Tag archives: Rubicon Theatre Company

We Like Ike
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 5, 2024

Although he handily won both of his presidential elections, Dwight David Eisenhower wasn’t looked upon as a very effective chief executive a year after his term ended in the early 1960s. That’s the impetus for Eisenhower: This Piece of Ground, the new one-man show getting its first local production at the Rubicon in Ventura following […]

Sullivan’s Travels 
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 6, 2024

In something of a coincidence, Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre also stages a poetic, powerful and poignant family story, J for J – theater veteran Jenny Sullivan’s semi-autobiographical memory play about her relationship with her developmentally disabled older brother, Johnny. The title comes from a phrase her father – famed Hollywood actor Barry Sullivan (The Great Gatsby, […]

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 […]

Up North and Down South 
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 19, 2023

The title role in Jesus Christ Superstar was neither the first nor the last major part in a musical or movie for Ted Neeley, as he had a record deal at 22, played the lead role of Claude in both the New York and Los Angeles productions of the breakthrough rock musical Hair, and later […]

Catching Up with the ‘Joneses’
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 31, 2023

Despite being nominated for the Outer Critics and Drama League Awards and hailed by The New York Times’ critic as a rare “funny and moving, wonderful and weird” play from the “most singular voice of his generation, [one that’s] humane, literate, and slyly hilarious,” Will Eno’s 2004 The Realistic Joneses is only now having its […]

‘In the Heights’
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 1, 2022

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, the 2008 multiple Tony Award-winning musical that presaged Miranda’s even more astounding success with Hamilton, has been seen in town several times, including a PCPA production in 2016, Santa Barbara High two years later, and, in the 2021 film adaptation, just two months ago at the Sunken Gardens.  But never […]

A Cosmic Shift
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 13, 2022

The concept behind Almost, Maine, written by Tony-nominated actor John Cariani best known for playing forensic expert Julian Beck on Law & Order, is very simple on the surface, according to Stephanie Coltrin, Rubicon Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, who is helming RTC’s production this month. The play is composed of nine vignettes featuring nine different […]

Sleuth: Theater’s Biggest Brain-twister is Back
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 14, 2022

The New Vic sounds like a theater in England, but the downtown venue is actually an old, converted church, although Ensemble Theatre Company’s lavish remodeling left few of those attributes visible inside. But there’s no way ETC’s old digs at the antiquated Alhecama Theater could have supported the sets and stagecraft required for its next […]

Rubicon’s Twilight
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 3, 2022

Rubicon Theatre Company (RTC) officially kicks off its first full season since the pandemic shuttered its doors in February 2020 with a new production of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 at 8 pm on Friday, April 29. That would be exactly 30 years and just shy of five hours since the not guilty verdicts were announced […]

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 […]

Theater Talk: Crossing the Rubicon
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2022

Later this month, Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre Company finally reopens, more than two years after the pandemic put the kibosh on live theater everywhere, and long after virtually every other venue in the area has returned to roughly regular schedules. The mounting of theater shows again at the converted church a few blocks from downtown Ventura […]

Finding the ‘Good in the Heart of Life’
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 25, 2022

The COVID pandemic has been an ongoing career if not a personal crisis for a lot of musicians around the world. But for Drew McManus, the shutdown actually afforded him a chance to slow down, regroup and, most importantly, reconnect with his roots in the mountains of Montana. Although he was born in the western […]

Mission: Impossible Objects
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2021

Ed Lister, who is known in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as a skilled scenic artist with credits in the theater credits and mural making, has created a series of vibrant abstract silk screen prints, or serigraphs. They were made starting in the early 1970s while he was teaching printmaking at the Chelsea School […]

Rubicon Streams a New Christmas Show
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 3, 2020

Rubicon Theatre in Ventura has done a lot of great work, from classic musicals to heart-rending dramas to serving as a home for developing new works. But over the years one show has stood out as qualifying for all three of those categories: Little Miss Scrooge, subtitled “A Dickensian Christmas Story,” which was conceived by […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Stream Three for Free
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 2, 2020

RTC has also another gift for theater lovers this month by offering free viewings of Arlene Hutton‘s Nibroc Trilogy via Vimeo recordings of the award winning works directed by the company’s own Katherine Farmer. Nibroc is a set of three plays about the challenges of a young couple living in Kentucky and Florida in the […]