‘Angels’ descending – Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning 1993 drama “Angels in America” is only 14 years old, but it may seem a little dated a la “Rent” because of its focus on AIDS and its affect on a tapestry of characters – both real and fictional – during the Reagan Era in New York. But issues of timeliness aside, the insightful play is also one of the most ambitious and ultimately devastating dramas to have hit Broadway in several generations. UCSB professor Irwin Appel directs this local production. WHEN: Plays 8 pm Wednesday through next Saturday, May 30-June 2, and 2 pm Sunday, June 3, WHERE: UCSB’s Hatlen Theatre, COST: $17, students $13, INFO: 893-3535.

Thursday, May 31

Jolly Hollywood – The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara’s 23rd annual Women’s Philanthropy Luncheon – which raises funds to support the Federation’s programs and social services – might sound like a somewhat dry affair. But not when the keynote speaker is Joan Hyler, a former executive with the William Morris Agency whose client list has boasted Madonna, Meryl Streep, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan and Peter O’Toole. Top it off with the man who will introduce Hyler – Bruce Vilanch, Hollywood’s premier award show writer who has penned many of the jokes in the Academy Awards show – and there’s the makings for one of the funniest, Hollywood-tinged evenings this side of SBIFF. The actual business of the function includes longtime Montecito resident Lee Luria, first president of Federation's Women's Philanthropy Division, presenting the first annual Woman of Valor Awards to honorees Jeri Eigner, Natalie Myerson and Maureen White for their many contributions to the community. WHEN: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, WHERE: Fess Parker DoubleTree Inn, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., COST: $80, INFO: 957-1115 or

Keeping the Cup – The sailing world was shocked when a Swiss team, Alinghi, emerged as the winner of the venerable America’s Cup in 2003. The documentary “Defender’s Challenge” traces the period from that moment in Auckland up through the beginning of the challenger’s trials earlier this year (the United States was eliminated in May), with testimonials, inside stories and racing footage. WHEN: 7 pm, WHERE: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, COST: $10, INFO: 962-8404.

ETC season closer – Ensemble Theatre Co., goes out for the season with a sharp-edged comedy-drama by contemporary playwright/filmmaker Neil LaBute. “This is How it Goes,” as with all LaBute works, examines a relationship as it is beset with deception and betrayal, with the added dimension of bigotry in a mixed-raced love triangle in a Midwestern town. Expect, as always, some shocking twists. Aaron Serotsky, who made his ETC debut in the fall in the hit show “Visiting Mr. Green,” stars along with company newcomers Shannon Koob and Adam Lazarre-White, while Ensemble’s new artistic director, Jonathan Fox, directs. WHEN: Opens tonight, plays 8 pm Tuesdays thru Saturdays and 2 pm & 7 pm Sunday (No 7 pm June 3) through June 24, WHERE: 914 Santa Barbara St., COST: $25-$37 (discounts for students, seniors and groups), INFO: 962-8606 or

Friday, June 1

Frameworks-Caruso benefit – Friends and colleagues of Christi Westerhouse and David Court – owners of the Frameworks-Caruso Woods Art gallery, which suffered massive fire damage in April – have been coming up with all sorts of art-related events to help out the couple. Now art organizations – including Santa Barbara Art Association, Goleta Valley Art Association, Los Padres Watercolor Society, Artists of Step One, Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (S.C.A.P.E) – are banding together to present a Silent Arts Auction Benefit at Santa Barbara City College’s Adult Education’s Schott Center, where Westerhouse teaches framing classes. All of the proceeds from sales go the Frameworks gallery owners. WHEN: 5 pm to 9 pm, WHERE: 310 W. Padre St., INFO: 696-6536 or 564-7019.

Comedy at Bar B – A slew of local thespians, including Carol Metcalf and Circle Bar B Dinner-Theatre owner Susie Couch, star in the company’s production of “Don’t Mention My Name.” Fred Carmichael’s fast-paced mystery-romance-comedy thrusts an amnesiac into an off-season bed-and-breakfast where people seem to know who he is, setting off a series of events that both amuse and intrigue. WHEN: Opens tonight, plays Friday & Saturday evenings at 8 pm (dinner served at 7 pm), Sunday matinees at 2 pm (lunch 1 pm) through July 15, WHERE: Refugio Rd., COST: $40, seniors $32 on Sundays, INFO: 967-1962 or

Saturday, June 2

Bicycle Festival – The third annual event features bike racing, clinics, dirt demos, open riding, and a BMX track open house, plus kids’ clinics and races as well as a cross country and downhill mountain bike race – all on Elings Park’s five-mile network of bike trails. Add live music, food booths, drawings and the appropriately named beer sponsor, Fat Tire Ale, and the afternoon should, ahem, roll along. WHEN: 7 am to 6 pm, WHERE: Las Positas Rd., at Jerry Harwin Parkway, COST: free; parking $5, INFO: 569-5611.

It ain’t Westminster – More than 1,200 dogs and more than 16,000 people come together for one of Santa Barbara’s cherished traditions, the annual Big Dog Parade. Now in its 13th year, the parade – sponsored by the clothing company headquartered on lower State Street – features costumed pooches strutting their stuff in competition for awards such as “Best Costume,” “Most Humorous” and “Best in Parade.” The parade route makes a left turn at the pier and winds up at Chase Palm Park for a Canine Festival featuring live music, food, kid’s activities and more. WHEN: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, WHERE: State Street at De la Guerra, COST: free, INFO: 963-8727, ext. 1398.

Durango concert – The annual Songwriting Expo stages a concert featuring top-notch singer-songwriters in a rare format every year on Saturday night that is the only Expo event open to the general public. Performers include Vertical Horizon’s Matt Scannell, Fastball’s Tony Scalzo and Miles Zuniga, Chicago and Sons of Champlin’s Bill Champlin, former NRBQ great Al Anderson and Montecito’s own Glen Phillips. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Marriott Hotel, Buellton, COST: $25, INFO:

Sayonara Cyrus – Native Santa Barbaran Cyrus Clarke is planning on leaving the area after more than 35 years of making this area a hot-bed of acoustic music. Clarke was the founder of The Cache Valley Drifters, The Acousticats and The Cyrus Clarke Band, taught in schools and privately, and launched Ranch Records from his upper East Side home. Recently, he’s been playing with The Expedition (featuring fellow Santa Barbara stalwarts Mike Mullins, Barney Tower and Jack Joshua), with which he will be making this final local appearance at the Song Tree Concert Series today. WHEN: 7:30 pm, WHERE: Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 820 N. Fairview Road, Goleta, COST: $15, INFO: 403-2639.

Sunday, June 3

Benefit screening – Montecito’s own movie star, Jeff Bridges, presents a pre-release screening of his new animated film, “Surf’s Up,” as a benefit for the Unity Shoppe. Bridges will answer questions, pose for photos and sign autographs at the post-screening luncheon by the quad reflecting pond, which features food provided by the forthcoming lower State Street restaurant Lettuce B Frank and deserts from Sweet Alley. WHEN: noon, WHERE: Riviera Theatre, 2044 Alameda Padre Serra, COST: $25, INFO: 965-9051 or

TRAP-ped again – The Rhythm and Arts Project (TRAP) hosts its fifth annual benefit concert hosted by Eddie Tuduri and featuring a truly impressive roster of percussionists including Airto Moreira, Walfredo Reyes Sr., Luis Conte and Hani Naser, among others. A slew of other musicians join in for what has become over the years both an uplifting and musically thrilling afternoon that highlights the great work TRAP does working with the disabled in the community. Bring hand drums and percussion instruments and join in the merry music-making. Live and silent auctions, food booths, art exhibits and a giant drum circle round out the day. WHEN: 1 pm to 5 pm, WHERE: Girls, Inc., 5315 Foothill Rd., Carpinteria, COST: $10 advance (at or $15 at the door, INFO: 745-8280 or

Shake, Rattle & Stomp – Singer-songwriter, drummer and music teacher Michelle Mangione conducts a half-hour percussion session for children of all ages, featuring egg shakers and percussion instruments of all kinds, as a lead-up to a Harry Potter extravaganza inside the bookstore. Mangione, who will also open for Jonatha Brooke at SOhO on June 8, will also play acoustic guitar music in the Borders courtyard from 3 pm to 4 pm. WHEN: 2:30 pm, WHERE: 900 State St., COST: free, INFO: 962-7776 or

Wednesday, June 6

A real ‘West Side’ story – La Cumbre Junior High School, located on the West Side of Santa Barbara, committed to producing its spring musical long before the gang-related violence thrust the issue back into the local limelight. But performing “West Side Story,” the Broadway musical adapted from “Romeo & Juliet” to turf wars in New York City in the 1950s, couldn’t be more appropriate. Fifty-three students and two adults – who have been coached by a slew of local acting and voice professionals – will perform in this production directed by music teacher Mike Nunn, featuring a live orchestra composed of students and community members. WHEN: 7 pm tonight, Friday and Saturday, plus 3 pm Sunday, WHERE: 2255 Modoc St., COST: $10 adults, $5 students, INFO: 963-4338, ext. 206 or

Cruz-in from Hawaii – Grammy-winning Hawaiian singer-songwriter John Cruz hasn’t released a new album in a decade, but “One of These Days” the title track from the new disc that was supposed to close 1996’s “Acoustic Soul,” picks up right where he left off. Cruz is backed by a bevy of great studio musicians, from Los Lobos sax-man Steve Berlin to drummer Steve Gadsen, and he counts among his friends and admirers Jackson Browne, Jack Johnson and surfer Kelly Slater – all of whom contributed to a new documentary film about Cruz. Also on the bill, surf-sound master Todd Hannigan, who has worked on numerous surf films and contributed to Johnson’s “Thicker Than Water.” WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court, COST: $15 ($3 discount with dinner), INFO: 962-7776.

Thursday, June 7

Ojai Music Festival – Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard makes his first appearance at the venerable festival, now in its 61st season, serving as music director for an ambitious program that features the music of modern Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös performed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and a host of other artists in various formats all under the oak trees at Libbey Bowl. Get a complete schedule of the June 7-10 events online at or call 646-2094.