Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 11 - Life's Ups and Downs in Santa Cruz

We're off to Santa Cruz today to take in a production of the Kurt Weill / Bertolt Brecht Threepenny Opera, at the Pacific Cultural Center, about a mile away from the clangorous roller coaster of the Boardwalk.

And, yes, first we have to get there, down 680, past Maguire Peaks,

through the Sunol Valley, bordered by suspiciously-vegetated coastal ranges,

and over the grasslandish-oakish-undulating Grade,

beyond the massifs of biased Mission

and Monument (for a brief stop at Laverne's),

to where redwoodsy Route 17 ascends towards Mt. Umunhum,

its signature top perhaps occluded by a high-rise in Los Gatos,

before an overcrossing of a dry-armed Lexington Reservoir,

to the clangor of the coast[er....].

Lunch with Harriet on a veranda,

in the chill sun,

where a friendly quartet saves us from leaving the camera behind

(will we remember each other, imprinted as we are in a double -- or is that quadruple -- portrait in sunglasses?).

The production of Threepenny proves instrumentally to be as excellent as one would expect, when presented by the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra

(despite the compromised instrumentation featuring electric piano and lacking bassoon, banjo, cello, and bass, and a few other niceties according to the Philharmonia score), but also impressive dramatically and vocally as well,

with a dark yet radiant supporting cast of whores,

thieves and priest,

and first-rate principals (Mr. Peachum, Mrs. Peachum, Lucy Brown, Jenny Diver, Macheath , Polly Peachum, Tiger Brown), whose many virtues and very few shortcomings will be expounded upon at length by May 13 at, published by June 3 as part of the July 2008 issue of 21st-Century Music (

After congratulating Music Director Maya Barsaq,

we head up the Santa Cruz coast (over Scott Creek, Route 1 knifing into the hills),

to the cliffs at the San Mateo border (adjacent to Waddell Creek, draining Big Basin Redwoods),




dangerous and beautiful.

A few more rolls past Pidgeon Point Lighthouse,

near Bean Hollow,

Pescadero Beach hills and

Marsh, and

the Tunitas Cliffs,

and we arrive at Half Moon Bay Airport,

for a brief stroll past the newly-furrowed rows of Cabrillo Farm,

with Montara Mountain looming,

beyond undulating foothills and

huddled houses.

South to the turnoff to Princeton (Toto, I have a feeling we're not in New Jersey anymore)

the return is via golfball views of Pilar Point,

and a colorful flyer,

seemingly out of time.

With the Coast Ranges ever present,

the fields turn op art, and we head north to Pacifica, the other side of the mountain,

from the porch of the Beach House,

for a sumptuous repast,

graced by a harpist,

with the Pacific pounding towards the sunset.

All is well as Harriet lingers,

before we brace for the bracing wind tossing the verge,

in the evening light.

Home late, beginning publication preparation of Mice and Men: Act V, Scene 2 ("The Pond"), Page 1 (after the scene change).