I Went to the Theater Last Night

Mountain Community




It wasn’t in New York or San Francisco, it was in a tiny mountain town in Santa Cruz, California. Ben Lomond is the home of Mountain Community Theater. Although these mountain towns are part of Santa Cruz County, they are worlds apart from the beach communities such as Capitola where I live.

Ya got yer mountain folk and yer beach rats and never the twain shall meet. Except sometimes. Every time I make that drive up the narrow, winding Highway 9, I say “never again.” It’s treacherous. People in big trucks drive fast around the blind curves and there’s no shoulder to speak of. Oh, but wait! Once I get there I always have a good time. One of my fly-sisters, Debbie, lives there. As soon as you walk through Debbie’s front door you are enveloped with a sunny smile, a big hug, and the smell of a homecooked meal coming from her kitchen. 

Or you make the drive to see a friend’s daughter perform in a play called Sordid Lives. Sordid lives? Don’t I have enough of that in my own life? Oh well, gotta support our kids, right? Plus, we were meeting for a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant that had rave reviews. With a couple of glasses of wine, I could tolerate anything.

Dinner was rushed. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, it just took longer than it should have. There was a wedding in one section, the place was packed with pre-theater goers, and it was, after all, a Friday night. TGIF! We were a party of six and ended up taking our dinners in to-go boxes so we could get to the theater on time. We had been warned. Puleeze do not arrive after the eight o’clock curtain time! We got our boxes, threw money at the waiter and high-tailed it to the Mountain Community Theater around the corner.

I was over-dressed. Of course, I was. I handed my ticket to the door person as I scanned the crowd. Yup, these are L.L.Bean people. Just then a familiar face approached, and a beautiful young lady greeted me with a hug, “I just read your blog today! I love your stories. You always make me laugh!” 

Wow, she reads my blog. Whoo hoo. I have a fan! Gotta keep writing. Don’t wanna disappoint anybody. It’s people like Dawn who keep me writing. I know her from Capitola through a mutual friend and here she was in Ben Lomond at the Mountain Community Theater also. Small world. 

So, we found our seats, which were ringside. It reminded me of  Off Broadway”in New York where the audience was practically IN the play. I managed to place a mental distance between my toes and the “stage” which was about a foot away. And it was not actually a stage. It was on the same level as my seat. The floor. It was just the same floor a foot away. Okay, curtain up! Light the lights!

I was immediately captivated by a lone singer on a stool playing a turquoise guitar and belting out a song like Tanya Tucker herself! Her voice rang out like an entity unto its own. The guitar was just dressing. She set the tone for the evening and I was mesmerized at the level of talent displayed by the entire cast.

There was an after-party at the complimentary bar and one by one the players surfaced. I spoke to several and gave my spiel, “I’m from New York. I grew up with theater and have performed myself on many occasions. You did a great job! I know what it takes to put on a production like this!” 

Each and every performer I spoke to beamed at my compliments. “Thank you, that means a lot,” was the most common reply. It brought me back to my youth when I was the one receiving the praise. This was a far cry from our dinner conversation where we shared stories of cataracts and hearing issues. I felt happy and humbled to pass the baton to the dedicated young people who gave their all in this splendid performance of Sordid Lives.

I have no doubt that I shall be making the treacherous drive again when the Mountain Theater Group has their next production—especially if my friend’s daughter, Tiffany, is in it! Her performance was outstanding and we “seniors” were proud of her.

Support the arts. Tip the musicians. Read the writers. Thanks, folks!






18 thoughts on “I Went to the Theater Last Night

  1. Great story Carole. I too enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks for including me! Kim Furman

    On Sun, Sep 30, 2018 at 6:29 AM Carole Jean’s Capers wrote:

    > CaroleJean’ posted: ” It wasn’t in New York or > San Francisco, it was in a tiny mountain town in Santa Cruz, California. > Ben Lomond is the home of Mountain Community Theater. Although these > mountain towns are part of Santa Cruz County, they are worlds ” >


  2. I’m going broke supporting the arts and tipping musicians but it is entirely worth it. The arts are the Research and Development of our world…I read that somewhere. Your description of the road reminded me of some of the “gated communities” in our little Atenas. Hugs!


  3. I grew up a theater snob and thought only big city theaters (New York, California, even Chicago) were the only ones who could put on good shows. When I moved to Raleigh I thought I would never find any theater or culture or art. Boy was I wrong. Not only
    Do we have a thriving arts and theater community, but I now spend the better part of my time writing about it, and I am better for it. Support local theaters! They are important mainstays of small communities.


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