We just saw a very good production of Three Days of Rain, by the Jewel Theatre in Santa Cruz. It runs for another week (Wed through Sun), and I don’t think that all the performances are sold out, so tickets may be available (though probably not for all performances).
We’ve also purchased our tickets for Jewel Theatre’s production of What the Butler Saw in May—for once we ordered the tickets early enough to get our choice of seats. We picked a day that has apparently just been added to the run, since we were the first to buy tickets for it—the first day we looked at would have required us to sit in the back row, where we usually end up. Those are not bad seats in a tiny theater like Center Stage, but it’ll be a nice change to sit in the third row, in what are arguably the best seats in the house. (The second row is clearly the worst, since it is on the same level as the first row, so sight lines are somewhat blocked.)
Next year, my wife and I will probably get season tickets for Jewel Theater, as long as most of the plays look like ones we want to see. My son will be away at college (I hope—we haven’t heard back yet from any of the colleges he applied to), so it will just be the two of us. That means we’ll stop skewing the age distribution so much—we’re guessing that my son was the youngest person in the audience by a factor of 2, and my wife and I were probably still below median age and will probably continue to be until we retire.
I think it is a shame that Jewel Theatre is not attracting a younger audience—the ticket prices are fairly affordable ($31 for adults, $26 for students) and the quality is high. Maybe Friday nights get a younger crowd than Sunday nights, and we’re getting a distorted view of the audience age distribution. There is certainly plenty of youth interest in live theater, but maybe it is being met by all the children’s and teen theater that is available in Santa Cruz (schools, West Performing Arts, and the musical companies: All About Theater, Kids on Broadway, Hooked on Theater, Little People’s Repertory Theatre, Christian Youth Theater, …). Perhaps Jewel Theatre needs to team up with West Performing Arts to have a special teen day or family day with discount group tickets.