Lending a Hand to Broadway
By Richard Mineards   |   January 28, 2021

Montecito mega director Dick Wolf, 74, is coming to the aid of Broadway, which has suffered major damage during the current pandemic. His long-running NBC TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which has been on the air for more than two decades, has been turning to actors more used to the stages on […]

Here We Go a-Carol-ing: Dickens of a Time for a Ghost Story
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 31, 2020

Just like redemption doesn’t come easy, recovering from the wounds of 2020 from the COVID pandemic and other tough situations this year will likely take significant time. But perhaps a local take on a legendary allegory can go a short way toward helping the healing, or at least create a satisfying enough diversion to bring […]

 

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Talkin’ Tunes and Times Through TEDxSB
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 29, 2020

TEDxSantaBarbara founder and executive producer Mark Sylvester realized early on as COVID-19 crept into our consciousness that he’d probably have to cancel his annual convention that each fall brings together as many as 10 speakers with local spins on the TED trio of topics (technology, entertainment, and design). That’s when the disappointment set in. “It was nagging […]

Ensemble Theatre’s Ensemble Holiday Shows
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 24, 2020

Ensemble Theatre Company is bursting with some holiday pride about a new show streaming virtually out of Las Vegas this weekend. That’s because the star of The Elijah Rock Variety Show Christmas Special played Porgy in ETC’s 2017 production of Porgy and Bess, an ambitious, critically acclaimed and socially prescient adaptation of the show that […]

Revels’ Pandemic Promise: Join Us (Virtually) and Be Joyous
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 24, 2020

Every year, the December performances of Santa Barbara Revels are meant to mark the winter solstice, which represents the shortest day of the year, the deepest dive into darkness before emerging back into the light. So perhaps it was fitting that my conversation with Susan Keller, founder of and still the main force in the […]

Honing in on ‘Home for the Holidays’
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 17, 2020

A cabaret for Christmas might seem like the mixing of metaphors, but the idea made a lot of sense for PCPA as a way to produce something during the pandemic. That was partly because a show that’s akin to a revue could be done from people’s homes during lockdown without damaging the storyline. But it […]

PCPA’s Holiday Cabaret
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 10, 2020

PCPA’s 2020 Christmas-season treat is called Home for the Holidays, with the subtitle of “… because where else are you going to be?” Fair enough. With the coronavirus raging all over again, the Central Coast conservatory keeps its virtual programs flowing with a holiday cabaret featuring its resident artists. The free streaming event will be […]

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In Good Company with Alone, Together
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 10, 2020

When the pandemic forced interaction to head to the internet, UCSB’s Theater Department quickly picked up the virtual ball and ran with it. Not only classes did move online but the Launch Pad project quickly pivoted to mark its 15th anniversary milestone by having previous participants in the play reading series contribute short pieces to […]

Felder Finds a New Forum: 6Qs with the musician-actor
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 26, 2020

Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, veteran virtuoso playwright, performer, and pianist Hershey Felder had made a career out of creating and performing solo shows about composers Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, Frédéric Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that have been seen across a wide range of […]

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Gros Says Goodbye to SBCC Theatre
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 19, 2020

R. Michael Gros’s direction of Santa Barbara City College’s student production of Antigone represents both his debut of putting together a show via Zoom and his swan song at SBCC Theatre. That’s because, as he announced on his Facebook page early in the morning of November 4, Gros has submitted his formal retirement papers as […]

PlayFest Plays On
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 18, 2020

Rather than collapsing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, PlayFest Santa Barbara is instead pivoting to digital to co-host an encore stream of Angela J. Davis’ Agathe, which was selected from an international pool of new works. The highly praised digital rehearsed reading of the play, which was directed by Saundra McLain and produced […]

Silver Linings Play
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 18, 2020

UCSB Theater’s new show is generating historical perspective for the challenges of the pandemic UCSB Theater’s Generations, a new piece devised for Zoom and directed by Anne Torsiglieri, aims to make the best of the bad situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps finding the silver lining in the seemingly endless sequestering. Fashioned as an […]

A Bald(ridge) New World of Theater at SBHS
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 5, 2020

For some, stepping in as Santa Barbara High School Theatre’s new director might have included imagining the daunting task of filling the oversize shoes of predecessor Otto Layman, who retired last spring after 25 years at the helm. But Justin Baldridge doesn’t see his role as trying to duplicate what the beloved Layman accomplished in […]

King Explores Whether ‘Nothing’ is Sacred
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 5, 2020

By his own accord, UCSB Professor of Theater and Dance William Davies King has spent a lifetime collecting nothing, which he brought to light in his 2008 book Collections of Nothing. Cheez-It boxes, “Place Stamp Here” squares, hotel door cards, and the little stickers found on fresh fruit are examples of the valueless ephemera that […]

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