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White Horse, running: New documentary tells the story of ‘free runner’ Caballo Blanco

"Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco" is feature-length documentary about ultra-running legend Micah True. Better known as Caballo Blanco - the White Horse - Mr. True was the focal character of Christopher McDougall's 2009 best-selling book "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" about the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico.

“Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco” is feature-length documentary about ultra-running legend Micah True. Better known as Caballo Blanco – the White Horse – Mr. True was the focal character of Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best-selling book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” about the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico.

“Micah would throw a fit if he knew we were doing this.”

So says photographer and Orcutt resident Luis Escobar, one of the many people who knew the mysterious man known as Caballo Blanco, the White Horse.

Better known as Micah True, this vagabond “free runner” became the focus of a best-selling book about the sport of free running by Christopher McDougall, called “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.” The documentary that follows in its wake, “Run Free” is directed by Sterling Noren and screens Tuesday at Marjorie Luke Theatre.

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Buried treasures: Carpinteria Sea Glass Festival packs them in on opening day

Lisa Karey of M&L Coastal Creations helps a customer shop during Saturday's Sea Glass Festival in Carpinteria. KENNTH SONG/NEWS-PRESS

Lisa Karey of M&L Coastal Creations helps a customer shop during Saturday’s Sea Glass Festival in Carpinteria.
KENNTH SONG/NEWS-PRESS

Was the first Carpinteria Sea Glass Festival a success? You could ask the two lines of eager people that stretched down Linden Avenue and then around each corner of the block, just waiting to get into the marketplace.

Or you could ask the 800 people who rolled through the building in just one hour, looking at all sort of handmade jewelry.

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Your opinion here: Dance evening of brand new works wants audience feedback

 "We Are Made of Stars," a new dance piece by Weslie Ching, will be shown at "CRIT 001." Arna Bajraktarevic photos


“We Are Made of Stars,” a new dance piece by Weslie Ching, will be shown at “CRIT 001.”
Arna Bajraktarevic photos

Somebody back in the mists of time – maybe it was a teacher – said, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” It’s in this spirit of feedback and inquisitiveness that Weslie Ching has started up the Crit series at Center Stage Theater. This free event is a chance for performance arts fans and the curious to see five new works in their zygotic form, and after each work they will be invited to give their opinions. The first installment is called “Crit 001.” (She hopes there’ll be a series that at least goes to double digits.)

“After a show everybody congratulates you and that’s great,” Ms. Ching says. “But I really wanted to create a place where somebody could give feedback that would’t necessarily be positive.”

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In perfect harmony: Pacific Sound brings barbershop, vocal jazz and big band to the New Vic

The Pacific Sound Chorus performed October 2014 at the Western US Chorus Championship. Courtesy photo

The Pacific Sound Chorus performed October 2014 at the Western US Chorus Championship.
Courtesy photo

When Brent Anderson was at UCSB he sang in the ensemble known as Schubertians, singing classical lieder. And while his career path took him into insurance and finance, he still yearned for the power of song, something at the same time more challenging than 18th century classical vocal works and less rarified.

His answer would be barbershop quartet.

“To be a solo singer is one thing, but to blend and harmonize with three other people is another, very complex, thing,” he says. “When I first discovered barbershop I thought it was fun. But then I discovered it was as challenging as anything I’d ever sung.” He quotes rock musician Ben Folds, who called barbershop the “black belt of vocal jazz.”

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Coming home again: Actors and directors reunite for Vietnam vet play ‘Pvt. Wars’

Sean O'Shea plays Gately and Sean Jackson is Silvio in the Center Stage Theater production "Pvt. Wars." Courtesy photo

Sean O’Shea plays Gately and Sean Jackson is Silvio in the Center Stage Theater production “Pvt. Wars.”
Courtesy photo

Not everybody in theater gets a second chance, either with a role or a production. But for the three actors and one director behind “Pvt. Wars,” which comes to Center Stage Theater tonight, they get an opportunity to return to a show from years ago.

These three actors, Sean O’Shea, George Coe, and Sean Jackson, along with Bill Egan, their director, mounted James McLure’s play two years ago at Plaza Playhouse in Carpinteria. Mr. McLure’s play, which started as a one-act in 1979 then got rewritten as a two-act years later, features three Vietnam vets in a VA hospital, all dealing with PTSD. But it’s also funny, a character study of the ways humans cope with trauma, try to make connections, and concoct strategies to get through the day. It’s an anti-war play that doesn’t mention the war, but just honestly looks at the people left in its aftermath.

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Paws for thought: Humans play cats and their owners in ‘Indoor/Outdoor’

Richard Gracyk plays Schuman, owner of Samantha, who is played by Nikki Stark. William Koseluk photo

Richard Gracyk plays Schuman, owner of Samantha, who is played by Nikki Stark.
William Koseluk photo

“Indoor/Outdoor” is a play wherein humans play cats and intermingle with other humans who play their owners, but before you conjure up visions of a certain Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with make-up and furry costumes, it’s not like that.

Instead, there’s little in appearance to tell the difference between the two, as the cats walk upright and dress like humans, but in Kenny Finkle’s comedy its the obsessions, distractions and attitudes that quickly set them apart.

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A quarter century in the arts: Center Stage Theater celebrates its local legacy

Motion Theater Dance will perform at the Center Stage Theater 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday. Lerina Winter photo

Motion Theater Dance will perform at the Center Stage Theater 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday.
Lerina Winter photo

This Saturday, Center Stage Theater celebrates its 25th anniversary with an evening of hors d’oervres, cocktails and special performances from Alma de Mexico, Santa Barbara Silver Follies, Proboscis Theater Company, and more, with the intent to raise $25,000 for capital improvements to improve the theater for another quarter century.

The evening celebrates Santa Barbara’s premiere black box theater, which was wrangled into existence by the Santa Barbara City Council and County Arts Commission in 1990 as part of a deal with the original builders of the Paseo Nuevo mall. Yes, they could have those two prime blocks of Santa Barbara retail real estate, but they had to give back to the arts with an art museum (now the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara) and a theater. Through the mall’s many owners – and despite each owner’s attempts to skirt funding according to one of Center Stage’s founders Tom Hinshaw – the Center Stage Theater has remained, providing a needed space for local arts.

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String theory: Lindsey Stirling goes from YouTube sensation to touring musician

Violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling quickly rose to fame after starting her own YouTube channel in 2007. She brings her Music Box Tour to the Santa Barbara Bowl on Saturday. Kate sZatmari photo

Violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling quickly rose to fame after starting her own YouTube channel in 2007. She brings her Music Box Tour to the Santa Barbara Bowl on Saturday.
Kate sZatmari photo

Is there a split between becoming famous through YouTube and becoming famous the traditional way (gigs, festivals, talk shows)? The rise and success of violinist, dancer, and electronic music maven Lindsey Stirling may be confusing to some, but the proof is not in the pudding but in the Santa Barbara Bowl this week where she is headlining.

Here’s the potted version of Ms. Stirling’s rise to fame. A violinist with no outlet for her art turns to YouTube and starts her own channel in 2007. Raised Mormon, she attends Brigham Young University in Utah to pursue film, does the missionary thing in New York City, continues to play violin in small bands and refuses to just stand there playing. Instead she dances and plays at the same time.

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Start the dance: Thursday night’s Fiesta ends with Noches de Ronda

Grupo Quetzalcoatl performs "El Son de La Negra" at Noches de Ronda on Thursday at the Courthouse Sunken Garden.  NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS

Grupo Quetzalcoatl performs “El Son de La Negra” at Noches de Ronda on Thursday at the Courthouse Sunken Garden.
NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS

Noches de Ronda, one of Old Spanish Day’s oldest traditions, opened for a three-night run at the Courthouse Sunken Garden on Thursday.

A two-hour program of flamenco and folklorico dance and music is a treat for both the ear and eye and represents the differing Latin influences on Santa Barbara history, from the Spanish explorers to the Mexican and Californio residents.

No matter the origin, the evening is filled with stunning outfits and poetic dancing. The Sunken Garden fills with families and friends, sitting in beach chairs and covered in blankets against the damp night air.

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Future Broadway stars: Gustafson Dance Program produces an evening of Broadway numbers

Students from the Gustafson Dance Two-Week Junior Intensive program perform Broadway numbers during the 2014 show. Photo courtesy John Conroy Image

Students from the Gustafson Dance Two-Week Junior Intensive program perform Broadway numbers during the 2014 show.
Photo courtesy John Conroy Image

There’s a chance to see the fruits of an intensive summer workshop of dance this weekend, and no, it has nothing to do with Fiesta. Instead, Gustafson Dance’s Two-Week Junior Intensive program brings an evening of Broadway hits to the Lobero. And while many a parent and family member will be there, the event is open to the public.

Gustafson Dance is the official school of State Street Ballet. Allison Gustafson is director of the dance school and Rodney Gustafson is artistic director of State Street Ballet.

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