Tag archives: play

‘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 […]

Paying (and Singing) Respect
By Richard Mineards   |   January 17, 2023

The late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin was a larger-than-life character with vocal talents to match. The singer, songwriter, and pianist, the daughter of a Detroit Baptist church preacher who died in 2018 aged 76, was admirably brought to life again in the American Theatre Guild’s electrifying Broadway production R.E.S.P.E.C.T. at the Granada with four […]

Memories of Theaters Past
By Richard Mineards   |   December 13, 2022

What could be more festive for Yuletide than Charles Dickens’s classic ghost story A Christmas Carol? It is a show dear to my heart as it was the first-ever theater production I saw at the tender age of eight at the Northampton Repertory Theatre in England with a group of classmates from my local prep […]

The Absurdity of It All 
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 15, 2022

Jumping from high school to college, and from a harrowing drama to an absurdist comedy, there’s also UCSB Theater’s offering of a long weekend of The Government Inspector at the Hatlen Theater on campus November 16-20. UCSB faculty member Michael Bernard, whose tenure in town following 10 years as Associate Artistic Director of the 52nd […]

SBCC Comedy: From Simply Silly to Social Satire 
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 8, 2022

Fresh from the over-the-top antics, physical pratfalls, and intentionally terrible timing of The Play That Goes Wrong, which pulled out the stops – and mantle pieces and body parts, but no punches on closing night last weekend – SBCC Theatre Group segues into a student production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, one […]

Spring-ing Back to Lincoln Land 
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 18, 2022

Given that Abraham Lincoln might be the most popular president in U.S. history, one whose story is the stuff of legends, it would seem there isn’t a whole lot left to tell about Abe. And even less likely, that a practicing insurance litigator would be the one to tell it.  Yet, here’s Terrence L. Cranert, […]

The Play’s the Thing (That Goes Wrong)
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 18, 2022

The Play That Goes Wrong began life in 2012 in a British pub as a frothy vehicle for its three writers to star in. But the comedy about amateur actors attempting to mount a fictional murder mystery called The Murder at Haversham Manor that goes hopelessly awry, chock full of pranks and pratfalls and all […]

Herb Your Enthusiasm
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 13, 2022

PCPA Theaterfest could hardly have found a more appropriate director than Catalina Maynard to helm Native Gardens, Karen Zacarias’ 90-minute play in which a battle between formerly friendly new neighbors over cultivating gardens in their separate yards echoes the polarization and cultural wars currently characterizing the country. Maynard has previous PCPA experience as an actor […]

PCPA’s DeLaurier Heads ‘Into the Woods’… and Retirement
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 16, 2022

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s (PCPA) associate artistic director Roger DeLaurier is retiring at the end of the summer, heading off into the woods after 34 years and following one last time helming a show, which just so happens to be Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods, a magical, memorable, […]

Alcazar’s Concise Community-centric Comedy
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 9, 2022

Last summer, the community theater company at Carpinteria’s Alcazar Theatre launched Laugh Out Loud, a one-weekend summer series of several short comedic plays, both to keep its actors and the community engaged, and to test the waters of producing live theater during the pandemic.  Audiences responded, filling up more than half of the seats at […]

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 […]

Painting the Stage
By Richard Mineards   |   May 31, 2022

Ensemble Theatre Company staged its tour-de-force one-man show Vincent at the New Vic, originally presented by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in March to sold-out audiences as it mounted its highly acclaimed Vincent Van Gogh exhibition. The play paints a thoughtful, imaginary scenario about one of the most famous names in the art world […]

American Son Impresses
By Richard Mineards   |   April 19, 2022

Racial dynamics are at the forefront of the Ensemble Theatre Company’s latest New Vic show American Son. The nail-biting drama, directed by Jonathan Fox, takes place at a Miami, Florida, police station where, in the middle of the night, the parents of an African American teenager anxiously await news of their son, who may have […]

Thrown to The Wolves 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 12, 2022

The Wolves, the first play by former college actress Sarah DeLappe to be produced and professionally written while she was still an undergraduate at Yale, was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Now, SBCC Theatre closes out its season with the local premiere of the piece, ostensibly about a girls’ indoor soccer […]

ETC’s American Son 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 12, 2022

After two false starts forced by the pandemic, ETC is finally bringing American Son to the New Vic Theatre for a mid-April run. The nail-biting drama takes place in real-time in the waiting room of a Miami police station where the parents of a bi-racial African American teenager anxiously await news about their son, who […]

Ventura Ventures: Rubicon Returns
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 17, 2022

The Rubicon Theatre Company (RTC) was the first of the local companies to find a way to produce something for its audiences when the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down way back in early spring 2020. Indeed, RTC was the first regional theater company in the country to offer a socially distanced drive-in series, bringing such […]

Play On: ‘Murder’ at the Garvin
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 8, 2022

Ken Ludwig’s stage version of Murder on the Orient Express was written at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate, so the classic Christie mystery – which was also adapted into a hit movie – was in good hands when it premiered in March 2017 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton. Five years later, The […]

Stay and Play
By Kim Crail   |   March 8, 2022

Spring is almost here and the Montecito Library is keen to bring back some weekly programs for younger children! Our answer? Stay and Play, an outdoor opportunity for little ones to play and their grownups to chill. No rushing to get anywhere at a certain time or abrupt transitions, just a wide window of time […]

Ensemble Goes Solo for Rare Bird ‘Lillian’
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 4, 2022

While film lovers will be flocking to Santa Barbara over the next 10 days to watch scores of world premieres and welcome widely loved movie stars in the Arlington and other cinemas, the Ensemble Theatre will be staging a premiere of its own just across Victoria Street in the New Vic, one that also boasts […]

More Money, Love: Theater Stages ‘The Miser’
By Scott Craig   |   March 1, 2022

The Westmont College Festival Theatre and John Blondell, Westmont’s award-winning director and professor of theater arts, stage The Miser, or the School for Lies, Moliere’s funny, highly theatrical on-the-verge-of-the-absurd comedy February 25-26, March 3-5 at 7:30 pm, and March 5 at 2 pm, all in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, […]