Meal time – Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre’s second play of the new season is the aptly named “The Dining Room.” Written by A. R. Gurney, the author of “Love Letters” and “Sylvia,” the setting is the eating area of a well-off family’s home, while the action consists of a mosaic of unrelated scenes, that are, as expected, alternately humorous, poignant and rueful. Six actors, including Montecito favorite Ed Giron, handle all the roles. WHEN: Friday & Saturday evenings at 6 pm, Sunday matinees at 2 pm through July 2, WHERE: Refugio Road, COST: $40, seniors $32 on Sundays, INFO: 967-1962 or

Migrants in art – While politicos countrywide debate the immigration problem, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art traces the 100-year history of migrant workers in California in the new exhibit “Taking Root.” Vintage prints by photographers from the Works Progress program and Life and Look magazine and documents of Cesar Chavez’s legendary march to Sacramento are on view at the museum, while contemporary prints by News-Press photographers of Mixtec strawberry pickers in Santa Maria can be seen at Channing-Peake Gallery. WHEN: 11 am to 5 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, through August 6, WHERE: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State Street, COST: $9 (discounts for seniors, students and children; free every Sunday), INFO: 963-4364.

Art in parts – The two sides of “Contradiction” – Jack N. Mohr’s new art installation – are different enough that he’s showing them in two segments. Part I runs June 17-June 4, while a new set of abstract mixed media paintings exhibit June 21-July 9. Only one artist reception, though, tonight from 6 pm to 9 pm. WHEN: 1 pm to 6 pm Wednesday through Sunday, WHERE: Artamo Gallery, 11 West Anapamu Street, INFO: 568-1400 or

Thursday, June 15

NIGHTS’ body movement – Inspired by its current exhibit, “Picture Stories: The Art of Europe and the Americas,” the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s popular monthly arts extravaganza NIGHTS celebrates “The Human Form in Art” in June. Activities include Lovers Tattoo Cubes, Chakra Charms, Heavenly Bodies Mixed Media Mural, Way-of-the-Flesh Loteria Votive Prints” and more, with music by The Coral Sea and KCRW DJ Raul Campos. This month’s cocktail: the Sauza Dorian Gray Martinis and beer from Firestone Walker Brewery; hors d’oeuvres from Roy restaurant. WHEN: 5:30 pm to 8 pm, WHERE: 1130 State Street, COST: $25 ($10 discount for museum members), INFO: 884-6414.

Surf film – Santa Barbara Maritime Museum hosts the local cinematic premiere of local surf pioneer George Greenough’s “Crystal Voyager.” The film was made more than 30 years ago and takes viewers on a surreal journey deep inside the vortex of huge waves as they break, including a 25-minute sequence at the end featuring an unbroken underwater trip accompanied by electronic music by Pink Floyd. WHEN: 7 pm tonight, WHERE: 113 Harbor Way, COST: $10 ($2 discount for members), INFO: 962-8404 ext. 115.

RTC’s ‘Secrets’ – Rubicon Theatre Co., continues its Dale Wasserman festival with the premiere of “Open Secrets,” comprised of two new one-act plays by the author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Man of La Mancha.” In the comedic “The Stallion Howl,” an attractive woman receives a surprise inheritance from a wealthy notorious womanizer and refuses to reveal to her husband, an inquisitive newspaper editor, the reason for the gift, causing a rift in the relationship. The drama “Boy on Blacktop Road” finds an investigator questioning five people related to the arrival and subsequent disappearance of a young boy. WHEN: Opens tonight, plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, plus matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm; ends July 9, WHERE: Laurel Theater, 1106 East Main Street, Ventura, COST: $25-$45, discounts available, INFO: 667–2900.

Friday, June 16

Chamber Music Festival – Daniel Kepl’s fledgling festival returns for a fourth season, dubbed “Immigrant Nation,” which references the festival’s mission of performing, as always, an all-American program. Grammy Award-winning violinist Kathleen Lenski and L.A. Opera Orchestra principal cellist John Walz (familiar to local audiences through Camerata Pacifica) make their festival debuts this year, joining perennial players clarinetist David Peck, pianist Edith Orloff and flutist Ann Erwin. The program includes works by Gershwin, Copland, Barber and many others including Santa Barbara-based composer Leslie Hogan. Come early each night for free refreshments on the patio. WHEN: 8:30 pm tonight-Sunday, WHERE: First Congregational Church, 2101 State Street, COST: $20 or two for $35 per concert, or $45 ($75 for two) for festival pass, INFO: 964-5460 or

Live Oak – The 18th annual music festival consists of three days chock full of eclectic artists, from singer-songwriters (Lucy Kaplansky and Audrey Auld Mezera – see interview in “On the Beat” on page 66) to Senegalese Afro-beat (Baaba Maal) to salsa (Bomba Chante) to Zydeco (Rosie Ledet). A few big names are coming too: Arlo Guthrie with his Family Legacy Tour and Maria McKee ex of Lone Justice. Admission includes all the mainstage concerts, intimate workshops on a second stage, evening dances, activities for the kids and parking lot picking, plus camping if you get a full weekend pass. WHEN: 4 pm today through 10 pm Sunday, WHERE: Live Oak camp, off Highway 154, 1.8 miles north of Paradise Road, COST: Weekend pass $110 adults ($70 teens, $35 kids); day passes $40 ($15 kids), INFO: 781-3020 or

Saturday, June 17

Music club concert – The Santa Barbara club continues its presentation of winners of the 2006 scholarship awards, with the teenage soloists including violinist Marie Hébert, Susanna Vinogradski and Jenny Rei Luu, pianists Natalie Larsen and Seungah Seo (the only non-teenager), cellist Andrew Hsu and mezzo soprano Christine Ikeda. The program includes works by Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Beethoven, Kabalevsky, Liszt and Kreisler. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street, COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or

T-Bone & Jakob – It seems like a gig dreamed up for a special Sings Like Hell add-on concert, but this show is actually produced by Nederlander and is part of a 15-city tour. No matter. Wunderkind producer T-Bone Burnett, who handled the music for “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and produced Elvis Costello, the Counting Crows and ex-wife, Sam Phillips, is returning to the stage with his own stuff again, sporting his first album of new material in 14 years, “The True/False Identity,” and a just-released compilation, “Twenty Twenty,” a 40-song career-spanning retrospective. The band is comprised of musicians he’s worked with over the years, including Jakob Dylan, the Wallflowers leader, who will also do his own opening set. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, COST: $42, INFO: 963-0761.

Wednesday, June 21

Baryshnikov is back! – Famed dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov returns to Santa Barbara for his third visit with his company Hell’s Kitchen Dance, this time sporting the premiere tour of new works created at the newly opened New York-based Baryshnikov Dance Foundation. The master dancer and choreographer/dancer Aszure Barton (who audiences will remember from last year’s Summerdance) performs in Benjamin Millepied’s “Years Later,” featuring interaction with video footage past and present. Baryshnikov and company also perform in “Come In,” Barton’s project merging video with live movement. Finally, Barton and Hell’s Kitchen star in her new work, “Over/Come,” an exuberant exploration of desire and loss. WHEN: 8 pm tonight through Friday, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, COST: sold out, INFO: 963-0761.

Thursday, June 22

Film series at museum – In conjunction with its current exhibit, “Taking Root: A Century of Migrant Workers in California,” Santa Barbara Museum of Art presents a free screening of John Ford’s classic 1940 adaptation of Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.” UCSB Film Professor Charles Wolfe introduces the film. Next week (June 29), Sundance award winner Cedar Sherbert introduces his documentary “Memory” followed by a screening of “Al Otro Lado (To the Other Side),” a 2006 SBIFF film that examines immigration and drug trafficking throughout Mexico’s history. WHEN: 5:30 pm to 8 pm, WHERE: 1130 State Street, COST: free, INFO: 884-6414.

Miller time – Montecito’s thinking-man comedian Dennis Miller does his take-no-prisoners thing, his first local public gig in years, for two shows at the Chumash Casino up in Santa Ynez. Sarcasm alert!. WHEN: 7 pm and 9 pm, WHERE: Chumash Casino Resort 3400 East Highway 246, COST: $25-$65, INFO: (800) 585-3737 or (800) CHUMASH.

Friday, June 23

Writers Conference – The annual week-long workshop for scribes of all kinds also brings in noted authors and others for afternoon and evening special events that are open to the public. This year’s participants include perennial guest Ray Bradbury as well as John Grogan, author of the current Number One bestseller “Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog”; Nilo Cruz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of “Anna and the Tropics,” coming soon to PCPA Theaterfest; Bobby Morescu, 2006 Oscar winner for co-writing and co-producing “Crash”; Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of “Love in the Present Tense” and “Pay It Forward”; Erica Jong, the author of dozens of novels including “Fear of Flying” who will talk about her new memoir; and, of course, Montecito’s own T. C. Boyle, who will introduce his new novel, “Talk Talk.” WHEN: Public events at 4 pm and 7:30 pm June 25-29, WHERE: Fess Parker Doubletree Inn, 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, COST: $10-$15, INFO: 964-0367 or

Solstice Eve party – Get an early start to solstice weekend with this brand new event, a four-hour concert and festival in Alameda Park the night before the big parade. Live music comes from perennial Solstice Festival favorites and new acts alike, including Dreamtime Continuum, Dancing Drum, the Midnight Band, Renata, Ginga, plus a dance performance by Robin Bisio, food, beverages, arts and crafts. WHEN: 4 pm to 8 pm, WHERE: 1400 Santa Barbara Street, COST: free, INFO: 965-3396 or

Miss Orange – Local photographer Bob Blackwell and designer (and namesake) Jill Katz – who created the new art book “Miss Orange of the Salton Sea” on location at California’s misnamed largest lake – host an artist reception for the release of the book. WHEN: 5 pm to 8 pm, WHERE: SOhO, 1221 State Street, upstairs in Victoria Court, INFO: 962-7776.

Saturday, June 24

Solstice parade – This unique community celebration is one of the annual events that makes Santa Barbara such a wonderful place to live. A zany, whimsical affair, the parade draws more than 1,000 participants who amble up State Street sporting fabulous hand-crafted floats, outlandish and often provocative costumes, infectious musical ensembles or exuberantly choreographed dance troupes. What makes the event unique is a prohibition against commercial elements such as written words or advertisements, and a ban on live animals and motor vehicles. It’s people power all the way! Follow the parade – this year’s theme is Dream – to Alameda Park for a festival of music, food and arts and crafts that lasts until sunset. WHEN: noon, WHERE: up State Street from Cota to Micheltorena, then to Alameda Park, COST: free ($35 to participate), INFO: 965-3396 or

Voices for a Cure – This annual benefit concert for Scleroderma Research Foundation is put together by two local teenagers: Alixandra Macmillan-Fiedel and Samantha Scher, whose mother Sharon Monsky was an outspoken activist who died from the disease in 2002. Last year’s event starring comedian Bob Saget and local recording acts Dishwalla and the Ataris raised more than $40,000 to fight the disease. Tonight’s show is again hosted by Saget (who exhibited a “different” side of himself in the 2005 film “The Aristocrats”) and stars up-and-coming local rockers Crosby Loggins, The Coral Sea, Holden and Alixandra herself. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, COST: $32.50 (patrons $92.50), INFO: 963-0761.

Wednesday, June 28

Plays for lunch – Victoria Hall Theater and DiJo Productions team up for a summertime series of plays in the early afternoon on one Wednesday per month. The format calls for a light lunch to be served at the theater’s enclosed patio at 12:15 pm followed by staged readings at 1:30 pm. Two comedic one-acts by David Ives, “Mere Mortals” and “Arabian Nights,” kick off the series today followed by Peter Shaffer’s drama “White Liars” with Tennessee Williams’s “Mr. Paradise” on July 19, and Elaine Kendall’s “The Chameleon” on August 2. Subscribers get a bonus: an evening performance of Neil Simon’s “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” in September. WHERE: 33 West Victoria Street, COST: $25 (or $75 for all four), including lunch, INFO: (800) 494-8497 or or

Thursday, June 29

Concerts in the Park – Santa Barbara’s popular summer music series gets underway for 2006 with a free concert by local band Boogie Knights. The group covers disco favorites from the ‘70s and ‘80s complete with costumes of the era (think big hair, go-go boots and lots of bling, although they didn’t call it that then), so bring a picnic dinner, the family and for heaven’s sake don’t forget your dancing gear (unless you like going shoeless in the park). WHEN: 6 pm to 8:30 pm, WHERE: Cabrillo Boulevard near Calle Cesar Chavez, COST: free, INFO: 897-1982.

Friday, June 30

Six by Six by ETC – Ensemble Theatre Co., closes out its 2005-06 season with “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.” Richard Alfieri’s comedy finds a recent widow of a Southern Baptist minister hiring an acerbic dance instructor 30 years her junior for private lessons, through whom she ultimately discovers an unlikely friendship and a pathway to each other’s innermost secrets. The funny and incisive play lasted but a month on Broadway, but was a hit just about everywhere else, including the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Robert Grande Weiss, ETC artistic director, directs. WHEN: Opens tonight, plays 7:30 pm Tuesdays, 8 pm Wednesdays thru Saturday and 2 pm and 7pm Sunday through July 23, WHERE: 914 State Street, COST: $25.50-$35.50 (limited half-price Quiktix available day of show), INFO: 962–8606 or

Saturday, July 1

Chinese photos – Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s new exhibit, “Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China,” takes a comprehensive look at the innovative photos and video art coming out of the Asian nation since the mid-‘90s. The touring collection of 130 works by 60 Chinese artists organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago and the International Center of Photography, makes its only California stop here in Santa Barbara. WHEN: Today through September 17, WHERE: 1130 State Street, COST: free with museum admission, INFO: 963-4364.

Sunday, July 2

Circle of Friends – Andrew Jackson is organizing this concert to benefit the Environmental Defense Center, featuring music from more than 20 different folk and acoustic acts, including Kate Bennett, Earl, Claude Hopper, Bruce Goldish, Michael Frye and Nicola Gordon. WHEN: 7 pm to 11 pm, WHERE: SOhO, 1221 State Street, upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $15, INFO: 962-7776.

Tuesday, July 4

Stow House Fourth – The 32nd annual event lets you take a step back in time to relax on lawn chairs and blankets on the beautiful grounds of the restored Stow House in Goleta. Listen to continuous music from the Glendessary Jam, Treble Clef, Sweet Adelines and Ulysses Jasz Band, laugh along with “The Comedy Club” featuring children’s jokes and riddles, and enjoy the available food and beverages. Activities include antique cars and farm machinery, house tours; quilters’ exhibit, children's petting zoo and Grandma's attic. WHEN:11 am to 5 pm, WHERE: 304 North Los Caneros Road, COST: free, INFO: 962-4407.