Quite the Deal
By Richard Mineards   |   September 21, 2021

Opera Santa Barbara has come up with a most novel way to sell tickets to fans after the pandemic lockdown. Artistic director Kostis Protopapas has announced that a limited number of tickets for this season’s productions will be available to patrons on a name-your-own-price-basis. The name of this new initiative, made possible by a grant […]

‘The Wait is Over!’
By Richard Mineards   |   September 14, 2021

After 20 months of forced inactivity because of the pandemic, UCSB’s popular Arts & Lectures program is back with a bang! “The wait is over!” declared Miller McCune executive director Celesta Billeci at a Creating Hope launch bash at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum for 170 guests. “This is a big step for us. The […]

 

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More from Montecito

A Rockin’ Good Time
By Richard Mineards   |   September 14, 2021

Social gridlock reigned at the Montecito home of Justine Roddick and Tina Schlieske when the dynamic duo hosted a Coney Island-themed, sold-out bash for 120 guests, raising nearly $200,000 for CADA (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse). The fun fest, entirely underwritten by local real estate magnate Earl Minnis, featured singer-songwriter Patti Smith, 74, dubbed […]

Hats Off to You!
By Richard Mineards   |   September 7, 2021

For the 15th year my millinery skills, garnered from attending the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, England, where outrageous hats are de rigueur for ladies attending the centuries’ old races attended by Queen Elizabeth, for more than four decades, were called on by the Santa Barbara Polo Club to judge the annual hat contest during the […]

A ‘Wild’ Party
By Richard Mineards   |   September 7, 2021

The party animals were out in force, vaccination passports in hand, when the Santa Barbara Zoo hosted Zoofari Ball XXXV Return to Basecamp, attended by more than 630 supporters and raising nearly $200,000 for the popular menagerie. Guests in their safari gear and Harrison Ford lookalikes joined the party on the hilltop for sunset cocktails, […]

Whale of a Time
By Richard Mineards   |   September 7, 2021

It was a case of High Cs on the high seas when bubbly Condor Express owner Hiroko Benko hosted her fifth annual opera cruise on the popular 75-foot whale watching vessel. Given the pandemic uptick, guest numbers were kept to around 50 instead of the normal 145 for the two-hour maritime recital by soprano Chelsea […]

Got Loon Loot?
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

California’s most expensive residential property, a 22-acre spread known as the Sanctuary at Loon Point, has just surfaced for sale in Carpinteria for a hefty $160 million. The titanic price tag makes it the priciest property in the Golden State, beating out a $135 million retreat up for grabs in Woodside and a $115 million […]

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‘No Substitute for Live Theater’: ETC Raises its Curtains
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

It was just the ticket when the venerable Ensemble Theatre Company, which is fully reopening after 15 months of pandemic lockdown, hosted 150 guests and raised a hefty $250,000 with its “Curtain (Back) Up!” bash at the Santa Barbara Club. “When the New Vic theater opened in 2013, we had a Curtain Up fête,” says […]

A Hippie Throwback
By Richard Mineards   |   August 12, 2021

It was Pucci, Gucci, and a dash of Fiorucci when YouTube influencer Rebecca Brand celebrated the 10th anniversary of her half-century with a ‘60s-themed bash at the historic University Club. Tie-dye reigned, along with Mary Quant miniskirts and white plastic go-go boots, as hits from that swinging decade that spawned The Beatles and The Rolling […]

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Putting Polo Grounds to Good Use
By Richard Mineards   |   August 12, 2021

A gleaming red firetruck from the Carpinteria Fire Department stood guard when Teddy Ru, son of former Santa Barbara Polo Club president Wes Ru and his wife, Victoria, celebrated his third birthday. The event also coincided with Firefighter Appreciation Day for the Montecito and Summerland stations, who utilized the sprawling Carpinteria polo fields as staging […]

Where Art Thou? Museum is Baaaaaaaack!
By Richard Copelan   |   August 5, 2021

Santa Barbara Museum of Art is back in business! As the venerable 60,000-square-foot institution, a former Post Office, celebrates its 80th anniversary and its reopening on August 15 after the lengthy pandemic lockdown, not to mention a $50 million, six-year renovation expanding exhibition space enormously making it possible to show more of the 27,000 works […]

‘Spectacular Showcase’: Lotusland Gala a Show of Luxury
By Richard Mineards   |   August 5, 2021

Millions of dollars’ worth of exotic horsepower was on display when Lotusland, the 37-acre paradise founded by the late Polish opera singer Ganna Walska, hosted its 26th annual gala, raising nearly $500,000. The botanical bash, co-chaired by interior designer Caroline Thompson and David Jones, chair emerita Belle Hahn, and honorary chair Hania Tallmadge, had a […]

‘Nothing Could be Finer’ Than This Birthday Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   July 29, 2021

It was a super sunset birthday soirée by degrees when yours truly marked the 18th anniversary of his half-century with a boffo bash at the University Club hosted by Gretchen Lieff and her beau, Miles Hartfeld. Having been scheduled to wing to an old friend Cat Pollon’s home outside Marrakech for the past two years, […]

Pay It Forward
By Richard Mineards   |   July 23, 2021

It was a case of kids helping kids when youngsters from Mountain View Elementary School donated $1,600 – 20 percent of their tickets sales from their annual school fundraiser – to Cold Spring School, which lost two pupils in the January mudslides and is currently trying to raise $485,000 after property tax revenues were impacted […]

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