A Mardi Mob

By Richard Mineards   |   March 8, 2022
“Queen La Vie Boheme” Beth Amine and winged dancer Riana Merrill Baade with friend Heidi Frost (photo by Priscilla)

Baubles, bangles, and beads proliferated at La Arcada Plaza when Teresa Kuskey Nowak’s energized La Boheme dancers threw a Mardi Gras party with the 1114 Sports Bar as Ground Zero for the colorful, pulsating bash.

Given everybody had been emask-ulated after the pandemic mandate for wearing face coverings ended last month (February), many of the celebrants chose to don them again, although a great deal more exotic, for the beano which started at the Brasil Arts Cafe on State Street, a tiara’s toss from the Granada, and wound its way to the charming plaza near the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

An eclectic group of entertainers kept everyone in the Mardi Gras spirit, including the Santa Barbara Trombone Society, ubiquitous DJ Darla Bea, saxophonist Brandon Ragan, Spencer the Gardener, drag queen Bella Donna, fire dancers, and samba from Baheyya El-Ghazal.

Drew Wakefield emceed the fun fest with members of the multitudinous Mardi mob including Rick Oshay, Chris and Mindy Denson, Stephanie Petlow, Lisa Osborne, Rick Carter, Bonnie Carroll, Adam McKaig, Kathy Martin, and former KEYT reporter Kacey Drescher.

It was all too gloriously camp for words…

Andria Kahmann with the “King of Mardi Gras” Adam McKaig and Teresa Kuskey Nowak (photo by Priscilla)

Plays on the Field

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, 55, who owns a condo just a tiara’s toss from the Montecito Inn, is leaving his longtime role as a commentator for Fox Sports.

He has just signed a five-year $90 million deal to join sports giant ESPN as a lead commentator on Monday Night Football.

Aikman, who played 12 seasons for the Cowboys, was also being courted by Amazon.

His new contract equals that of his Dallas Cowboys successor Tony Romo, 41, who signed a ten-year $180 million deal with CBS after playing 14 seasons with the Texas team.

Across Lacrosse

College lacrosse players were out in force at the Santa Barbara Polo Club. The Santa Barbara Shootout, organized by Cal Coast Sports Ventures, featured 35 teams playing on six fields at the lush equestrian facility.

Players came from across the nation for the hotly contested event, including Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Oregon, the Air Force Academy, Virginia, Stanford, and UCSB.

“It was a great turnout,” says executive Paul Ramsey. “It’s nice to be back after the pandemic.”

It’s a Jersey Thing

It was an evening of literally high note when the American Theatre Guild staged the Tony and Grammy-winning production Jersey Boys at the Granada.

The extremely well-staged and entertaining show recounts the story of falsetto singer Frankie Valli and his group The Four Seasons, from their start as ‘50s lounge singers in New Jersey to being enrolled in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

The 2004 jukebox musical featured a host of their Top Ten hits, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).”

The actors Eric Chambliss, Matt Faucher, Devon Goffman, and particularly Jon Hacker as Valli, who starred in the Broadway production, were superb.


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