Weekly digest #22: Boleros, Spelling Bee interview and best wine blogs

    It was a short week because of Memorial Day, but it certainly didn't feel that way. Wine, theater, and Loreto filled the days and evenings with plenty of stories, photos and even a video or two.

    It was a short week because of Memorial Day, but it certainly didn’t feel that way. Wine, theater, and Loreto filled the days and evenings with plenty of stories, photos and even a video or two. Al’s adventures continued in Loreto aboard the Suave Mar (what a name!) and he posted some great shots too in Loreto Hump Day Chores.

    We continue to be impressed (and overwhelmed) at the quality and quantity of the stage and theater productions here. With over 6 million people in the SF-Oakland-San Jose region, it’s no surprise that this is the third largest (after New York and Chicago) Arts center in the US. So we now find ourselves zipping up and down 101, 680 and 880 from show-to-show. It’s a vibrant scene.

    I always enjoy watching a live performance. There is something in the air (queue Phil Collins), the feeling when you first walk into the theater, along with anticipation. And unpredictability. Will there be any unforeseen hitches or gaffes. How will the audience react?

    The economy has hit the Arts scene hard in the Bay Area. With razor thin margins to begin with, it’s challenging to keep things afloat when your nightly bookings drop from 80-100% capacity to, say, 60%. Further, with less discretionary income, customers expect more entertainment for their dollar which puts downward pressure on ticket prices. Fortunately, the product itself, at least from what I can tell, is not suffering. Perhaps because of this strain, the creative process has  transcended.

    Productions are on a roll. This week, we took in some fine shows, including Boleros for the Disenchanted (A.C.T. San Francisco), Stop Kiss (City Lights San Jose) and opening night at The Great American Trailer Park Musical (San Jose Stage Company). Also recently, we thoroughly enjoyed The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee (San Jose Repertory Theater). Speaking of the ‘Bee’, the first part of Loni’s interview with the cast is now available. We have the second part coming along with a motion dance demonstration with assistant director Amanda.

    In the coming weeks and months, we’ll look ahead to the 2009/2010 season and preview some of the productions. It’s shaping up to be a superb season of world-class theater!

    For those interested in writing for StarkSilverCreek, please write us at info@starkinsider.com. We are always looking for people interested in sharing their adventures, stories, editorials, photos and videos. Be it West Coast travel, wine country or the Arts scene, why not get your stuff out to 180,000 people/year here on this site?

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