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 […]

Crossing the Borders of Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 30, 2024

Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance – an art exhibition, symposium, and a pair of dance performances – takes over several venues at UCSB and downtown this weekend in a multifaceted celebration of immigrant and BIPOC artists whose work challenges previous histories of dance to consider how war, inequality, and injustice shaped 20th century […]

 

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A Pretty Big Break for Baker
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 23, 2024

In the film Pretty Woman, courtesan Vivian catches lightning in a bottle when she meets Richard Gere’s charming and chivalrous billionaire businessman. Being cast in the title role of the film’s touring stage musical serves as a similarly unlikely lucky break for Ellie Baker. A really big break.  Not only does Pretty Woman: The Musical represent […]

Major Milestone for the Marjorie Luke
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 2, 2024

It was shortly after the dawning of the new millennium that Santa Barbara Unified School District and a new nonprofit got together to upgrade the auditorium at Santa Barbara Junior High that had gone dark and fallen into disrepair. What started as a cleanup turned into a full-blown renovation of the historic Spanish colonial revival […]

Revels Tales Told This Winter
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 19, 2023

With its 2024 annual Christmastime show, Santa Barbara Revels becomes the first of the regional Revels companies to present the organization’s newest endeavor: The Revels: A Winter Solstice Celebration – Tales from Ellis Island. Inaugurated in Cambridge just last year, the story finds a Mexican medical supervisor informing the newly-arrived immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and […]

Lighting Up ‘The Tempest’
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 19, 2023

There’s something quite magical and yet weighty in the way in which Lights Up! Theatre Company has taken a firm toehold in the Santa Barbara youth theater scene – one that has never been sorely lacking in the first place. Theater stage and screen veteran Amy Love has parlayed her professional and teaching background into […]

Setting the Stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 19, 2023

Ensemble’s Johnny Cash tribute/story-through-song musical revue winds up its run at the New Vic with a final extended weekend through December 17. The Alcazar Theatre in Carpinteria has a second and final weekend helping of its homegrown adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street featuring an all-local cast and production crew, also closing December 17, the […]

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  • The Beat Goes On: It Takes Three Actresses to Play Cher
    By Steven Libowitz   |   December 5, 2023

    Morgan Scott was understandably excited Monday morning over the phone from the Coachella Valley, where The Cher Show had just wound up five performances over the weekend in Palm Desert. The area is home not only to one of Cher’s famed exes, Sonny Bono, who was both mayor of Palm Springs and a U.S. representative […]

    Proctor-ing Recent History
    By Steven Libowitz   |   November 7, 2023

    Both the #MeToo movement and The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s allegory about the Salem Witch Trials to examine the McCarthy-Era Red Scare of his time,inspired playwright Kimberly Belflower to come up with John Proctor Is the Villain.  “What would it be like to be a teenager in rural America at that moment, feeling the world shift […]

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    Defining ‘War Words’
    By Steven Libowitz   |   October 31, 2023

    The nonprofit New Beginnings has turned its focus toward ending veteran homelessness in the county by the close of 2025 through its Supportive Services for Veteran Families program that works to transition currently unhoused veterans back into stable housing and assist those whose housing situation is threatened. But in addition to putting its money where […]

    Kudos to ‘Godspell’
    By Scott Craig   |   October 24, 2023

    Congratulations to director Mitchell Thomas, the cast, musicians and creative team for putting together such wonderful performances during Godspell, October 12-15. Unfortunately, the student actors and musicians have other artistic and scholarly commitments and the production has run its course. The enthusiasm and energy that emanated from this tightknit group of actors delighted audience members […]

    The Voice of Survivors: Finding Inspiration, Tolerance, and Hope From Our Past
    By Zach Rosen   |   October 24, 2023

    If the innumerable performances of Shakespeare’s plays are any testament – theater has the ability to preserve a story for centuries. And it is exactly that preservation that the play Survivors hopes to achieve at the Raise Our Voices event at the Marjorie Luke Theatre this Thursday, October 19, at 7 pm.  Written by Wendy […]

    State Street Ballet Dances into a New Era with ‘Giselle’ 
    By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2023

    State Street Ballet (SSB) launches its 2023-24 season, its first under new leadership following the transition from founder Rodney Gustafson to new Artistic Director Megan Philipp and Cecily MacDougall as Executive Director. Philipp, who has been with SSB for a decade, is staging this weekend’s performances of Giselle, one of the most beloved ballets of […]

    Dance Dimensions 
    By Steven Libowitz   |   October 24, 2023

    The project-based Moving Dance Company, whose recent works include View/Chew for the Versatility Dance Festival in Boulder, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., made its Santa Barbara debut with HOLOGRAM at last year’s Nebula Dance Festival. MDC returns to Center Stage on October 21 with This is Not Content, a multimedia show that explores the human experience […]

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