Dancing to the Keepers of the Flame
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 7, 2023

Dana Lawton has admitted to being obsessed with the Farallon Islands and the swarthy keepers and families who served as lighthouse keepers there back in the mid-1800s, working the Fresnel lens that warned ships approaching San Francisco to stay away from the fog-shrouded rocky islands. Fortunately, Lawton is a choreographer who also runs a Bay […]

Dance Dimensions: SBDT Debuts 
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 17, 2023

Santa Barbara Dance Theater, which in its association with the UCSB Department of Theater/Dance is the only professional dance company that is in residence in the entire UC system, presents its 2023 season, Intimacy & Autonomy, next week at the Hatlen Theater on campus. The second season under new artistic director Brandon Whited, who is […]

 

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Caroling to a New Tune
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 6, 2022

The veteran actor, director, and choreographer Jamie Torcellini is no stranger to Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC), having performed at ETC in The School for Lies and The Mystery of Irma Vep, and directed both Tell Me on a Sunday and The 39 Steps. It’s the latter play that’s most germane, as Torcellini has been enthralled […]

A Different Kind of Misbehavin’
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 6, 2022

New York Magazine called Ain’t Misbehavin’ the perfect Broadway musical when it premiered back in 1978, the show celebrating the music of Thomas “Fats” Waller and the joint is a jumpin’ scene of 1930s Harlem. Considered among the first major musical revues, Ain’t Misbehavin’ went on to win three Tony Awards, including best musical, and […]

A Holiday Circus
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 29, 2022

Santa Barbara’s regular traditional holiday shows such as The Nutcracker and Christmas Revels will be arriving next month, along with sing-along Messiahs and holiday parties. But the highlight of the season just might be taking place even before the calendar flips to December as American Theatre Guild’s Broadway in Santa Barbara series presents A Magical […]

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 […]

Out of the Box Gets Us Out of Our Heads
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 8, 2022

Out of the Box founder Samantha Eve has always exhibited an enduring fondness for contemporary or offbeat musicals, as indicated by the nonprofit community theater company’s past productions over the last dozen years of everything from Bare to Bonnie & Clyde, and Carrie to Heathers. But in the wake of the turmoil of the last […]

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  • 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 […]

    A Brilliant Thing Coming to Town
    By Steven Libowitz   |   September 27, 2022

    Every Brilliant Thing starts off as the story of a seven-year-old boy whose mother has been hospitalized with suicidal depression. In an effort to lift her spirits, he begins creating a list of the joys of life from his perspective, from ice cream, water fights, and badgers, to, as time goes by, Christopher Walken’s voice, […]

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    Equinox Revelry
    By Steven Libowitz   |   September 20, 2022

    In recent years, Santa Barbara Revels has used the season change from summer to fall to offer its annual Equinox Concert, with a wide-ranging selection of music that marks its own transition from last year’s to this year’s productions of The Christmas Revels, the organization’s biggest event of the year. To that end, the Equinox […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    State Street Ballet
    By Steven Libowitz   |   September 6, 2022

    It’s no accident that Rodney Gustafson landed in Santa Barbara to launch his State Street Ballet dance company almost three decades ago. The company’s executive and artistic director had targeted returning to town ever since he’d performed as a dancer with the famed American Ballet Theatre (ABT) at the Arlington Theatre many years before. “I […]

    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, […]

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