Thursday, February 25, 1999
When the curtain goes up next Wednesday for the Dee Dee Bridgewater show at CSUMB''s World Theater, it will reveal more to audiences than a stellar jazz singer.
Although most eyes will be focused on the performer, there will be others looking at a new, state-of-the-art performance venue in Monterey County. In keeping with the university''s emphasis on multimedia, technological advances in the arts, the World is an electronic marvel.
The World is fashioned from the bones and stones of the Hanson Theater, a 900-seat movie theater built 50 years ago for Fort Ord troops. Because external structural modifications have been minimal, the new theater does have some inherent drawbacks for performance groups needing a traditional performance space: There are no flies, the wings are limited in space, and there is no attached workshop for set construction and load-in. Also, to make room for a lobby, extended stage and increased area to house the technological marvels, seating in the theater was decreased from 900 to 427 seats--making it competitive in size with many other local venues, including MPC''s main stage, the Golden Bough and Santa Catalina--and this size may make it financially unfeasible to attract really big-name performers unless the performance is subsidized beyond the box office.
But, within its inherent limitations, the World is the best theater in the area, bar none--and probably the most sophisticated theater between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The space will be almost infinitely flexible for any type of performance. The 35mm projectors from the original theater were found to be in "excellent" condition and a new 31-foot screen was purchased for the site, making it possible for the college to host motion picture screenings. (And with the college''s ties to Luis Valdez, and the anticipated move of Kit Parker Films to a campus location, possibilities seem endless. Anyone say film festival?)
Lighting (more than 200 instruments and about a bazillion circuits) and sound (48 channels) are controlled by top-line digital boards. Performances can be recorded straight to VHS, DVD or uplinked and fed to satellite or Web broadcasts--making the site ideal for conferences and speakers who are trying to reach audiences around the world.
For dancers, the stage floor is double-sprung, making it an easier surface on which to perform (and land). And for music groups, an acoustic shell is scheduled for installation--which will probably make the building the most acoustically sophisticated theater in the area.
Actors used to the makeshift nature of most local dressing rooms will be impressed with the luxury and size of the rooms, as well as the formal "green room," at the World.
Audiences, too, have been considered in the design. The arena seating has ample leg room (but watch out for the knee-knocking folding desktops at the ends of the rows), and built-in cupholders. Entry into the theater is by way of a modest lobby and through a sort of antechamber that momentarily isolates audiences from the "real" world before entering the theater.
(Nowhere, perhaps, was the audience taken more into account than in the design of the bathrooms, where the women''s stalls outnumber the men''s more than two-to-one.)
When the next stage of the theater is completed, a walkway will connect the World Theater with nearby Pomeroy Hall, where receptions and other related performance gatherings will be held. cw
Smash Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm. Comedy. Conrad Selvig directs a great local cast in this Jeffrey Hatcher adaptation of George Bernard Shaw''s novel, An Unsocial Socialist. As the name suggests, it''s one of Shaw''s deliciously biting looks at societal foibles and philosophical musings at the turn of the century. Shaw''s wit is always modern, loaded with clever wordplay and relationships that weave in and out of each other on their way to a wrap-up that always has something revealing to say about "civilization." Cast includes Ron Cohen, Peter Eberhardt, John Farmanesh, Roo Hornady, Michael Lojkovic, Deirdre McCauley and Michael Robbins. Cherry Center for the Arts, Fourth and Guadalupe, Carmel. 646-9478. $14/general; $12/children; $12/seniors. Through: 3/21.
Who''s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. Drama. Edward Albee''s powerful, wrenching drama depicts one evening in the life of George, a domineering college professor, and his bitchy, blowsy wife Martha. The couple engage in a drunken, no-holds-barred emotional fight to the death over cocktails, with a hapless young couple as unwilling audience. An excellent cast offers up uncompromising, powerful performances for three hours that will leave you gasping for air. This is tough, wonderful theater. Directed by Jerry Gill. SRO Theater at Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. 646-4213. $5/general; $5/children; $5/seniors. Through: 2/28.
Winnie-the-Pooh in... More Adventures in the Hundred Acre Woods Saturday at 2pm and 4pm, Sunday at 1pm and 3pm. Unicorn Theatre''s Family Fantasy Theatre brings back its annual Pooh offering, with a collection of delightful stories from A.A. Milne''s much-beloved bear. This year, the troupe has added three new tales: "How Eeyore Lost his Tail," "Piglet and the Heffalumps," and "Why Tiggers Can''t Climb Trees." Rob Foster plays the irrepressible bear, with Max Spiegal as Piglet, Kimberly Scott as Tigger, Katy Crockett as Christopher Robin and a host of other actors. This show reguarly sells out; they''re adding more performances than last year, but be sure to make reservations. Hoffman Playhouse, 320 Hoffman St., Monterey. 649-0259. $5/general; Through: 2/28.
A Cup of Tea Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Melodrama. The Troupers of the Gold Coast present A Cup of Tea, a 19th-century farce about an erstwhile poet who composes sonnets to his lady-love. His heartfelt odes, unfortunately, fall into the hands of his intended''s husband, with predictably tragi-comic results. This is the Troupers'' 541st production since 1937 in the historic First Theater, one of Monterey''s most treasured 19th-century buildings. All shows are suitable for the entire family, and are followed by an olio revue. California''s First Theater, Scott and Pacific streets, Monterey. 375-4916. $10/general; $5/children; $8/seniors. Through: 3/27.
On The Air Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm, Sunday at 8pm. Musical Revue. Angelo DiGirolamo revives this feel-good, song-and-dance trip down nostalgia lane, presented as this year''s major fundraiser for the Wharf Theater. It''s a true musical revue, featuring the great old songs of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George and Ira Gershwin, and their like. The show is billed as a way to relive the grand old days of radio (if you''re old enough to remember them) or to introduce that genre to your youngsters and grand-youngsters. All ages, of course, are welcome. Directed by Gina Welch-Hagen. Wharf Theater, Fisherman''s Wharf, Monterey. 649-2332/372-1373. $15/general; $8/children; Through: 3/28.
Carmel Performing Arts Festival The Carmel Performing Arts Festival is accepting project proposals from performers for inclusion in this year''s festival, scheduled Oct.1-17. Song, dance, theater, spoken word, performance art--have your proposal in by March 29. Call the festival office at 644-8383 for application.
The Sound of Music Monday and Tuesday, 7:30 to 8:30pm. Musical. The Wharf Theater is holding auditions for its summer production of The Sound of Music, a musical about the Trapp Family singers, a rebel nun, and World War II. You know, the Julie Andrews movie. All parts are open, and the production plays July 1 through Aug. 22, directed by Gina Welch-Hagen. Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater, Wharf #1, Monterey. 659-2440/649-2332. Through: 3/2.
Carmel Art Association "Gordon Newell Remembered." Special Event. The life of noted sculptor--and longtime Carmel Art Association member--Gordon Newell is celebrated with a reception. Newell passed away in December ''98. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Thursday, 6pm.
Grove Homescapes Mono prints by Lesley Ann Spowart and Gary Snider; acrylic paintings by Anita Benson; black-and-white photographs by Jay Schneider. 472 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 656-0864. Reception: 2/26, 5pm. Through: 3/31.
Montery Museum of Art--La Mirada Lecture. Nancy Moure, author of California Art: 450 Years of Painting and Other Media presents a slide lecture and booksigning focusing on "The Art of Northern California, 1945-1975." RSVP. 720 Via Mirada, Monterey. 625-3525. Sunday, 3pm.
Pacific Grove Art Center Opening Reception. "Out of the Earth," photographs by David E. Stroup; "My Life," paintings by Marian Whitney; "Print Work," etchings and lithographs by Diana Jacobs; humorous sculpture by Mary Gould. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208. Reception: 2/26, 7pm. Through: 4/2.
Ansel Adams Gallery "Backwater: Central Valley Dreamscapes." Exhibit. Photographs of California''s Central Valley by Roman Loranc. The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17 Mile Dr., Pebble Beach. 375-7215. Through: 3/15.
Back Porch Fabrics and Gallery "These Are a Few of Our Favorite Quilts." Exhibit. Quilts and garments made by the staff of Back Porch Fabrics. 157 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-4453. Through: 3/12.
Carmel Art Association "Hearts and Flowers." Exhibit. Works by CAA members in commemoration of Valentine''s Day. Also an exhibit of new abstract works. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 3/3.
Carmel Valley Manor Exhibit. Color photographs of flowers and landscapes by Stuart Mitchell and Irving Stuart (through: 2/28), and works by members of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the Embroiderers'' Guild of America (through: 3/30). 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4806.
Center for Photographic Art "10 Years." Exhibit. Works by 33 photographers selected to celebrate the Center''s 10th anniversary. In the Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 625-5181. Through: 3/9.
Forest Hill Manor. Exhibit. "Children of the World." Photographs by Carmel local Marcia DeVoe, taken on her various world travels. Also, artwork by local children. 551 Gibson Ave., Pacific Grove. 657-5200. Through: 2/28.
Galer¡a Tonantzin "Self Portraits." Exhibit. Paintings by South Bay and Monterey Bay Women''s Caucus for Art. 115 3rd St., San Juan Bautista. 623-ARTE. Through: 2/28.
Gray''s Art Gallery "Celebrating Black History." Exhibit. Group show in various media. 1104 Broadway Ave., Suite K, Seaside. 899-1069. Through: 2/27.
Highlands Inn "Visual Inn." Exhibit. Photographof renowned American chefs by Italian photographer, writer and businessman Francesco Illy. Highway 1, Carmel. 624-3801. Through: 3/8.
Marjorie Evans Gallery "Artist Equity Group Exhibit." Exhibit. Works by 20 local members of Artists Equity. Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 591-2787. Through: 2/26.
Martin Laborde Gallery Photographs by Loran List, ranging from female nudes "in 1920s and ''30s style," to scenes from his recent China trip. 6th Avenue, between Lincoln and Dolores streets, Carmel. 620-1150. Through: 3/15.
Monterey College of Law Exhibit. Handmade papers, monotypes and etchings by Paula Walzer. 404 W. Franklin St., Monterey. 373-3301.
Monterey Museum of Art: Civic Center Exhibit. Gerald Wasserman''s "Caff Scenes;" Works on paper from the Frost/Hanna Collection. C.S. Price: "Landscape, Image and Spirit." 559 Pacific St., Monterey. 372-5477. Through: 5/9.
Monterey Museum of Art--La Mirada "Face to Face: The Paintings of Mabel Alvarez." Exhibit. 720 Via Mirada, Monterey. 372-3689, 372-5477. Through: 3/7.
National Steinbeck Center "Cross-eyed: Two Siblings/Distinct Memories." Exhibit. Art works and writing by John and Leah Harper that "relate humorous and touching stories about their memories growing up in a large family." One Main St., Salinas. 796-3833.
Pajaro Valley Gallery "Black & White and Everything in Between." Exhibit. Works by Lynda Watson and Jane Gregorius. 37 Sudden St., Watsonville. 722-3062. Through: 3/20.
Sally Griffin Senior Center "If Walls Could Tell." Exhibit. Paintings by David R. Rojas focusing on farms, barns and other rural icons that "evoke a rural, pastoral time long since past." 700 Jewell Ave., Pacific Grove. 899-9141. Through: 2/28.
Santa Catalina School "The World of Lady M." Paintings by Karen Nagano inspired by Japanese court culture and literature. 1500 Mark Thomas Dr., Monterey. 655-9350. Through: 4/18.
Searle Art Supply Exhibit. Watercolors by Jan Valtr. 639 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. 373-0126. Through: 3/3.
Seaside City Hall Exhibit. Group show with works in several media celebrating Black History Month. Artists include Jimi Claybrooks, Carol Bowie, Vern Bowie, Barrington McCloud, Sandra Gray and Antar Jannah. 440 Harcourt Ave., Seaside. 899-6270. Through: 2/26.
Spill Gallery. Exhibit. Cartoonist Phil Yeh displays watercolor cartoons from his childrens books; Lieve Jerger presents her copper lace sculptural art; Star Wars artist Alfredo Alcala shows some of his original comics; Spill offers handmade watercolor greeting cards. 3730 The Barnyard, Carmel. 626-4161.
Thunderbird Bookshop Caf "Explorations." Exhibit. Recent works in acrylic by Beverly Borgman. At the Barnyard Shopping Center, off Highway 1 and Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. 624-1803. Through: 3/7.
Tillie Gort''s Restaurant "Through the Looking Glass." Exhibit. Black-and-white portraiture by Rocio Brice¤o "examines images of an adult world in the eyes of children." 111 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. 373-0335. Through: 3/28.
A Woman''s Wellspring Exhibit. Black-and-white photography of the female nude by Jenny Ruley. 575 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-2320. Through: 3/30.
Zantman Art Galleries Opening Reception. Paintings by Suzanne Etienne. 6th Street and Mission Avenue, Carmel. 624-8314. Through: 3/12.