‘Beauty’ is back – PCPA’s recent adaptation of the Broadway version of the Disney animated film “Beauty and the Beast” proved to be the biggest hit in the history of the professional conservatory season. Now the production, which broke all box office records while playing to sold out audiences in Santa Maria last fall, kicks off the summer season at the Solvang Festival Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater that adds even more magic. Come play with Belle, the Beast and the dancing teacups! WHEN: 8 pm Wednesday through Sunday through July 15 (special added show on July 11), WHERE: 420 Second Street, Solvang, COST: $27.25-$29.25; discounts available for students, seniors, children and subscribers, INFO: 922-8313

Semana Nautica – No matter what your age or athletic ability, the city’s annual summer sports festival has an event for you. From swimming, kayak fishing, water polo, volleyball, running, golf and softball to a biathlon, triathlon and the silly Krazy Kardboard Kayak Race, just about everyone can take part in this 69-year-old tradition that began as a local community challenge to the crew of five Navy battleships moored outside the harbor. Visit for details.

Living things – The Museum of Natural History’s “Toadally Frogs” takes a close-up look at more than 20 live species of the amphibians from around the world, from Dart Frogs to Clawed Frogs. The museum’s sister Sea Center’s “Sharks…bite size” showcase the tiny brethren of the Great White, including swell sharks, horn sharks, thornback rays and more, none of which measure more than 12 inches. Both exhibits free with regular admission.

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 yet incisive play lasted but a month on Broadway, but was a hit just about everywhere else, including the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. ETC artistic director Robert Grande Weiss directs. WHEN: 7:30 pm Tuesdays, 8 pm Wednesdays thru Saturday and 2 pm and 7 pm 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

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: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, 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.

Concerts in the Park – Oxnard’s Latin music sensations The Estrada Brothers return to the sea-breeze cooled Chase Palm Park for the second show in the summer series of al fresco concerts on July 6, followed by up-tempo New Orleans music with Lisa Haley & the Zydecats on July 13. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnics (but no alcohol), mosquito repellant (especially at sunset) and your dancing shoes (although barefoot is fine, too). WHEN: 6 pm to 8:30 pm, WHERE: Cabrillo Boulevard near Calle Cesar Chavez, COST: free, INFO: 897-1982.

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.

Wednesday, July 5

National Horse Show – Earl Warren Showgrounds hosts the 87th annual event, one of the country’s most prestigious and long-running horse competitions. Specialty breed horses and ponies compete over the first weekend, followed by hunter and jumpers. Watch Tennessee Walking Horses, Paso Finos, Friesans, Welsh ponies and more go through the paces. WHEN: Today through July 8, and July 12-16, WHERE: Las Positas and Calle Real, COST: free, INFO: 687-8711.

Thursday, July 6

New Orleans in SB – Hurricane Katrina shuttered their home digs in the French Quarter for several months, but after touring for more than 25 years, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band got back out on the road just as soon as the famous hall back home re-opened for business. Comprised of musicians ranging in age from 31 to 88 – and a cast that rotates between touring and the nightly shows in New Orleans – there’s still no finer jazz band in the land, playing what most folks consider Dixieland but in actuality focuses more on melody and marching tempos. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: $35 & $45, INFO: 963-0761.

Friday, July 7

Flute Focus – UCSB presents a four-day seminar replete with masterclasses and recitals hosted and coordinated by UCSB flute professor Jill Felber and her University of Texas counterpart Marianne Gedigian. Masterclasses are held from 9 am to 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm today and tomorrow and 9 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm on Sunday, featuring 15 young professional artists from around the country and three eighth grade junior artists from Nevada and Washington. (Admission for public observation is $25 per session.) Felber performs tonight, Gedigian tomorrow evening, in free concerts from 8 pm to 9 pm featuring pianist Dianne Frazier Cross. Call 893-8608 for details.

Groovin’ at Gainey – The 2006 Concerts in the Vineyard series gets underway with a shows featuring up-and-coming country singer Brian McComas tonight and the great blues harmonica player-guitarist-singer-songwriter Charlie Musselwhite tomorrow. Bring a lavish feast or a small picnic (but no alcohol, since Gainey sells wines by the bottle), enjoy the sunset and au naturel ambience of the winery’s courtyard as the music wafts by in the breeze. WHEN: 7:30 pm (gates open 5:30 pm), WHERE: Highway 246 just off Highway 154 in Santa Ynez, COST: $36 ($136 tickets include reserved nearby parking, priority reserved seating, wine-tasting with the owner or wine-maker, and a coffee and desert reception following the show), INFO: 688-0558.

Saturday, July 8

Helluva concert – A band with a single guy’s name joins a guy whose moniker sounds like a group for this latest show in the Sings Like Hell series. Richmond Fontaine, which plays brittle, piercing alt-country with incisive hard-edged themes, is actually the brainchild of Willy Vlautin, a Reno-born rocker who found musical mates who shared his penchant for the Blasters and Replacements. Opener Hamell on Trial is “one-man punk band” Ed Hamell, who plays guitar-thrash folk where the admittedly melodic songs often get overrun by the pounding rhythms. Either way, expect a rare high-volume show at the normally low-decibel series. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: $39.50 advance, $42.50 at the door, INFO: 963-0761.

Sunday, July 9

Sparkling bluegrass – The Chris Cairns Band features the finest local bluegrass and folk musicians in town, including the singer-songwriter-banjoist who heads the group, plus guitarist Tom Corbett, multi-instrumentalist Bill Flores and bassist Tom Lee. The latter also runs the Song Tree concert series at the Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, which is how this special show at the intimate space came to be. You can also pick up a copy of the band’s new CD, “Cannonball Run,” due for official release in September, at the show. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: 820 North Fairview, Goleta, COST: $15, INFO: 448-3328.

Evening star – Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History welcomes summer with its first Evening Exclusive – a planetarium show at night followed by a Star Party outdoors at the Palmer Observatory. The feature attraction is "Black Holes," the newest full-length full-dome show in the new facility. WHEN: Shows at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm, WHERE: 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, COST: $6 ($3 discount for museum members) / Star Party $2 (free for members), INFO: 682-4711.

Wednesday, July 12

SB County Fair – “Party til’ the Cows Come Home” is the appropriate theme for this year’s fair, the most agriculturally and farm-oriented one in the region. Lots of 4H type demonstrations and competitions, rides, home product shows, livestock shows and auctions, performances and more highlight the five-day extravaganza, which includes concerts by alt-rockers Smash Mouth on July 13, country singer Blake Shelton on July 14, and country chanteuse Crystal Gayle (“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”) on July 15. WHEN: 11 am to 10 pm today through Sunday, WHERE: 937 South Thornburg, Santa Maria, COST: $7 adults (12 and over), children/seniors $5, under 6 free, INFO: 925-8824.

SUMMERDANCE screening – The 10th annual modern dance festival kicks off with a special presentation of “Rize,” the 2005 documentary of “krumping,” an aggressive, near-martial arts dance style created by hip-hopper Tommy the Clown. Members of Tommy’s dance troupe will be on hand to answer questions after the screening. On Thursday, the troupe performs at five locations around Santa Barbara in the third annual “Dance Around Town” event. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra), COST: $10, INFO: 963-0408.

UCSB Film – The summer cinema series gets underway tonight with a screening of “Sir! No Sir!” David Zeiger’s provocative documentary of the anti-war GI movement during the Vietnam War won the audience award at the 2005 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and a similar prize at the Hamptons event. WHEN: 7:30pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $6, INFO: 893-3535.

Perfect your screenplay – Script analyst Kate Herbert, author of “The Perfect Screenplay,” discusses how to write a successful script at the monthly meeting of the Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Borders Books, 900 State Street, COST: free, INFO: 698-2025.

Friday, July 14

Ronstadt at Bowl – Montecito’s Kenny Edwards, who played bass on most of Ronstadt’s biggest hits in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, won’t be there, and neither will neighbor Karla Bonoff, the singer-songwriter who penned “Lose Again” and “Home,” which were among Ronstadt’s early hits. In fact, you may not hear many of those youthful rock songs at all. But the singer, who has embraced her Mexican heritage and adult pop leanings on recent albums – and has a fine new duo album with Cajun singer Ann Savoy set for release in September – still has some of the strongest pipes in the business. WHEN: 7 pm, WHERE: Milpas at Anapamu Street, COST: $47.50-$71.50, INFO: 962-7411.

Nutrition lecture – Dr. Stephen Nugent, an author and the former President of the International Association of Complimentary Medicine and President Emeritus of the American Naturopathic Medical Association, gives the lecture “How to Stay Healthy on a Toxic Planet.” He’ll discuss nutrition with an emphasis on glyconutrients, dietary sugars said to have healing benefits. WHEN: 7 pm to 9 pm, WHERE: Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street, COST: free, INFO: 682-7978.

Christmas in July – City College’s Theater Group concludes to 2005-06 season with the classic comedy “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” which chronicles the travails of a Middle American family forced to house an irascible critic when he’s injured on their property over the holiday season. The ensuing hijinks make for a story that has endured from Broadway to Hollywood for 68 years. James E. Broadhead, who debuted on Broadway nearly 50 years ago opposite Paul Muni in “Inherit the Wind,” stars at the critic, Sheridan Whiteside. WHEN: Opens 8 pm tonight, plays 8 pm Thursday through Saturday, 2 pm Sundays through July 29, WHERE: Garvin Theatre on SBCC’s West Campus, 800 Cliff Drive, COST: $19-$21 (discounts for students, seniors and groups), INFO: 965-5935.

Saturday, July 15

French Festival – While Parisians mark the French Revolution, locals can enjoy a similar celebration right here in Santa Barbara as the 19th annual French Festival – the largest in the Western United States – coincides with the weekend of Bastille Day. More than 20,000 people will partake of continuous free entertainment on three stages, including cancan, Moroccan and belly dancers; Cajun, classical and cabaret music (in the style of Edith Piaf); the Poodle Parade; and the piece de resistance – the annual Drag show. Fine French food from crepes to Cajun and café au lait will be served. Wandering mimes, jugglers and accordion players, as well as puppet shows and storytellers will keep the kids entertained. C’est magnifique! WHEN: 11 am to 7 pm today and tomorrow, WHERE: Alamar & Junipero Streets, COST: free, INFO: 897-PARIS.

Sunday, July 16

UCSB Summer Theater Lab – This ambitious annual program pairs students with summer instructors in intensive workshops in writing and performance workshops with an emphasis on developing new plays. Most performances and some rehearsals are open to the public. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, July 19

Theatrical Treats – Montecito’s Christina Allison stars in Peter Shaffer’s comedy “White Liars,” and “Mr. Paradise,” a rare one-act by Tennessee Williams, will also be presented in the second installment of this new lunchtime series at Victoria Hall also produced by Montecito residents Elaine Kendall and Jerry Oshinsky. (See “On Stage” on for an interview). Enjoy a light lunch on the patio and then sit back and watch the staged readings (complete with costumes and micro-sets) of the two plays. WHEN: lunch 12:15 pm, curtain 1:30 pm, WHERE: 33 West Victoria Street, COST: $25, INFO: (800) 464-8497.