Carmel On Stage
The Carmel Performing Arts Festival takes over the town's venues for three weekends.
Thursday, October 1, 1998
Robin McKee and her loyal band are pushing forward with their dream of making the Carmel Performing Arts Festival, now in its second year, an annual event with a sizable, if still largely local, audience draw.
This year''s festival is leaner than last year''s, with offerings pared down from 1997''s unwieldy calendar of 51 performers presenting 150 separate shows, to this season''s more manageable 30 individuals and groups putting on 72 shows, from Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 18.
Despite the size reduction, this year''s festival offers a wider range of music than during its first year: Along with jazz and classical, this season''s performances add some rousing Tennessee bluegrass and gospel/New Age.
Intimate, one-person shows are the bread-and-butter of smaller festivals like Carmel''s, but McKee has also booked a number of larger, splashy acts, including "It''s About Time," by the Night and Day ballroom dance troupe from L.A., at the Golden Bough Oct. 15 and 17, and Salinas-based La Romera''s Duende! Flamenco, bringing wild Spanish flamenco dancing to the Carmel Ballet Academy this Saturday evening. La Romero is bringing in two hot flamenco stars for their first local appearance, nationally acclaimed dancer Juan Talavera and singer Jesus Montoya, described by the L.A. Times as "the Pavarotti of flamenco singing."
McKee rounds out the festival by incorporating local productions that would have gone on anyway, such as The Monterey World Music Festival and PacRep''s indoor and outdoor Shakespeare plays, and coopting local dance and music groups into her artistic rubric. It''s a fine ploy, acting to keep local artists involved in and supportive of the CPAF.
On the drama front, two plays with political themes hold out great promise: "The Minstrel Show: The Lynching of William Brown," at the Cherry Center Friday, Saturday and Sunday (see accompanying article), and "The Gift of Hope," a moving drama about breast cancer presented by the Organic Theater Company of Chicago, playing Oct. 14, 16, 17 and 18 at the Circle Theater, with much of the proceeds going to local cancer care.
Another dramatic offering is "Songs My Grandmother Taught Me," a one-woman "family opera" written and performed by Colorado actress Ethelyn Friend, Oct. 9-11 at the Cherry Center.
The Forge in the Forest/General Store kicks in with some brunch and dinner theater offerings, highlighted by CW Associate Editor Chuck Thurman in his own one-man "whodunnit" psychological thriller mystery dinner Oct. 8 and 15.
And the CPAF is fortunate to have snagged The Dell''Arte Players of Blue Lake, Calif., who will present "Mad Love," a terrifying and humorious tale of a crazed surgeon and his obsessive love for an actress, one show only Oct. 16 at the Sunset Theater.
Musical must-sees include Brazilian jazz pianist Weber Iago, at the Jazz Store this Saturday; the McLain Brothers Band, bringing traditional and original Tennessee bluegrass to the Outdoor Forest Theater for one show only, Saturday afternoon Oct. 10; and the Monterey Symphony playing Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Brahms, with Dimitry Jablonsky as guest conductor, Oct. 18 at the Sunset Theater.
The best way to go is to buy a full festival pass for $120, but a five-show pass for $50 is also a good deal. Individual shows range from $10 to $18, excluding Forge in the Forest dinner shows, and cancer benefit performances of "The Gift of Hope." Plus, there are plenty of free afternoon offerings at the Crossroads and Barnyard shopping centers.
Don''t miss La Rondalla Alisal, a group of Salinas Valley farmworkers'' children performing and singing traditional Mexican songs in Spanish and English, Saturday at the Crossroads and Sunday at Devendorf Park, both shows at noon. cw
Tickets and schedules available at the CPAF office, 228 Crossroads Blvd. in the Crossroads Shopping Center (624-7675, to pay by credit card) and The Kiosk at Carmel Plaza, Ocean and Junipero avenues, Carmel; or fax your ticket request to 622-7631.
The Madwoman of Chaillot Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. Comedy. Veteran Peninsula actress Rosamond Goodrich stars as a Parisian woman who lives in a cellar, cares for stray cats and dreams of a world of past fantasies. Upon learning that a group of evil businessmen are plotting to make the world even uglier than it already is, she concocts a scheme for sending them all packing. Written during the Nazi Occupation of Paris, author Jean Giradoux put it in a drawer for three years, vowing it would not be performed until Paris was liberated. Madwoman is considered a play of great charm, humor and insight. Western Stage Performing Arts Center, Hartnell College, 156 Homestead Ave., Salinas. 755-6816/375-2111. $18/general; $10/children; $16/seniors. Through: 10/17.
Shimmer Saturday, 7:30pm; Wednesday, 7:30pm. Drama. PacRep Artistic Director Stephen Moorer performs a disturbing 75-minute monologue of an adult looking back on his experiences as a 16-year-old growing up in a Midwest home for boys. Circle Theater at the Golden Bough, Casanova Street, between 8th and 9th avenues, Carmel. 622-0100. $15/general; $10/children; $10/seniors. Through: 10/7.
Always...Patsy Cline Friday and Saturday, 8pm. Musical Revue. The Western Stage brings its production of Always to The Wharf Theater, turning the stage into the Grand Ole Opry for a musical tribute to country singer Patsy Cline, who died tragically in a plane crash in 1963. This show features a live band and more than 20 of Cline''s greatest hits, including "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy." The Wharf Theater, Old Fisherman''s Wharf, Monterey. 375-2111/755-6816. $20/general; $10/children; $18/seniors. Through: 10/31.
Antony & Cleopatra Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday 5:00pm. Drama. This production of Shakespeare''s tragic historical romance looks a lot different than the $30 million De Mille film. Innovative cutting by Dorian Ellis and PacRep Artistic Director Stephen Moorer trims the play neatly in half, leaving just seven characters and focusing on the love story rather than the wars and battles (although there are still some of those). Golden Bough Theatre, Monte Verde Street between 8th and 9th avenues, Carmel. 622-0700. $15/general; $10/children; $10/seniors. Through: 10/11.
The Changeling Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 7pm. Drama. This 17th-century Elizabethan play is really two plays in one: a tragedy of love and betrayal, wherein a man disguises himself as a changeling in order to be in close contact with the wife of the head of a local insane asylum; and a comedy, enacted by the asylum''s inmates. The Changeling features a large cast of Unicorn Theater regulars and newcomers, and period stage and music. Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman St., Monterey. 649-0259. $15/general; $12/children; $12/seniors. Through: 10/11.
Ghost of the Ozarks Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8pm. Melodrama. Yet another in the First Theater''s wide repertoire of 19th-century melodramas, this one was made into a John Wayne movie titled The Shepherd of the Hills. The story is set in Arkansas, but it could be anywhere U.S.A. Plenty of hissing and booing of evil villains, weeping for maidens, and cheering of stalwart heroes. California''s First Theater, Scott and Pacific streets, Monterey. 375-4916. $10/general; $5/children; $8/seniors. Through: 11/3.
Much Ado About Nothing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 8pm. Comedy. PacRep Theater concludes its summer Shakespeare offerings with one of the Bard''s most popular comedies. Prideful and stubborn, Benedick and Beatrice, determined never to get married themselves, match wits while trying to marry off their young, more eligible friends. Paul Jennings is a lusty, confident Benedick, evenly matched by Julie Hughett''s hilarious, barbed-tongue Beatrice. Outdoor Forest Theater, Santa Rita Street and Mountain View Avenue, Carmel. 622-0700. $15/general; $10/children; $10/seniors. Through: 10/11.
The Sisters Rosensweig Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. Comedy. Wendy Wasserstein''s 1980s Broadway hit comedy has three middle-aged sisters from New York reuniting at the eldest sister''s London home for her 54th birthday and spending a boisterous evening together, punctuated by a couple of erstwhile boyfriends, and plenty of heartfelt reminiscing. The Western Stage Studio Theater, Hartnell College, 156 Homestead Ave., Salinas. 755-6816/375-2111. $15/general; $13/children; $13/seniors. Through: 10/24.
Tapping the Glass Sunday and Tuesday, 7:30pm. Drama. Jeanne Wooster presents the final offering in Pac Rep''s Solo Series with her one-woman show that mixes music and monologue. Tapping the Glass follows Wooster through her final year of college in Philadelphia, as she tries to keep afloat by relying on her friends and her music, spending many a long night at Dirty Frank''s Bar, tapping the glass "in expectation of redemption and enlightenment." Directed by Kathy Deskins-Jacobs. Circle Theater at the Golden Bough, Casanova Street between 8th and 9th avenues, Carmel. 622-0100. $15/general; $10/children; $10/seniors. Through: 10/10.
Vivien Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 2pm. Drama. MaryAnn Schaupp-Rousseau portrays Hollywood legend Vivien Leigh, wife to Laurence Olivier and most famous for her role as Scarlett in Gone With The Wind, in a one-woman show that leads off this year''s PacRep Theater''s Solo Series. We meet up with Leigh in 1967, as she reminisces about the various men in her life, particularly the brilliant and obsessive Olivier. Schaupp, directed by Lamont Johnson, brings Leigh to life in masterful fashion, conveying the star''s mercurial temperament as she takes us through the highs and lows of life in Hollywood''s fast lane. Circle Theater at the Golden Bough, Casanova Street between 8th and 9th avenues, Carmel. 622-0100. $15/general; $10/children; $10/seniors. Through: 10/11.
Carl Cherry Center for the Arts "The Language of the Body." Group exhibit surveying contemporary themes and techniques in figure painting. Guadalupe Street and 4th Avenue, Carmel. 624-7491. Through: 10/11.
Monterey Museum of Art "Juried All-Media Show." Works in many media by 95 artists from around the Monterey Bay. "Art From the Collectors'' Guild," paintings from private collections. "The Broken Road," art and poetry by Big Sur children created during the ''97-''98 winter (ice-cream social/reception for this exhibit, 10/2, 4pm). 559 Pacific St., Monterey. 372-5477. Through: 11/29.
MPC Art Dept. Gallery "MetaLmorphosis." Metal art and prints by Monterey Peninsula College students and faculty. 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 455-0635. Reception: 10/6, 12pm. Through: 10/30.
Pacific Grove Art Center "Patron''s Show," works by local artists to be raffled off on 10/25. "Reflections," nationally juried art. "French Details," photographs taken in France by Deborah Smolen. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208. Reception: 10/2, 7pm. Through: 10/25.
Venture Art Gallery "Printmaking: Nostalgic Imagery." Monoprints by Lesley Anne Spowart. 260 Alvarado Mall, in the Doubletree Hotel, Monterey. 372-6279. Reception: 10/4, 2pm. Through: 10/30.
Vest Pocket Gallery Still-life paintings by students in the P.G. Adult School class taught by Anita DeCarlo. 551 Gibson Ave., Pacific Grove. 657-5200. Reception: 10/2, 3pm. Through: 10/31.
Back Porch Fabrics "Quilts and Paintings." Works by Wilda Northrop. 157 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-4453. Through: 10/15.
Carmel Art Association "Fin de Siecle." Mixed media on paper by Robert Bradshaw. Dolores Street between 5th and 6th, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 10/7.
Carmel Art Association "European Travels." Oil paintings of scenes from Italy, England, France, Switzerland and Germany. Dolores between 5th and 6th, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 10/7.
Carmel Art Association "Gallery Showcase." Oil paintings by Reed Farrington, Brenda Morrison, Philip Thorngate and sculptures by Ken Wiese. Dolores between 5th and 6th, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 10/7.
Carmel Valley Manor "Photographs by Verna Johnston." Close-up photographs of animals, birds, forest scenes and flowers from around the world by Verna Johnston. 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4711. Through: 10/30.
Center for Photographic Art "So That the Souls May Sing." Photographs and paintings by Jeffrey Becom celebrating the Day of the Dead. At the Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 9th Avenue, Carmel. 625-5181. Through: 11/1.
Chapman Gallery & Frame Shop Plein air style oil paintings by Ron Elstad. 7th Avenue, between San Carlos and Mission streets, Carmel. 626-1766. Through: 10/15.
Henry Miller Library "Sculpture ''98." Sculptural works by 21 members of the Pacific Rim Sculptors Group. Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2574. Through: 11/5.
KAZU Community Room "Music Photography." Color photographs of jazz, rock and blues performers by Coast Weekly music columnist Beth Peerless. 167 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-7275. Through: 10/31.
Monterey College of Law Photographs by Jerry Bell. 404 Franklin St., Monterey. 659-5310.
Pajaro Valley Gallery "Harvest Home: Farm Works by Local Women Artists." Works "that have something to say about this fertile valley from ancient times to the present" by 12 women artists. 37 Sudden St., Watsonville. 723-3062. Through: 10/17.
Parking Lot Gallery "Parked in the Past." An assemblage resembling a car, created from 213 items on loan from Last Chance Mercantile. Parking lot in front of WWII hospital, 3rd Street, California State University Monterey Bay. 373-0823. Through: 10/10.
Santa Catalina School Gallery "South Mountain/North Mountain." Landscape scrolls by Joan Larkey. 1500 Mark Thomas Dr., Monterey. 655-9350. Through: 10/18.
Searle Art "2D and Not 2D." Works by the Monterey Peninsula College Art Club. 639 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. 373-0126. Through: 10/2.
Seaside City Hall Acrylic paintings by Juanita Anderson; ceramics by Kristine Safford. 440 Harcourt Ave., Seaside. 899-6270. Reception: 10/9, 7pm. Through: 10/30.
Valley Art Gallery "The Last of the Robys." A collection of oils and watercolors by the late John Roby. 218 Main St., Salinas. 422-4162. Through: 11/1.
Weston Gallery "Italy: In the Shadow of Time." Photographs by Linda Butler. 6th Avenue, between Dolores and Lincoln streets, Carmel. 624-7190. Through: 10/26.
Zantman Art Galleries "Souvenirs de France." Recent paintings by Duane Alt. 6th Avenue and Mission Street, Carmel. 624-8314. Through: 10/9.
A Woman''s Wellspring Watercolor monotypes exploring "the visually meditative themes of dancers and webs" by Anne Downs. 575 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-2320. Through: 11/30.
Call for Artists The Colton Hall Museum and Cultural Arts Commission of Monterey is calling for artists interested in exhibiting at the Alvarado Gallery in the Monterey Conference Center. Deadline: 10/16. Call for more info. 646-5640. Through: 10/16.