When Paul Williams turned up on last year's Daft Punk album a generation of folks now in their forties wondered . . . he's still around? For the guys in Daft Punk, it was the rock opera "Phantom of the…
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicked off its upcoming 2015 installment two months ahead of time with its annual fundraiser at the Bacara on Sunday. The Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film ceremony honored actress Jessica Lange for her lifetime of work in the movies and did so with a gala dinner, a series of retrospective clips, and celebrity presenters. This was the ninth year for the popular event.
Currently, Jessica Lange is riding a career high as the central character in FX’s award-winning creepshow, “American Horror Story.” Because of its season specific stories, Jessica Lange has played a different character every season, from a spooky neighbor in the first one, to a cruel Mother superior in season two, a supreme witch in season three, and now the leader of a traveling freak zone in the ongoing fourth season. While other actors are resting on their laurels in their 60s, or playing to their familiar strengths, Ms. Lange keeps stretching her abilities, pushing herself to grander and more outré directions. And while Hollywood is having a hard time finding any meaty roles for women these days, Ms. Lange has owned her corner of the television world and won two Emmys.
Comedian John Cleese opens his autobiography “So, Anyway” with a memory of his first “public appearance,” running a gauntlet of taunting schoolboys as he made his way to the nurse’s office. Standing five-foot-three at the age of 8, his height made him stand out, which, coupled with a weedy physique and an “ineffectual” disposition, led to teasing. Like many a good comic, Mr. Cleese would go on to turn his weakness into a strength, and that gangly physique would get a workout with his Minister for Silly Walks on the groundbreaking “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and the manic Basil Fawlty on “Fawlty Towers.”
Mr. Cleese stops by Santa Barbara, one of his former homes during the ’90s, for a Wednesday evening at the Granada, through UCSB’s Arts & Lectures. He’s got a solo show and the book to promote and, as he has been reminding fans for many years now, alimony payments to make.
An infrequent but special occurrence in City College Theatre history is on tap with “Ten Red Kings,” the premiere of a brand spanking new play, copyrighted this year. Penned by author Mark Rigney, “Ten Red Kings” takes on Internet gaming addiction and the special camps where parents often send their addicted teens to give them a dose of outdoorsy medicine. It opens at the Jurkowitz Theatre Wednesday.
Sabrina Wagner stars as Margot , a young college freshman who is still grieving the death of her sister. Her one way of coping is spending hours immersed in the fantasy online game World of Warcraft, but her parents have other ideas and she is sent off to a summer camp, and unplugged from her online world. Now she must deal with fellow gaming addicts, counselors and creatures from her virtual world that creep into her reality.
Twenty-five years ago today the Berlin Wall fell, an event that was as sudden and surprising as it would be historically important.
A Santa Barbara mother and her son, Celeste Barber and Eric Friedman, have a chunk of the wall in their possession, a reminder of their days spent living in Communist-controlled East Berlin, and will soon be releasing a memoir of that life-changing time.
Twenty years ago in 1994, a 30-year-old Michael Andrews was a successful plumbing contractor with the itch to move on to a completely different place in his life, to follow his passions in the theater world and the music scene. And he managed to do both. His band Area 51 is still playing around town, and the company he helped create, Boxtales, celebrates two decades of bringing the world of myth and storytelling to audiences young and old. Boxtales will do so starting this Thursday with a three-day celebration of its best work.
They’ll return to the Lobero with “Prince Rama & the Monkey King,” “The Odyssey,” “Leyendas de Duende” and “B’rer Rabbit and Other Trickster Tales.” The shows have all the hallmarks that have made Boxtales a success: imaginative masks, great costumes, clever stage design, and original adaptations of classic myths that streamline the sometimes convoluted stories down to their entertaining essence.
David Holbrooke, the director of the “Mountainfilm in Telluride Festival,” appropriately enough lives high on a steep mountain in the town of the same name. When we talk on the phone he’s bouncing back and forth from this interview to the hordes of trick-or-treaters making their way to his door, and he’s convincing them that the climb is worth it. Much in the same way, his festival — a selection of which comes to UCSB on Wednesday — sets out to convince people to get outside and enjoy life.
“Get up and out!” he says. “I don’t mean that in a bad way. I want people to enjoy.”