The excitement was palpable as calliope-esque circus music filled the theater and kids wiggled in their seats in anticipation of the show. The entertainment for the evening was the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, starring Gregory Popovich and his performing dogs and cats.
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Writer and director Trinity Amanda Kesselring’s claim that Four Sisters, Four Seasons is inspirational may be a little overblown-but not much. Acting Out Theater Company, the amateur group Kesselring founded when she returned to Santa Barbara recently from Los Angeles, is both a theater class and an opportunity for anyone who’s ever wanted to be on stage to show their stuff.
David Ives’s All in the Timing is aptly named. The success or failure of this series of one-act comedies depends mainly on a quick and sparkling delivery. The subject matter is abstruse, hilarious, and often strange-ranging from existential philosophy to copulation with furniture-and it can be a challenging show to put on, even for professionals.
The Uneasy Chair is a social satire directed at the British class system and its idiosyncrasies. Five actors transport the audience into an antiquated world of spinsters, drawing room repartee, and ornate verbosity-but one that reflects a modern sensibility all the same.
My girlfriend, Jackie, looked at me perplexedly when I explained where I had just been-a lecture at UCSB by Felice Picano, one of the leading historians on gay culture in the 1970s and ’80s and author of the recently published Art and Sex in Greenwich Village.
1)Because you love Oscar Wilde and/or Monty Python. Evan Smith’s comedy is full of droll reflections, absurd inferences, and hysterically proper Victoriana-even though it was only written a few years ago. Smith is a master at constructing convincing scenarios that take his characters-and the audience-all the way over the top.
You Can’t Take It with You, in many ways the greatest of all screwball comedies, gets a stellar production from director Jenny Sullivan and a wonderful, Rubicon record-setting cast of 19. Robin Gammell is outstanding as Grandpa Martin Vanderhof, the paterfamilias of a zany extended family living on New York’s Upper West Side in the late 1930s.
This fascinating and ambitious production takes as its point of departure the life of atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, a powerfully conflicted figure who played a key role in the development of the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.