In case you missed it.

 In case you missed it, here is this week's edition.
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ETC. Photo of the day by Daniel DreifussSoon, live and in-person events will be returning to the Sunset Center. Managing Director Beth Bowman (pictured) is working to make sure the venue has all proper health and safety requirements in place—“I think we’re all willing to do what it takes,” she says. Submit your best horizontal photos. (Please include the location where the photo was taken in the caption.)

The return of performing arts is here.

Good morning. 

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier here, thinking about adaptability. It’s amazing how quickly the unprecedented can start feeling normal. 

I had this thought after a conversation with Ken Kelleher, the director of Pacific Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Julius Caesar (which hits the stage Sept. 30). This is Kelleher’s first fully-produced, live and in-person play in a while so yes, he is “reusing muscles that haven’t been used in a year and a half.” But after just a couple of rehearsals back, he says, he found himself slipping into a groove where it all started to feel normal again.

That feeling notwithstanding, live and in-person entertainment hasn’t been available to us in the past year-and-a-half. And the fact that it is returning now deserves our celebration.

That’s exactly what much of this week’s print edition of the Weekly—our Fall Arts Issue—is devoted to. 

For this week’s cover story, I talked with venue operators and event organizers about how they’re approaching the return of performing arts—from pent-up audience demand to new health and safety requirements. It’s been a trying time for the industry that was first to close and last to open, PacRep’s Executive Director Stephen Moorer reminds me. And then, just as opening began, the more infectious delta variant gained ground, throwing some plans into question and leading to the cancellation of other events altogether. But venues are figuring out their Covid requirements (masking, reduced capacity, proof of vaccination or a negative test are all tools at their disposal) and performers are forging ahead. “People feel the loss of arts and gathering around arts,” Monterey Symphony’s Executive Director Nicola Reilly tells me. “We just have to figure out a way to make it work.”

Also in this week’s issue, Editor Sara Rubin takes you behind the scenes and into a family reunion (in some cases literally) of devoted Monterey Jazz Festival volunteers. The 64th annual festival, which is ongoing as you read this, sold out at lightning speed—another indicator of that pent-up demand for entertainment.

And then there’s the 2021 Fall Arts Calendar—an overview of the plays, concerts, visual art exhibits and more happening through the end of December. While it’s important to remember that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic and planned events are subject to change, the lineup—which includes the return of many perennial classics like the Carmel Bach Festival and First Night Monterey—makes for hopeful reading. 

We hope you’ll enjoy perusing through and, perhaps, even finding an event or two to attend to show your support for Monterey County’s artistic community.

-Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, associate editor, tajha@mcweekly.com

Read It Now
BY THE NUMBERS

Many events and venues, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, are only selling half the number of tickets they normally would. This is to allow visitors to space themselves out.

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On the Cover
Performing arts are back. But putting on a show is not as simple as it once was.
News
Potential pitfalls remain for Seaside’s Campus Town project, but it could still break ground next year.
Opinion

KOWTOW KAPOW… Squid is easy to please, no special orders made of restaurant servers, unlike Squid’s former bestie Flapjack the Octopus.

Carmel extends parklets month-to-month, and begrudgingly. What’s next?

Letters to the Editor.

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