Tales of Romance at the Lobero, Tuesday, February

tc-boyle1.jpgWe never get tired of having stories
read to us, particularly in the evening, reminding us of bedtime
narratives. After all, Scheherazade is said to have bargained for
her life with a tale well told. For Valentine’s Day, the popular
Santa Barbara institution Speaking of Stories artfully
engaged love for their evening theme Tales of Romance. The
Lobero was packed with couples, on the eve of Valentine’s, and
there was an aura of romance in the air. As each actor, reader,
writer took to the podium, and the hush fell over the room, we were
enthralled, enchanted, delighted. It was a selection not
necessarily of sappy tales, or hushed erotic journeys, but romance
that was poignant, thought-provoking, evocative, real. Moments
throughout called for a handkerchief, a hand to hold, and
sometimes, a collective giggle or guffaw.

T.C. Boyle ended the evening, his periodic presence on the
Speaking of Stories stage never fails to enliven.
Predictably eclectic, he is an unsurprising master at reading his
own work aloud, providing the proper inflections and scattered
irony for Hope Rises. In Hope, we were treated to
the tale of an unlikely frog enthusiast, and where one will take
the train for love. Faline England, glorious on stage, and familiar
to many Santa Barbara theater-goers in a number of roles, FalineEngland.JPGbrought Isabelle Allende’s Two
to life. Allende is one of my favorite writers, for her
imagery, her nod to the fantastic, her firm grasp of the foibles of
humanity. Two Words did not disappoint. John Fink gave a
poignant reading of Richard Bausch’s Letter to the Lady of the
. The letter than began with one sentiment, rambled in
another direction, leaving the audience to reflect on a lifetime of
love and all its permutations. This was where I wanted a
handkerchief. Dan Gunther, another expert reader, provided a
compelling read of prolific author Russell Banks’ tender and moving
The Moor.

Speaking of Stories selects a different theme each
month, appropriate to the season, allowing us to daydream. I have
to admit, Stories is one of my favorite performing arts
events in town. At face value, it wouldn’t seem so interesting,
being read a story. But there’s something about it that is
enticing, magical, even. March’s line-up features baseball, with
stories by John Updike and Chet Williamson, among others, read by
another group of skilled actors including Irwin Appel and Tom
Hinshaw. April’s selections are culled from The New
. Enough said. And in May, well, appropriate for the
embedded holiday, Stories will be Speaking of
. If your curiosity is piqued, visit
www.speakingofstories.org; tickets are available at the


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.