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The Carmel market, which draws a hearty crowd of international and national tourists as well as regional visitors, reaches far beyond its community lines.
“Carmel is not an isolated village any more than Sunnyvale is isolated in Silicon Valley,” says Douglas Ambort, marketing associate for the city’s Pacific Repertory Theatre.
“We have patrons who come from as far away as Calgary, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Through October, Pacific Repertory Theatre’s season includes nine productions, including an extended performance schedule of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” (which also plays in San Jose in August); “Henry VI — Part I & 2,” “The Wizard of Oz” (to be performed in the oldest amphitheater west of the Rockies); Noel Coward’s comedy “Hay Fever;” and Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”
“We have been playing to sold-out houses and been getting rave reviews,” Mr. Ambort says of the “Buddy Holly” production. “Our season has been so successful that, coupled with near-draconian cost-cutting measures … the deficit we entered this year with is being chipped away.”
The theater underwent a big layoff last year after season subscription sales and funding dropped, but Mr. Ambort says the theater began hiring again.
In addition to the Pacific Repertory shows, there are productions at the Carl Cherry Arts Center, which hosts literary events and lectures such as “Side Man,” a 1950s tale of a broken family and the decline of jazz as popular entertainment, and a production of the family musical “Brigadoon,” which is playing at the Outdoor Forest Theatre.
Other ongoing shows: “Once in the Highlands, the Highlands of Scotland,” at the outdoor Forest Theater Guild, and the Summer Musical Theater Performing Arts program for youth’s “A Comedy of Errors” from July 25 to 27.
Tucked between the well-known Monterey Blues Festival in early summer and the Monterey Jazz Festival in the fall is the internationally acclaimed Carmel Bach Festival, which draws the baroque faithful to the newly renovated Sunset Center, the Carmel Mission Basilica and the Church in the Forest in Pebble Beach.
In its 66th year, the three-week festival starting July 19 includes more than 100 musicians from all over the world to play Bach and his contemporaries. The festival includes free lectures and concerts as well as symphonies and soloists.
Ticket sales “are going extremely well,” says managing director Willem Wijnbergen.
The Sunset Center will also be this season’s venue for the Monterey Symphony, the return of the Vienna Boys’ Choir for the first time in 70 years, and jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis.
JENNIFER PITTMAN is a freelance writer based in Santa Cruz
This article is published here.