The Elyse Restaurant in downtown San Jose gave away 1,000 meals of turkey wild rice soup, as well as noodle or turkey meat, mashed potatoes, and a side dish of vegetables on Thanksgiving last week. Co-owner Thach Namer said it started as an idea to feed the downtown homeless, but the plan received so much support that they opened it up to anyone in need of a meal.
The team spent more than a week preparing and spending a full day chopping 100 pounds of onions. chief Executive Officer Bao-ky Vo Turkey after turkey boned, and a team of coworkers and friends created an assembly line to pack all of the food into individual trays. On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers came to pick up meals in not only San Jose but also Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Redwood City, Union City, and Fremont. It was sure to be a bright spot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Then, amazingly, before Monday morning, a burglar broke into the restaurant on South Second Street and stole a couple of iPads, a couple of bottles of vodka, and the speaker that the chef uses to listen to music in the kitchen. “The burglar can break into our restaurant, but he cannot break our minds to help others,” Namer said on Wednesday.
And she means it. This Sunday, the Elyse Restaurant is handing out 1,500 meals of chicken noodle soup and white rice with some extras. (In order to maintain COVID logs, collections must be arranged in advance by contacting the restaurant via the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElyseRestaurant or the elyserestaurant.com website.)
Despite an incredibly difficult year that included shutdowns due to COVID-19 restrictions as well as damage sustained during the May police protests against the police murder of George Floyd, Namer has managed to get a sense of humor about this latest one Preserve bump. The burglar did not get away with cash, she emphasized, because the closed restaurant did not collect any. “In the video, he was so glad he found the key to the cash register,” she said. The drawer was empty, of course.
‘NUTCRACKER’ PLAN CHANGE: Later that month, New Ballet had planned to broadcast live a scaled-down version of The San Jose Nutcracker, its popular hometown twist on the classic holiday that has filled the Hammer Theater Center for the past few years. There were even plans to rehearse the show outdoors in St. James Park, across from the studio on North Third Street.
But with COVID-19 cases and new restrictions, New Ballet Director Dalia Rawson says the company was forced to abandon plans for a live stream show on December 12th. You can still fix your San Jose Nutcracker, however, as a recording of a previous production – danced live in front of a full orchestra – will be available for streaming December 19, December 12 and available through December 31. Tickets are processed against payment and are available at www.hammertheatre.com.
“I’m disappointed that we can’t do our live stream,” said Rawson. “But as the numbers went up, there came a point where it didn’t feel right anymore. I am proud that we kept our dancers busy and working throughout the fall and nutcracker seasons, and we hold on to our commitment to pay artists to produce. We’re also excited to share our previous production that we love so much. “
PEAR THEATER FOUNDER BRANCHES OFF: Diane TascaThe founder and former Artistic Director of Mountain View’s Pear Theater moves to Westchester County, NY with her lawyer husband Standard projector, this month. And while she wants to continue serving on the Pear Theater’s board of directors remotely, the move means she’s stepping down as its president.
“When me and my group of theater buddies started this little theater that could do it in 2002, none of us would have imagined that we would be where we are today – in a brand new, bespoke space that wins multiple awards and new ones Bringing voices to the stage, ”said Tasca, who retired as artistic director in 2017, in a press release. “I’m so proud of what we started, proud that so many of our original group are still involved. and impressed by the next generation of theater makers who are already active to continue and expand this crucial work in an extremely challenging time. “
While the board of the Pear Theater selects a new president, Darryl Compton will step into the role of treasurer, and Monica Cappuccini and Carolyn Compton will serve as co-secretaries. Artistic Director Sinjin Jones says he wishes they could say goodbye to Tasca and Beamer with a big party, but had something safe and reasonably detached. “Obviously, this is not the preferred way of celebrating such a Bay Area theater titan and someone who has lovingly cared for the theater we all call home, but we hope it will do the job, the high.” Communicating the importance of Diane holds our hearts, ”said Jones.