Selah Sees ‘The End of the End of the World’ As We’ve Known It
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 17, 2021

Meredith Cabaniss-Ventura, the Selah Dance Collective founder and artistic director, doesn’t remember where she first found the main word of her dance company other than remembering it’s featured heavily in the Bible in the Book of Psalms. But while she liked that the word isn’t directly translatable to English, one of the meanings struck her […]

The Curtain Rises Once Again: Ensemble Theatre Company Announces Full Slate of Productions for 2021-22 Season
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 27, 2021

Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) executive artistic director Jonathan Fox was already talking about reopening when he was interviewed for the original Giving List book connecting philanthropists and nonprofits that we published last November. At this point, to the surprise of no one, six months later that still hasn’t happened as the pandemic pounced once again […]

 

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‘Fiesta Has Definitely Returned’: La Primavera Kicks Off Summer-Long Party
By Richard Mineards   |   May 27, 2021

After Old Spanish Days was all but cancelled last year because of the pandemic, Fiesta fever was palpable at the Carriage and Western Art Museum with La Primavera, as the unveiling of the colorful festival’s new poster and pin helped kicked off the festivities in front of nearly 100 guests, led by gloriously attired La […]

Creating Hope with Pico Iyer and the Dalai Lama
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 20, 2021

It’s no surprise that UCSB Arts & Lectures has turned to the XIV Dalai Lama for the keynote event in its year-long 2021-2022 Creating Hope programming initiative. After all, not only has His Holiness, who is believed to be a manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, spent much of his life encouraging people to be […]

Pillows Offer Soft Landing for Musical
By Richard Mineards   |   May 6, 2021

Bubbly Janet Adderley, founder of the Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre, was getting back to her roots when the talented young members staged the Stephen Sondheim musical, Into the Woods, at the Montecito estate of Terry Pillow, former CEO of Tommy Bahama, and his wife, Kelley, whose 14-year-old son, Sam, was in the thoroughly entertaining […]

Skating on ‘Thin’ Ice for SBCC
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 22, 2021

The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett’s crime caper series featuring the society couple Nick and Nora Charles, was first published as a magazine serial in 1933. But it wasn’t long before the tales of the high-life living couple and their dog, Asta, being drawn into the seamy underbelly of crime as amateur sleuths aiming to help […]

“An Iliad”: Tale of War, With a Modern Twist
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 22, 2021

Our troubles coping with the COVID pandemic have stretched beyond the one-year mark. But that’s a short blip of time compared to the arduous ordeal of relating conflict, rage, war, and more over three millennia — with no end in sight.  Such is the plight of the storyteller in An Iliad, the modern-day adaptation of […]

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Talking Baseball in Tokyo
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 21, 2021

Veteran journalist and author Robert Whiting is one of only a few Western writers to have written a regular newspaper column in the Japanese language. The author of several highly successful books on Japan and the city where he has lived on and off for more than half a century include the best-selling You Gotta […]

‘Storm Reading’ Revisited
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 19, 2021

Back in 1988 nobody could have predicted the success or impact of Storm Reading, a theatrical play starring and based on the life experiences of Neil Marcus, a humorist-philosopher who lives with a neurological disorder called Dystonia that dramatically impacts his ability to speak and control movement. That includes Rod Lathim, who as head of […]

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Race Relations Past and Present
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 26, 2021

Earlier in February, UCSB Arts & Lectures hosted the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” playwright-actress Anna Deavere Smith as part of its virtual Race to Justice series. The university’s Department of Theater and Dance closes out the month with a production of Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities, Smith’s groundbreaking one-woman show […]

‘The Shot’ Premieres
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 12, 2021

You could say that Robin Gerber has had a backwards career. After working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and then serving as a well-paid Congressional lobbyist for trade unions for 15 years, Gerber, experiencing self-described burnout, junked it all for a life as a writer for newspapers and magazines.  Then her mentor suggested she […]

UCSB A&L Announces House Calls II
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 28, 2021

Just What the Doctor Ordered UCSB Arts & Lectures has announced the winter series of House Calls, a slate of intimate, interactive virtual events to replace the live performances that were canceled due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Yvon Chouinard, founder and its philosopher-king of the Ventura-based Patagonia, kicks off the series on February 9 with […]

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 […]

Go with Gordon: Christmas in January
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 28, 2021

Sure, Christmas is almost a month in the rear-view mirror. Yes, Estella Scrooge, which takes place on a present-day December 24-25, is absolutely meant to be a Yuletide holiday story. But if you have yet to see this clever mashup of A Christmas Carol with several of Charles Dickens’ other books, now would be a […]

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