Nine Inch Nails Frontman Trent Reznor put on an amazing show at the Santa Barbara Bowl. | Credit: Matt Perko

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on September 23, 2022. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at

ON the Stage

Ensemble Theatre Company performs Carmen Jones October 6-23. | Credit: Courtesy

We’ve had so many great shows at the tail end of the S.B. Bowl season. Check out my reviews of Nine Inch Nails (“Nine Inch Nails Takes It to a 10”), Jackson Browne ( “Still Running on a Pure Heart After All These Years”), and Maren Morris (“A Little Bit of Country and a Whole Lot of Girl-Next-Door Charm”), Josef Woodard’s take on the Goo Goo Dolls, Ellie Bouwer’s review of of Iration and Atmosphere, and Rebecca Horrigan’s report on Leon Bridges, to name just a few. And we’ve still got some great shows coming up, including local fave Jack Johnson October 4-5 (look for Matt Kettmann’s interview with him in next week’s Indy), Rüfüs Du Soul on October 8, and Death Cab for Cutie on October 19.

Ensemble Theatre Company kicks off the new season on October 6 (previews; opening night is October 8) with a musical, Carmen Jones, an adaptation of the much-loved opera Carmen, with rarely performed songs like “Dat’s Love,” “Dere’s a Café on de Corner,” “Stan’ Up an’ Fight,” and “Beat Out dat Rhythm on a Drum.” The show is set in a parachute factory during World War II and features an African American cast led by Fredricka Meek as Carmen Jones, a provocative employee who is arrested by the military and seduces the corporal assigned to guard her.

ON the Musical Fundraiser Front (Lines)

An enthusiastic crowd at One805Live! | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Photographer Ingrid Bostrom has some amazing photos from last weekend’s benefit concert for One805, the beloved nonprofit that supports all three first responder groups — fire, police, and sheriff. Held at Kevin Costner’s oceanside estate, and featuring performers from Dishwalla, The Cars, Chicago, Ambrosia, and many more, this definitely was a great show for an even greater cause.

ON the Page

The Library on the Go Van will be at S.B. Biergarten from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, September 26, for a special Happy Hour in honor of National Library Card Sign-Up Month. I’ll be there and hope to see some of you.

Mary Firestone will sign her new book, Trusting the Dawn: How to Choose Freedom and Joy After Trauma, on Thursday, September 29, 6 p.m., at Chaucer’s Books. Keep an eye for Ellie Bouwer’s interview with Mary in an upcoming issue of the Indy.

ON the (Big) Screen

Take Every Wave screens for free at the Arlington on September 29. | Credit: Courtesy

Check out the free screening of the documentary Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton on September 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington, in advance of An Evening with Laird Hamilton, a ticketed UCSB Arts & Lectures event moderated by Director Rory Kennedy on October 16. Laird is known as one of the greatest big-wave surfers of all time and is the guiding mind behind many favorite crossover board sports, including tow-in surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and hydrofoil boarding.

ON the Walls

Marilyn Dagget in her studio space at La Cumbre Plaza. | Credit: Callie Fausey

There are so many great shows to check out in town right now, including this weekend’s SLOPOKE art show in Solvang. Held at Monty (the real “horse whisperer”) and Pat Roberts’s Flag Is Up Farms, the setting alone is worth the drive, not to mention work from 37 of the top western artists in the country. One of my first stories for the (now defunct) South Coast Beacon was a visit to the farm to interview Monty Roberts, who is such a lovely man that even Queen Elizabeth was a fan.

Also worth checking out are Ishi Glinsky’s new show at UCSB’s AD&A Museum, Adam Belt’s exhibition at Westmont, the Arts Fund show Resistance & Resilience: Art for the People, and the work at La Cumbre Plaza’s new art collective.

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ON the Podium

Ed Begley Jr. | Photo: Courtesy

Mark your calendars for what’s sure to be an interesting and inspiring chat between local writer Barbara Greenleaf and environmental pioneer and actor Ed Begley Jr. Taking place for free at 9 a.m. on Sunday, October 9, at Congregation B’nai B’rith, the event, titled Walking the Walk, will trace Begley’s personal journey as a sustainable-living activist. His committed lifestyle was the subject of the reality series Living with Ed, and he continues to promote earth-friendly ideas and products through his writings. Begley will also discuss his 50-year Hollywood career from his breakout TV role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on St. Elsewhere to his recent film, Book Club, with Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen.

ON the Catwalk

Jeff Shelton’s tile designs inspired these cool new frocks from Hammie’s. | Credit: Jo Savage, Courtesy Jeff Shelton

Santa Barbara Architect Jeff Shelton’s cool Echinacea tiles were the inspiration for these cute dresses from Hammies, a local clothing company known for their ’70s- and ’80s-inspired corduroy shorts. I just love these kinds of collaborations! BTW, the Hammies name comes from the nickname for Hammond’s Beach, and Augie’s, the cool new tequila-forward dining experience Jeff designed at the corner of State and Ortega Streets, should be opening on October 10, according to their website.

ON the Web

A screenshot of the Arlington Theatre’s very welcome new website. | Credit: Leslie Dinaberg

At long last, The Arlington Theatre has a great new website and a new URL: It’s now easy to see (and purchase tickets to) all of the great live shows coming up at the venue. Some highlights include Charley Crockett on October 2 (the A&L season opener), Tom Jones on October 5, Trey Anastasio on October 7, Carly Rae Jepsen on October 20, and Jerry Seinfeld on November 11. There’s also an easy link to the movie showtimes.

ON the Calendar

Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers come to the Lobero October 7. | Credit: Yasmin Than

It’s hard to believe it, but Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers have been playing in various incarnations for 30 years. Their timeless storytelling style comes to the Lobero on October 7. Speaking of the Lobero, Cheryl Crabtree wrote an excellent cover story on the historic theater’s 150th anniversary. In case you missed it, here’s the link.

For a complete calendar of events this week and beyond, visit

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