Adieu ‘Ado’ – PCPA takes on Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece “Much Ado About Nothing” in a midsummer night’s dream transition that comes to a close. Confirmed singles Beatrice and Benedick scheme, frolic, bicker and fall prey to Cupid’s arrow not in 16th century Elizabethan England but at a California-style mission courtyard on the Central Coast in the 1840s. Kathleen Mary Mulligan (Mrs. Potts in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and Peter S. Hadres (Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls”) play the leading roles. WHEN: 8 pm Wednesday through Sunday through September 17, WHERE: 420 Second Street, Solvang, COST: $22.50-$25.50; discounts available for students, seniors and children, INFO: 922-8313.

Temporary art – It might look like moving day outside the Santa Barbara Museum of Art today, but it’s merely the installation of a new temporary container installation called “Labor Exchange: How Much for a Buck?” The exhibition was created using materials purchased from 99 cent stores in a 20-by-8-by-8-foot container as part of an SBMA master class with artist Kim Yasuda and UCSB students in response to the museum’s current exhibit, “Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China,” and is intended to reflect issues of trade, labor and cheaply manufactured goods. A daily public performance takes place every afternoon from 4 pm to 5 pm, featuring music from found items, games and exchanging objects for the exhibit with visitors. WHEN: Through September 11, WHERE: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State Street, COST: free, INFO: 963-4364.

Irish plays end run – Geraldine Hughes’ one-woman show chronicling her upbringing in an Irish-Catholic family during “The Troubles” was stunningly moving when she presented it at Victoria Hall two years ago. At times hilarious and heartbreakingly tragic, Hughes uses only her voice and gestures to create more than 20 characters, from her parents and neighbors to the Hollywood producers who gave her an early break. Just back from a critically acclaimed run Off Broadway, the show plays in repertory with “The Good Thief,” which stars Conor Lovett in suddenly-hot Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s one-hour darkly dramatic portrait of a nameless Dublin thug struggling for salvation who finds redemption in a shattering moment. WHEN: Plays in repertory Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm; ends September 17, WHERE: Laurel Theater, 1106 East Main Street, Ventura, COST: $25-$49, discounts available, INFO: 667-2900.

CALM Design Showcase – Enjoy a gourmet brunch with interior designers Neil Korpinen and Rick Erickson and learn about their inspiration, design vision and materials that they selected to remake Las Tapias, the George Washington Smith home on Los Olivos Street (10 am on September 24; $50). Be among the first to preview new collections of women’s apparel, accessories and jewelry during a special Trunk Show at the Showcase House, which also includes a private tour and champagne reception (4 pm, September 18; $50). Take a tour with architect Thomas Bollay, an expert on 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture (September 17; $25). Enjoy a landscape architect tour with Derrik Eichelberger and Puck Erickson from Arcadia Studio as they explain about the design of the hardscape, landscape, lighting and plantings on the property (September 19; $25). Or just visit the home on your own time for a general tour of the home, now through October 1. WHERE: 232 East Los Olivos Street, INFO: 965-2376.

Thursday, September 14

Opera Under the Stars – The popular evening featuring sumptuous three-course dining and romantic tableside music winds up another summer. The final shows of the is given over to “Santa Barbara’s Spectacular Two Divas!” with soprano Deborah Bertling and mezzo-soprano Tihana Herceg. WHEN: Seatings at 6 pm and 8:15 pm, WHERE: 7 East Anapamu Street, COST: $50, INFO: 730-1463.

Friday, September 15

Channel Swim – Oceanducks, Santa Barbara’s ocean swimming adventure group, holds its third annual group swim across the pond from Santa Cruz Island to East Beach. More than 80 swimmers and kayakers will participate in the 26-mile long journey in relay form, beginning tonight and ending with an award ceremony and dinner party. A benefit for local environmental groups including Channelkeeper, the event is the annual bash for the swimmers who have braved the chilly ocean waters year-round for the last four years. You can still sign up to join in the fun, sponsor a participant, volunteer with the crew, or just cheer on the final swimmers as they arrive at East Beach. Get more info at 637-8331.

CALM antiques show – The antiques and decorative arts show and sale returns to the exhibit building at Earl Warren Showgrounds. Nearly 80 exhibitors show paintings, furniture, rugs, silver, pottery, jewelry and more and you can have items appraised. WHEN: Today through Sunday, WHERE: Las Positas and Calle Real, COST: $6, seniors $5, children free, INFO: 898-9715 or

Coward comedy at Bar B – Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre closes its season with Noel Coward’s comedy of manners “Relative Values.” Set in the 1950s, the play follows an American movie star and a British Earl who want to marry but first have to get through the members of his household and an American actor who all have other plans. Jim Cook, who has helmed theatrical productions in Santa Barbara for nearly 40 years, directs. WHEN: Friday & Saturday evenings at 6 pm, Sunday matinees at 2 pm through July 2, WHERE: Refugio Road, COST: $40, seniors $32 on Sundays (includes dinner and the show), INFO: 967-1962 or

Lloyd at Lobero – The venerable saxophonist Charles Lloyd, who has called Montecito home for more than 20 years, descends from his mountaintop retreat for a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of his classic live set, “Forest Flower,” one of the best-selling jazz albums in history. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: $38-$100, INFO: 963-0761.

Saturday, September 16

Chalk4Peace – ArtsAlive! sponsors the local tie-in to a global children’s art project offering kids an opportunity to express themselves along the beach wall by West Beach. WHEN: 9 am to 4 pm, WHERE: Cabrillo Street at Chapala Street, COST: free, INFO: 963-2278.

Sandcastle Festival – The annual is festival is fast becoming a fun and family-friendly beach bash that takes ephemeral art to new heights (pun intended). You can enter the competition, build something more casually or just strong along the high tide line and check out the amazing creations as groups, individuals and organizations create sand castles and sculptures out of the soft white stuff. Prizes are awarded in many categories and the fun extends beyond the building, with music, refreshments, a Surf-a-Duck race, treasure hunt, bouncy house, vendor booths also on tap. WHEN: 10 am to 6 pm, WHERE: East Beach (near the bath house), COST: free (entry fee for competition varies from $15-$75), INFO: 966-3979 or

‘Legends’ of dance – State Street Ballet kicks off its 2006-07 season with a look through time at the spirit of American dance. The new program features American choreographers, composers and singers, including “Texas Fourth” – Agnes de Mille’s take on social dances of the 1890s-1930s which hasn’t been performed since 1979 – featuring the original scenery and costumes from the ABT in New York, plus Peter Pucci’s “Baseball” and Margo Sappington’s “Shed Your Skin,” featuring music by the Indigo Girls. Also on the program is Robert Battle’s “Rush Hour,” which the troupe performed after just a week’s rehearsal during the recent SummerDance Festival. WHEN: 2 pm and 8 pm tonight, 8 pm tomorrow, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: $24-$48, discounts and subscriptions available, INFO: 963-0761.

Sunday, September 17

Examining the war – James Fallows, national correspondent for Atlantic Monthly, wrote about the perils of invading Iraq back in 2002. Fallows has continued producing award-winning reports while the country became mired in the long-lasting war, and he has just released a new book on the subject, “Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq.” Fallows discusses the situation and signs books in a lecture sponsored by the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at UCSB. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Victoria Hall, 33 West Victoria Street, COST: free, INFO: 893-2317.

Piano recital – Los Angeles-based pianist Wojciech Kocyan plays music by Beethoven, Chopin and Szymanowski in an afternoon recital at the Unitarian Society. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: 1535 Santa Barbara Street, COST: $15 ($10 students, seniors, USSB members), INFO: 965-4583.

Dancing with Stars – The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara presents its 2006 gala event, a dance party honoring philanthropists Anne and Michael Towbes. Activities include a sumptuous dinner, a live auction conducted by TV star Jay Thomas – with such items as Super Bowl XLI tickets, a cruise donated by Strictly Vacations and luxury accommodations in private homes in Vail and Oahu up for bid – and, of course, dancing to the soulful sounds of Side Effects. WHEN: 6 pm, WHERE: Bacara Resort & Spa, COST: call, INFO: 957-1115, ext. 123.

Monday, September 18

Mind & Supermind returns – The popular Adult Ed series kicks off a new year of talks on topics aimed at expanding the limits of consciousness and exploring new realms of healing and tapping new potential with Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, a decorated academic who is also the author of bestseller “Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer.” WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: free (registration required), INFO: 687-0812.

Wednesday, September 20

SBTHP Docent Training – Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation is looking for a few good men and women to serve as docents for the next year. Training begins tonight and continues for a total of six meetings through December 6, when participants will be able to lead guided tours of the Presidio and Casa de la Guerra, present slideshows at local schools, conduct demonstrations and the periodic Presidio Pastimes, and much more. Call 965-0093 for details and to reserve a spot.

Thursday, September 21

Book sale – The annual Planned Parenthood Book Sale – the largest used book event in the tri-county area – returns to the Earl Warren Showground. Tonight’s opening reception offers wine, cheese and other refreshments – plus a chance to be among the first to peruse the offerings of thousands of books in all genres and interests. The regular sale begins tomorrow, but be sure to stop by often and new titles are constantly being added throughout the event. WHEN: Reception 5 pm to 8 pm tonight, sale hours 10 am to 8 pm tomorrow through October 1 WHERE: Las Positas and Calle Real, COST: $20 tonight, otherwise free, INFO: 963-2445, ext. 121.

Meet someone NU – Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club sponsors a social mixer at Restaurant NU. Meet other dynamic and talented business professionals, network with colleagues, build business relationships and friendships and find out how you can serve the community. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and happy hour drink specials will be offered. WHEN: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, WHERE: 1129 State Street, COST: $10, INFO:

Final NIGHTS – The last NIGHTS of 2006 appropriately scales the heights of the old world in a salute to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome inspired by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s permanent collection of Antiquities, including marble Roman sculptures, Greek ceramics and ancient bronzes. Each gallery offers its own array of activities and/or performances, including Mount Olympus diadems, Bacchanal beats – a musical feast, welcome to Hades installation, Caligula’s last banquet portrait studio, dances of the ancient world, Neptune & Nereid necklaces, a mixed media mural and, of course, Plato’s Absolut cave martini and hors d’oeuvres from Epiphany. WHEN: 5:30 pm to 8 pm, WHERE: 1130 State Street, COST: $25 ($10 discount for museum members), INFO: 884-6414.

Day of Peace – Join the worldwide celebration to commemorate the 25th annual United Nations International Day of Peace. More than 160 countries participate, and here in Santa Barbara the event features words of hope from local community leaders, songs from several singers backed by an all-star local band and a candlelight vigil. All ages, faiths and political beliefs are welcome. WHEN: 6:30 pm, WHERE: Courthouse Sunken Gardens, 100 East Anapamu Street, COST: free.

Friday, September 22

‘Dames’ in Danish-land – PCPA Theaterfest closes out the summer season with the dynamic, toe-tapping musical “Dames at Sea.” The spoof of Busby Berkeley backstage films such as 1942 made Bernadette Peters into a star when it ran Off Broadway in 1969, and features such memorable numbers and “Raining in My Heart” and “Broadway Baby.” Say goodbye to Solvang with a song in your heart. WHEN: 8 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, through October 8, WHERE: 420 Second Street, Solvang, COST: $18.25-$29.75; discounts available for students, seniors, children and subscribers, INFO: 922-8313.

Stories from the Edge – Four local authors read short stories exploring issues of sexuality, crime and other darker areas of the human existence in this special fall presentation from the Speaking of Stories series. Joe Treasure reads “The Male Gaze,” about an English couple who are out of their element at a party with L.A. intellectuals; John Luca shares his “A Taste of Brandy,” which examines the world of attraction and sexuality and its impact on our lives; Saral Burdette offers “My Pride and Prejudice,” dealing with the hidden agendas that emerge at a women’s camping weekend; and E. Bonnie Lewis reads Susan Chiavelli’s “Maybe it Happened this Way,” an eerily personal story of loss of innocence through sexual crime. WHEN: 8 pm tonight & tomorrow, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra), COST: $20 (students $15), INFO: 963-0408.

Saturday, September 23

Flamenco Arts Festival – The annual festival celebrates the fiery music and dance with several events spread out over eight days around town, including today’s opening concert for children (2 pm at the Lobero, $9 general, children under 12 free) and tonight’s presentation of the Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company, starring the grand niece of legendary dancer Carmen Amaya. Get a complete schedule online at WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: $42.50-$57.50 (students $27.50), INFO: 963-0761.

Wednesday, September 27

Born to Loose – Santa Barbara has another new theater company! The Loose Affiliation of Artists – formed just last April by three recent theater graduates of local colleges (including two Westmont alums) and a 15-year veteran – presents the local debut of Neil LaBute’s “The Shape of Things.” Written by the writer-director of “Your Friends and Neighbors” and “In the Company of Men” and the current film “The Wicker Man,” the play explores the difficult questions of the price one will pay in the search for love. And here’s something new: a cocktail hour (beer and wine served) precedes each performance at 7 pm. WHEN: 8 pm tonight-Saturday and October 5-7, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala at De la Guerra), COST: free preview tonight, $15 general (students and under 30 $10), INFO: 963-0408 or

Thursday, September 28

Old Town Harvest Festival – Santa Barbara’s Downtown Organization sponsors this opportunity to eat, drink and be merry at various locations right in the heart of town in this extremely popular annual event. Local growers from the Santa Barbara Certified Farmer’s Market are paired with restaurants to present tasty appetizers prepared with fresh, in-season produce and other ingredients, and you can sample local wines and a special harvest beer from Santa Barbara Brew Co., as you move between the various establishments. The final party ups the ante with more food, a raffle and music by King Bee. Proceeds benefit the Downtown Children’s Holiday Parade. WHEN: Tour 5 pm to 7:30 pm; party 7 pm to 9 pm, WHERE: Begins and ends at Samy’s Camera, 614 Chapala Street, COST: $40 (advance purchase recommended), INFO: 962-2098, ext. 22, or