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Food, hilarious food: Jim Gaffigan comes to the SB Bowl for an evening of standup

Stand-up comedian, actor and author Jim Gaffigan will perform at the Santa Barbara Bowl tonight. Courtesy photo

Stand-up comedian, actor and author Jim Gaffigan will perform at the Santa Barbara Bowl tonight.
Courtesy photo

America has a thing for schlubby male comedians ‘ it’s how we like them served up. They are our everymen, creaking under the weight of kids, wives, obligations, and using observational humor of the mundane details of life as an escape valve. There’s a thread that runs from Jackie Gleason to our current heroes: Louis C.K., Marc Maron, and now ‘ pulling into town tonight for a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl ‘ Jim Gaffigan. He arrives just after the premiere of “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” a single-camera sitcom that features Mr. Gaffigan playing himself. And it’s on the TV Land channel, the go-to nostalgia station where one can check in the domesticated males of old. This is the year of Jim.

Mr. Gaffigan’s career started as a friendly bet to take a stand-up seminar, one that ended with a small set in front of a crowd. His friend dropped out, but Mr. Gaffigan, who had moved to New York City from a small town in Indiana, suddenly found his calling. He kept his day job in advertising and worked open mic nights, honing his material.

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Generation gap: Grandparents manipulate their grandson in Plaza Playhouse production

"The cast of "Over the River and Through the Woods," playing at the Plaza Playhouse Theater through July 26. Tom Lucy photo

“The cast of “Over the River and Through the Woods,” playing at the Plaza Playhouse Theater through July 26.
Tom Lucy photo

If you want to complete the play title “Over the River and Through the Woods” with “. . . to grandmother’s house we go,” well, you’ll be partly correct. In Joe DiPietro’s 2008 comedy, this is not a young boy but a beloved – and also grownup – grandson who is visiting, and all four of his grandparents are on hand. Our hapless hero Nick (played by Enrique A. Bobadilla) wants to move across the country when he is promoted at work. His loving but overbearing grandparents don’t want him going anywhere, and to that end, they have tricked a young single woman, Caitlyn (Jennifer Marco), to come and dine with them as well, hoping that love at first site will convince Nick to change his mind.

“Life isn’t in black and white, but shades of grey,” says director Jordana Lawrence. “That’s what this play brings forth, things that happen within a family or between generations. It’s one perspective versus another in this play.”

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Gotta sing, gotta dance: UCSB’s summer film series showcases the musical

Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" UCSB Arts & Lectures photo

Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain”
UCSB Arts & Lectures photo

In its sixth installment of the popular summer film series, UCSB Arts & Lectures turns to another staple of Hollywood: The Musical. “Over the Rainbow: Great American Movie Musicals” runs from July 8 through Aug. 21 and features free screenings of seven musical movie classics.

Previous years have focused on a director like Alfred Hitchcock, or on silent comedies or classic Universal Studios horror or sci-fi. But this is the first time such a wide-ranging genre over such a long period has been chosen, with a nod to audience favorites and less to a comprehensive overview.

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The possible dream PCPA alum David Studwell returns to play the lead in ‘Man of La Mancha’

David Studwell as Don Quixote and Julie Garnye as Aldonza in "Man of La Mancha," coming to PCPA's Marian Theatre. Luis Escobar photos

David Studwell as Don Quixote and Julie Garnye as Aldonza in “Man of La Mancha,” coming to PCPA’s Marian Theatre.
Luis Escobar photos

Playing the lead in “Man of La Mancha,” which opens Wednesday at PCPA’s Marian Theatre, requires lead actor David Studwell to do three times the work. He has to play author Miguel de Cervantes, sitting in a jail cell during the Spanish Inquisition, and his creation Don Quixote, who is under the illusion that he is actually a knight of the realm and not an old country squire. That’s a lot to hold together in one’s head.

“The play is as much about Cervantes as it is about Quixote,” Mr. Studwell says.

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Momentous disaster: Ninety years ago today an earthquake transformed Santa Barbara

Devastation left in the wake of a June 29, 1925, earthquake is evident in this view looking up State Street to the Granada Theatre in the center. NEWS-PRESS FILE PHOTOS

Devastation left in the wake of a June 29, 1925, earthquake is evident in this view looking up State Street to the Granada Theatre in the center.
NEWS-PRESS FILE PHOTOS

Today is the 90th anniversary of the largest disaster in Santa Barbara history, the 1925 earthquake that destroyed a significant part of downtown and forever altered the look of the town.

The Spanish Revival architecture for which Santa Barbara is known was a recent import, but once the city started to rebuild, red-tiled roofs and white stucco walls became the style.

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17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai draws sellout crowd

 The Arlington Theatre was sold out Saturday for a talk by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls. NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS


The Arlington Theatre was sold out Saturday for a talk by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls.
NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS

“I didn’t want to be known as the girl who got shot by the Taliban. I want to be known as the girl who fought the Taliban and who fought for children’s’ right to education.”

At 17, children’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai speaks with the force and authority of someone twice her age. She stood up to the Taliban in her home country of Pakistan when she insisted girls be given a chance to go to school.

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The Johnny Cash Tribute Festival ‘Roadshow Revival’ returns to Ventura

Festival attendees enjoy the music at last year's "Roadshow Revival: A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash."

Festival attendees enjoy the music at last year’s “Roadshow Revival: A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash.”

Johnny Cash died just under 12 years ago, although for fans it doesn’t seem so long ago. It helps that the Man in Black influenced so many musicians in so many genres, from country to rockabilly to outlaw blues to hip hop, that his sound is never that far away. For seven years promoter, producer and “evangelist risk taker” Ross Emery has been putting together “Roadshow Revival: A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash” in Ventura, starting at the Ventura Fairgrounds. This year the event expands to two whole days and has moved to Mission Park, downtown Ventura.

The center of the tribute is the lineup of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and country acts who can play what they want, as long as 30 percent of their set is made up of Cash covers. The headliners include Revered Horton Heat and Billy Joe Shaver, along with The Blasters, John Doe, Hard Six, Robert Gordon, Big River and much more, a total of 22 bands. Along with the music and the food and drink, the event offers other attractions.

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41st annual Summer Solstice Parade brings Sci-Fi to State Street

A space ship flies up State Street in the Summer Solstice Parade on Saturday. KENNETH SONG/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

A space ship flies up State Street in the Summer Solstice Parade on Saturday.
KENNETH SONG/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

A beautiful sunny day, a tight parade schedule and a host of fun floats and dance troupes made this year’s Summer Solstice Parade, the 41st annual, a huge success.

The theme this year was “Sci-Fi,” and there was plenty of outer space to be seen as the parade made its way up State Street from Cota to Micheltorena.

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Film Three-Quarterly: The King Of Marvin Gardens (1972)

Film Three-Quarterly: The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

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Film-ThreeQuarterly-logo

I watched King of Marvin Gardens many, many years ago, when it was a VHS rental from a video store (remember those?) I had very little memory of the film, apart from Jack Nicholson’s opening monolog and the one he records later in the bathroom, which I used for a mixtape (remember those too?)

So it was a delight to watch this again and see the film for the “first” time. Bob Rafelson had made several films with Nicholson up to this point, most famously two years before, Five Easy Pieces, which, similarly, many can’t remember save the diner scene.

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