As a developing company, Santa Barbara Theatre sometimes finds itself here and out of town giving benefit performances to restore its coffers for this next bustling season of fanfare. Last month, the theater troupe put together a net of $3,000 when 52 guests gathered at the Getty Villa in Malibu for a performance of “Hippolytos,” the Greek tragedy that sets forth four principal cast members backed by a chorus of five women.

The play ran without intermission for 90 minutes with the façade of the museum used as a dramatic backdrop for the outdoor stage. Set and lighting designers made artistic use of that façade with long flowing drapes and colored lighting techniques that were paced with the chorus’s chanting.

“It is interesting that the feedback from the audiences about the play is positive and enthusiastic, given that it was written in 428 BC,” Stephen Sachs, the company’s co-artistic director, said after the performance.

“Forever Plaid,” Santa Barbara Theatre’s first show of the season, opens on October 25 and runs for four performances at the Lobero Theatre. For more info call 963-7282 or e-mail


The Santa Barbara Museum of Art phenomenon known as Nights, the mega-successful party series that mixed socialites and young professionals once a month, came to a close recently with a toast to the gods and goddesses of Greece and Rome. Conceived three years ago, by Montecito resident Kristy Tomas, the themed gatherings have burgeoned into frenzied scenes of activity, where costumed revelers mingle with business types in suits with the backdrop of art and music guiding the entertainment. Seen here at this year’s Nights finale marveling at the museum’s Greek sculpture are (from left) Paul Guido, a museum docent, Steve Blain, managing director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Roger Durling, the film festival’s executive director, and Nick Davaz, of Simpson House.

For more information on Nights and other museum events, call 884-6414.