Category Archives: News-Press

Goleta: Where the people come to drink

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You can forget your fancy wine bars, your oh-so-trendy dance clubs, Santa Barbara — Goleta is having none of that.

If there ever was a way to show the division between the two cities, taking a look at the bar scene in Goleta reveals the utilitarian nature of this now fledgling city. This is where people come to drink, and after all, isn’t that really what a bar is all about?

This brief guide to the watering holes of Goleta and Isla Vista will give you direction when it’s decided that a trip downtown is just too far to go to slake your thirst.

Big thanks to my friend Chris, who, Virgil-like, accompanied me on my fact-finding mission, sampling the alcohol meant for me so that I may write this in my fullest capacity. Surely a man couldn’t ask for a finer sacrifice.

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‘Cole & Will’: Missed opportunities

The latest show at the Victoria Hall — the third for the fledgling Victoria Hall Theater Company — affords an opportunity to hear nearly 30 of Cole Porter’s songs, from the familiar (“Anything Goes”) to the obscure (“After You, Who?”). The sheer delight in the music is only matched by the witty lyrics that seem to bubble up effortlessly, song after song.

Unfortunately, in “Cole & Will (Together Again)” they are framed by a wooden play that serves little but to make the songs a welcome respite from the goings-on.

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Yee–haw, m’lord: A rawhide Shrew makes merry at Fess Parker’s place

A Wild West version of “The Taming of the Shrew” has been so popular in recent years (I counted at least five nationwide on a quick Internet search) that it’s nearly deserving of its own sub-genre.

For those who love the play’s rowdy, rough-and-tumble attitude but are a bit queasy over its sexual politics, the lawlessness of the frontier offers a broad canvas and several ideological escape routes. Dress up Katherine as Annie Oakley and you’re already halfway toward a character. And the transitory nature of the West makes all outcomes liable to change without notice, unlike the established Padua of Shakespeare’s original.

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Lost in memories in The Lady and the Clarinet

Michael Cristofer’s play “The Lady and the Clarinet” is less a straightforward romantic comedy and more like a mysterious chocolate candy. The outside is sweet, but the inside is bitter the more you chew — and by the end you’re not sure if the outside was really chocolate to start with.

Mr. Cristofer earned a Pulitzer Prize for his earlier play, 1977’s “The Shadow Box.”

“The Lady and the Clarinet” dates from 1984, and was at one point an off-Broadway hit for Stockard Channing. Director Maggie Mixsell has resurrected the play and brought it to Santa Barbara City College’s Jurkowitz Theater for a three-week run, where it becomes a star vehicle for its leading lady, Katie Thatcher.

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