Swinging ’60s – ‘Girl in the Freudian Slip’ surfaces at Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre

The bedroom/analyst's office farce "Girl in the Freudian Slip" deals with Dewey Maugham, a married psychoanalyst who secretly lusts after his shapely and sex-positive patient, Barbara Leonard, played by Nicole Hollenitsch, above.
The bedroom/analyst’s office farce “Girl in the Freudian Slip” deals with Dewey Maugham, a married psychoanalyst who secretly lusts after his shapely and sex-positive patient, Barbara Leonard, played by Nicole Hollenitsch, above.

“The Girl in the Freudian Slip” would have been lost to the sands of Broadway time in the 1960s if opening night reviews were anything to go by. It didn’t last too long in 1967, but Bernadette Peters, who made her debut in the original cast, did (to the tune of seven Tony nominations, two of which she won). As did playwright William F. Brown, who went on to write a musical called “The Wiz.”

Circle Bar B Theatre has made a successful run of resurrecting light comedic fare and plans to do so again this weekend, when Joe Beck directs its next production.

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Mulligan’s Sangria

Nik Blaskovich/News-Press
Nik Blaskovich/News-Press

Back in the day when this cocktail chaser was a young lad, he used to play golf. And being young, he looked forward to the day when a strong 18 holes would end with a celebratory drink at the clubhouse bar. Only later did he realize the shocking facts of life: you can drink at the clubhouse and never raise a club.

That’s what keeps Mulligan’s going after all these years. According to bartender (and owner’s daughter) Melissa Osuna, patrons come from all over for a drink and a meal. The bar is small — four seats — but the happy hour menu is extensive and rather complicated, with special drinks and dishes for each day.

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SCENE ARTS : COLOR SPINNING : The crackling, psychedelic sculpture/performances of John Williams come to CAF

Above and below: John Williams performs "Record Projection" in 2009, with the help of record players, slides, Super-8 projectors and other mixed media. Courtesy photos
Above and below: John Williams performs “Record Projection” in 2009, with the help of record players, slides, Super-8 projectors and other mixed media.
Courtesy photos

Artist John Williams works in sound, light and color in a way that’s polar-opposite to the film composer who shares his name and makes Internet searching difficult. His work has vacillated between photography and sculpture since his days at CalArts, but all the while, his 2-D work has been trying to leap or peel itself off walls.

Still evolving after all these years, his “Record Projection” series comes to Contemporary Arts Forum this Thursday night as part of First Thursdays. The 45-minute piece is part-installation, part projection, part performance, part sound collision. It’s all Williams, though.

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The call of history : Ken Burns delivers a classic speech at A&L’s anniversary event

UCSB’s Arts & Lectures capped off its 50th anniversary season with a special dinner, auction and lecture event at the Coral Casino on Monday night. With the Pacific Ocean rolling and crashing right up to the rocky berm not that far below the resort, the evening reminded the $350/plate guests how their support plays out in season after season of musicians at the top of their game, stellar dance and theater companies, humorists, intellectuals and the best in cinema. Part fund-raiser for next season, part thank-you, and part private party, the evening ended with a special appearance by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

In his 50s now, but still looking a boyish early-30s, Mr. Burns is coming off his most recent multi-part documentary for PBS: a history of the National Parks. In the style that he made famous through docs on the Civil War, baseball and jazz, this journey through our national treasures once again made centuries-old voices come alive, still photographs look like they were shot yesterday, and revealed the weird and wonderful fabric of America.

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Tre Lune’s Negroni

Nik Blaskovich Photo
Nik Blaskovich Photo

Tre Lune on Coast Village Road offers Italian food, Italian wine, Italian(ish) photos on the walls…but would it serve Italian cocktails? We drove over at early dinner time last week to check out this very small bar in a very busy restaurant. Behind the bar we ran into several people we knew already. One was a former neighbor of mine. Another was Gabriel, who we had just met a few weeks ago at Las Aves. Another was Steven Goularte, who we swear has made us a cocktail before, but where, oh, where?

Patrick Rathbun and Goularte tag-teamed the bar for our sampling of cocktails, and we enjoyed watching them dance around each other while making various drinks and dodging the other servers coming in for orders.

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A Thing of Vision – 16 local collectors share their private works at CAF

Martin Eder's "Chasse aux Papillons," from the collection of Mike Healy and Tim Walsh. Photos Courtesy of CAF
Martin Eder’s “Chasse aux Papillons,” from the collection of Mike Healy and Tim Walsh.
Photos Courtesy of CAF

The idea for “Visionaries,” Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum’s new show opening tomorrow night, came from the various trips Miki Garcia and Valerie Velazquez have taken as part of their job. Not trips far afield or to other museums, but ventures closer to home, to the houses of the board members of CAF. While discussing business or making social calls, the two couldn’t help but witness the collections on display and how the members supported not just CAF, but the artists in the gallery and contemporary art as a whole.

“Seeing how people incorporate these pieces in their home is an art in itself,” Velazquez says.

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Salon Style – Six artists open their homes this summer to patrons

Richard Kriegler's "What Dreams May Come." Kriegler will take part in the final salon series that will discuss how art and commerce intermingle. Kriegler hosts Justin Carroll, whose L.A. Design studio is behind the look of video game "Modern Warfare 2" and others.
Richard Kriegler’s “What Dreams May Come.” Kriegler will take part in the final salon series that will discuss how art and commerce intermingle. Kriegler hosts Justin Carroll, whose L.A. Design studio is behind the look of video game “Modern Warfare 2” and others.

The discourse about art can be boiled down to two questions: What do we like, and why do we like it? According to Nina Dunbar, executive director of the Santa Barbara Arts Fund, these are the fundamental ideas driving this summer’s salon series, which will offer a chance to see art in the context of six artists’ homes as well as a talk with the artists to meet, mingle, eat, drink and be merry.

“It puts (art) in a context where you can meet with others and learn more about art than you would reading a museum wall plaque,” she says.

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Extravaganza Festival


UCSB’s Harder Stadium rocked and swayed to the six-band day-long festival Extravaganza this last Saturday. According to unofficial estimates out of the Associated Student Board, 13,000 students and music fans attended this free concert that has been put on by the Board since 1979. Winners of the local Battle of the Bands competiton, Soul Minded, opened the show, followed by the Super Mash Brothers, who DJ’d a set of contemporary hip-hop mixed in with classic pop and rock. L.A.-based cult act Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes returned to Santa Barbara once again ahead of a July gig in town and serenaded the audience with their huge, Spector-ish wall of sound. The final two acts both hailed from Canada: Montreal’s Chromeo conjured the ’80s electro-funk of a Dazz or Gap Band with just a guitar and a keyboard, pre-recorded beats and a well-used vocoder, and the crowd swelled for closing Toronto-born hip-hop artist Drake, who brought on surprise guest Birdman to spit rhymes alongside. Drake performed with a band as well as a DJ. In the beginning, the lines to get into Extravaganza were long even for a free event, yet after a few hours, access in and out was easy. The lines for the various food stalls inside, however, remained deep for the entire festival.

We’re Gonna Need to See Some Identity – A master documentarian of American history, Ken Burns and his bottomless curiosity help UCSB Arts & Lectures cap its 50th Anniversary season

Ken Burns has been shaping the way we think about history for the past 30 years with his epic, sprawling narratives of America’s past. In his multi-part documentaries for PBS, he has taught us about the Civil War, baseball, jazz, World War II and, in last year’s 12-hour series, the history of our National Parks.

UCSB’s Arts & Lectures celebrates the end of its 50th anniversary season with a very special appearance by Ken Burns on Monday, May 24, at the Coral Casino. Paula Poundstone emcees the event, which includes dinner and a silent auction of such goodies as a guitar autographed by Elvis Costello.

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We Are the Dead – ‘Collapse’: One Man’s Mission to Wake Us All Up

Sometimes the best docs start when the filmmakers go off course, when the wheel is grabbed by their subject and driven elsewhere. As “Collapse” tells us, the filmmakers were set to interview Michael Huppert, a former LAPD officer and detective, once CIA whistleblower and now peak-oil evangelist, about his former bosses in the government. “He had other things on his mind,” the caption says.

Huppert’s mind expands into 75 minutes of riveting monologue, assuaged by animated graphs and public-domain film footage from the 1950s — all eye candy, breaking down how the downslope of the peak oil bell curve will change life on Earth as we know it. He warns about the human race’s rush toward suicide, and would like to stop us, if only we’d listen.

And skeptical or not, we do. The camera in “Collapse” approaches Huppert — chain smoking and chatting under a single light — like one would circle an insistent intellectual or a slightly crazed co-worker in a bar. So much of what he says makes sense, but can it all really be true? Are we all doomed? “What if he’s wrong?” we ask, only to be followed by, “Oh my God, what if he’s right?” So we keep listening.

During a month where untold millions of gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, potentially ending ecosystems and livelihoods for an unforeseeable amount of time, Huppert’s thesis about peak oil feels more prescient than ever.

Not only do we use gas to power cars and airplanes, but oil is the base for all our plastics, all our pharmaceuticals, our entire infrastructure. When Huppert was interviewed, many of his past predictions had come true, including the sub-prime mortgage debacle and the tanking of the markets. But when it comes to peak oil, his thoughts, which are nothing new among the government agencies who refuse to discuss them, may be catching on elsewhere.

Filmmaker Chris Smith wisely let Huppert just talk, though we are never sure how much he and his editor may have shaped a rambling discussion into this tight, cohesive essay.

Smith is not shy about playing devil’s advocate; when Huppert avoids a question, Smith presses him again. He isn’t starstruck by Huppert, but he doesn’t dismiss or ridicule him either.

And anyway, he says, two nations already have gone without oil: North Korea and Cuba. Both lost oil when the Soviet Union fell. North Korea, he says, starved — the full extent of which we in the West still don’t know — but Cuba urged all its citizens to start farming.

And this is what Huppert suggests for us, along with an emotional plea for community. Holing up in a cabin in the woods with a stockpile of tinned food and weaponry is not the way out, he says.

“Collapse” will send you out of the theater a bit sweaty palmed, only slightly hopeful for the survival of the human race and in wonder what we’re all doing as you sit behind the wheel, waiting to leave the parking lot.

He may just be right.

Length: 82 minutes
No rating
Playing: 7:30 p.m. at UCSB’s Campbell Hall