The cast of <em>Tony & the Soprano</em> posing with one of Tony's classic cars.

Summer is the perfect time to fall under the spell of theater. There’s nothing like looking up at the night sky after having entered another world for a few hours in some darkened room with a stage. The current show at Ensemble Theatre Company, The Scene, is about the highlife in New York and will certainly do the trick. It’s playing through Sunday, June 21. Alternative realities await at Center Stage in DIJO Productions’ Ives Lives: Six Absurdist Comedies, directed by Ed Giron and running from Friday, June 19, though Sunday, July 5.

The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

PCPA will present the region’s most ambitious slate in its festival format with shows in both Santa Maria and outdoors in Solvang. The Indy Award-winning Les Miserables continues through Sunday, July 12. Next up from PCPA is a programming coup in the form of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee from Friday, June 19, to Sunday, August 2. Broadway traditionalists will flock to The Music Man from Friday, July 17, to Sunday, August 23. PCPA closes out the summer with Spitfire Grill from Friday, August 7, to Sunday, September 13, and Distracted, which runs from Friday, August 28, through Sunday, September 20.

For Shakespeare enthusiasts, Shakespeare Santa Barbara does The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged!) this season: three guys, one bard, 37 plays, and 154 sonnets in only two acts! The entire run is at the historic Casa de la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara on Friday and Saturday nights from Friday, August 21, through Saturday, September 5.

Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre is another great summer theater tradition. The highly acclaimed new musical play Tony & the Soprano plays through Sunday, July 12. Next up there will be The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 from Friday, July 24, through Sunday, September 6.

Lilias White
Paul Wellman

The Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group is doing Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor in the Interim Theater on West Campus from Wednesday, July 8, through Saturday, July 25.

One of the greatest theater treats in our region is little Theater 150 in Ojai, which will put on Hamlet no less, directed by Jessica Kubzansky, from Saturday, July 18, through Sunday, August 9.

One of the most highly anticipated shows of the summer is the Rubicon‘s The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman from Thursday, July 9, through Sunday, August 2.


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