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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

[whitespace] Berlin to Broadway
Paul Schraub

Brim and Bare It: UCSC's Opera Workshop tips its hat to musical great Kurt Weill with the cabaret-inspired odyssey 'Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill' at UCSC's Music Center on Friday and Saturday.

World Word II:
UCSC wraps up another creative year with two phantasmagorical stage and vaudevillen celebrations

UCSC PRESENTS TWO VARIED TAKES on the theatrical world this weekend. On Friday and Saturday, the Opera Workshop, under the direction of Patrice Maginnis and composer Michael McGushin, performs Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill. The famed musical voyage explores 20 years of global politics, from Von Hindenburg to Hitler, and from Roosevelt to Truman. Brewing cabaret with commentary, melody and music, the opera is fueled by the works and life of the German composer. Bertolt Brecht, Alan Jay Lerner, Ira Gershwin and Langston Hughes gave their words to the work, Weill himself gave the score.

"Mack the Knife" from The Threepenny Opera might be Weill's most famed musical work, but his cabaret pizzazz and political art particularly come to light in this piece. Berlin to Broadway will be performed Friday and Saturday (8pm) at UCSC Recital Hall. Tickets cost $8/$5/$3, and promise to go quickly. For more info, call 408/459-2159.

On the other side of the stage spectrum lies works unknown to the viewing public. The Chautauqua Festival showcases 11 student-written and directed plays in a two-weekend round of theater that rollercoasters from absurdity to comedy, violence to love, sex to history.

Incorporating myriad media--dance, poetry, video-- the luminous collection features Alchemy, Julie Willhite and Jeff Clarke's intimate story of transformation, The Rooster, a purge of national violence, and Eating Paper, a black social comedy about a dysfunctional Latino family lost in American pop culture.

Chautauqua begins takes the stage from Thursday- Sunday at 5 and 8pm (5pm only on Sunday) and continues through June 7. The best part: The whole shebang is free. For more info, call 408/459-2787.

Slam on It

The Santa Cruz slam scene continues to be a healthy haven of burgeoning poetic talent, and Santa Cruz Slam and Survival Poetry Council present the Slam Finals this weekend at Kuumbwa. A culmination of a year's worth of poetry slam finalists, Sunday night's festivities turn the spotlight on developing Santa Cruz's chapter of the National Slam Team.

Everyone who's taken home the slam-winner title this year is invited to take the stage and put his, her or its finest rapid-fire savoir faire into a three-minute barrage of poetic license. And even those not in the poetry-slam spotlight can get on the action, as each and every ticket holder is turned into a celebrity judge for the night. The combination of votes from the official judges and audience sets the five winners up to become official members of Focus on Poets, a salute to non-competitive poets.

Focus on Poets also performs on Sunday (8pm) at Kuumbwa, 320-2 Cedar St, SC. For more info, call the Slam Council at 408/768-1880.

On a side slam note, the Santa Cruz Slam Council also hosts author, poet and all-around rule-breaker Clitora Cummings at the Washrock, 125 Laurel St, SC on Friday (8pm). This is the last open mic chance to qualify for Sunday's poetry fete.

FutureThink

Human Condition: The Dance takes place on Friday-Saturday at the Santa Cruz Dance Gallery. ... UCSC hosts a production of Prometheus on June 4-7.

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From the May 28-June 3, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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