SF LIFE: Broadway Dreams, Yurts, Clay & Glass, Napa

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Calling all wanna be actors, lovers of theater and proponents of the arts in schools – a great new community theater venture “opens” in Redwood City!  Love to hike and camp? Mare Island is a relatively undiscovered area to do so, just an hour north of “the bridge”. The fabulous Palo Alto Clay and Glass festival returns with displays of fine and functional art, and the wine country hosts its annual “Taste of Napa” experience, deliciousness on all levels!  Keep that summer fun flowing tomatoes.

July 21. Fundraiser Broadway Dreams

Loving theater as I do, I was thrilled to learn about a new theatrical and educational company, Redwood City Players. Started by young tomato Raissa Marchetti-Kozlov, the goal behind this company is manifold. She is passionate about bringing support, consultation and education to theatre departments in schools. You know budget cuts have made access to the arts basically non-existent in many local schools. This company will offer after school classes for young people with a scholarship program so that no child will be turned away based on income.

The other component of the company will be to partner with local theatre companies to produce multiple productions each year – but most importantly, this theatre company will be an all-inclusive safe place. No one will be turned away just because they don’t look a certain way. Non-traditional casting will be the norm, and not just a catch phrase!

In order to support this company, a fundraiser will be held on July 21st at the Dragon Theatre in Redwood City. This is a benefit concert and silent auction. Over 20 local Bay Area actors will be participating in the review of singing, dancing and acting. 7 p.m. I know some of the players and the talent will blow you away! $45 per ticket and you will be helping children gain confidence while having a great time learning the fun and fine art of theatre. Online donations here. Get more information here.


Just an hour north of the GG bridge is an alluring haven: Mare Island Heritage Preserve. This now defunct naval shipyard, once a lively maritime community is now gloriously overtaken with flora and fauna There are well cleared trails where you can spot all manner of wild herbs, reptiles and mammals.  Bird watchers claim it to be home to some of the best views of our winged friends. And then for art lovers, Mare Island is home to many creative installations. You can just park at the visitor’s center and do a delightful walkabout, BUT – you can now stay the night at one of two yurts.

Views from all the camps are stupendous and Bay Area spectacular. There is the Old Tennis Court Yurt Camp and the Vista History Garden Yurt – established by Hipcamp, these properties are a great value, pet friendly and a unique way to spend time outdoors.  Get more details.

July 8- 9. Clay & Glass

Free, fun and fantastic – the 25th annual Palo Alto Clay & Glass festival has returned.  July 8 and 9 from 10 – 5 p.m. This is way more than your basic street fair.  The artists are engaged and available to describe their process and immerse you in their art. There are also such fun glass-blowing demos, a thrill to watch. Or if you prefer clay, you can view artisans throwing pieces of mud that turn into beautiful creations.

More demonstrations include Ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arrangement), raku (lead glazed Japanese earthenware, irregular in shape and used in the tea ceremony). And there will also be a place for you to get your own hands dirty and experiment with clay. Somehow my pieces always look like they did when I was 7….maybe this year will be different! 1313 Newell Rd. Palo Alto. Get more info.

July 14-23. Festival Napa Valley


Every July our exquisite Napa Valley lights up the stage and takes our vineyards to new heights.  A blend of music, dance and art with incomparable food, wine (beer too) and famous Napa hospitality makes this an extraordinary way to spend 1 to 5 days. One of the greatest things about this event is that there are passes for every interest and every budget. There are several free concerts, and some that are $39 and for those of you who enjoy champagne tastes there are Super Pass tickets for let’s just say….a lot.

With those patron passes you can do anything over the duration of the 5-day fest. And by anything….here are a few examples. Vintner’s Luncheons (at various wineries including Trefethen and St. Supery) Patron Dinners, (hello Auberge!) concerts including the Havana Chamber Orchestra, Hot Havana Nights and performances by the SF Ballet and Napa Regional Dance Company.  You really have to check out the line-up. Astounding. Get details here.

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