House Calls with Dr. Mike
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 5, 2020

Humorist-author-comedian-actor Mike Birbiglia, who has enjoyed success as a writer, stand-up comic, director, and actor (including a recurring role in Orange is the New Black, shows up on your computers and other devices in a special stream for UCSB A&L as part of the House Calls virtual series. Birbigs will read from his new memoir, […]

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 […]

 

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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 […]

Taylor-made for our Times
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

6Q’s with the writer of RTC’s A Song Rubicon Theatre’s September Blitz, a month-long festival featuring more than 30 events in 30 days, takes a turn away from classic fare toward a moving and innovative new one-act play with music from emerging young playwright Taylor Fagins. Preston Butler III, Greta Oglesby, Krystle Rose Simmons, and […]

Marjorie Luke, Staying Ripe in Stale Times
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Venues and artists throughout the world are struggling with how to thrive or even survive during the extended pandemic. For Marjorie Luke board president Rod Lathim, joining the zeitgeist of endless Zoom performances proved completely unpalatable. Instead, the Luke – which only a year or so ago started producing its own events rather than simply […]

Lights Up!: Auditions are Due
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Lights Up!, Santa Barbara’s newest teen theater company that serves as a professional, yet inclusive and creative home for the youngsters, is currently auditioning for its 2020-21 company membership. Interested actors, singers, and dancers aged 12-19 are invited to audition for admission and the opportunity to attend callbacks for specific shows with the rest of […]

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He’s Got Rhythm, He’s Got Music
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

For nearly 20 years, Hershey Felder has made a career out of creating one-man shows in which he portrays and plays famous artists from recent and centuries-old history, and the novel coronavirus hasn’t caused him to slow down much at all. Ensemble Theatre Company got in the mix when it presented his Hershey Felder: Beethoven […]

At PCPA, Interplay is the Thing
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Every arts organization has responded to the coronavirus crisis in their own way and in their own time, from raiding the archives to shutting down completely to, in the case of Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre (see above), trying innovative new ways to still go live and in person despite the pandemic. PCPA Theaterfest, which in normal […]

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A Honking Good Concerts Series Comes to a Close
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 3, 2020

Actress-singer Teri Bibb has played the role of understudy-turned-star Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera more than 1,000 times, both on Broadway and with the national tour that included singing a command performance at the White House. A veteran whose experience includes appearing in more than 50 musicals across the country, Bibb’s credits […]

Good Grief, That Could be the Summer Winner
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 27, 2020

For Brian McDonald, selecting You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown as the production for Ensemble Theatre Company Young Actors Conservatory this summer was a no-brainer once it became clear that COVID-19 had made his original choice – Hello, My Baby, by Montecito’s Cheri Steinkellner – impractical. Not only had ETC’s Education Director played the title […]

Red Talk With a Real Star
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 20, 2020

As its website says, graduates of The Adderley School for the Performing Arts have won Tony Awards, starred in blockbuster movies, appeared as Young Cosette on Broadway, and Winthrop in The Music Man with Kristin Chenoweth at The Hollywood Bowl. They have performed for Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey and have toured with Andrea Bocelli, […]

Good Grief Goes Virtual
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 20, 2020

While you won’t be able to check out the talented kids at Ensemble Theatre’s Young Actors Conservatory this summer, audiences are invited to join in virtually for the season-ending production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. The musical that explores life through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his friends in the Peanuts gang […]

American Son
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 13, 2020

American Son, a play by Christopher Demos-Brown, already had a power-packed premise before recent events. On the night a teenage boy goes missing, his parents end up at the police station trying to figure out what happened while dealing with officers who aren’t the most forthcoming with information and assistance. While old wounds concerning their […]

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