.
Our winners were Team X (hey, do you guys Elon Musk?), which won by answering the following question: What Olympic event, previously open only to female athletes, will be open to male athletes in the 2024 games in Paris? (Yep, synchronized swimming). Congratulations to Peter Towbiu, Angelika, Allison and James Plotts, Donna and Steven Hendrickson, Patricia Dwyer, Debra Szecsei, and Emily Woods.
What’s that? Are we doing it again? Yes, we are. August 29.
Earworm of the Week
The music world is still in shock at the news that the great Irish-born vocalist Sinead O’Connor has died at the age of 56. O’Connor famously lived a life of considerable pain and anguish, which included battles with mental health, public backlash against some controversial stands she made, and the suicide of her teenaged son. Music fans around in the 1990s might remember her more for the off-stage stuff, but let’s not forget her luminous body of work as a singer/songwriter. She was an artist who was never afraid of baring her soul, whatever the consequences. A great way to remind yourself of just how powerful O’Connor could be is the song “No Man’s Woman,” from the 2000 album “Faith and Courage.” I’m not sure you can find a more ferociously on-fire feminist anthem, surging with defiant pride and, despite that defiance, a powerful statement of faith in love. If you’re a young woman fighting your way to make it in this world, find a way to play “No Man’s Woman” today, and find a place where you can play it loud.
All the Earworms in one place
For those who’ve been following my Earworm of the Week, I’ve assembled a playlist that contains them all.
Santa Cruz County Trivia
What multi-billion dollar company was conceived on a Highway 17 commute between Scotts Valley and Silicon Valley?
Last week: Shakespeare Santa Cruz — the forerunner company to today’s Santa Cruz Shakespeare — was established in 1982, and its first play featured the accomplished English actor Tony Church in the title role of “King Lear.” This summer, SCS comes full circle with another production of “King Lear” with long-time artistic director Paul Whitworth in the lead role.
That’s all I got, friends. Come at me with comments, ideas, complaints, or thundering insights. Thanks to all Lookout members for your faith and support, and please, spread the word on what we’re doing.