.Things To Do In Santa Cruz

Week of July 10, 2024




Winner of four Tonys and two Drama Desk Awards, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights brings the largely immigrant neighborhood of New York’s Washington Heights to life with music, dance and hyperlinked stories of entrepreneurs, artists and other working-class dreamers. In The Heights moves along at a clip and features Miranda’s signature dizzyingly busy and climactic production numbers while exploring themes of family, tradition and the challenge of finding a sense of home in the space between where you come from and where you are. Director Estrella Esparza-Johnson and artistic director Andrea L. Hart lead the large ensemble cast. Runs through Aug. 4. KEITH LOWELL JENSEN

INFO: 7:30pm, Cabrillo Crocker Theater, 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos. $25-$35. 479-6154.



Bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the world’s food supply. While many people have heard and read the reports of falling bee populations during the mid-aughts, they might not have heard that bee populations have risen for the past five years. One of the several reasons for this is the art of beekeeping, which has increased with over one million new colonies since 2007 in the US alone. Despite the increase, bee populations are just as fragile as the insects themselves. This Thursday, join the fast-growing ranks of livestock husbandry and learn the ABCs of beekeeping, presented by Botanical Bitch Zine and Free Skool Santa Cruz. Word on the street is it’ll be the bee’s knees. MAT WEIR

INFO: 3:30pm, SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 426-5242.




Now in their 38th year as a band, San Diego’s Big Mountain shows no signs of calling it quits. Even during a slow period over a dozen years back, the multi-talented reggae act regularly reunited for one-offs and benefit shows, all for the fans. For the past 11 years, the sextet has toured worldwide, from Indonesia to Mexico, spreading their message of love, unity and good vibrations. While the band initially hit the charts with the ’93 single “Touch My Light,” the ’94 cover of Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way” earned them significant radio airplay, a spot on the Reality Bites soundtrack and household recognition. MW

INFO: 9pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.


Jamaican singer/songwriter Protoje is a reggae and dub artist whose collaborations with Tippy I produce unstoppable jams with peak vibes. He’s a force in contemporary reggae music, with songs addressing the classic topics of Rastafarianism (God, mysticism, nature, peace, political freedom) and beats that get the body moving. Tippy I is an ideal collaborator, citing influences as broad as soul, jazz and British steppers as part of his musical development. The two have joined forces before and are primed to create an evening of soulful synergy—and plenty of dancing. JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. $34/adv, $37/door. 704-7113.


Stephen Benson plays it all at The Ugly Mug


Have you ever listened to Spotify’s Your Favorite Coffeehouse? It’s a relatively relaxed but eclectic, fun and upbeat playlist capturing the various vibes of typical coffeehouses through multiple genres of music. Similarly, Stephen Benson brings a calm yet upbeat, fun and eclectic performance to the Ugly Mug. His range includes but is not limited to jazz, classical, rock, blues and klezmer. Expect to hear it all! A coffeehouse seems like the perfect place to enjoy Benson’s solo performance, with freshly brewed drinks wafting in the air as he works through his extensive catalog of songs. ISABELLA MARIE SANGALINE

INFO: 7pm, Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Dr., Soquel. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-9421.




I will try not to gush over the greatest concert film ever made, featuring one of the finest bands ever assembled. Oops, I blew it. Stop Making Sense is a masterpiece and has aged well. Seeing it in a theater with enthusiastic strangers singing along and dancing in their seats is delightful. The audio was recorded digitally (brand-new technology in ’84), allowing for a brilliant new mix that sounds fantastic. David Byrne runs laps, sweats, shimmies and wears the big suit while the band around him has the time of their lives. KLJ

INFO: 7pm, Quarry Amphitheater, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz. $8-$50. 459-4184.



This weekend, MAH offers a day of free activities related to the exhibition Sowing Seeds. A collaboration between community members, UCSC students, scholars and the curators at Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH), the show sheds light on the untold stories of the 100,000 Filipino people who migrated across the Pacific to fill low-wage agricultural jobs at the US government’s behest in the early 1900s. At 12:30 and 2pm, the short film Dear Watsonville will be screened. Between 1-4pm, the whole family is invited to participate in a photo booth, scrapbook project and mosaic making with Kathleen Crocetti. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: Noon, MAH, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. 429-1964.




Peter Erskine has won the Best Drummer of the Year award ten times—count them, TEN. He’s performed with some all-time greats, including Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Diana Krall (you may also have heard of his daughter Maya Erskine, star of Mr. & Mrs. Smith and the hulu series PEN15). Special guest Bob Mintzer, saxophonist for Yellowjackets, joins the trio for a memorable night of music. If jazz is about improvisation, imagine what musicians this accomplished can create as a quartet. JI

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $36.75/adv, $42/door. 427-2227.




Bennett Coast has a question: Where are you going? The 22-year-old multidisciplinary artist asks his fans to address that geographic and spiritual quandary with the title of his debut EP and, this summer, a tour bearing the same name. Growing up in the suburbs of the Bay Area, Coast honed his dreamy alt-rock style amid “huge vistas, grassy hills, the blue of the sea. Boys getting into fights in parking lots. A first kiss with someone you end up being really, really sweet on.” Coast is also a filmmaker, bringing an eye for story and wistful imagery to his songs. AM

INFO: 8pm, Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 713-5492.


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