Now that April is here, Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre had fired up the grill and swung open the doors of the barn for another season of its own unique approach to thespianism. The Circle Bar B (CBB) riding ranch/lodge/theater is located a short 20-minute drive north of Goleta, a couple of miles up Refugio Canyon Road — a small step for travel, a mighty leap in ambiance.
The 2014 season opens with a specimen of what Circle Bar B does best — comedies with heart. Ghost of a Chance, a 1990s comedy by husband/wife playwrights Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, is a surprisingly affecting story about an engaged couple’s confusions about compatibility and commitment as they confront the past during a weekend in a Connecticut cabin. The title refers not only to their slim odds of making it but also to the actual ghost of the young woman’s former husband, who can’t move on to the next world because of his attachments to the cabin. Allison Threadgold makes a fine debut as the conflicted Bethany, while Circle Bar B veteran Sean O’Shea plays her dullard fiancé, Floyd. Kathy Marden is Floyd’s domineering Jewish mother, a widow who holds tight to the urn of her late husband’s ashes. Tiffany Story returns as Crystal, a Twinkie-eating hippie psychic hired by Bethany to evict the ghost of Chance (Matt Cooper) and guide him toward the light. Mike Wondolowski makes his CBB debut as Adam Lucas.