ONGOING

‘Crimes’ on the Ranch – Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre 2007 season is underway with a presentation of “Crimes of the Heart,” the 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Later made into a heartwarming and funny, critically acclaimed movie, “Crimes” tells the story of the three 20-something McGrath sisters, who have gathered at a local Mississippi hospital to say goodbye to their grandfather. WHEN: Friday & Saturday evenings at 6 pm, Sunday matinees at 2 pm through May 20, WHERE: Refugio Rd., COST: $40, seniors $32 on Sundays, INFO: 967-1962 or www.circlebarbtheatre.com.

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ranges from early, delicate prints from the 1920s, to elegant images of the Grand Tetons and the Sierra Nevadas originally made in the 1940s, and a heroic mural-sized photograph of ranchland in Petaluma from the early 1950s.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.

Shore to shore – Santa Barbara artist Natalie Wilson exhibits her recent paintings at a show entitled "East Coast/ West Coast – Landscapes from Maine to Montecito." According to Wilson: "I have been fortunate to spend some time in Maine for the past few summers and wanted my paintings to show how the beauty of that area contrasts with that of Santa Barbara.” WHEN: Reception 5 pm to 7 pm tonight; exhibit closes June 21, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: free, INFO: 962-7776.

Blue line special – Al Gore’s Academy Award-winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” is the impetus for a new volunteer group seeking to bring attention to climate change by proposing that a light blue line be drawn marking the new waterline if the sea level rose 7 meters, as suggested in the film. This exhibit, “Drawing the Line Against Climate Change,” blends art and science to educate the public about the steps we can take today to help keep the oceanfront down at the beach, where it is today. WHEN: Exhibit through June 29, WHERE: Santa Barbara City Hall, 735 Anacapa St., COST: free, INFO: www.lightblueline.org.

Thursday, May 17

Ford foundation – Jazz singer Kimberly Ford steps into the forefront of the Santa Barbara jazz scene with CD/DVD release concert at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Ford, who has been plying the underground Santa Barbara jazz scene – which means ongoing gigs singing standards at such chi-chi night spots as Stella Mare’s, the Bacara and the San Ysidro Ranch – for nearly a decade, has recorded both a new album, “Songs in the Key of Sea,” and the soundtrack for a DVD. “Key of Sea” has four originals alongside eight jazz standards, while the DVD is all original, written to accompany “Water Mark,” an underwater video produced by Emmy Award-winning underwater filmmaker and Montecito resident, Mike DeGruy. Tonight’s concert features Ford singing with the band from the album, plus continuous screenings of the film, and light hors d’oeuvres and beverages. WHEN: 6:30 pm to 9 pm, WHERE: 113 Harbor Way, COST: $15 adults, $10 students in advance ($20/$15 at the door), INFO: 962-8404.

NIGHTS is back! – The Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s happy-hour happening returns for a third series of monthly events that turns the museum into a cultural playground/singles bar/professional meeting place. The program ties into ongoing exhibits at the museum, with this month’s theme of the spirit of ancient and modern Mexico inspired by the Tamayo display. Activities include a “Welcome to the Jungle” installation, Noche y Dia masks, Still-Life Folk Altars, Pre-Columbian Rhythms, the Sleeping Musicians Charms, Jade Jaguar/Moon Dog Offering Bundles, the Ancient Astronomer's Circus, Modern Marks Body Art, and special cocktail, a Sauza Red Mask Tequila-tini. Note the 90-minute later starting and ending times. WHEN: 7 pm to 9:30 pm, WHERE: 1130 State St., COST: $25 ($10 discount for museum members; $100 season “Luxe” pass for members only), INFO: 884-6414.

Songwriter showcase – Locals are familiar with Sudama Mark Kennedy as the leader of Dreamtime Continuum, a world music ensemble whose catalogue ranges from mystical Sanskrit chants to straight-ahead dance funk. Tonight, Kennedy shows off his solo side, as he brings along his guitar, sitar and other instruments as the headliner for the fourth installment of the monthly showcase at the Mainstage. Country/folk singer-songwriter Jackie Morris and Americana roots purveyor David Cowan of Claude Hopper round out the bill. WHEN: 7 pm to 9 pm, WHERE: Jensen Guitar Mainstage, 2905 De La Vina St., COST: $10 general, $5 under 21, free under 12, INFO: 563-3200 or www.MySpace.com/sbsongwritershowcase.

Great Debate – Bestselling author Rabbi Michael Lerner and two-time U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Michael Novak face off in the 6th Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate, on the theme “Religion in American Politics – Too Much or Too Little?” Lerner, whose 2006 “The Left Hand of God – Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right” was a bestseller, advocates religious pluralism, while Novak’s latest release, titled “Washington’s God,” argues that it was George Washington’s strong faith in divine providence that gave meaning and force to his life. WHEN: 8pm WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall COST: free INFO: 893-3535 or www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu

Truly ‘Julie’ – The World Premiere production of Stephen Sachs’ adaptation of “Miss Julie” moves from Sachs’ Foundation Theatre to Santa Barbara’s Center Stage for 10 days of performances. The play transforms Strindberg’s classic tale of love, lust and class struggle to issues of race and power in the American South during the “Freedom Summer.” (See “On Stage” on page 38 for an interview with Sachs.) WHEN: Preview 8 pm tonight, opens 8 pm tomorrow, plays 8 pm Saturday, and Tuesday-next Saturday, plus 2 pm Sundays, May 20 and 27, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra), COST: $33.50-$51, INFO: 963-0408.

Friday, May 18

Connolly in the county – Santa Barbara’s own Jim Connolly and the Gove County String Quartet close out Iridian Arts 2007’s presenting season with an eclectic concert bridging the gap between folk and chamber music. Bassist Connolly is joined by well-known local classic musicians violinist Sally Barr and Laura Hackstein and violist Kirsten Monke with special guests Anna Abbey on vocals and piano. The concert features a new series for pieces for musical saw and piano. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Contemporary Arts Forum, upstairs in Paseo Nuevo Mall, COST: $18 general, $13 students and CAF members, INFO: 569-2391 or www.iridianarts.com.

New Plays Festival – Theater UCSB’s annual showcase of original works by student playwrights under the guidance of award-winning playwright and UCSB professor Naomi Iizuka features a musical for the first time in the festival’s history. “Tomorrowland,” with book and lyrics by David Largman Murray, music by Bobby Halvorson, and direction by Beth Wynstra, is about an island filled with drug-obsessed 18-year-olds and one dastardly old witch named Taffy whose curse will make every youngster drop dead at the stroke of midnight. The festival also includes two alternating bills full of workshop productions of one-acts and a solo performance cabaret. WHEN: Opens 8 pm tonight, plays 8 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays through May 26, plus 2 pm May 20 & 26, WHERE: UCSB’s Performing Arts Theatre, COST: $17 general, $13 students, INFO: 893-7221.

Saturday, May 19

Presidio Pastimes – Journey into the past and meet the fort’s uniformed soldiers, create authentic ceramics, cook delicious tortillas, and participate in archaeological digs at a free family day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. You can also literally have a hand in history by helping to make adobe bricks that will be used in the final phase of reconstruction of Santa Barbara’s 18th century birthplace. WHEN: 10 am to 2 pm, WHERE: 123 E. Canon Perdido St., COST: free, INFO: www.sbthp.org.

Children’s Festival – All sorts of entertainment – from pony rides and face painting, to inflatable bouncers and kid’s craft workshops – are totally free in the Family Service Agency’s 24th annual celebration for local families. WHEN: 11 am to 4 pm, WHERE: Alameda Park, corner Micheltorena and Sola streets, INFO: 965-1001.

10th anniversary recital – Santa Barbara Jazz Dance Academy celebrates a decade of teaching kids and adults a variety of energetic dance styles with a special show. “Rock the Ages” focuses on dance throughout modern history, including jazz, hip-hop and Broadway chorus dancing, with talent drawn from the 600 students who take classes at the center. WHEN: Senior show 2 pm today, junior show 5 pm tomorrow, WHERE: Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High School, 721 E. Cota St., COST: $15 each or $20 for both, INFO: 966-5299.

Music club matinee – It’s a program full of gorgeous music this afternoon at the library as Santa Barbara Music Club presents Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto (Bach) (with Delores Walker, Viola; Tom Turner, viola; Andrew Saunders, viola da gamba; Carol Roe, Cello; David Roe, cello; and Beverly Staples, harpsichord), plus Muczynski’s Sonata, Op. 14 (with Mary Jo Hartle, flute, and Viva Knight, piano) and Reubke’s Sonata in B-flat minor (with Humberto de Almeida, piano). WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, SB Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or www.sbmusicclub.org.

Choral encore – The Quire of Voyces, Santa Barbara City College-based professional choral ensemble, offers its spring concert, performing selections from the great cathedral classics of the Renaissance and 20th century. WHEN: 7 pm tonight, 2 pm tomorrow, WHERE: St. Anthony’s Seminary, 2300 Garden St., COST: $15 general, $10 students/seniors, INFO: 965-5935.

Sings Like Hell turns 150 – That’s shows, not years, of course. But 150 separate events for a singer-songwriter concert series that is still the only one of its kind in the nation is a remarkable accomplishment. Spearheading tonight’s celebration are Canadian Jesse Winchester, and American folkie (and Montecito resident) Tom Rush, two previous Sings Like Hell artists who embody the series’ mission of presenting worthy artists – on the way up, or, like these two, veterans whose audience has perhaps turned into cult status – in the best listening environment in town. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $39.50 advance, $42.50 at the door, INFO: 963-0761.

Spring choral concert – The Santa Barbara Choral Society, the 100-voice symphony chorus that is the oldest community performing arts organization in Santa Barbara, presents a quarterly concert focusing on the repertoire the chorus will sing in an upcoming concert tour of Italy: Haydn's Theresien Mass and Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna. Soloists include soprano Tamara Bevard, alto Cathy Stoltz, alto, tenor Bill Smith, and bass Dennis Rupp. WHEN: 8 pm tonight, 3 pm tomorrow, WHERE: First Presbyterian Church, State & Constance streets, COST: $18 general; seniors and disabled, $16; students $12, INFO: 965-6577.

Sunday, May 20

Steelhead Festival – The second annual event is in tribute to the locally indigenous steelhead trout, which has made a remarkable recovery in local waters due to diligent efforts of community members. The celebration includes a 5K run along the waterfront, the unveiling of the astounding six-foot steelhead sculptures (that will remain on State Street for weeks), and all sorts of sea activities around the Ty Warner Sea Center, including film screenings, educational booths, interactive watershed models and hands-on water testing. WHEN: 10 am to 3 pm, COST: free, INFO: 963.0583 ext. 116 www.SBsteelheadfest.org.

Historic Homes Tour – The 9th annual Pearl Chase Society tour features eight historic dwellings, including four Plaza Rubio homes, plus a private garden all located on Santa Barbara’s upper Eastside. The homes were all built between 1904 and 1929, and represent a variety of architecture styles, including Craftsman, French Normandy and Spanish Colonial Revival. WHEN: 11 am to 4 pm, COST: $50 ($5 discount for members), INFO: 961-3938.

Wild about Harry – It’s hard to say which Harry Connick, Jr., will show up for tonight’s concert at the Arlington – the straight-ahead jazz singer who evokes a young Sinatra, the purveyor of contemporary New Orleans jazz or the funk-pop singer who likes to throw in a little twist or two. Suffice it say that it’s likely to be a combination of the three at this show – with a special focus on the Big Easy, which has been on his mind since Hurricane Katrina and is the subject of his new record, “Oh My Nola.” WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., COST: $40-$72.50, INFO: 963-4408.

Monday, May 21

Dad turn to talk – Speaking of Stories closes out its season with a special segment devoted to fathers. “Speaking of Dad” features stories that are both funny and poignant in addressing fatherhood, including stories by Max Apple, O’Henry and Tobias Wolfe read by actors including James Read and Jerry Kroll. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St., COST: $13-$30, INFO: 963-0761. Thursday, May 24 Art & Wine Tour – The Downtown Organization’s annual stroll among downtown art galleries that are serving tasty hors d’oeuvres and offering samples of delectable wines from local vintners has become of the year’s most popular, see-and-be-seen events. Dozens of wineries, restaurants and galleries participate in the promotion, and thousands of people will be crisscrossing State Street all evening before winding up at the Paseo Nuevo rooftop (new site this year) for the final party featuring more tasty fare and music by King Bee. Get your tickets now for this sure sell-out. WHEN: Gallery tours 5:30 pm to 8 pm; final party 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, WHERE: Check in 5:15 pm at 651 Paseo Nuevo (second floor mezzanine), COST: $50 ($35 final party only), INFO: 962-2098, ext. 22.