DRINK OF THE WEEK: Cadiz’s Tipple of gibraltar

Tipple of gibraltar
Tipple of gibraltar

The relatives are gathered, the turkey’s in the oven, and all you really want is a drink. We know how you feel; we’ve been there.

But instead of reaching into your back pocket for your hip flask, why not whip up something much more appropriate for the season? Yes, this involves cranberry and turkey, and has been designed by Sean Sepulveda, formerly of El Cielito, and now of Cadiz, who is set to roll out a brand new cocktail menu soon.

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Precarious Balance – ‘Late Quartet’ has melodrama aplenty, but also a great Walken performance

Christopher Walken has become such a beloved figure in Western culture, with his wild eyes and imitate-able voice — I’m betting that at least one of your friends, or maybe you, dear reader, can do a great Walken impression — that one can forget how he got to this position. So “Late Quartet,” for all its faults, mostly in the script, serves as a good reminder of his acting skills.

Mr. Walken plays Peter Mitchell, cellist for the Fugue Quartet, a tight-knit (and highly strung) ensemble that is celebrating its 25th year. On second violin and viola respectively, we have the husband-wife team of Robert (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and Juliette (Catherine Keener), and on first violin, and determining the sound of the quartet, there is Daniel (Mark Ivanir), who also instructs Robert and Juliette’s daughter, Alexandra (Imogen Poots).

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The Fading Glow – ‘These Shining Lives’ deals with worker safety

FROM TOP : Madelyn Robinson, left, and Julian Remulla as Catherine & Tom Donohue David Bazemore Photo
Madelyn Robinson, left, and Julian Remulla as Catherine & Tom Donohue
David Bazemore Photo

It’s deeply cynical, but the title of Melanie Marnich’s play “These Shining Lives” alludes not just to a small-knit group of factory workers, but also to the radium with which they work. So when one woman arrives home and her husband says she’s radiant and glowing, it’s the literal truth. What these women do becomes the subject of this tough drama, opening tonight at the Performing Arts Theater.

Director Tom Whitaker’s last play was the broad comedy of Moliere’s “Tartuffe.” This time around, he’s going for drama, with a play that attracted him with its strong roles for young female actors.

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Serious Conversations, Serious History – DIJO Productions twofer travels to ancient Rome, 17th-century Amsterdam

Two recent plays on old subjects arrive at Center Stage Theater this weekend, courtesy of DIJO Productions. As he also did earlier this year, director and actor Edward Giron has decided to stage both shows at the same time, using the same cast.

“It’s almost like the world’s smallest repertory company,” says Mr. Giron. “It’s daunting. But it exposes two plays to one to two sets of audiences in a very small time frame.”

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Fleeting Beauty – Opera Santa Barbara brings star power to Puccini’s classic ‘Madame Butterfly’

Kimonos have multiple layers of fabric, but even so, they are light and airy. Or at least they should be. Whoever made one of the kimonos for Opera Santa Barbara’s upcoming production of “Madame Butterfly” didn’t get the memo.

“It’s so heavy! It feels like wearing a futon,” laughs lead soprano Mihoko Kinoshita as we chat about the production. Heavier than any 19th-century outfit, heavier than any armor worn by a Wagnerian goddess — it’s a big costume, but thankfully she has the power to sing past it, a power noted by the London Daily Express and others reviewing her star turn in the lead role of “Madame Butterfly” at the Royal Albert Hall.

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Commitment-Phobia – Mike Birbiglia’s one-man show frets about marriage

Mike Birbiglia stars in a one-hour comedy special Joshua Massre photo
Mike Birbiglia stars in a one-hour comedy special
Joshua Massre photo

We’re causing a lot of break-ups across America!” says writer, comedian and actor Mike Birbiglia on his most recent film, “Sleepwalk with Me.” The film, based on his one-man-show and a spot on “This American Life,” details how Mr. Birbiglia figures out that he’s not ready for marriage to his longsuffering girlfriend, while at the same time beginning his career in stand-up … once he dropped his corny jokes and started to tell the audience about his relationship. The film makes uneasy viewing, as Mr. Birbiglia never flinches — in fact, he indulges — in showing his most weasely, reprehensible behavior. For commitment-phobes, it’s not a date movie, though it’s a funny one.

“Ira Glass and I have heard people have broken up after seeing it,” Mr. Birbiglia says. “And we don’t know how to take that. We don’t want to be the break-uppers, but if the movie affects people then that’s good.”

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Cool, Calm, Collected – Wonderful Warm Documentary on Tony Bennett Thrills


These days, “zen” is often used as shorthand for any guide to a discipline that advocates focus and not sweating the small stuff. But after watching “The Zen of Bennett” (as in famous singer Tony Bennett), the title is by far the most appropriate. Although we see a Buddha statue in the background only once, and although Mr. Bennett never speaks of spirituality in any overt way, he comes across as coolly invested in wisdom and Buddha nature. If only we could be this serene and talented when we hit 86 years old.

In this documentary, produced by Mr. Bennett’s son Danny and directed by Unjoo Moon with a series of dreamy, prismatic images, we follow Mr. Bennett as he travels across the States and over to Italy to record a series of duets with contemporary artists both young and established, from Carrie Underwood to Willie Nelson.

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DRINK OF THE WEEK: Killer B’s BBQ and Bar’s Killer apricot mai tai

The Mai Tai is one drink that almost encourages experimentation. While the original recipe — either by Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic — was shrouded in competitive mystery from its inception, everybody has had their own go somewhere along the way. And you know what? They’re all usually good. For epicure.sb, the Wildcat once again hosted a Mai Tai contest to award fame and fortune (well, mostly just fame) to the best tropical drink.

The winner, Liz Cross, works at Killer B’s and spent many a night perfecting her cocktail, aided by her boyfriend who seemed perfectly happy to have tried all Ms. Cross’ attempts on the way to perfection. The Killer Apricot Mai Tai was sweet, maybe too sweet for some, but the alcohol was hidden well. That could be dangerous! The thing that the judges — one being our own photographer, Nik Blaskovich — loved was the floating half a lime shell filled with Myers’s Rum. Ms. Cross pierced a hole in the bottom of the lime so the rum would slowly flow out into the drink.

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