Tag archives: Center Stage

Out of the Box’s ‘Once’ Falling Quickly into Place 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 18, 2023

Like every musical Out of the Box produces, Once is near and dear to company founder Samantha Eve’s heart. But its plot – the charming tale of an Irish busker musician ready to give up on his dream, the Czech immigrant in adoration of his songs, and their being drawn together by their shared love […]

Spring Opera Offers Double Bill of Humor
By Scott Craig   |   January 31, 2023

Westmont performs an ambitious operatic double bill of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and Rossini’s The Silken Ladder Friday, January 27, and Sunday, January 29; both at 7 pm in Center Stage Theater. To purchase tickets, which cost $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors or military members, please visit the Center Stage box […]

‘Patient’ Is a Virtue 
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 24, 2023

An age-old artists’ conundrum of the relationship between creativity and madness gets explored anew in a world premiere original play, The Patient, at Center Stage Theater this weekend. Peter Frisch, the veteran theater director, TV producer, and educator, collaborated on the writing with Shay Munroe, an L.A.-based actress and writer (and former student of Frisch’s […]

Out of the Box Gets Us Out of Our Heads
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 8, 2022

Out of the Box founder Samantha Eve has always exhibited an enduring fondness for contemporary or offbeat musicals, as indicated by the nonprofit community theater company’s past productions over the last dozen years of everything from Bare to Bonnie & Clyde, and Carrie to Heathers. But in the wake of the turmoil of the last […]

Lodging a Love Story
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 19, 2022

The pandemic might have been a cause for pause for most of us, but Claudia Hoag McGarry took a different path. Not only did the screenwriter-turned-playwright take up watercolor painting – she’s created more than 575 pieces in 27 months, several hundred of which have sold online or, more recently, at Kathryne Designs in Montecito […]

A Crescendo of Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 5, 2022

Arianna Hartanov, who moved to Santa Barbara to join State Street Ballet (SSB) in 2016, has danced lead roles in the company’s productions of Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, among others. But ballet isn’t her only bailiwick.  As a choreographer for SSB’s Evenings and Modern Masters events, she indulged her contemporary side back in 2019 […]

OOB’s ‘Tick….’ 
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 3, 2022

Also emerging from the pandemic for its first live theatrical production in 30 months, Out of the Box (OOB) is reviving a three-decade-old work as well, in this case tick, tick…Boom! (TTB), originally a semi-autobiographical one-man show that Jonathan Larson created in the early 1990s before his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Rent. Coincidentally, TTB […]

HHII: Expanding the Dance Universe
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 26, 2022

Nebula Dance Lab didn’t have to cancel its annual HHII Dance Festival during the COVID crisis, although last year’s event did migrate to the virtual world. But what also happened in the more than two years since the festival’s last live weekend, was that the world caught up to Nebula and HHII’s concept of inclusivity, […]

Celebrating a Classic American Opera
By Scott Craig   |   February 1, 2022

Westmont presents Aaron Copland’s great 20th century American opera The Tender Land January 28 and 30 at 7 pm at Center Stage Theater in Paseo Nuevo. Purchase tickets, which cost $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors or military, at the Center Stage box office at centerstagetheater.org. Please visit the Center Stage website to view […]

Westmont Opera Returns to the Stage with ‘Tender Land’
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 27, 2022

American composer Aaron Copland was inspired to write his opera The Tender Land when he saw Walker Evans’ famed Depression-era photographs and read James Agee’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.” Now, Westmont Opera is presenting the rarely seen 1954 work as its 2022 production at the Center Stage Theater, representing the school’s return to […]

Production Takes Green Day Musical out of the Box
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 5, 2018

Samantha Eve laughed when I told her that the only time I saw American Idiot, the Broadway musical version of Green Day’s iconic album, I hated it so much I wished I had left. Really loud. A story that was too hard to follow and a little dated, and so much incongruous activity I wasn’t […]

Parody Trumps President
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 11, 2018

Fledgling actor-comedian Lauren Watson first thought of creative performance art mimicking Donald Trump late in 2015, when the real estate mogul and reality TV star announced his candidacy. After Trump won the presidency, Watson also stepped up his game, taking his impersonation into some local retail outlets, such as McDonald’s and Ross Dress for Less […]