A Bold Take on the Iliad
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 7, 2021

In a COVID coincidence, the second weekend of the school’s zany take on Greek myth cozies up to a more serious – and perhaps even more ambitious – approach to some of the same material in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s live stream of the one-man show, An Iliad. The work is crafted around the stories […]

‘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 […]

 

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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 […]

Holiday Roundup
By Richard Mineards   |   January 14, 2021

Given the lockdown, I spent Christmas Day virtually streaming a host of entertaining Santa Barbara events that I was unable to attend, as I have done annually for the past 13 years. Susan Keller’s Santa Barbara Revels Venetian Celebration, taped at the Marjorie Luke Theater, “was as close to a live performance as was possible […]

The Peter Principle
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 14, 2021

Ojai Theater Veteran Takes Stark Approach to Male Sex Organ Twenty-five years ago, a then-little-known playwright named Eve Ensler turned the theater world upside down with The Vagina Monologues, comprised of a stark series of stories told in first-person readings that explore experiences with sex, body image, reproduction, menstration, sex work, and many other topics […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

For the Love of Comedy
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 3, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns and closures all over creation, Camarillo-based comedian Jason Love just kept on cruising. Sure, his regular in-person gig, including a rotating lineup of stand-ups he put together monthly for the Carrillo Recreation Center in Santa Barbara, went by the wayside. But Love, a former humor columnist for the Ventura […]

Carmen for COVID: See a Classic Opera From Your Car
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 3, 2020

In normal times, opera can be an emotional experience, perhaps even a cathartic one, for members of the audience when the music meets the drama with just the right note. But the upcoming Concerts In Your Car version of Carmen has proven to be quite a tear-jerker just for the creative team even before the […]

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