Albee by the sea – SBCC Theatre Group takes on one of the American masters of the stage in presenting the absurdist/existentialist comedy satire “Seascape,” by Edward Albee. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play examines emotions, intelligence and the very nature of life itself in a setting by the sea that finds ocean-bound creatures venturing on shore to encounter a bored middle-aged couple. WHEN: 8 pm Thurs.-Sat, 2 pm Sundays through May 12, WHERE: Jurkowitz Theatre on SBCC’s West Campus, 800 Cliff Dr., COST: $14 previews, $19 general, $21 on Friday and Saturday evenings (discounts for students, seniors and groups), INFO: 965-5935.

Art abounds – The Santa Barbara Museum of Art continues its series of exhibitions devoted to California artists with this show of prints from Ansel Adams, the famed photographer of the American West. The exhibit, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection including recent acquisitions, ranges from early, delicate prints from the 1920s, to elegant images of the Grand Tetons and the Sierra Nevadas originally made in the 1940s, and a heroic mural-size photograph of ranchland in Petaluma from the early 1950s. The museum has also unveiled a new collection of 13 works by French Impressionist and American artists from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries, including such notables as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Berthe Morisot and Anna Mary Robertson "Grandma" Moses. Known as the Dwight and Winifred Vedder Collection after the couple who donated them, the paintings – which will become part of the museum’s permanent collection – are the second most significant gift of art given to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in its 66-year history. WHEN: 11 am to 5 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, (Adams through June 23), WHERE: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St., COST: $9 (discounts for seniors, students and children; free every Sunday), INFO: 963-4364.

Thursday, May 3

Country boys – They don’t make ‘em much more authentic than Willie Nelson and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. While the wayward outlaw Nelson – one of the most prolific writers in the genre this side of Nashville – and the freewheeling, grizzled underground folk/cowboy poet Elliott haven’t appeared much on the same stage, their well-traveled paths have often crossed, and each has about half a century of experience. While Nelson returns to town via the casino circuit, Ramblin’ Jack is still hoofin’ it down at SOhO. Nelson: WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 3400 Hwy. 246 in Santa Ynez, COST: $65-$135, INFO: (800) CHUMASH. Elliott: WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $20, INFO: 962-7776.

Afro-Cuban dance master – Ginga Multicultural Arts Center hosts Ramon Ramos Alayo in workshops in Afro-Cuban, modern and salsa dance. Alayo, who has a Master’s degree from Havana’s National School of Art, was the principal dancer with Danza del Caribe, Narciso Medina Contemporary Dance Company. He performed in Cuba, Europe, Canada, Belize and the U.S. before establishing the Alayo Dance Company. Classes are scheduled for 11 am to 1 pm today (salsa), 3 pm to 5 pm today (Afro-Cuban, rumba), and 11 am to 1 pm tomorrow (Cuban salsa, casino rueda). WHERE: 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez, COST: $25 per class in advance, $30 at the door, INFO: 963-2278.

1st Thursday presages Cinco de Mayo – Get a two-day head start on celebrating Mexico’s independence day via the monthly art-and-culture event in downtown Santa Barbara. Many of the visual and performing art segments – from artist receptions to live music, demonstrations and more – will have a Mexican or Latino flavor. Brooks Institute presents “Visions of Mexico,” Channing Peake Gallery opens the “Continuing the Latino Tradition” exhibition – which encompasses 20 Latino artists working and living in California – while the flamenco-rumba band Luna Gitana offers danceable beats in front of the Art Museum at the corner of State and Anapamu streets. WHEN: 5 pm to 8 pm, COST: free, INFO:

Premiere preview – PAL After Hours-DIJO Productions and Virtual Theatre Company are teaming up to present a brand new play called “Not Quite Fifteen Rounds with Jackson Pollock,” by Bruce Clarke and starring Ed Giron and Jennifer Gimblin. But first they’re putting together tonight’s excerpts and readings from the play followed by a discussion with the actors and director Aaron Levin and a reception. WHEN: 5:30 pm, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra), COST: $5, INFO: 563-8068.

‘Wiz’ of a play – Ease on down the road to nearby Goleta as San Marcos High School presents the funk-rock musical adapted from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” San Marcos theater department head David Holmes directs the show, in which Dorothy is played by Kelci Hahn and Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion are acted by Shane Scopatz, Kyran Million and Angky Budiarjono, respectively. Connor Fatch plays the Wiz, and Felica Stehmeier takes on the Wicked Witch of the West. WHEN: 7 pm tonight-Saturday and next Wednesday-Friday, May 9-11, WHERE: 4750 Hollister Ave., COST: call, INFO: 967-4581.

Friday, May 4

Festival Ballet benefit – Alumni, former students and current members of the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet come together for a single spring evening benefit performance aptly titled “Past, Present, Future: Dance in Bloom.” Chauncey Parsons, a Santa Barbara native who began dancing when he was 12 with the Santa Barbara Ballet Center and who is now a principal dancer with Colorado Ballet, returns to town to perform two solos and join his wife, Makino Hayashi, for a pas de deux. Other returning Festival Ballet alumni include Julianna Bertlesen, another Santa Barbara native who has danced professionally with numerous companies throughout the United States, and Melissa Ullom, who has danced professionally at Houston Ballet, Houston Grande Opera and Smuin Ballet San Francisco. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $25-$38, INFO: 963-0761.

Psycho-Grier – Most folks know David Grier’s flatpicking guitar wizardry via his group Psychograss or the myriad folk/Americana recordings he’s been a part of (Claire Lynch, Tony Furtado, Mark O’Connor, Darol Anger). Now the Grammy-winning guitarist, who has been the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Best Guitar Player of the Year for several years running, is doing a solo show at Santa Barbara’s newest acoustic music venue, the Mainstage at Jensen’s Guitar. (Grier also conducts a guitar workshop from 4 pm to 6 pm, $40). WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 2905 De La Vina St., COST: $15, INFO: 563-3200.

Eye of the Sparrow – Singer-songwriter and banjo player Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet, featuring banjo master Bela Fleck, may be one of the more eclectic outfits in the land. Washburn, a bilingual singer/songwriter who performs a pastiche of Sino-American old time bluegrass folk music, while Fleck, of course, is simply the premier banjoist in the world, a virtuoso and bending and creating genres all on his own. The quartet – which was originally assembled for a performance for the U.S. State Department in Tibet – is rounded out by classically-trained Casey Driessen’s bluegrass fiddle and Ben Sollee’s cello, ingredients for the makings of an amazing night of music. WHEN: 9 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $30 ($5 discount with dinner), INFO: 962-7776.

Saturday, May 5

Small Business Success Forum – Small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators of all types are invited to the largest annual gathering of expert resources here on the UCSB campus. The forum, free to attendees, features expert presentations, workshops and panels covering a full spectrum of topics from start-up through growing a biz, to turnaround of struggling enterprises. Also available: exhibits of resources from federal to local governmental levels, private entities and non-profit institutions, plus special advance programs. WHEN: 8 am to 4 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion, INFO: 879-1729.

Fiber Arts Guild – Silk painter/textile designer RoseMary Cohen presents a demonstration/workshop on custom-dyeing two-toned silk ribbons using the microwave, and using them to create flowers following the Guild’s monthly meeting. WHEN: 1 pm to 4 pm, WHERE: Shifco Community Center, Santa Fe Place near Cliff Drive, COST: $30, INFO: 564-9212 or

Thornhill at Song Tree – Ojai-based singer-songwriter Alan Thornhill – long a sideman to the stars (Chris Hillman, Kate Wolf) known for terrific acoustic work that won the Telluride Fingerstyle Guitar Championship several years back – is a crafty songwriter and superb singer whose music reflects the region. Thornhill returns to the Song Tree concert series following a sold-out appearance 15 months ago. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 820 N. Fairview, Goleta, COST: $15, INFO: 403-2639.

Tierney returns – Regular readers of this space already know of our allegiance and affection for jazz singer Tierney Sutton, who has basically re-invented the Great American Songbook via her ability to turn a phrase in so many unusual ways and perform in symmetry with her crack band. Sutton was nominated for a Grammy in 2005, and her latest CD, “On the Other Side,” perhaps her finest yet, is an eloquent interpretation of “happy” songs as introspective and melancholy ballads. Trumpeter Jack Sheldon – a five-time nominee for Playboy International Artist of the Year who performed the famed solo on the song “The Shadow of Your Smile” – is the special guest for this one-shot concert outside the Lobero’s Jazz Series. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $35 & $45, INFO: 963-0761.

Bright ideas – It will be interesting to see whether Conor Oberst, the Nebraska-bred singer-songwriter who created Bright Eyes, maintains his status as indie rock’s most unnerving voice – an appellation that comes from both his wobbly, shimmering vocals and his sharply drawn, self-affected lyrics – now that he’s fast approaching 30. In the meantime, tonight’s triple bill that also features faux-vintage singer-songwriter Gillian Welch and alt-country band Oakley Hall appears to be on of the new season’s best bets. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., COST: $35, INFO: 963-4408.

Sunday, May 6

Storytelling in music – This family community concert from the Santa Barbara Symphony features all-time family classic “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokofiev, plus a brand new work by local composer Peter Madlem based on the Newbery Medal-winning novel “Island of the Blue Dolphin,” by Scott O’Dell. Both pieces of music have a single instrument representing a character in the story so listeners can gain an understanding of the individual instruments and how they work together in an orchestra. “Dolphin” will also include a multimedia experience with digital images of the Channel Islands compiled by filmmaker Stephen Harrison. The symphony’s maestro, Nir Kabaretti, conducts. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $11.50 adults, $6.50 children 12 and under, INFO: 963-0761.

Puzzle master – New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz conducts an interactive program including brainteasers, word games and audience participation this afternoon at UCSB. Shortz, the editor of Games magazine for 15 years and founder and director of the American Crosswords Puzzle Tournament, was the impetus behind and co-star of last year’s intriguing and popular documentary “Wordplay.” WHEN: 4 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $35, INFO: 893-3535 or

Wednesday, May 9

Morning music – Santa Barbara Music Club gets pretty with a romantic music-filled program that kicks off with Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata, Liszt’s “Un Sospiro” etude and Debussy’s “Pour le Piano,” all played by pianist Neil di Maggio. Also on the program: “Suite No. 1 in G major” and “Suite No. 3 in C major” by Praeludium, performed by violist Seth Noorzad, and Barber’s “Sonata, Op. 6” with Nona Pyron on cello and Lynn Goforth on piano. WHEN: 11 am, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or

Bad to the bone – The Bad Plus occupies a space that falls somewhere between indie rock and post-modern jazz, creating music so intelligent that it explains why, despite four critically acclaimed albums, the band hasn’t progressed beyond cult status. The forward-thinking music that features heady instrumentals in an acoustic format takes over SOhO for one night only. WHEN: 8:30 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $20, INFO: 962-7776.