TheatreWorks’ Crimes of the Heart: Sweet, Charming, Fantastic

Meg (Sarah Moser), gets a reaction from her sisters Lenny (Therese Plaehn) and Babe (Lizzie O'Hara). Photo: Kevin Berne

Meg (Sarah Moser), gets a reaction from her sisters Lenny (Therese Plaehn) and Babe (Lizzie O’Hara). Photo: Kevin Berne

I saw a show at Theatreworks last night that not only had me laughing, but completely kept my mind off politics for two and a half hours. The show is worth the price of admission just for that.

But aside from that. Crimes of the Heart is playing at the Mountain View Center of Performing Arts, and they have done a stupendous job. This is the story of three adult sisters who must come together at their Southern family home after one has been arrested for shooting her husband. The eldest sister is neurotic Lenny, turning 30 that very day and well on her way to coming an old maid. Middle sister Meg has come in from Hollywood where she claims she’s been making it big as a singer. And then the youngest, pretty Babe, who is insisting she shot her husband purely because she didn’t like “his stinkin’ looks”.

The sisters try to suss out exactly what happened between Babe and her husband with the help of young lawyer Barnette Lloyd (Joshua Marx). Mr. Lloyd has a little crush on Babe and also a lifelong vendetta against her husband. Cousin Chick (Laura Jane Bailey) pops in and out, and she has her own longstanding issues with the sisters. And then there’s Doc Porter (Timothy Redmond) whose heart had been crushed by Meg when they were young.

Crimes of the Heart 5_Kevin Berne

Barnette Lloyd (Joshua Marx) acts as lawyer to Babe Botrelle (Lizzie O’Hara) who is out on bail. Photo: Kevin Berne

The show is sweet and it is charming. It walks up to the line of tragedy and then pulls back and has you in tears from laughing. The sisters are played by three incredible actors: Therese Plaehn (Lenny), Sarah Moser (Meg) and Lizzie O’Hara (Babe). The characters could easily veer into over-the-top portrayals, but these women hold tight and present amazingly real and tender yet hilarious performances. No matter what any sister has done, no matter what happens, you see and believe there is an unbreakable family bond of love between them.

There were a few other unsung stars of this show. Andrea Bechert is the Scenic Designer, and the Mississippi home where the play is set was just incredible in detail, and an unfathomable amount of work was put into it. Cathleen Edwards was the costume designer and did an excellent job of dressing every one of the characters according to the time (1974), place and status of each. And because the entire show was fantastic, much applause must be given to director Giovanna Sardelli.

We all need a break now and then. This weekend I really needed the happy escape from reality that I found at TheatreWorks. If you need a moment to take your mind off world events or life in general, I definitely recommend you see this show, and the amazing women who star in it.

Crimes of the Heart
TheatreWorks
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Through February 5

 


Free Skating Downtown Ice San Jose

downtowniceBring your own skates to get free admission on Monday January 9 and 16, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Downtown Ice in San Jose.

Children 13 and under must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian 18 or older.
No lockers or secure storage on site.

Parking garages include: Market and San Pedro Square, Second and San Carlos, Third Street and Fourth Street.

Downtown Ice
120 S. Market St.

San Jose, 95113
(408) 610-4055

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LEGO Extravaganza

legoThe Annual Holiday LEGO Extravaganza at The Museum of American Heritage has been underway since early December 2016. The last day is upcoming Sunday, January 15, 2017.

LEGO creations include train layouts, Bay Area landmarks, castles, miniature cities, sculptures, portraits, and more.

The exhibit is weekends (11:00 am to 3:45 pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday).

Admission is $3.00; The Museum of American Heritage members and the Bay Area LEGO User Group members, admission free.

There is street parking, or take Caltrain.

Museum of American Heritage
351 Homer Ave
Palo Alto, 94301

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Noon Year’s Eve Family Celebration

childrens-discovery-museum
Saturday December 31, 2016 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm is the Noon Year’s Eve Family Celebration at the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Celebrate the arrival of 2017 with “countdown to noon across time zones” and the Museum’s version of the famous Ball Drop in Times Square.
Purchase your tickets in advance and get a free Celebration Fun Pack while supplies last, including a hat, noisemaker, and other items to help you ring in the New Year.  Adult & kids: $13; Senior: $12

Children’s Discovery Museum
180 Woz Way
San Jose, 95110

Saturday December 31, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. — Museum closes at 4:00 p.m. on December 31
Admission: $13; Seniors: $12

Public parking info.

Public Transit (VTA) :

Light Rail: Take the Alum Rock-Santa Teresa line to the Discovery Museum station.
Bus: Take County transit bus lines to stops on Almaden Boulevard.

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The Fairmont’s Winter Wonderland

fairmont-winter
Holiday decorations will transform the Fairmont’s lobby into a Winter Wonderland. The Fairmont’s Winter Wonderland will be on display from November 25, 2016 through January 1, 2017.

Near the Fairmont is the real Winter Wonderland along with Downtown Ice and Christmas in the Park.

The Fairmont
170 South Market Street, San Jose 95113
November 25, 2016 through January 1, 2017
All Day
Free

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Thanksgiving

graphics-thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Santana Row Tree Lighting Ceremony

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The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Santana Row Tuesday, November 15, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

The event includes photos with Santa Claus, live music, performances by local theater groups and at 7:00 pm the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree.

Starting at 5:00 pm take a photo with Santa Claus, listen to live music in Park Valencia, performances by local theater groups and much more.

Tree Lighting Ceremony
368 Santana Row, San Jose, 95128
408.551.4611

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 from 5:00 pm
Free

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Supermoon

supermoonIf you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. — Carl Sagan

Supermoons, most of us can’t detect the difference between a supermoon and a regular full moon, using just our eyes. Finely tuned instruments or composite images do show that a supermoon is indeed closer to Earth and thus bigger than an ordinary full moon. Therefore, if we can’t see that a supermoon actually appears larger in the sky, we notice the increased brightness of the supermoon.
Supermoons bring the highest and lowest tides, they follow the date of full moon by a day or two.

The supermoon event happens Sunday November 13 and Monday the 14th.
The best time to observe the supermoon is when the moon is near the horizon during either moonrise or moonset; allegedly, Monday is best. …
Sunday Evening, Nov. 13 –  Moonrise – 4:52pm
Monday Morning, Nov. 14 – Moonset – 5:32am
Monday Evening, Nov. 14 – Moonrise – 5:40pm
Tuesday Morning, Nov. 15 – Moonset – 7:56am

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. — Douglas Adams

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Veterans Day Parade 2016

animated_american-flagVeterans Day is Friday, November 11.

Veterans Day Parade from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM begins from Delmas Avenue (near SAP Center) and travels east along Santa Clara Street to Market Street. The Parade then proceeds south on Market Street and ends at San Carlos Street.

California is home to 1,851,470 veterans.

This year the parade Grand Marshall is Brigadier General Laura Yeager.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln

The National Park Service invites all visitors to remember our veterans by visiting any National Park Service site free on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016.

Veterans Day Parade
Delmas Ave and Santa Clara Street
San Jose, 95113
Friday, November 11
Free
Parking (plan early): Downtown

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Fall Back 2016

clock_fall_back_animated

It’s time we turn our clocks back an hour as we return to Standard Time, Sunday morning November 6 at 2:00 am.

Does this mean we get to spend an extra hour at our favorite bar? No, bars actually stop serving alcohol at 1:59 am, one minute before the clocks are set back one hour.

This is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Do you like/dislike time change? Check out “Daylight saving time could end in California” a story from February in the Sacramento Bee.

Year Spring Forward Fall Back
2016 November 6
2017 March 12 November 5
2018 March 11 November 4
2019 March 10 November 3
2020 March 8 November 1
2021 March 14 November 7
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Día de Los Muertos Celebration

dia-de-los-muertos2
Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

Día de Los Muertos Celebration at San Jose Museum of Art
Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 11 am to 5 pm.

The celebration at San Jose Museum of Art will have live performances, cultural demonstrations, and artmaking experiences for the whole family.

Admission is free; however, reservations are recommended.

Schedule of Events:

11 AM – 4:30 PM
Hands-on artmaking for all ages

11 AM – 5 PM
See two hand-made, paper mache skeleton sculptures

11 AM – 5 PM
Local artist Lissa Jones will display a traditional altar, or ofrenda, in the cafe area of the Museum

11:30 AM
Spanish-language family tour of the galleries

12 – 1:30 PM
Take your photo with roaming skeleton performers

12:15 – 1:15 PM
Music by Mariachi Azteca

1 – 3:30 PM
Ofrenda demonstration by Phyllis Carrasco

1:45 PM
El Día de los Muertos festive wear competition

2 PM
Spanish-language tour of the exhibition Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial with curatorial associate, Marja van der Loo

2 – 3:30 PM
Take your photo with roaming skeleton performers

2:30 – 3:15 PM
Participatory dance performance with traditional folklórico ensemble Los Lupeños Juvenil

4 PM
Spanish-language family tour of the galleries

San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market Street. San Jose

Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 11 am to 5 pm.
Admission: free, reservations are recommended.

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Halloween Spooktakular Family Fun Fest

halloween02For pre-school aged children and their parents, the 2016 Halloween Spooktakular Family Fun Fest, Tuesday, October 25th from 10am to noon at Park Valencia, Santana Row.
The Halloween Fun Fest features free entertainment, interactive games, hands-on activities and educational activities. Wear your costume and trick or treat The Row. There will be arts and crafts, face painting, pumpkin decorating, halloween photos at more.

Park Valencia, Santana Row
368 Santana Row, San Jose
408.551.4611.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Free

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Mountain View Oktoberfest

oktoberfestThe 4th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest will feature authentic German Beer, Cuisine, and Entertainment (Alpiners USA, SF German Band and Big Lou’s Accordion Princess).

The Mountain View Oktoberfest is open free to the public and is an all ages event but you must be 21 or older to drink. Proper Identification verifying legal age will be required.

You must purchase a stein and tickets if you would like to drink:

$8
per beer ticket

$30
4 beer tickets

$10
0.5L size Stein
(Requires 1 tickets to fill.)

$15
1.0L size Stein
(Requires 2 tickets to fill.)

The free kids area will include jumpy houses, face painting, games and prizes.

Mountain View Oktoberfest
Bryant St. at Dana St., Mountain View, CA 94041

Parking – parking lot behind Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – 1 block West of Castro Street

October 1st and 2nd from 11:00am to 7:00pm

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Thunderbirds on the Wharf

thunderbird55
The 19th annual Thunderbirds on the Santa Cruz Wharf is this Saturday (9/24) from 9:00 am to 3:00pm featuring the classic 1955-1957, the 1958-1965 vintage and the retro, 2002-2005 Thunderbirds.

Guest may join in the events and participate in the raffles.

21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz

Admission: Free

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Weekend Citywide Garage Sale – Cupertino

garagesale01Cupertino’s Citywide Garage Sale is Saturday and Sunday September 17-18 from 9 am to 4 pm.

Looking for something special? No need to drive allover Cupertino looking from an item. Check this list.

Which locations are selling on Saturday, Sunday or both? Check this map (PDF).
Saturday only sale is indicated by a black circle, a Sunday only sale indicated by a blue triangle and both days are indicated by a red star.

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