Woodland Opera House to open all youth shows, new Gallery 625 exhibition

Based on the Broadway musical that continues to resonate with audiences, Woodland Opera House’s ‘Godspell JR’ boasts a timeless story of friendship, loyalty and love.

The show follows a group of disciples as they help Jesus Christ tell different parables using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a healthy dose of comedic timing, according to a Woodland Opera House press release. With chart-topping songs ranging from pop to vaudeville, the life of Jesus and the messages of kindness and tolerance dance across the stage.

This production is performed by a cast composed entirely of young people between the ages of 11 and 18. “Godspell JR” is set to open at the Woodland Opera House, located at 340 Second St., on August 13 and run through August 27.

All the places are reserved. Tickets include: adults $16, seniors (62+) $14, children under 17 $8, adult balcony $10 and children’s balcony $6.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.etix.com/…/godspell2022-woodland-woodland…. Tickets are also available at the box office or by calling (530) 666-9617.

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A new exhibition will be presented at Gallery 625 in Woodland by a retired college professor who curated his love of Cuba, its art and its artists.

“Retro Cuba,” which offers a vision of life and its meaning in the island nation, is set to open Friday, August 6 with a reception at 5:30 p.m.

Artists featured in the show include Francisco J. Rivero and Roberto Salas who reside in Cuba and Jose R. Ramirez and Jorge A. Santana, California artists.

Santana, the show’s curator, is a retired teacher from Sacramento State where he taught Hispanic language and culture for forty years. He says he retired to begin his “creative phase” and is pursuing a lifelong passion for photography. Having led more than fifty study-tour groups abroad, Santana always travels with a camera in hand. Her photographs in this exhibit were taken during study trips from Sacramento State to Cuba in 2012, and a recent trip in April 2022.

“It is not an approach to art photography, but rather a social documentary vision of Cuba and of today’s Cubans in their struggle to survive in a country faced with many limitations and restrictions,” Santana said. “Perhaps the series of photographs can be seen as an ethnographic exposition of life on the verge of radical change.”

Santana met the artists Rivero and Salas during his travels in Cuba.

Over the past 50 years, Salas has worked with many photographic forms including photojournalism, business, documentary and war correspondence. The twelve images exhibited in Retro Cuba from Salas are a tribute to ranching and agriculture in a country where food is scarce, largely due to the blockade. They are part of a larger series “Such are the Cubans” forming a quest towards a visual study of Cuban identity.

Rivero was born in 1955 in Cardenas, Cuba and it was there that curator Santana first met the painter after seeing his work in an art gallery. Rivero’s earliest works were murals used by the revolution to beautify public buildings such as hospitals and schools, as well as murals that exalted some of the social and educational achievements of the revolution. With the easing of restrictions, Cuban artists have been able to venture into their own creation and sale of artwork.

Ramirez resides in the Bay Area and in Jalisco, Mexico. He started photography at the age of 16 when he swapped the landscape for a camera. He says his photography has gone through many stages – having tried travel, wedding, landscape and manipulation or composite photography, he has now “found my true passion in street photography”.

Ramirez has traveled to Cuba several times since the late 1980s and enjoys the culture, people, music and history, and has many friends and family there. The show’s urban photos capture moments in Cuba.

Santana will attend the opening reception from 5:30-8 p.m. on August 5, coinciding with the downtown Woodland First Friday event. At 6:30 p.m., Santana will host a conference on his friendship with Rivero and Ramirez, and his academic and artistic ties with these artists. Rick Swig, a friend of photographer Salas, will talk about his friendship with Salas and the importance of his photography.

Tropical Latin music will be played courtesy of guitarist Emanual Pailes and light refreshments will also be available.

The work can also be viewed (and purchased) online at yoloarts.org/online-galleries.

“Retro Cuba” continues at Gallery 625, located at 625 Court St. in Woodland in the Erwin Meier Yolo County Administration Building, through October 4.

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The Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis presents a new exhibit titled “Young, Gifted and Black” from the Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Contemporary Art Collection.

Nearly 50 artists of African descent are featured in this traveling exhibition as they explore identity, politics and art history through a variety of media. The show is on view through December 19 at the museum, located at 254 Old Davis Rd.

Center Stage is a column exploring the arts in and around Yolo County.

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