The well-loved Ty Lounge at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara had a recent-ish makeover, with an expanded patio that also features a heated floor to warm your tootsies and an uncluttering of the main lounge area. And, yes, they also revamped the cocktail menu. That’s when we turned up. (Hey, that’s when we always turn up!)
At Westmont College”s Russell Carr Field on Saturday, 367 members of the Class of 2014 made their way to the podium to receive their diplomas and head out into the world while friends and family cheered.
The Christian college”s commencement featured choirs, awards, tributes to faculty both living and dead, and a rousing commencement speech by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church.
Festival season has arrived at Oak Park and this Sunday visitors can get a taste of Jewish culture from America back to Europe and Israel with the one-day Santa Barbara Jewish Festival.
It is a chance to celebrate a worldwide heritage on a day near to another anniversary, the 66th year of Israel’s independence.
From cheerleader to extra to TV star to stand-up comic: Anjelah Johnson has had a circuitous path to get to where she is now, a headliner with a full fan base. This is her second performance at the Granada, and, she thinks, her third in Santa Barbara. She’ll be bringing her clean — well, mostly clean — stand-up, as well as her well-loved characters Bon Qui Qui and the nameless nail salon worker whose incomprehensible language is part of the charm. Her second one-hour special, “The Homecoming Show,” aired last year on Comedy Central.
Ms. Johnson, who can claim both Mexican and Native American blood in her heritage, grew up in San Jose, which she describes as a “melting pot” of the best kind: big Latino population and big Vietnamese population. She bounced about through various high schools, including a performing arts high school, and then to an “independent studies high school” which she says was essentially her mom picking up her homework every week for her to finish.
Growing up, I had no real idea about Argentina except that it was the place that many high-profile Nazis fled to after the war, including, some said, Hitler. (They also said somebody had his brain in a jar, but that’s another story.) It was talked about in the same tones reserved for the killer bees, and both might just swarm north to get us all. However, by the time I came of age and learned more, Eichmann had been captured long ago and executed, and Josef Mengele … well, he kind of got away with it, didn’t he? Mossad agents never captured him, and in 1979 he had a stroke and drowned while swimming one day off the coast of Brazil, probably while humming “The Girl from Ipanema.”
The deranged doctor of Auschwitz, the so-called “Angel of Death” never got his day in court.
Writer and director Bill Waxman was visiting his wife’s stepmother and significant other in a retirement community in Palm Springs. That’s where he heard about a committee that had been established to rid their environs of a disruptive duck-like bird: The Coot Elimination Committee.
“It was like a gift,” Mr. Waxman says. “I heard that phrase and right then and there I thought, this is a play. I came home and sat down and about a month later I had the play. It rolled right out.”
Fading Gigolo is actor John Turturro’s fifth film, which came as a bit of a surprise to this reviewer, as I missed the bus on “Romance & Cigarettes” (a musical), “Passione” (a documentary), and “Illuminata” (a period comedy). And “Mac,” his first film from 1992, is so dim in my memory that I might not have seen it at all. Regardless, “Fading Gigolo” is two things: a love letter to a New York City that is fast disappearing, a world of bodegas and small shops and affordable brownstones. It’s also a similar mash note to his co-star Woody Allen, whose film romanticized exactly that world.
The set-up also reminds us of mid-’90s Allen: He plays Murray, an old friend of Mr. Turturro’s Fioravente (such a name!), and when both find themselves at the end of employment and needing some cash, Murray half-jokingly suggests that his friend, an eternal bachelor, turn to the oldest profession in the book. Murray will be his pimp, and like an agent, take 10 percent. (This is much better than the 50-50 between artist and gallery owner, he points out.)
This Mother’s Day, friends, let us wish this upon you: May your mother stay consistent in all the great things she does, but also constantly surprise you.
Here’s an example: My mom knows how to roast a mean chicken and potatoes with lashings of gravy. And recently joined an improv group and is gearing up for a live show. Just when you think you’ve got your family figured out, they do this.