Worth A Look


This week in Worth A Look, Stanford Live begins its summer season; "Saving Mr. Banks" gets an outdoor screening; and art, science and nature converge in one beautiful setting.

Music: Latin crossovers

Stanford Live, the university's performing arts showcase, will begin its first summer season July 20 with notes of Mexican-American alternative and roots music. Los Angeles-based band La Santa Cecilia and Bay Area-based Los Cenzontles will perform back-to-back starting at 3 p.m. at Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen St., Stanford.

From its early street-performing days to its 2014 Grammy Award for best Latin rock or alternative recording, La Santa Cecilia has become the voice of America's young Latino population. The band draws inspiration from artists like Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin while its lyrics speak to love, loss and heartbreak. La Santa Cecilia was named "Best Alternative Band of the Year" by the L.A. Weekly this year.

More traditionally rooted band Los Cenzontles (Nahuatl for "The Mockingbirds") looks deep into Latino tradition to promote dignity, pride and cultural understanding through its music. Its revival of Mexican roots music in California extends the traditional music to younger generations, while its powerful hybrid sound creates a fresh voice for a new Chicano generation.

"It's an opportunity to reach out to audiences we don't customarily serve, with more informal and lighter programming. We hadn't emphasized Latin American music as much as I think we ought to," Wiley Hausam, executive director of Stanford Live, said in a statement.

Tickets for La Santa Cecilia and Los Cenzontles are available in person at the Bing Concert Hall Ticket Office, by phone at 650-724-2464 or online at live.stanford.edu. Price range is from $15 to $35.

-- Christina Dong

Film: Poppins fresh

How Walt Disney talked author P.L. Travers into selling him the rights to Mary Poppins will hit the big screen on July 24 at the Courthouse Square in downtown Redwood City during an outdoor showing of "Saving Mr. Banks." (Rated PG-13.)

Disney promised his daughters he would bring Mary Poppins to the screen in this nonfiction drama, but he didn't count on Travers' stubborn resistance to having her famous work destroyed by Hollywood. More than 20 years after persistently trying to convince the curmudgeonly author, he finally gets a hearing in 1961 after the book's sales have diminished. But after two weeks of wooing, Travers still won't budge. Disney finally connects with Travers only after he reaches into his own past.

The Redwood City showing is part of the city's free "Movies on the Square" series throughout the summer, which screens 16 films on Thursday evenings beginning at sundown, at approximately 8:45 p.m. Films are shown on a 25-foot outdoor theater with high-definition surround-sound located at 2200 Broadway St. Seating is limited. Blankets are welcome. More information can be found at redwoodcity.org/events.

-- Sue Dremann

Art: Creative crossroads

Art, science and nature will converge in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Sunday, July 27, at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program open house.

The event marks the only day of the year in which the program opens its private, 583-acre ranch to the general public. In addition to enjoying self-guided tours of a site-inspired sculpture collection by prominent artists and trails offering panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean, those in attendance will have the opportunity to stand at the intersection of seemingly incongruous fields.

A special 30-day residency of six scientists and six creative artists, called "Scientific Delirium Madness," marks the first time in the program's 35-year history that scientists and artists have lived communally. The results of that collaboration will be on view.

"At its heart, Djerassi is about the creative process," said Margot H. Knight, the program's executive director. "The collaboration happening this month erases the boundaries between science and art."

Attendees are invited to meet members of the residency and observe open artists' studios, dance and music performances and literary readings. There will also be a "Plein Air Paint Out" in which members of The Woodside Plein Air Painting Group, stationed along the trails, will paint various scenes of the ranch's landscape.

"This is one of the top residency programs in the world. We'd love for our neighbors to learn more about us," Knight said.

The event is on July 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $50 per person, and reservations are required. Reservations may be made at djerassi.org. The program is at 2325 Bear Gulch Road in Woodside.

-- Ben Custer

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