Weekender: Cabrillo Fest Hits the High Notes, Trivia Night Recap and a Song Worth Hearing
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August in Santa Cruz traditionally means the time to punch your tickets to catch the big summer events of the year – Santa Cruz Shakespeare, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and Cabrillo Stage. These large organizations are still gaining a foothold after the shutdown. And while they’ve all been around for years – Cabrillo Fest turns 60 this summer – now is not the time to take them for granted. You know what to do.
Now, on to the show:
It just happened!
The veteran singer-songwriter is one of Texas’ biggest musical exports. James McMurtry, whose dry and harsh country-rock atmosphere is perfectly in tune with the times. McMurtry will perform live at the Rio Theater on October 14. Other new bookings this week include postponement of cancellation Jesse Colin Young October 1 show at the Rio, the “Golden Voice of Africa”, Salif Keitaat the Rio on September 10, singer-songwriter Grant Lee Phillips in Moe’s Alley on September 18, and the other world Desert Dwellers leading a Triloka lineup at Moe’s on October 1.
Check out my carefully curated and constantly updated planning guide, all along the line, for the staggering riches and incredible choices that await Santa Cruz audiences. It’s our rundown of the best shows, concerts and events from the rest of the year at clubs, stages and venues across the county.
Here they are, nine pieces of information needed for the week ahead. Welcome to B9:
- The Cabrillo Festival is 60 years old! And to kick off his 60th anniversary season, he invites a Santa Cruz-born composer to contemplate “The end of the rain.”
- Sometimes a band is just too smart and eclectic for this junk world. If not, how to explain why NRBQ forgotten for more than 50 years?
- Jazzy, soulful, bluesy, fearless, naturally human – you run out of adjectives to describe the beautiful Austin’s singing voice Ruthie Foster.
- Good news for fans of the mysterious Santa Cruz writer Leslie Karst: Its detective heroine Sally Solari is back in a new adventure.
- Shakespeare of Santa Cruz is taking off, with the three productions go strong. Don’t let summer slip away without visiting The Grove.
- The vocal group room full of teeth electrified the Cabrillo Festival in 2019. Guess who’s back in town.
- Nellie McKay is one of the great creative weirdos in the jazz world, and we mean that in the best possible way.
- Texas gave the world a battalion of unforgettable musicians, but no history of Texas music is complete without Austin’s great blues pianist Marcia Ball.
- Find any category you like, but famous bassist and brilliantly inventive stylist The Claypools just not going to comply with any of them.
➤ WANT MORE B9 CHOICES? Find recommendations from the BOLO team – Wallace, Max Chun and Will McCahill – here
Trivia Night wrap
On Tuesday, a novelty was born. Lookout’s Trivia Night event, hosted by me and my comedian boyfriend Richard Stockton, It was a success. And we’ll do it again as a free monthly event, August 30 and September 27 in the super cool environment of Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz.
It was my first time planning something like this and I had a lot of fun designing some tricky trivia questions. The goal: to make our audience leave having learned a little something about the world.
One of the questions on our “Final Jeopardy” tour, which gave locals Clark Brigham and Mary Maloney The grand prize of the evening was this:
In the classic 1987 film “The Lost Boys”, what song was played during the opening sequence designed to capture the Santa Cruz vibe and which featured many local extras from the film?
They won the pot by identifying the Santa Cruz-born actor’s film and TV roles Adam Scott.
I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and I’m looking forward to to hear from you on your comments about the event. Next time we will use what we learned to make the event even better.
Oh, yes, the answer to the “Lost Boys” question:
“People are strange” by the doors. (Should the Santa Cruzans take it personally?)
Staged reading season
If you saw Kathryn ChetkovichThe seductive and hilarious play from “The Formula” to Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s summer season, you may or may not know that it originally premiered in 2019 as a midweek staged reading. This year, SCS is returning to staged readings, meaning plays performed by non-costumed actors and reading scripts. These types of performances give playwrights and directors valuable ideas and insights into the viability of a play, and they are also a boost for the audience. The staged reading of “The Formula” in 2019 has become part of SCS folklore for its positive audience reaction.
This year, Santa Cruz Shakespeare presents the work of two playwrights from Santa Cruz on Tuesdays, August 2 and 9, respectively, Ian McRae“Nasty, Brutish, and Short” and Kate Hawkley“Just the thing she is.”
You might recognize McRae as the guy who runs Hula’s Island Grill in downtown Santa Cruz. Besides his career as a restaurateur, McRae is a highly skilled actor and director who has proven himself in the local theater scene for many years. He calls “Nasty, Brutish, and Short” a “two-hander,” meaning a play for two actors. He doesn’t want to go into too much detail about the plot of the play. Let’s just say it’s a very contemporary dilemma involving two writers — one black and one white — confronting the thorny question: where do empathy and creativity stop and where does cultural appropriation start? ?
Sure, the staged readings aren’t the kind of full-length show you’d expect from Santa Cruz Shakespeare, but they’re a great way to experience new material and see how the theater develops new work. Tickets are on a payout scale of $5 to $25.
The very next day, Wednesday August 3, McRae was involved in theater of a different kind, unrelated to SCS and the staged reading of his new play. He and his wife, Leslie, will host a production in their Westside backyard of a play called “Speed Bump”, about two longtime friends who find themselves on opposite sides of a battle involving a speed bump installed on their street. RSVP here for the chance to see the play.
I am honored to be able to chat live and in person with the musical director and conductor of the Cabrillo Festival, Mr. Cristi Macelaru. He and I will talk about the new season and the long wait between seasons – it’s been three years since the festival had an in-person lineup. The cat is part of the pre-show festivities Friday at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. We’ll chat around 7 p.m. on the outdoor stage before moving inside for the concert. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available. Enjoy the summer and enjoy the live return of the Cabrillo Festival.
Earworm of the week
Forget COVID for a minute. At least in the realm of mental health, clinical depression is the disease of our time. Although sadness and melancholy have been a theme in popular music at least since Hank Williams, music has had a more slippery relationship with depression, as opposed to just “being blue”. Young British-born singer-songwriter Arlo Parks knows how to be an ally to someone struggling with depression. at least that’s the evidence we gather from his beautiful and deeply compassionate song “Black Dog.” The title of the song is as apt a metaphor for depression as any, and its narrator stays completely away from the “just put on a happy face” line of advice which is unnecessary and deaf to anyone caught. trapped in the jaws of depression, and instead opts for straightforward compassion (“Sometimes it feels like you won’t survive it”). Its chorus resonates with simple, direct, loving empathy: “It’s so cruel / What your mind can do for no reason.”
Where am I in Santa Cruz County?
So how well do you notice the little things when you walk around Santa Cruz County? We will be posting images of publicly accessible locations somewhere in Santa Cruz County. You tell us where it is, as accurately as you can…or better yet, send us your own picture of the same.
Do you recognize the imposing figure above? You should – you probably wear a picture of him (or more). Where is he?
Last week’s response: 1990s starlet Anna Nicole Smith’s bobblehead (above) is one of dozens of bobbleheads in the window of That’s Kool, a small sports shop in the village of Soquel.
It’s that Kool has tons of vintage sports memorabilia and the display of bobbleheads in the front windows, naturally, leans very heavily towards the Giants/Warriors/Sharks, but just in case you’re interested in Three Stooges bobbleheads , this place has it too.
That’s all I got, my friends. Come to me with comments, ideas, complaints or amazing ideas. Thank you to all Lookout members for your faith and support, and please, make known on what we do.