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ETC embraces Pinter – Ensemble Theater Co., launches its 27th season with Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal.” One of the 2005 Nobel laureate’s most accessible plays, “Betrayal” charts a seven-year affair between a literary agent and the wife of his best friend in reverse chronological order. While the technique has become a gimmick made popular by such movies as “Memento,” Pinter uses the time shifting to elicit even greater poignancy out his two nimble characters, whose sharp language and subtle nuances require close attention. WHEN: Tuesdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm and 7 pm through October 22, WHERE: 914 State Street, COST: $25-$37 (discounts for seniors, students, groups) INFO: 962-8606 or www.ensembletheatre.com.

RTC takes on the ‘Man’ – The Rubicon Theatre Co., closes out its year-long Dale Wasserman festival with the playwright’s best-loved work, “Man of La Mancha.” The production – timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the publishing of “Don Quixote,” upon which “La Mancha” is based – represents the largest and most lavish musical ever to appear on the theater’s intimate stage. The five-time Tony Award-winning musical, which features the moving hit “The Impossible Dream,” has a cast of 25. WHEN: Wednesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, plus matinees at 2 pm, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sunday through November 5, WHERE: Laurel Theater, 1106 East Main Street, Ventura, COST: $34-$59, discounts available, INFO: 667-2900.

Sleepy Hollow – El Capitan Ranch gets into the hallo-day spirit with weekend “Haunted Halloween Hay Wagon Rides.” Listen to a narration of Washington Irvine's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" as you travel through the haunted groves of the rural ranch, and keep on the lookout for The Headless Horseman. WHEN: Friday and Saturday evenings through October 27, COST: $15 (kids under 4 free), INFO: 685-1147.

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 October 29, WHERE: Refugio Road, COST: $40, seniors $32 on Sundays (includes dinner and the show, INFO: 967-1962 or www.circlebarbtheatre.com.

New UAM show – University Art Museum’s new exhibit “Dali’s Divine Comedy,” comprises a comprehensive selection of wood engraving prints created by the famed surrealist for Dante Alighieri’s epic Renaissance masterpiece. The 100 prints – completed over the course of a decade later in the painter’s career – correspond to the three canticas of “The Divine Comedy” and are part of the museum’s permanent collection, although this is their first public display. WHEN: noon to 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday, today through December 3, WHERE: UCSB campus (park in lot 23), COST: free, INFO: 893-7564.

Thursday, October 12

Lit Moon’s ‘World’ – Westmont College right here in Montecito is the host site for the “World Shakespeare Festival,” the first international theater festival celebrating the playwright ever held on American soil. Five international companies and the local Lit Moon ensemble are staging nine fully produced Shakespeare plays, plus panels, lectures, exhibits, music, performance art and more over the course of 11 days. See “On Stage” on page 68 for a feature article on the event, and get a full schedule online at litmoon.com.

Friday, October 13

Festival of Art – Now in its eighth year, the newly renamed Santa Barbara Festival of Arts has dropped its general admission price as well as the “And Jazz” moniker in favor of a more eclectic musical lineup. Hence the inclusion of funk favorites Area 51 and traditional Cuba Charanga dance band Orquesta Guama – and a stronger focus on the art and food vendors. More than 100 artists are participating in the juried art show and Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines have helped select the chefs. Take in the sights and sounds and maybe take home a new masterpiece. WHEN: 5 pm to 9 pm tonight, 11 am to 9 pm tomorrow and 11 am to 6 pm Sunday, WHERE: Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 100 East Anapamu Street, COST: free, INFO: 884-1881 or (800) 538-1881.

Dancers Ball – What began four years ago as a more participatory off-shoot of the annual BASSH dance performances has now become its own highly anticipated yearly event that benefits its sponsor, Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. Many of the performers from BASSH reprise their on-stage roles, only now you can join them on the dance floor just as soon as they’re through. DJ Mike Loeza spins an eclectic mix of danceable music – from ballroom to Argentine Tango to Swing to Salsa (the ‘H’ in BASSH – Hip-Hop – isn’t a focus of the ball) – for pros and amateurs alike to mix it up, or you can enjoy the tasty appetizers and bid on the silent auction items as you observe the action. The choice is yours. WHEN: 8 pm to midnight, WHERE: Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 East Cabrillo Street, COST: $25 ($3 discount for SBDA members), INFO: 966-6950 or www.sbdancealliance.org.

Saturday, October 14

‘Wonderland’ in Santa Barbara – Ensemble’s Storybook Theater opens its 19th Children’s Theater season with an encore presentation of “Alice in Wonderland.” Company director Miller James’ adaptation turned Lewis Carroll’s classic fantasy into a 50 minute musical and watched it play to sold-out houses six years ago. For the new production, Kate Louise Paulsen, who performed in Storybook’s “Tale of the Magic Flute” and is a current member of Lit Moon, stars as Alice. Now as then the production is geared toward children from kindergarten through sixth grade, but older children, teachers and adults will also find something to love in the captivating characters and lively songs. WHEN: Noon today and next Saturday, October 21, WHERE: 914 State Street, COST: $8 children, $12 adults, INFO: 962-8606 or www.ensembletheatre.com.

‘Short’ work – When the eclectic Bay Area duo Four Shillings Short returns to town for an encore engagement at the Song Tree concert series, they’ll be toting, as always, nearly two dozen instruments, including hammered dulcimer, mandola, tin whistle, sitar, banjo and percussion. Expect to hear everything from traditional Irish airs to classical Indian ragas, old-time ballads and Renaissance instrumentals, plus, of course, contemporary folk compositions. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Live Oak Universalist Unitarian Congregation, 820 North Fairview, Goleta, COST: $15 INFO: 403-2369 or www.songtree.org.

The beginning is Nir – Santa Barbara Symphony launches both a new season and a brand new music director. Nir Kabaretti takes over the podium after besting eight other candidates in an exhaustive two-year conductor search to replace Gisele Ben-Dor, who departed after 12 years at the helm. Violinist Jennifer Frautschi is the soloist on a program featuring works by Wagner, Prokofiev and Brahms. (See “Classical Connection” on page 66 for an interview with Kabaretti.) WHEN: 8 pm tonight, 3 pm tomorrow WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State Street, COST: $37-$65, INFO: 963-4408.

Sunday, October 15

Brew crew – The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History delves into the background of beer in its latest entry in a series of food events. Hear the history of beer from The Brewhouse’s Pete Johnson, learn about the brewing process from Paul Wright of Island Brewing Company, and hone in on home-brewing with the Santa Barbeerian Brew Club. Following the talks, it’s sample time, with a variety of breweries and local restaurants and food shops serving up delicacies and libations, plus polka music from Santa Barbara’s own eclectic ensemble Headless Household. WHEN: 2 pm to 5:30 pm, WHERE: 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, COST: $60 ($15 discount for museum members) / Star Party $2 (free for members), INFO: 682-4711 ext. 170 or www.sbnature.org.

Monday, October 16

Truly Julie – Ojai-based singer Julie Christensen boasts a long (and continuing) stint as accompanist to much-cherished and suddenly hot again singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, and a track record in pop, soul and country. But it’s her jazz chops that are in evidence on her brand new CD, “Something Familiar” (released by Santa Barbara-based Household Records), and that will be showcased in tonight’s gig at SOhO. The title is something of a clever ruse: the songs might be familiar, but the presentations are not. Witness Christensen’s take on Mingus’ “Orange Was the Color of her Dress, Then Silk Blues,” with original lyrics by Christensen. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 1221 State Street, upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $10, INFO: 962-7776.

Tuesday, October 17

Music at the Museum I – The Calder Quartet, like its namesake, the American visual artist Alexander Calder, continues to push the boundaries of its genre, creating chamber music that blends the traditional with cutting edge approaches to the string quartet. Appointed the Julliard School’s Graduate Resident Quartet for the current season, the Calder returns to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art for another innovative program. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: 1130 State Street, COST: $19 ($ discount for members), INFO: 884-6423,

Thursday, October 19

Buffett serving – The Florida-based laid-back master of mellow party music, Jimmy Buffett, returns to the Santa Barbara Bowl. Forget the cheeseburgers, but we sure do have paradise. WHEN: 7 pm, WHERE: Milpas at Anapamu Street, COST: $52.50-$185.50, INFO: 962-7411.

Music at the Museum II – Like the Calder Quartet, which performs at the same venue two days earlier, classical guitarist Paul Galbraith doesn’t follow the straight and narrow. He performs on a unique eight-string guitar that contains an extra string at both ends of the register and is held like a cello, a design that increases both its technical capacity and sonic capabilities, which should lend added resonance to his program featuring works by Rameau, Bach, Mozart, Ravel and Czech composer Petr Eben. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: 1130 State Street, COST: $19 ($ discount for members), INFO: 884-6423.

Friday, October 20

Chamber heaven – Camerata Pacifica’s second program of the new season brims with selections from classical heavyweights and stars the new core of the chamber music ensemble: flutist and founder Adrian Spence, violinist Catherine Leonard, violist Donald McInnes, cellist Ani Aznavoorian and pianist Warren Jones. You can’t go wrong with four pieces by Brahms, plus one each from Haydn, Mozart and Vaughn Williams. WHEN: 1 pm and 7:30 pm, WHERE: Lehmann Hall at Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road, COST: $20 (1 pm) and $48, INFO: 884-8410.

Comedy at SBCC – SBCC Theatre Group offers up some frothy fall fun, kicking off its new season with the modern comedy “The Foreigner.” Larry Shue’s best-known work, the play finds Charlie, whose wife has left him at a rural Georgia inn, pretending he doesn’t speak English to cover up his shame and shyness. Instead, he becomes privy to everybody’s secrets and important information that requires some quick decisions (and lots of comic timing). SBCC veteran Edward Lee handles the role made famous by Matthew Broderick in a 2004 Broadway revival. WHEN: Opens 8 pm tonight, plays 8 pm Thursday through Saturday, 2 pm Sundays through November 4, WHERE: Garvin Theatre on SBCC’s West Campus, 800 Cliff Drive, COST: $19-$21 (discounts for students, seniors and groups), INFO: 965-5935.

Saturday, October 21

Museum 3-in-1 – The Santa Barbara Museum of Art opens three new exhibits dedicated to California works from the early part of last century. “Artists at Continent’s End: The Monterey Peninsula Art Colony, 1875-1907” features 70 landscape paintings, photographs and works on paper; “Lost and Found: California Pictorialist Photographs from the Dennis Reed Collection" comprises 30 vintage prints drawn from more than 700 associated with the movement; “Alice Burr: A California Pictorialist Rediscovered” features 27 prints drawn from her strongest known and was organized in conjunction with the artist’s family. WHEN: 11 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays-Sundays, through January 7, WHERE: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State Street, COST: $9 (discounts for seniors, students and children; free every Sunday), INFO: 963-4364.

Goleta Lemon Festival – It would take up a lot less space to list the events and activities that aren’t available at this celebration, which over the past 14 years has become the largest bash in the Goleta Valley. This year, in addition to the lemon-related foods, ample arts-and-crafts vendors, family fun favorites (including the popular pie-eating contest and amusement park rides), and musical mish-mash, organizers have added the Goleta Fall Classic Car, Motorcycle and Street Rod Show and the Girls Inc., 5K Run. Check your pulse if you can’t find something fun to do here. WHEN: 10 am to 6 pm today and tomorrow. WHERE: Girsh Park, 7050 Phelps Road, Goleta, COST: free, INFO: (800) 646-5382.

Salute to Shostakovich – In celebration of the Russian composer’s 100th birthday, the Santa Barbara Music Club kicks off its 2006-07 season of free community concerts with a full program of Shostakovich works, including a sonata, three preludes, a clarinet trio and “Six Romances on Lyrics by British Poets.” Music Club President Emil Torick makes a rare appearance on violin for the trio, and UCSB faculty members Betty Oberacker (piano) and Geoffrey Rutkowski (cello) also perform. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street, COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or www.sbmusicclub.org.

Hell turns 20 – The Sings Like Hell concert series kicks off its 20th season with some old friends: Kevin Welch and Kieran Kane. For this special milestone show, the duo will be joined by percussionist Lucas Kane and multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin, fleshing out the duo’s already weighty material. Singer-songwriter Michael Fracasso, who opens the performance, is an insightful yet intense artist whose high tenor is matched by his guitar dexterity and songwriting prowess. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 West Canon Perdido Street, COST: $39.50 advance, $42.50 at the door (Series tickets: 6 shows for $150-180), INFO: 963-0761.

Sunday, October 22

Sonny’s back – The sax man the Village Voice dubbed “the last jazz immortal” returns to UCSB. Sonny Rollins, whose career has spanned nearly 60 years and has been marked by several self-induced sabbaticals for introspection or woodshedding, has a brand new album, “Sonny, Please,” that represents some of his most original work in years. WHEN: 7 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $65, INFO: 893-3535.

Tuesday, October 24

French ballet – Lyon Opera Ballet enjoys a worldwide reputation for dancers possessing immense talent, enormous skill and remarkable physical beauty – attributes which all come into play in the company’s diverse repertoire of demanding and expressive contemporary dance. Tonight’s program features frequent collaborator Aussie William Forsythe’s “Steptext,” Lyon newcomer Sasha Waltz’s “Fantasie,” and French dancer and choreographer Maguy Marin’s ”Grosse Fugue.” Members of the company will also teach a community dance class (7:30 pm October 23 at Santa Barbara Ballet Center, 1019 B Chapala Street; 966-6950) and will conduct a Meet-the-Artist discussion following tonight’s performance. Come early for an optional pre-concert French Buffet at the UCSB Faculty Club (6 pm, $20; 893-3096). WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $45, INFO: 893-3535.

Wednesday, October 25

Musical debut – Santa Barbara Theatre Co., launches its second season with its first musical production, the long-running nostalgia comedy “Forever Plaid.” The members of a doo-wop quartet return to Earth for one final concert featuring such ‘50s and ’60s hits as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Sixteen Tons” and “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” Drew Geraci makes his Santa Barbara Theatre debut as director. WHEN: 8 pm, tonight through Friday (no performance Saturday), 2 pm Sunday, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, COST: $15-$57.50 (subscriptions available at 963-7282), INFO: 963-0761.

CAMA commences – Pianist Emanuel Ax is soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra – the 35-year-old Grammy Award-winning quartet that is in residency at Carnegie Hall – in the season-opening concert from Community Artists Music Association. The all-Mozart program features the Overture to “Cosi Fan Tutte,” Symphony No. 35, “Haffner,” and – befitting the organization’s 88th season in Santa Barbara (one per key on the piano) – two piano concertos. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State Street, COST: $30-$65, INFO: 963-4408.