In 2013 the Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre presented Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." Circle Bar B Theatre photo
In 2013 the Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre presented Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
Circle Bar B Theatre photo

This year’s big story was the end of Ensemble Theater’s run in the cozy Alhecama Theater and its move to the renovated and brand-spankin’-new New Vic, an $11.5 million-dollar adventure that took many years to finally happen and has brought Jonathan Fox’s company to a space on par with the Garvin and Hatlen theaters. With state-of-the-art toys to play with, it’ll be interesting to see what Director Jonathan Fox does with the space. So far, Santa Barbarans have seen the Stephen Sondheim musical, “A Little Night Music” with Stephanie Zimbalist and Piper Laurie, and it was quite lovely.

Their farewell performances at Alhecama were also worth noting: David Ives’ “The Liar” was one of their funniest productions in a long time, witty and silly in measure. “The Year of Magical Thinking,” with Linda Purl stepping in for the recently deceased Bonnie Franklin in the role of Joan Didion, was the kind of one-woman show for which the Alhecama space was perfect. “Frankie and Johnnie in the Claire de Lune” was a good revival, although maybe not a necessary one.

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Review: UCSB’s The Cherry Orchard

It all seems like so long ago. In fact it was a week. At last my Cherry Orchard review has been posted.

UPDATE: As the Goleta Valley Voice was bought out by the NewsPress and then shuttered, the article is no longer online. Here’s the archive:

Chekhov’s ‘Cherry Orchard’ – the right play at the wrong time?
By D.M. Terrace, Special to the Voice

Mention the playwright Anton Chekhov and the word “slapstick” doesn’t necessarily come to mind. But there it was on stage at the Hatlen Theater Friday night: pratfalls, slip-ups, mistaken identities. Given, Chekhov always saw The Cherry Orchard – his last play, written as tuberculosis ravaged him – as a comedy, a wry look at the inability of the landed gentry in Czarist Russia to see the change that was happening under their own feet.

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