Crossing the Rubicon on the ‘‘A” Train
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 16, 2024

About 15 years ago, Broadway actress Anne Torsiglieri, who over her career has appeared in Miss Saigon, Top Girls, Parade, and Blood Brothers as well as the official national tour of Les Miserables, found herself totally unprepared for a role.  She’d won awards for her portrayal of Catherine Sloper in The Heiress at Berkeley Rep, […]

Centennial Celebration
By Steven A. Blum   |   April 9, 2024

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow worked well as a title for a 1990s greatest hits album by Santa Barbara’s still thriving singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins, and no reason why it shouldn’t serve superbly as a way to celebrate the Granada Theater’s big anniversary over a single weekend April 12-14. Looking back at the iconic venue’s history, pausing to […]

 

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Spin on Superstar
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 9, 2024

What’s the buzz? A revolutionary rock musical presented in a revolutionary reinvention in the latest production from Out of the Box Theatre Company; which normally focuses on alternative/contemporary musicals.  Jesus Christ Superstar, the sung-through rock opus musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that stunned Broadway in 1971, juggles the gender in the tale […]

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 […]

Alcott Musical’s ‘Little’ Pleasures 
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 9, 2024

The musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s most famous novel comes to downtown’s grandest theater when Broadway at the Granada presents Little Women – The Musical on April 10–11. The theatrical work, based on Alcott’s 1868–69 semi-autobiographical book follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March, each with divergent personalities yet determined […]

Granada Theatre
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 2, 2024

Are you wondering why there’s a whole lot of hoopla about the Granada Theatre 100th birthday beyond merely marking a major milestone? First, perhaps, pivot over to Hattie Beresford’s comprehensive column The Way It Was (page 22) in this issue. That piece traces the history of the grand old theater – from its vaudeville days […]

State Street’s ‘Cinderella’ back on stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 26, 2024

The choreography for State Street Ballet’s Cinderella has essentially never changed over the nearly 20 years since the family-friendly work premiered in town in 2005 and then went on a sold-out tour around the East Coast of the country. State Street founder and artistic director Rodney Gustafson created the piece just shy of the company’s […]

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  • Dancing Through the Realms
    By Steven Libowitz   |   March 19, 2024

    UCSB Dance Company, the ensemble that changes every year as it’s composed of senior dance majors, once again has no male members. But rather than deciding to double down again by creating a program with all female choreographers as in 2023, director Delila Moseley instead chose to diversify. In Different Realms… el arte perdura, which […]

    Swashbuckling on Stage
    By Steven Libowitz   |   March 5, 2024

    “Who doesn’t want to play pirate?”  That’s how Michael Bernard explained one of his big reasons for choosing a new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved adventure story Treasure Island to direct for SBCC Theatre Group’s next production at the Garvin Theatre. “It’s such a classic story and it’s a really fun show, which there […]

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    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 […]

    Still at It
    By Steven Libowitz   |   February 27, 2024

    Playwright James Still has authored several dozen plays over his long career, many of which focus on a combination of political, cultural, and personal topics, including The Velocity of Gary, Appoggiatura, and the much-translated, globally produced And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank. But his current passion project is one […]

    Audience Thrust into ‘The Capulets’
    By Scott Craig   |   February 27, 2024

    Westmont’s John Blondell, a longtime professor of theater arts, puts his own contemporary, site-specific spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as part of a mini-festival about the famous tragedy Thursday, Feb. 29, at 7 pm; Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at 7 pm and 9 pm; and Sunday, March 3, at 7 pm […]

    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; […]

    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, […]

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