Hot Picks 09.08.22

(Clockwise from top) Live theater is just plain fun, and the current run of Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical at the Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel is no exception. It continues through Sept. 18. (bottom) Think you know everything about John Steinbeck? You might not know this story, explored in a play by local playwright Carol Marquart. (left) The AIM for Awareness Walk & Rally is where a walk along the ocean, music and games come together with improving youth mental health. It happens Sunday, Sept. 11.


Try saying that a few times fast. The cast of Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical, now playing at the Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, walks this tongue twister of a gauntlet at least four times a week. And while this mastery is probably not the only reason performances of the show have been selling out left and right, we’re thinking it doesn’t hurt. The show features Pacific Grove resident Malinda DeRouen as Mary, the magical singing nanny who helps bring the British Banks family together. For DeRouen, the stage has always been a passion. “I knew I wanted to be an actress ever since forever – since elementary school,” DeRouen told the Weekly in an interview before her run as Mary began. “I couldn’t do anything else.” There are still two weekends to catch Mary Poppins – get tickets while you can. [TCL]

7:30pm Thursday-Saturday, 4pm Sunday through Sept. 18. Outdoor Forest Theater, Mountain View Avenue and Santa Rita Street, Carmel. $8-$40. 622-0100,

Italian Accent

You cannot overstate the importance of Italian traditions when it comes to shaping American culture. The movies! “Yo, Adrien.” Michael finally joining the family business. The food! Chef Boyardee’s spaghetti and meatballs. Garlic bread from Olive Garden… man, did this country mess up what Italians tried to share. Fortunately, you’ll find none of that at Festa Italia, the annual celebration of Monterey’s Italian heritage. Instead, you’ll dine on authentic favorites like arancini and cannoli (yes, we know; leave the gun), take part in the traditional blessing of the fishing fleet, marvel at the soaring tenor of Pasquale Esposito and hit the court for some bocce action. In other words, there’s food, music and flat-out fun. It’s not all pasta and opera, mind you. The music, food and fun lineup is pretty broad. And there are crafts, plus vendors selling Italian-themed wares. This is the 88th edition of Festa Italia, so they know how to put on an event that is crowd-pleasing and family-friendly. [DF]

3-9pm Friday, Sept. 9; 10am-9pm Saturday, Sept. 10; 10am-6pm Sunday, Sept. 11. Custom House Plaza, Monterey. Free. 633-4444,

Uncovering Local History

Local playwright Carol Marquart presents Two Wives of John Steinbeck, based on the real incident that happened in June 1941, when John Steinbeck brought his new girlfriend to his house at 425 Eardley Ave. in Pacific Grove and introduced her to his first wife. Then, famously, he left the house, and his marriage. Steinbeck and his first wife, Carol Henning, married in January 1930 in Los Angeles. In 1942, after his divorce from Carol, Steinbeck married his girlfriend, Gwyndolyn “Gwyn” Conger. This staged reading stars Teresa Del Piero and Alyca Tanner. If you are a Steinbeck fan, you might be interested in this slightly different perspective of Monterey County’s most famous author. The Fall Local History Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Friends of Pacific Grove Library. [AP]

5:30pm Friday, Sept. 8. Pacific Grove Public Library, 550 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. Free. 648-3165,

Under the Moon

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Imagine a dreamy ridge-top venue in Big Sur, overlooking the Pacific coastline, dress code “casual elegance.” Add cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and schmoozing with no more than 100 guests, familiar local faces. It all combines to be a recipe for a grand evening out – with the added bonus that this event is a benefit for the Mid-Coast Fire Brigade, meaning you help protect Big Sur destinations just like this one from potential disasters. The second annual harvest moon ball is a night of understated glamor in a beautiful setting. Soak it up. [SR]

7-11pm Saturday, Sept. 10. Glen Deven Ranch, 37102 Garrapatos Road, Big Sur. $80. (Cash only at the event, for drinks and silent auction.) 559-906-0342,

Take AIM

What does a walk by the ocean, music, food and games – like corn hole and miniature golf, along with giant versions of Connect 4 and Jenga – have to do with improving youth mental health? A lot, actually. They’re all relaxing and therapeutic, and a positive way to connect with others. They’re also the fun family features of the sixth Annual AIM for Awareness Walk & Rally at Lovers Point. The Carmel-based nonprofit launched only eight years ago has already funneled more than $4 million to important research and evidence-based treatments to improve the mental health of children and teens. AIM’s annual walk and rally serves to raise not just funds but public awareness, as well as provide families with information on how to help children cope with challenges. There’s an optional two-mile walk, a youth mental health exhibit with resources – including strategies for heading back to school – and all the aforementioned entertainment. Exhibitors include numerous local organizations that help families and promote healthy living. Registration fees cover a T-shirt, snacks and entry to the walk and rally. [PM]

1pm Sunday, Sept. 11. Lovers Point Park, 631 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific Grove. $10/youth under 18; $25/adults. 596-8036,

Love Letter

This is a love letter in the sense that it’s dedicated to Carmel’s natural beauty, bohemian past and current performing arts scene. The Monterey Symphony presents two outdoor pops concerts at the Forest Theater, in a show entitled “Love Letter to Carmel, Vol. 2.” The show (a second installation, as the title notes) includes works from local composers Mark Mancina, Alan Silvestri and John Wineglass, as well as Clint Eastwood and Doris Day movie themes, and more. It features local vocalists Malinda DeRouen and Justin Gaudoin, backed up by the full Monterey Symphony orchestra. The concerts are conducted by San Francisco-based conductor Brad Hogarth. These concerts are family-friendly and full of surprises, the organizers promise. The program includes old-time favorites such as “Play Misty for Me,” “Hey There” from the Pajama Game and “The Star Trek Suite.” [AP]

6:30pm Tuesday, Sept. 13 and Wednesday, Sept. 14. Outdoor Forest Theater, Santa Rita Street and Mountain View Avenue, Carmel. $4-$52. 646-851,
 HOT PICKS by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Dave Faries, Celia Jiménez, Pam Marino, Christopher Neely, Agata Popęda, Sara Rubin and David Schmalz.

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