The fall theater season definitely has been challenged by summer’s economic climate, but the principal Santa Barbara companies all look set to stay the course, with at least one production between now and 2010. It Had to Be You is first up, opening at Circle Bar B on Saturday, September 19, and running through Sunday, November 1. That leaves plenty of time to get your tri-tip on and catch this hysterically funny physical comedy about misguided love.
Ensemble Theatre Company begins its 30th anniversary year with Gunmetal Blues, a funny, jazzy noir of a play. It opens on Thursday, October 1, and runs through Sunday, October 25, at the Alhecama Theatre. Thursday, October 1, also sees the opening night of Boxtales’ new project, OM: An Indian Tale of Good and Evil. The creators of this epic theater piece, which is based on the Ramayana, traveled to India during the summer in order to prepare. Incorporating both Boxtales’ signature brand of acrobatic theater and yoga traditions, OM promises to be a highlight of the season. It runs at the Lobero through Sunday, October 4.
Lit Moon Theatre Company will be back with another World Theatre Festival this year-a special “Czech clown tradition” edition. The festival will be at Center Stage Theater beginning on Tuesday, October 13, and running through Sunday, October 18. Lit Moon, directed by John Blondell, will introduce a heroic tragedy called The Tragedy of Tragedies: The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great as part of the event. Wednesday, October 14, through Sunday, November 8, Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre hosts a world premiere musical, Daddy-Long-Legs, from John Caird (Les Miserables) and Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre).
DIJO Productions has A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters at Center Stage from Thursday, October 22, through Sunday, November 1. Ed Giron and Deborah Helm will play the lovers, and Jerry Oshinsky will direct. PCPA will perform a stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s fantasy The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, running Thursday, November 5, through Wednesday, December 23, at Santa Maria’s Marian Theatre.
You can’t get much further from C.S. Lewis than Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. His The Lieutenant of Inishmore, a pitch-black comedy set in modern Ireland, is not for the squeamish. Our resident company of daring souls, Genesis West, will perform what is destined to become a holiday classic from Friday, November 6, through Saturday, November 21, at a location to be announced. Arts & Lectures brings the Globe Theatre’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost to the Granada for three performances on Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14. Meanwhile, UCSB’s Drama Department presents David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole. Irwin Appel directs his students at UCSB’s Performing Arts Theatre from Friday, November 13, through Saturday, November 21.
The Santa Barbara City College Theatre Arts program will perform Picasso at the Lapin Agile beginning on Wednesday, November 18, and running through Saturday, December 5, at SBCC’s Interim Theatre. Rick Mokler directs.
Theater League opens its season of Broadway at the Granada presentations with The Wedding Singer on Monday, November 23, and continuing through Wednesday, November 25. Ensemble Theatre continues its season with Trying, the real-life story of a distinguished elderly judge and his young secretary, on Thursday, December 3. And Santa Barbara Theatre’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan returns to the Lobero from Sunday, December 20, through Sunday, January 3.