Hot Picks 11.18.21

There’s still time to catch Cry-Baby the musical at Western Stage in Salinas – the play runs through Sunday, Nov. 21. The production boasts a young cast of locals, stars-in-the-making, if you will.

Women on the Move

Ever had the desire to throw your car into the Corkscrew at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and hope for the best? Have you wanted to learn some car handling tricks that might come in handy if you found yourself on the track? Do you perhaps have a few hundred dollars you’re itching to spend? Do you identify as female? If you are four for four, you should definitely register for the Women’s Track Day hosted by Accelerating Change at Laguna Seca. Your car, your gas, your tires and you behind the wheel. They provide whatever instruction is necessary, along with food and an after-party. Participants will get almost two hours of track time over the twisting, turning, demanding course – as long as you’re not driving an SUV or worse (that’s right, no minivans). Those things tend to topple over and are kinda frowned upon. [DF]

7am-5pm Friday, Nov. 19. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, 1021 Highway 68, Salinas. $399-$675.


Volunteers with 22 Rotary Clubs across Monterey County are gathering to help an iconic, but endangered species: monarch butterflies. The loss of habitat for monarchs is a big reason for their decline, and the rotarians will be planting and seeding drought-resistant butterfly garden habitat on 2.5 acres in the Laguna Seca Recreation Area as part of their goal to increase monarch habitat throughout the county, hopefully giving the local migrating population a boost. [DS]

9:30am-2:30pm Saturday, Nov. 20. Laguna Seca Recreation Area, 1021 Highway 68, Salinas. Free. 242-2980.

Holiday Flair

Eleven years ago, Salinas’ now locally renowned Flair on the Farm began as an idea to raise a few extra dollars for holiday shopping. Quickly gaining the community’s embrace, the annual local vendors market is now a big holiday to-do, with more than 200 local sellers. Not sure if you’ve heard, but the supply chain is broken and there is no deadline for a fix. This means 2021 will force us to harken back to the days before Amazon and online sellers, and instead seek out the magic and creativity of our locales. Flair on the Farm to the rescue. [CN]

10am-4pm Saturday, Nov. 20; 10am-3pm Sunday, Nov. 21. Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 N. Main St., Salinas. $5 to enter.,

Living Color

Of all painting styles, watercolor may be the best for beginners – it’s simple and light and forgiving, especially if you go in with an open mind. If you’ve been wanting to try it out, here’s an event for you. Monterey-based artist Elizabeth Murray is taking over the cozy, homey space at Studio Fogline on Nov. 20 to teach the art of the watercolor sketch. You will learn to paint quickly in order to capture the essence of a place or a moment in time. This technique is perfect for sketching on-the-go (like while traveling, for instance) – sort of like snapping a quick photo for Instagram, but cooler. [TCL]

10am-2:30pm Saturday, Nov. 20. Studio Fogline, 5th Avenue and Junipero, Carmel. $190. 250-7760,

Festival of Lights

There’s both a literal and figurative dimension to the practice of lighting rows of clay lamps, as is the custom throughout India to celebrate Diwali. It’s a form of brightness as winter settles in, a perfect celebration of the new year. It’s also a representation of inner light to protect against spiritual darkness. This important Hindu festival celebrates light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance. This local Diwali celebration includes chai tea, samosas, henna painting and a book signing with Alka Joshi, a Pacific Grove author whose first novel, set in the India of her childhood, quickly soared to best-seller status. In other words, there’s a lot to celebrate. The ceremony begins promptly at 1pm, refreshments and fun follow. [SR]

1pm Saturday, Nov. 20. Pacific Grove Art Center, 586 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. Free.

Slug Fest

There will be blood spilled on Broadway Avenue on Nov. 20, as one block in downtown Seaside, between Contra Costa and Hillsdale streets, will be closed off in the afternoon and evening to host the mixed-martial arts bout War by the Shore 3. There will be food and drinks – including a fully stocked bar – and live performances from artists across the Central Coast and Bay Area. The outdoor MMA event is a first for the 831, where locals – whether attending or just passing by – have the chance to see fighters pound each other’s faces for the sake of sport and entertainment. [DS]

Doors open at 5pm, fights start 6pm Saturday, Nov. 20. 594 Broadway Ave., Seaside. Free/$250-$500 VIP.

Cry Time

There are multiple generations at work on this production of Cry-Baby. “It’s a young cast,” says Western Stage Operations Manager Kathy Cusson about the play now showing on the main stage. “Almost all of the actors are locals.” Some of the cast members are veterans with the organization (Donna Federico, Tom Kiatta) while others – like the Cry Baby, Edie Flores, who “worked his way up to the lead role,” Cusson says – started only a few years ago. The play, written by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan (with music by Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum) is an adaptation of the movie hit by John Waters. The choice of the play was made by now-retired artistic director Jon Selover (2002-2020), with the new director, Melissa Chin-Parker, fulfilling his vision. [AP]

7:30pm Fridays-Sundays through Nov. 21. The Western Stage, 411 Central Avenue, Salinas. $26/adults; $24/seniors; $12/children. 755-6816,

Aromas is for Artisans

Nonprofit Aromas Hills Artisans has been operating for decades, says President Jane Rekadal. That includes this holiday art fest. “We usually have it indoors. Because of Covid, it’s the first time we are going outdoors and hope it will not rain,” Rekadal adds. There are 22 artists signed up for this year’s edition, showcasing a variety of crafts: pottery, painting, fiber arts, sculpture, photography – you name it. “There will be things you can learn and things you can take home,” Rekadal says, mentioning woodwork, Ukrainian eggs (a dying technique), vintage denim jackets and a spinning wheel… if you dare. There are also kid activities and a food truck. [AP]

10am-3pm Sunday, Nov. 21. Aromas Sports Park, 300 Aromas Road, Aromas. Free. Small fees for selected workshops. 1206-293,


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