Author spotlight: Steven Libowitz

Music advocate. Hardcore travel ninja. Explorer. Web aficionado. Avid internet expert. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent est lectus, maximus eget porta vel, sodales in lorem. Praesent ut vehicula elit.

State Street Ballet
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

State Street Ballet was the first arts organization in town to perform the pandemic pivot as the statewide orders that shut down audience events came just two days before their planned premiere of Sleeping Beauty back in March, forcing the company to come up with a new approach quickly, resulting in a studio rehearsal version […]

House Calls’ Conversations
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

Vivek H. Murthy, MD, the 19th Surgeon General of the U.S., began to focus his attention at the end of his tenure in 2017 on chronic stress and isolation as problems that have profound implications for health, productivity, and happiness. The author of the prescient book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a […]

Charles Lloyd at the Lobero: Surfing the Creative Wave
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

Interviewing Charles Lloyd can be almost as enjoyable an experience as attending one of the legendary saxophonist’s concerts, which are always journeys into the ever-in-the-moment confluence of man, musician, and his muse that can veer from riveting to soul-stirring to spiritual near-bliss. That’s because Lloyd, who has lived in the hills of Montecito with his […]

Focus on Film: Women in the Water
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

She is the Ocean, the new documentary from Inna Blokhina, the director of the award-winning film On the Wave, is an in-depth exploration of the lives of nine women from around the world who share a love for the sea so profound that they have chosen to make the ocean the center of their physical, […]

Pop Notes: Rock and Wheels
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

The Beach Boys, straight off a controversial performance at President Trump’s fundraising concert in Orange County last weekend that had founders Brian Wilson and Al Jardine disavowing the appearance by the touring outfit led by former Santa Barbara resident Mike Love, return to a favorite stomping ground at the Ventura Fairgrounds on Friday, October 23. […]

Join Us October 22 at 7pm
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 23, 2020

In an effort to connect the community and keep the conversation going, James Joyce III, founder of Coffee with a Black Guy, has scheduled one of his signature events over Zoom for 7 pm to 8 pm Thursday evening, October 22, three days after Dr. Kendi’s event.  “It’s great that Arts & Lectures has stepped […]

An Online Series with In-Person Performances
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s reimagined 2020-2021 performance season launches this weekend first as an online-only series – although the musicians are performing live in person. And while plans have already been put in place to allow audiences up to about 30 percent capacity at its home venue of the Granada Theatre starting in January, the […]

First Steps to Race in Justice
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

Two MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows, a Pulitzer Prize winner, an innovative winner of a Grammy for traditional folk music, and a world-famous nun who was the inspiration for an Academy Award-winning movie are all coming to town as part of an ambitious new series from UCSB Arts & Lectures called Race to Justice that launches […]

UCSB Shakes it up All Over the ‘Net
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance’s new season got underway last weekend with a reprise of its summer production of Immortal Longings, a serious take on deals on issues of power and corruption in Shakespeare adapted and directed by Irwin Appel. This weekend, Appel launches its first-ever Naked Shakes Solo Festival featuring renowned artists Debra […]

Camerata’s CoronaConcerts Set to Conquer COVID Confinement
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

Camerata Pacifica was at the forefront of local arts organizations in pivoting to online streaming events at the onset of enforced closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, launching weekly curated videos with live commentary way back in March. While the chamber music ensemble’s Concerts at Home series continues on Sundays on YouTube and Facebook, its […]

Doubly Distanced Day of the Dead Celebration
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has celebrated the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead” in English) with music, dance, art activities, and altar displays for decades, long before the Pixar film Coco brought the South of the Border holiday to mainstream attention. This year, in light of the continuing […]

Daddy Daughter Day: Bridges to a Closer Relationship
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

It was on her thirteenth birthday that Isabelle Bridges moved to Montecito with her family – actor father Jeff Bridges, mother Susan, and sisters Jessie and Haley – leaving L.A. following the1994 Northridge Earthquake for the verdant hills of the village. So that was a few years after the last of the play dates with […]

Cottage Rehab’s Evening of Empowering Entertainment
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation presents a fundraising screening of the 2017 film Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story, which describes Eduardo Garcia‘s rehabilitation journey following injuries he suffered from a massive electric shock while hunting. A classically trained chef who found his passion for cooking at an early age, Garcia cut his teeth in the industry […]

Navigating the NatureTrack Film Festival
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

The NatureTrack Film Festival began in 2018 as a way to raise funds and draw attention to the then-seven-year-old nonprofit NatureTrack Foundation, which brings schoolchildren out into nature for docent-led treks along trails in the Santa Ynez Valley. With nature now even more important during the pandemic as outdoor activity is far less conducive to […]

Charity Begins at Home
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

Math-whiz turned massively successful investor Pete Muller is passionate about all of his pursuits. Besides his family, surfing, poker, and solving and creating crossword puzzles, there’s his day job as the creator and manager of one of the most sought after quant-driven hedge funds on the planet, the aptly-named Process Driven Trading, which has never […]

Music Notes
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 1, 2020

Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda – the Oregon-based mantra music mavens who have performed their popular blend of kirtan, healing mantra music, original compositions in English and Sanskrit, and Kirtronica (a fusion of kirtan and electronica) at several venues in Santa Barbara – have a much-anticipated new album ready for release. But due to pandemic restrictions […]

6Q’s with Magic Castle Cabaret’s Arlene Larsen
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 1, 2020

Like every performing arts venue in town, the Magic Castle Cabaret has been closed since March as even private club prestidigitation has been rendered powerless by the pandemic. But the charming year-old establishment that serves as the local Santa Barbara-Montecito offshoot to the famed Castle in Hollywood co-founded by Milt Larsen in the early 1960s […]

All Too Real
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 1, 2020

On January 9, 2018, Ken Grand went through the kind of hell most of us could never even imagine. That was the night that a torrential downpour resulted in the infamous Montecito mudslides and debris flow that killed 23 people. Among the casualties was Grand’s wife, Rebecca Riskin, the popular professional ballerina turned realtor whose […]

Metro Theatres Ready to Reopen
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 1, 2020

Normally a designation as a red zone would mean no parking or even stopping. But when it comes to pandemic procedures, the designation is more like rolling out a red carpet, as two weeks of reduced cases means more businesses can reopen. Accordingly, Metropolitan Theatres plans to welcome back moviegoers at two of the Santa […]

Gobble It Up
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 24, 2020

PCPA previews America’s annual fall feast two month’s early with Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, the second in its new series of staged reading previews of relatively new works of current interest. The “bitingly funny satire” find good intentions colliding with absurd assumptions as a troupe of supposedly racially awakened white teaching artists are tasked […]

UCSB Arts & Lectures’ House Calls: Just What the Doctor Ordered
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 24, 2020

UCSB Arts & Lectures is by far the area’s busiest arts organization, presenting in the pre-pandemic era upwards of 100 public events every academic year, not to mention add-ons in the summer. So, naturally A&L is stepping to the front of the line again as the COVID-19 crisis passes the six-month mark. After transferring its […]

Preview of Patagonia’s Public Trust Screens Outdoors
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Described as part love letter and part political exposé, Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands investigates how we arrived at this precarious moment when America’s public lands – some 640 million acres – are in danger. Held in trust by the federal government for all citizens of the United States, these places are […]

Lamb Talks ‘Love Letters’
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Longtime Santa Barbara writer Peggy O’Toole Lamb plumbed her own family history for her latest nonfiction book, Darling – Love Letters from WWII. The alumnus of UC Santa Barbara’s Teacher Education Program researched the letters that her uncle Frank J. Foster wrote to her aunt Catherine during WWII when he fought in the European Theater […]

Taylor-made for our Times
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

6Q’s with the writer of RTC’s A Song Rubicon Theatre’s September Blitz, a month-long festival featuring more than 30 events in 30 days, takes a turn away from classic fare toward a moving and innovative new one-act play with music from emerging young playwright Taylor Fagins. Preston Butler III, Greta Oglesby, Krystle Rose Simmons, and […]

Marjorie Luke, Staying Ripe in Stale Times
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Venues and artists throughout the world are struggling with how to thrive or even survive during the extended pandemic. For Marjorie Luke board president Rod Lathim, joining the zeitgeist of endless Zoom performances proved completely unpalatable. Instead, the Luke – which only a year or so ago started producing its own events rather than simply […]

Lights Up!: Auditions are Due
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Lights Up!, Santa Barbara’s newest teen theater company that serves as a professional, yet inclusive and creative home for the youngsters, is currently auditioning for its 2020-21 company membership. Interested actors, singers, and dancers aged 12-19 are invited to audition for admission and the opportunity to attend callbacks for specific shows with the rest of […]

He’s Got Rhythm, He’s Got Music
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

For nearly 20 years, Hershey Felder has made a career out of creating one-man shows in which he portrays and plays famous artists from recent and centuries-old history, and the novel coronavirus hasn’t caused him to slow down much at all. Ensemble Theatre Company got in the mix when it presented his Hershey Felder: Beethoven […]

Rubicon’s ‘September Blitz’
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Since the pandemic forced its doors to close in March, Rubicon Theatre rose to the challenge by quickly pivoting in creating digital content, including taking its summer youth programs online, but also launched the nation’s first theatrical drive-in concert series. Now, as its Rubicon Goes Retro Drive-in Concert Series comes to a close this week, […]

The Zany Zoom Schedule: 5Qs with Ed Giron
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Actor-director-playwright Ed Giron has been a very busy thespian despite the limitations of the pandemic. Although in-person appearances have been curtailed due to COVID, of course, the well-known Santa Barbara actor has found, or mostly fashioned, frequent opportunities to perform and/or direct theater events online. Giron’s lockdown list began with recording himself reading “Bedtime Stories” […]

Westmont Concert Series
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Like everybody else, the Westmont Music Department has had to pivot during the pandemic from in-person events to online performances and instruction. Last weekend, the department launched its new virtual Friday Concert Series with a video on Vimeo featuring husband-and-wife faculty members Andrea (flute) and Neil Di Maggio (piano) that portends a potent season of […]

Coastal Cleanup Month
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Back onshore, you can do your part to safeguard our local waterways for those animals that are still roaming free by participating in the pandemic version of Explore Ecology’s annual Coastal Cleanup. This year, instead of gathering together at beaches and sites throughout the county on a single day, the cleanups will officially take place […]

‘WWW’ on the World Wide Web
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Whales Without Walls, which screened at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival this past winter, is essentially a five-minute argument for a modern real-life solution to the issues that were addressed in the fiction film Free Willy. The mission of the Whale Sanctuary Project is to establish a model seaside sanctuary where whales and […]

Naked Shakes’ ‘Immortal Longings’
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

UCSB’s much-beloved Naked Shakes program, which massages and presents stripped-down versions of works by Shakespeare, celebrates its 15th anniversary with Immortal Longings, a new adaptation by founder Irwin Appel that combines Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra with George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra into a single play. “We are in the middle of […]

At PCPA, Interplay is the Thing
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Every arts organization has responded to the coronavirus crisis in their own way and in their own time, from raiding the archives to shutting down completely to, in the case of Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre (see above), trying innovative new ways to still go live and in person despite the pandemic. PCPA Theaterfest, which in normal […]

A Honking Good Concerts Series Comes to a Close
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Actress-singer Teri Bibb has played the role of understudy-turned-star Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera more than 1,000 times, both on Broadway and with the national tour that included singing a command performance at the White House. A veteran whose experience includes appearing in more than 50 musicals across the country, Bibb’s credits […]

Virtual Book Talk
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 27, 2020

Santa Barbara-raised award-winning photographer Thomas Kelsey started his World War II photo essay in 1986 and has just now completed the undertaking earlier this year. “75 Years Later – Warbirds, Airman, & Veterans of World War II” serves as a history lesson with facts, figures, and photographs of the wartime effort brought to the forefront […]

Polo’s PCO, pandemic-style
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 27, 2020

As with just about everything else that might involve an audience, polo tournaments have also been barred from permitting spectators at their matches. But rather than canceling the season, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club has carried on sans the crowds, as only polo players, team associates and club staff are allowed to attend […]

Back to the Garden
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 27, 2020

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Film Talk finds its way to the Montecito hills for a viewing and discussion of The Garden is Singing, Karen Kasaba’s 11-minute paean to Ganna Walska’s Lotusland that screened as part of the 2019 film festival. Singing does a credible job of capturing the beauty, diversity, history, and breadth of […]

Good Grief, That Could be the Summer Winner
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 27, 2020

For Brian McDonald, selecting You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown as the production for Ensemble Theatre Company Young Actors Conservatory this summer was a no-brainer once it became clear that COVID-19 had made his original choice – Hello, My Baby, by Montecito’s Cheri Steinkellner – impractical. Not only had ETC’s Education Director played the title […]

SBIFF Film Talk Serenades Shelton
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 20, 2020

Vera Cruz, the short film by UCSB professor and veteran documentarian Christopher Jenkins that follows artist-architect Jeff Shelton as he cajoles the creative community into decorating the outside of a colorful house at 521 Santa Barbara Street, gets renewed focus as this week’s entry in the film festival’s new online series of screenings and discussions […]