$50K is A-Okay

By Richard Mineards   |   August 9, 2018
Beauty on the rooftop: jeweler Tara Gray, Mindy Mahy, Sandi Nicholson, Ursula and Pat Nesbitt (photo by Charles Ward)

It was certainly a night on the tiles when the Polo Training Center, a charitable organization which supports youth polo, held a sunset soirée on the Mirador roof of the Hotel Californian, courtesy of the ritzy hostelry’s manager, Carlos Lopes.

The reception for more than 50 guests was the precursor for a golf tournament the following day at the Glen Annie course for 24 polo and 24 tennis players from the Santa Barbara Polo Club, where center president Rhys Williams was men’s tennis captain for a number of years.

It was expected to raise more than $50,000 for the Carpinteria based nonprofit.

Among the guests quaffing the champagne and noshing on the prosecco pops were Mike and Claudia Uretz, Dan Walker, Pat and Ursula Nesbitt, Chris and Mindy Denson, Sandi Nicholson, Arlene Montesano, Chuck and Margarita Lande, David Sigman, Tara Gray, Mindy Mahy, Morten and Lisa Wengler, and Cory Williams, who starts at USC later in August.

Charles Ward, Carlos Lopes, Hotel Californian manager, Cory Williams and her father, Rhys Williams, president of Polo Training Center SB
Chris Denson in background, with Chuck Stumpf, Jayne and David Sigman, Margarita and Chuck Lande (photo by Charles Ward)

Happily Married

It’s one of the highlights of the Music Academy of the West’s summer festival and it certainly lived up to expectations when Mozart’s crowd-pleasing 220-year-old opera, The Marriage of Figaro, was performed at the Granada.

The lively production, under the aegis of young stage director James Darrah and maestro James Conlon, resident conductor of the L.A. Opera in his Santa Barbara debut, updated the timeline and transferred it wonderfully from an 18th-century Spanish castle in Seville to a country club in a mid-1970s hotel resort, reportedly the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Bass baritone Lawson Anderson was a delight as Figaro, as was soprano Adelaide Boedecker as Susanna, local Seung Yun Kim, mezzo soprano, as Bartolo and baritone Benjamin Dickerson, 25, winner of the Marilyn Horne song competition three years ago, as Count Almaviva.

Kudos also goes to scenic designer Julia Noulin-Merat, costume designer Molly Irelan, and lighting expert Francois-Pierre Couture.

Wild at Heart

A heartbreaking new trailer for I Am Paul Walker, the late Santa Barbara actor, has just been released.

The documentary celebrates the life of the Fast and the Furious star, which was tragically cut short in a freak car accident in 2013, aged just 40.

The two-minute teaser is filled with interviews with those who knew him best – his family, his friends, his directors, and his co-stars.

Interspersed with footage from his movies and cellphone captured footage from adulthood, it also offers a glimpse into his early years.

“He was always saying he wanted to be a park ranger, you know, make $28,000 a year and live in a wilderness,” says his brother, Caleb, in one clip.

“That’s what he really wanted to do.”

Hands of Stone

Santa Barbara TV reality star Heidi Montag has just launched a collection of handmade gemstone and beaded jewelry inspired by her newborn son, Gunner Stone.

The former The Hills star, who is married to Spencer Pratt, is calling it Stone Love.

Heidi, 31, has teamed up with her former dog sitter, Kelsey Leonard, after taking note of her “incredible” handmade jewelry.

Necklaces come in an array of stones, including jade, moonstone, quartz, and blue lace agate.

Harvey Danger

Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow was one of disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein‘s biggest stars, making four or five movies a year with him in the 1990s and 2000s.

And now, the Montecito actress has spoken candidly about her relationship with the alleged sexual harasser in an interview with The New York Times magazine.

“He could be truly horrible and mean and then be incredibly generous,” says Paltrow, 45. “It was kind of like a classic abusive relationship.

“The one time that Harvey propositioned me was really almost the least of it in terms of how onerous that relationship was. It was really quid pro quo and punitive, and I always felt like I was on thin ice.”

Paltrow previously spoke on shock jock Howard Stern‘s radio show that during the 1990s Weinstein requested a massage from the then-22-year-old star. “We had one incident when he tried to make a pass at me,” she admitted.

Good Fortune

TV talk-show titan Oprah Winfrey is the happiest person she knows.

The 64-year-old media mogul – who has been in a relationship with businessman Stedman Graham, 67, for 32 years – doesn’t think other people have better lives than she does and feels fortunate.

“I don’t know anyone happier, “she says. “I don’t know anyone who has a better life, or had a better life. I look at other people and I think, they look happy. But not as happy as me.”

When Oprah gets down time, she loves nothing more than simply doing “nothing” at her sprawling Montecito estate, she tells Vogue.

“I can go weeks and never turn on a television. I’ve gone a summer not having it on. No. my guilty pleasure is I do nothing.

“I live in a very beautiful space that I created, and every time I leave home and I’m driving out the back with the pond, and I’m looking at the grass and I see the house on the hill, I have this moment when I think what Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz.

“I’ve learned to look no further than my own back yard.”

High and Low

Santa Barbara warbler Katy Perry has admitted to suffering from depression.

June last year saw her releasing her fourth much-awaited studio album, Witness, but unfortunately for the former Dos Pueblos High student, compared to her other records, it was deemed a flop – selling only 180,000 copies in its first week compared to her 2013 album Prism‘s 286,000 copies.

Recalling that tough time, the 33-year-old singer tells Vogue Australia she was left with “situational depression.”

“I have bouts of situational depression, and my heart was broken last year because unknowingly I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn’t react in the way I had expected… which broke my heart,” she confessed.

Although it was hard and trying at the time, Katy says the experience gave her a whole new perspective on life.

“That brokenness, plus me opening up to a greater, higher power and reconnecting with divinity, gave me a wholeness I never had. It gave me a new foundation, It’s not just a material foundation: it’s a soul foundation.”

Sightings: Rocker Dave Crosby noshing at Tre Lune…Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones with wife Dawn at the SB Polo Club…Actor Josh Holloway and wife Yessica at Olio e Limone

Pip! Pip!


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