Tag archives: Ensemble Theatre Company

Outstanding ‘Alice’
By Richard Mineards   |   June 11, 2024

Ensemble Theatre Company’s final show of its 45th season at the New Vic, the world premiere of Alice, Formerly of Wonderland, based on a true story of the romance between the girl featured in the Lewis Carrol books and Prince Leopold, the youngest son of Queen Victoria, is a real corker! Switching scenes from Oxford […]

Fantastic Mr. Fox 
By Richard Mineards   |   May 14, 2024

Jonathan Fox, who retired as artistic director of the Ensemble Theatre Company in June after 17 years at the helm when it moved from the rustic Alhecama Theater to the New Vic, was lauded for his work at a 76-guest dinner thrown by Santa Barbara’s Jewish Foundation at the historic Santa Barbara Club. Cyndi Silverman, […]

Theater Is Thriving 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 23, 2024

I only managed to catch the first act of Jesus Christ Superstar at Center Stage last weekend, but even 45 minutes of Out of the Box’s local star-studded production was enough to rock my world. The all-female/non-binary cast put a somewhat provocative perspective on the sensational rock opera full of indelible songs by future Broadway […]

A Laudable Lehman Play
By Richard Mineards   |   April 16, 2024

The Lehman Trilogy, a Tony Award winning three-man show by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power and directed by Oanh Nguyen, at the Ensemble Theatre Company’s New Vic is not to be missed! The three-hour-long production, with two ten-minute intermissions, chronicles the rise and fall of the Lehman brothers, a 160-year journey of three immigrant […]

Broadway Downtown: Band of Brothers 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 9, 2024

The Lehman Trilogy, which not even two years ago won five Tony Awards for drama including Best Play, is set to make its Santa Barbara debut at Ensemble Theatre Company from April 6- 21. The play explores the human drama behind the Lehman brothers’ empire, tracing the family’s humble beginnings from their immigration from Bavaria […]

Harpsichord in the Hall
By Richard Mineards   |   February 27, 2024

Camerata Pacifica debuted its latest import-flutist Sébastian Jacot in a most impressive concert at the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall, with a program including music by Bach, Haydn, and Jolivet. Geneva-born Jacot, who began studying music at the age of six, also holds the position as principal flute at the prestigious Berliner Philharmoniker. He plays a […]

The Moving ‘Willesden Lane’
By Richard Mineards   |   February 13, 2024

Ensemble Theatre Company’s latest New Vic production The Pianist of Willesden Lane, a true story about a young Jewish musician navigating the Nazi regime in Vienna and London during the Blitzkrieg, is a truly thought-provoking show. Told by Mona Golabek, a world-renowned Grammy nominated pianist and the daughter of Lisa Jura – a pianist who, […]

Playing the Part
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 6, 2024

Stepping onto the stage to perform a one-woman show in your first-ever theatrical acting experience might seem to be sheer folly. But for Mona Golabek – starring in The Pianist of Willesden Lane which makes its Santa Barbara debut at Ensemble Theatre from February 2-18 – it is an opportunity to share her family’s story; […]

‘Love Letters’ through Time
By Richard Mineards   |   February 6, 2024

Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross, who played husband and wife on the hit ‘80s TV sitcom Family Ties, were back together at the Ensemble Theatre Company’s New Vic for a special one-time benefit performance of Love Letters. A timeless play written by A. R.Gurney, the production unfolds through a series of letters exchanged over a […]

A Fiery Performance
By Richard Mineards   |   December 12, 2023

The Ensemble Theatre Company’s latest production Ring of Fire, Richard Maltby Jr.’s musical review of singer Johnny Cash’s extensive body of work is a real Christmas cracker! The hugely entertaining cast at the New Vic consists of five actor-musicians – L.J. Benet, Glenn Stanton, Valerie Larsen, Kasper,and Sam Linkowski – under the direction of Randy […]

Honoring ETC’s Jonathan Fox
By Richard Mineards   |   November 14, 2023

An old friend, Jonathan Fox, who was artistic director of the Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) for 17 years, has been honored for his sterling work at the New Vic. First District Supervisor Das Williams has proposed a resolution marking Jonathan’s many contributions to Santa Barbara’s art and culture. Under his supervision, ETC acquired and renovated […]

Defining ‘War Words’
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 31, 2023

The nonprofit New Beginnings has turned its focus toward ending veteran homelessness in the county by the close of 2025 through its Supportive Services for Veteran Families program that works to transition currently unhoused veterans back into stable housing and assist those whose housing situation is threatened. But in addition to putting its money where […]

Heeger and Brown on Board
By Richard Mineards   |   October 10, 2023

Alan Heeger and Cynthia Brown have joined the board of directors of the Ensemble Theatre Company. These additions underscore the company’s commitment to advancing its mission and expanding its reach within the Santa Barbara community. Both bring a wealth of experience, diverse perspectives, and a shared passion for the arts. Welcome on board…

Getting Playful on Stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 10, 2023

Given the small and rather insular nature of the local theater scene, Santa Barbara’s Ensemble Theatre Company and Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre Company don’t often open productions the same week, let alone ones that kick off their respective seasons. What’s rarer still is that both of the plays are tackling exceedingly current topics that resonate in […]

Granada Legends: Annual Gala Takes the Stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 12, 2023

There’s no doubt that The Granada Theatre has played a vital role in developing and extending Santa Barbara’s thriving music and performing arts landscape for many decades – especially since 2008, when the theater reopened after a massive multi-million dollar renovation. The result not only restored The Granada to its 1930s glory but established the […]

An Unshakable Audience
By Richard Mineards   |   August 29, 2023

Note even a 5.1 earthquake near Ojai or Tropical Storm Hilary could impact the Ensemble Theatre Company’s annual Curtain Up! gala at the historic Santa Barbara Club, attracting 167 guests and raising around $260,000 for the popular New Vic theater, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. A 90-minute show preceded the boffo bash hosted by […]

Homer is Where the Heart Is
By Richard Mineards   |   August 22, 2023

Jonathan Fox, who left the Ensemble Theatre Company after 17 years as artistic director, has been spending the summer in Santa Barbara’s sister city Kotor, Montenegro. Jonathan has been presenting a production of An Iliad, a modern-day retelling of Homer’s classic. The opening performance was at the 18th century St. Nicholas Franciscan monastery. The production […]

The Granada Theatre
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 15, 2023

There’s no doubt that the Granada Theatre is one of the crown jewels in Santa Barbara’s enviable and outsized arts scene, one that after undergoing a mega-millions upgrade has become home to nearly all of the South County’s major presenting arts organizations. What’s more, the nonprofit continues to upgrade on a regular basis, most recently […]

Seared’ Extends Savory Run 
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 27, 2023

Emotions ran high on opening night for Seared – the kitchen comedy sans kitsch that closes out Ensemble Theatre’s current season as well as artistic director Jonathan Fox’s career at the company. It came from both the smartly cast quartet of actors in the play about art-vs.-commerce and power struggles, but also the audience who […]

An Order of Theater, Well ‘Seared’
By Richard Mineards   |   June 20, 2023

Jonathan Fox, who is departing as artistic director of the Ensemble Theatre Company after 17 years, has come up with a culinary cracker with his last production Seared, a fast-paced kitchen comedy, which is also the last show of the current season at the New Vic. Andrew Elvis Miller does an excellent job as the […]