It’s one of those roles that is so massive and large that it holds a lot of different actors,” says Derrick Lee Weeden, an actor himself. He’s talking about Cyrano de Bergerac, the famous lover and fighter with the long nose who pines for the beautiful Roxane. Despite his male bravery, he’s too self-conscious to declare his love. The classic French comedy opened last Sunday at PCPA in its Solvang theater and it runs through September 1.
“It’s like Hamlet,” he continues. “You have all these actors bringing something to it over the years.” But unlike Hamlet, it’s a role that Mr. Weeden hadn’t thought about playing until Roger DeLaurier offered it to him. Mr. Weeden sought his friends’ opinions on the matter and they all insisted on it, saying it was perfect for the actor who’s played Coriolanus, Othello, and other great classic roles. Now he’s taking on a character who many associate in its modern day remake with Steve Martin, or onstage with Derek Jacobi, Patrick Page, or Mark Harlick, and he hopes to find his place “in that river of de Bergerac as well.”
Art From Scrap continues to host the largest art-guessing game in town this Saturday with its Third Annual One Night Stand event. For those who missed the last two years, here’s the gist. Roughly 200 artists send in work on a 9×9 inch canvas, all of which are hung that morning at the Brooks Institute’s Gallery 27. All works are priced at $200 and those who buy a piece find out the identity of the artist only after they purchase.
It’s an idea borrowed directly from the Incognito event down at the Santa Monica Museum of Art — a very good idea indeed. According to Jill Cloutier at Art From Scrap, the event raised $40,000 last year (and a similar rate the year before), so it’s proven itself. Plus, as the art is purchased, it comes off the wall. With a total of 400 visitors, collectors come early and so by the end of the evening, there’s (thankfully) not much left to see.
Carter Thicke is just an average Santa Barbara kid. He’s a junior at Laguna Blanca, plays on the football team as well as some hockey. And he’s at an age where a summertime job working at a restaurant could really teach him the value of a dollar.
And so he’s worked his way up, cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, busing tables, and finally serving food to customers.
Is The Lark now the most popular restaurant in Santa Barbara? We’ll answer that rhetorical question for you: Yes, yes it is. Before our official Drink of the Week visit, we were with friends who suddenly wanted to grab some food. The wait time was … come back tomorrow. Even when we got in, there were only bar stools to be had. But that’s OK. We like barstools.
There were three kinds of cloud cover at the Rebelution concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl Sunday night. One was the marine layer, which by the end of the concert had slithered into town so far that the audience started to get damp; another was the dry ice smoke spilling from the stage; and the third was from the audience and … well, you can probably guess what it was and how it smelled.
This was the audience that had come out to see Santa Barbara/Isla Vista’s Rebelution. Nine years ago they were a reggae jam band who played their “front yard and back yard” as well as garage parties for UCSB students. Most groups like this would have dissipated after graduation, but Eric Rachmany and his group kept at it, releasing three albums, incessantly touring, and garnering followers in Hawaii and beyond, not just here. (Although KJEE has helped them out a lot.)
For comedian Kathleen Madigan, coming to the Chumash Casino Resort this Thursday, you can take the woman out of the Midwest (and move her to Los Angeles), but you can’t take the Midwest out of the woman. She’s been in Los Angeles for 20 years and still doesn’t feel like a West Coaster.
“I don’t hate L.A. like most of my New York comedy friends,” she says. “I understand how they think. New York is like being on cocaine. Los Angeles is like being hungover on the couch.”
The Hunt” is the highest profile film from Thomas Vinterberg since his Dogme 1995 film, the stunning “The Celebration.” Since then, he’s worked with Dogme collaborator Lars von Trier on films that barely screened in the States, including “It’s All About Love” and “Dear Wendy.” But “The Hunt” is a tense and suspenseful tale that matches “The Celebration” for its dour view of humanity, yet unlike Mr. Trier, the film is laced with occasional humor and flashes of hope. (Yes, “the von” likes to call some of his most depressing films “comedies,” but come on now).
I suspect the 2012 film— which won its star an award at Cannes— is only finally getting its American release due to the rising star of Mads Mikkelsen, whose dour and vulnerable visage held together “A Royal Affair” and graces the new “Hannibal” series, of which he is the star.
It was a chilly August night — yeah, that is weird, right? — and we were taking in Holdren’s on State. We like that this classic steakhouse sits right next to the raging party central that is the Sandbar, and both were packed to overflow. Two different clienteles, two different menus, same result. Holdren’s has a pleasant, long, old timey bar and a hard workin’ bartender called Brad Mueller who’s been here many a year. Every time we meet, it’s a bit of the old “Aren’t you the … ?” and “Don’t I know you?” dance.
Here’s the thing: Holdren’s has drinks of the month, and we don’t check them out enough.
When an artist makes an abrupt 180 in her style, it’s always time to sit up and notice. Penelope Gottlieb has become synonymous with nature, especially the freakiness of nature, of extinction and mutation. Her acrylics and oils took a modern approach to Audubon-era nature painting, either by adding a crazed overlay, or by applying those old techniques to flora that make it look as though it was disintegrating before our eyes.
“Portraits in Air (A Series Revisited)” isn’t that. At all. And it’s not new. In fact, this short series of paintings dates from 2004, long before nature crept into the scene. In this exhibition at Edward Cella’s satellite gallery at Cabana Home, there’s little to tie these works to her current series, except for anxiety.
I love writers who dare and care to talk about the world we live in,” says Robert Egan, head of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, which starts its 16th annual event this coming Wednesday. “Sometimes those voices are not celebrated and nurtured because quite frankly, many theaters are afraid of those voices.”
Those voices will have nothing to fear at the conference. It’s a five-day event in which playwrights bring their new work, perform it or bring actors to do so, then sit in with the audience and fellow writers to hear feedback. Plays that started at the Conference have gone on to success in New York, Los Angeles, and cities in Europe. Playwrights have made breakthroughs. Careers have moved on to the next level. And everybody has been entertained.