‘Independence’ Day – Theater UCSB kicks off its new season with “Independence,” a dramantic play by Lee Blessing that examines one woman’s complex relationship with her children and its impact on her view of herself as a woman in the world. WHEN: 8 pm nightly through Nov. 18, plus 2 pm Nov. 18, WHERE: Performing Arts Theatre on the UCSB campus, COST: $17 general, $13 students, INFO: 893-3535 or

‘Still Life’ with Carlin – Montecito junior Carlin Traxler stars as Iris in Santa Barbara High School’s fall production of “Still Life With Iris,” fantasy-adventure that examines the nature of memory, familial relationships and the search for home. The high-production value – co-author/illusionist Steffan Soule provided some technical support for the magic tricks – will make you forget you’re back at high school. WHEN: 7 pm nightly through Nov. 18, WHERE: 700 East Anacapa Street, COST: $10 adults, $5 students/children, INFO: 966-9101, ext 220.

Get your ‘Goat’ – Genesis West concludes its opening play of the new season, Edward Albee’s startling Tony Award winner, “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” starring Robert Lesser, Leslie Gangl Howe and Tom Hinshaw. WHEN: 8 pm through Nov. 18, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra upstairs), COST: $20 (students $15), INFO: 963-0408.

Philandering philosopher – “Hannah & Martin” – which tackles the thorny thicket of romance amid political controversy and stars Ed Giron and Meredith McMinn – winds up its Santa Barbara debut, WHEN: 8 pm nightly through Nov. 18, plus 3 pm Sunday, Nov. 19, WHERE: Victoria Hall, 33 W. Victoria St., COST: $25, students/seniors $20, INFO: (323) 964-4484.

Thursday, November 16

Regular guy – He’s never had a hit TV series or even a big HBO comedy special. His one and only album came out in 1997. But Brian Regan has found a devoted following through 20 years of honing his act – known for clean, crisp comedy on current events – across the country and on appearances on the late-night talk shows. The “You Too” tour hits town for one night only. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theater, 1317 State St., COST: $32, INFO: 963-4408.

Flute follies – You’ve to have a lot of moxie to bill a concert as “Girls Against Guys,” but nobody ever accused erstwhile Santa Barbara flutist Rebecca Kleinmann of being a wallflower. The show combines two dynamic trios – you guessed it, comprised of single sex musicians – to form a sextet brimming with acoustic-flamenco-Brazilian -Jazz-Groove fusion music. Bonus: It’s also Kleinmann’s birthday. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $10, INFO: 962-7776 or

Friday, November 17

Two centuries of music – Camerata Pacifica’s November entry spans two decades of classical music – from Mozart to Hindemith, Schnittke and Dohnányi – and features violinist Jennifer Frautschi, past recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Grant. Frautschi joins pianist Jean Cohen, cellist Paul Cohen and Cam Pac regulars Catherine Leonard (violin), Donald McInnes (viola) and founder Adrian Spence (flute) for two concerts in town (no Hindemith or Schnittke at 1 pm). WHEN: 1 pm & 7:30 pm, WHERE: Lehmann Hall at Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd., COST: $20 (1 pm) & $48, INFO: 884-8410.

Dig this – Santa Barbara Junior High School performs a stage version of the 1998 National Book Award winner “Holes,” by Louis Sachar. The story of a regular kid wrongly convicted of theft and sent to a strange correctional camp in a Texas desert where the warden forces the inmates to dig holes in a dry lake bed, “Holes” was also turned into a 2003 movie released by Disney by Montecito director Andrew Davis. WHEN: 7:30 pm tonight and tomorrow, WHERE: Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High, 721 E. Cota St., COST: $10, INFO: 963-7751 ext. 317.

Legend in our time – Like so many soul crooners of years past, R&B/soul singer-pianist John Legend – born John Stephens – first found his voice in Philadelphia, when he was hired to play piano behind Lauryn Hill as a teenager in 1998. Moving to New York, he released a few CDs on his own and did sessions with everyone from Alicia Keys to Janet Jackson to Kanye West before the latter signed the singer to his own boutique label in 2004, and Stephens became Legend. “Get Lifted,” his studio debut, sported a smash single “Ordinary People” that propelled the album into the Top 5 and eventually garnered three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist. Legend’s new album, “Once Again,” will be on display when he makes his Santa Barbara debut tonight at the Arlington, on a double-bill with pop-R&B singer Robin Thicke, son of the actor, Alan Thicke, who resides in Carpinteria. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., COST: $22.50-$41.50, INFO: 963-4408.

Raging rhythms – Mombasa Party, featuring The Royal Drummers of Burundi, is a world music wonder combining traditional acoustic songs and riveting drumming. The outfit boasts a pair of East African lead singers – Maulidi Juma and Zuhura Swaleh –who each have 30 years experience as trance-inducing taarab artists, performing the music of Swahili-speaking people of Tanzania and Kenya in its original, stripped down format. The Burundi drummers, perhaps best known in this country for appearing on Joni Mitchell’s 1975 album “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” (and influencing both Adam Ant and Bow Wow Wow), bring even more tradition to the table, having passed down techniques from father to son for centuries. WHEN: 8 pm WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $40, INFO: 893-3535 .

Swing reunion – Jonathan Bixby & Sylvia Sykes have been teaching swing dancing in Santa Barbara for more than 25 years, but it’s only in the last few that they’ve finally recognized their legacy and instituted an annual reunion dance. The duo, which sponsors bi-weekly swing dances (on the first and third Fridays of each month), invites all previous students and dancers of all stripes and levels to the pre-Thanksgiving event, which this year features music by Stompy Jones. WHEN: 8:30 to midnight (free lesson 7:30 pm), WHERE: Carrillo Recreation Center, 100 E. Carrillo St., COST: $12, INFO: 569-1952.

Saturday, November 18

From orphan to activist – Robert Meeropol was six years old when his parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were sent to the electric chair in 1953, executed for espionage in a case that still creates controversy more than half a century later. Meeropol – now an attorney, activist and leader of a public foundation he started as a legacy to his parents – is coming to town for two events examining the current political climate and its relationship to his parents’ case. Meeropol speaks this morning at the free “Saturday Morning Live” breakfast series at Congregation B’Nai B’rith (breakfast 8:15 am, talk 9 am). On Monday, he’ll repeat the address – entitled “McCarthy Era Lessons for Bush’s America,” which offers his unique perspective of the current administration’s claimed powers to investigate citizens in the name of preventing terrorism – at UCSB’s Sociology Conference Room at Ellison Hall at 1 pm. Meeropol will sign copies of his book, “An Execution in the Family,” following both presentations. For information call 964-7869 or e-mail

Holiday home tours – Visit four distinctive homes in the Ojai Valley, each adorned with seasonal decorations, in this 10th annual event that benefits the Ojai Music Festival’s educational program. Guests can tour the private dwellings that have been festooned with floral arrangements and trimming created by Ventura County florists while enjoying music and other entertainment at each home, and then shop at a holiday boutique at the Taft Botanic Garden, with unique gifts crafted by Ojai artisans and vendors. WHEN: 10 am to 4 pm today and tomorrow, COST: $25 advance, $30 day of event, INFO: 646-2094 ext. 100 or

Holiday marketplace – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s annual Holiday Marketplace offers gift-buyers a wide selection of hand-crafted jewelry, wearable art, whimsical wind-up toys and various other nature-inspired presents and stocking stuffers created by local artisans. WHEN: 10 am to 4 pm today and tomorrow, WHERE: 1212 Mission Canyon Rd., COST: free, INFO: 682-4726 ext. 112.

Zart – Local artist Larry Iwerks hosts a weekly gathering of works by more than 32 local artists, primarily with a focus on landscape paintings, at his Weldon Art Ranch on the Mesa through the end of the year. Paintings of the Channel Islands, Santa Barbara native trees and stretches of local coastline will be accompanied by renditions of the Eastern Sierra Aspens and Death Valley deserts. WHEN: 1 pm to 4 pm today and tomorrow and every weekend through Dec. 24, WHERE: 958 Weldon Rd. (near Arroyo Ave.), COST: free, INFO: 965-5486.

Matinee concert – Santa Barbara Music Club’s semi-monthly free concert series continues with works by Schubert, Bach, Quilter and other composers performed by local musicians pianist Neil di Maggio, Karen Corbett and Hee-Kyung Juhn, flutist Andrea di Maggio and soprano Joyce McWilliams. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or

Stand-up guy – Is any comedian/social satirist on the planet hotter than Jon Stewart right now? A maverick in the 1990s with “The Larry Sanders Show,” Stewart has hosted Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” since 1999, turning the program into (with apologies to NBC) truly must-see TV that has earned multiple Emmy and Peabody Awards. His “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction” spent more than three months at the top of The New York Times bestseller list in 2004, and his turn as the host of the 2006 Academy Awards show – his Oscar debut – gave the broadcast an outsider’s edge that had been missing for years. Tonight’s 75-minute stand-up routine represents a rare return to his roots as a comedian. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB Events Center, COST: $70 $90 ($200 Gold Circle), INFO: 963-4408 or 893-3535.

The road to Hell – Bluesman Sonny Landreth has never really left the Louisiana Delta behind – despite years as a road-dog traveling the byways of both city and country and beyond, the slide guitarist has maintained his connection to the down-home, simple approach of his youth, albeit one these days backed by a loud, hard-driving band. Opening act for this Sings Like Hell concert is Eugene Edwards, the new power-pop darling whose impossibly catchy melodies have earned him a reputation as a cross between Elvis Costello and Sings Like Hell veterans Marshall Crenshaw and Nick Lowe. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $39.50 advance, $42.50 at the door, INFO: 963-0761.

Sunday, November 19

Winter concert – The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s annual seasonal performance includes Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 (“The Great”), Liszt’s “Les Preludes and Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No. 8 (“Christmas Concerto.”) WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $13, students $10, children under 5 free, INFO: 963-0761.

Irish duo in Ojai – Fiddler Liz Carroll – who captured the All Ireland Fiddle Championship when she was 18 – and guitarist John Doyle, an original member of the popular Irish band Solas, perform Irish instrumental music and ballads in the monthly concert series at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ojai. WHEN: 4 pm, WHERE: 409 Topa Topa Drive, COST: $16 advance, $18 at the door, INFO: 646-5163.

Miami spice – Tiempo Libre is a Miami-based young Latin band that specializes in timba, a high-energy blend of Latin jazz and Cuban son. The Grammy-nominated outfit’s members all toured and recorded separately with such Latin artists as Cachao, Arturo Sandoval and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and came together between projects to create the band, leading to its name, which means “Free Time.” This free concert is sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures as part of the new program “Viva El Arte de Santa Barbara.” WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High, 721 E. Cota St., INFO: 893-3535.

Tuesday, November 21

Singer-songwriter soirée – The nexus between Sings Like Hell and SOhO continues with this evening of mostly acoustic music from three stalwarts of the Los Angeles scene, with Sings Like Hell vet Jeff Caudill headlining. Caudill, who opened for Todd Snider back in July, 2005, scales back from the emo/punk approach of his original band, Gameface, on his solo disc “Here’s What You Should Do,” while Southern-born Mike Burns trades the stripped down sound for a more rock-oriented approach on his debut disc, “Where the Heart Is,” just out this month. Meanwhile, Jay Nash, a frequent visitor to the club, showcases his songs full of sturdy, bright melodies on his latest album, “Some Kind of Comfort,” WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $10, INFO: 962-7776.