Revels’ Pandemic Promise: Join Us (Virtually) and Be Joyous
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 24, 2020

Every year, the December performances of Santa Barbara Revels are meant to mark the winter solstice, which represents the shortest day of the year, the deepest dive into darkness before emerging back into the light. So perhaps it was fitting that my conversation with Susan Keller, founder of and still the main force in the […]

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 […]

 

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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 […]

Felder Finds a New Forum: 6Qs with the musician-actor
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 26, 2020

Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, veteran virtuoso playwright, performer, and pianist Hershey Felder had made a career out of creating and performing solo shows about composers Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, Frédéric Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that have been seen across a wide range of […]

Gros Says Goodbye to SBCC Theatre
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 19, 2020

R. Michael Gros’s direction of Santa Barbara City College’s student production of Antigone represents both his debut of putting together a show via Zoom and his swan song at SBCC Theatre. That’s because, as he announced on his Facebook page early in the morning of November 4, Gros has submitted his formal retirement papers as […]

PlayFest Plays On
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 18, 2020

Rather than collapsing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, PlayFest Santa Barbara is instead pivoting to digital to co-host an encore stream of Angela J. Davis’ Agathe, which was selected from an international pool of new works. The highly praised digital rehearsed reading of the play, which was directed by Saundra McLain and produced […]

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Silver Linings Play
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 18, 2020

UCSB Theater’s new show is generating historical perspective for the challenges of the pandemic UCSB Theater’s Generations, a new piece devised for Zoom and directed by Anne Torsiglieri, aims to make the best of the bad situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps finding the silver lining in the seemingly endless sequestering. Fashioned as an […]

Pandemic Inspires Theater’s ‘Small Enchantments’
By Scott Craig   |   October 29, 2020

In a time of challenge, conflict, and difficulty, the Westmont Theater Arts Department stages Small Enchantments, a fairy tale-inspired play of change and wonder on Tuesday, October 27, at 7 pm at westmont.edu/2020-2021-theatre-art-events and Friday, October 30, at 7 pm on Facebook Live (facebook.com/westmonttheatre). “I wanted to work on something with our students that enacted […]

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Harry and Meghan’s Riven Rock Estate on Giggster
By Richard Mineards   |   October 29, 2020

The Riven Rock estate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle bought for $14.5 million had been listed for rent on the website Giggster. The listing, which was taken down on Sunday after media reports, advertised the nine-bedroom, 16-bath property on 5.4 acres for $700 an hour. The listing said the lush estate could be used as […]

UCSB Shakes it up All Over the ‘Net
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance’s new season got underway last weekend with a reprise of its summer production of Immortal Longings, a serious take on deals on issues of power and corruption in Shakespeare adapted and directed by Irwin Appel. This weekend, Appel launches its first-ever Naked Shakes Solo Festival featuring renowned artists Debra […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 8: J.J. Kandel, Stage to Screen, NYC to L.A.
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 24, 2020

Multi-talented millennial J.J. Kandel was born in Long Island, New York, and grew up on East Valley Road in Montecito, attended Montecito Union, and decided on acting, film, TV, and theatre for his life’s work. He attended a summer drama program at Yale University prior to his senior year at Santa Barbara High School, briefly […]

Gobble It Up
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 24, 2020

PCPA previews America’s annual fall feast two month’s early with Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, the second in its new series of staged reading previews of relatively new works of current interest. The “bitingly funny satire” find good intentions colliding with absurd assumptions as a troupe of supposedly racially awakened white teaching artists are tasked […]

UCSB Arts & Lectures’ House Calls: Just What the Doctor Ordered
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 24, 2020

UCSB Arts & Lectures is by far the area’s busiest arts organization, presenting in the pre-pandemic era upwards of 100 public events every academic year, not to mention add-ons in the summer. So, naturally A&L is stepping to the front of the line again as the COVID-19 crisis passes the six-month mark. After transferring its […]

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