Access goes to Rubicon – Santa Barbara’s Rod Lathim revives his Access Theatre Company in spirit if not in name for a re-mounting of “Children of a Lesser God” at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. SBCC-trained stage actor Remi Sandri, who played the role of James Leeds in a Lathim-directed production at Access more than a decade ago before moving on to such prestigious companies as the American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Rep and Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival, reprises the part (and brushes on the American Sign Language he learned back then), while near-deaf actress TL Forster stars as his pupil and love interest, Sarah Norman. WHEN: Wednesdays at 2 & 7 pm, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2 & 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm; ends July 1 WHERE: Laurel Theater, 1106 E. Main St., Ventura COST: $25–$45, discounts available

Surf/Board art – Photographers Don James, Ron Church, Jeff Divine, LeRoy Grannis, Art Brewer, C.R. Stecyk III, Dewey Nicks, Jeff Hornbaker, Chris Malloy, and Tom Blake join with board designers Raymond Pettibone, Ron Reihel, Salomon Emquies, Alison Saar, Dianna Cohen, Alex Couwenberg, Robbie Conal, Jack Reilly, and Renny Yater for this unique exhibit titled “Ebb/Flow” at the East/West Gallery. The show aims to capture imagery – both through vintage photographs and the artist-designed boards – that characterizes the development of surf-culture in Southern California over the past 80 years. WHEN: Through July 31 WHERE: 714 Bond St. COST: free INFO: 963-4041

ETC season closer – Ensemble Theatre Co. winds up run with 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 ETC’s new artistic director Jonathan Fox directs. WHEN: 8 pm Tuesdays thru Saturdays and 2 & 7 pm Sunday through June 24 WHERE: 914 Santa Barbara St.. COST: $25–$37 (discounts for students, seniors and groups) INFO: 962–8606 or

University Art – UCSB’s Art Museum hosts “Flashback,” featuring abstract work from the 1960s and ‘70s drawn from the museum’s permanent collection. The 23 objects on view present a range of artistic approaches, from the meditative abstractions of John McCracken and Hap Tivey to the mathematical systems of Robert Mangold and Dorothea Rockburne, and more. WHEN: through Oct. 7; museum open 12 noon - 5 pm Wed-Sun WHERE: UCSB campus (park in lot 23) COST: free INFO: 893-7564

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: 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

Flutter by – After a one-year hiatus, popular summer exhibit “Butterflies Alive!” returns to Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The fully-enclosed Butterfly Pavilion sports a garden filled with flowers and luscious greenery to host the nearly 1,000 butterflies that will populate the exhibit all summer long. Visitors become part of the exhibit as the insects from a variety of countries drink nectar, alight on the vegetation and, perhaps, flutter just a few inches from your face. WHEN: 10 am-5 pm daily, today through Sept. 30 WHERE: 2559 Puesta del Sol Rd. COST: Free with museum admission $8 adults, $7 seniors and ages 13-17, $5 ages 2-12 INFO: 682-4711

Thursday, June 21

NIGHTS by the Nile –SB Museum of Art’s monthly happy-hour/arts extravaganza heads to Egypt! Inspired by the museum’s collection of antiquities, the event invites you to travel back in time to Egypt’s Dynastic period for a smorgasbord of food, drink, art activities and music linking one way or another to the ancient land. Each gallery space offers different themed activities and performances. WHEN: 5:30-8pm WHERE: 1130 State St. COST: $25 ($10 discount for museum members) INFO: 884-6414

Songwriter showcase – Montecito’s Kenny Edwards – who at least around town is now better known as an imaginative singer-songwriter of taste and refinement than as Linda Ronstadt’s former bassist or Karla Bonoff’s sideman – headlines the fifth installment of the new series at Jensen’s Guitar. Opening is SB-based pop-rock singer-songwriter Fiona Kernaghan, whose debut CD “Cypress Grove” earned her a spot as a finalist in the Australian Recording Industry Awards in her native country. WHEN: 7-9 pm WHERE: Jensen Guitar Mainstage, 2905 De La Vina COST: $10 general, $5 under 21, free under 12 INFO: 563-3200 or

Mulling it over – Former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Dr. Robert Muller – who has spent 40 years behind the scenes at the United Nations – gives a free one-hour talk on issues related to creating peace and happiness in the world. A Q&A session follows. WHEN: 6:30pm WHERE: Friendship Manor, 6647 El Colegio Road, Goleta INFO: 968-0771

High wired act – Veteran singer-keyboarist Leon Russell – whose handiwork is present in one form or another on some of rock’s most important records – returns to town for a single show at the Lobero tonight. Russell has had two top-40 singles via his gravelly-voiced, swamp-rock solo approach. WHEN: 8 pm WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St. COST: $39 & $48 INFO: 963-0761

Friday, June 22

Jones-ing for Norah – Is there anything the incredibly talented Norah Jones can’t do? Her first album shocked the pop world with its understated brilliance, launching a career that has tallied 35 million CDs sold and 8 Grammys in barely five years. And just a few months after her third album, “Not Too Late” – the first on which she wrote or co-wrote every song – hit No. 1 the week it came out, selling more than 4 million copies to date, her acting debut in Wong Kar Wai’s “My Blueberry Nights” drew raves at Cannes. Jones belatedly opens the Santa Barbara Bowl season tonight, with singer-songwriter M. Ward opening. WHEN: 7 pm WHERE: Milpas at Anapamu Street COST: $49.50-$65.50 INFO: 962-7411

Saturday, June 23

Solstice – Santa Barbara’s zaniest, most creative parade, followed by a something-for-everyone party in Alameda Park. Need we say more? WHEN: Parade: noon; Festival: 2-9 pm WHERE: Up State Street from Cota to Micheltorena, then to Alameda Park COST: free ($35 to participate) INFO: 965-3396

Back to basics – After some recent forays into rockin’ blues and other genres, the Sings Like Hell concert series returns to its roots with tonight’s installment pairing singer-songwriters Jimmy LaFave (with Andrew Hardin & John Inman) and Joel Rafael. LaFave, an SLH veteran, is a Texas troubadour via Oklahoma, giving his “Red Dirt” music an aura of authenticity that echoes both Woody Guthrie and more modern Americana. Guthrie’s legacy plays an even bigger role in Rafael’s music: he’s spent years touring with a tribute show and his last two CDs feature dozens of Guthrie compositions. WHEN: 8 pm WHERE: Lobero Theatre, 33 W. Canon Perdido St. COST: $39.50 advance, $42.50 at the door INFO: 963-0761

Community concert – Multiple Oscar and Grammy-winning composer-conductor John Williams leads the Music Academy of the West’s Academy Festival Orchestra in a program heavy with selections from Williams’ film scores – which include “Star Wars,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Jaws” and many more – plus his violin concerto played by soloist Gil Shaham, and Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, op. 96. WHEN: 7 pm WHERE: Milpas at Anapamu Street COST: $13.50 INFO: 962-7411

Bluegrass pioneers – The Dillards didn’t invent bluegrass music, but they sure went a long way toward popularizing it, not in the least via appearing on “The Andy Griffith Show” (billed as “the Darlin’ family”) in America’s living room back in the 1960s. Some 40 years and 20-plus albums later, Doug and Rodney Dillard – now with George Giddens on mandolin and fiddle and Pete Lortz on bass fiddle – are still pickin’ with the best of them, including this very rare local appearance for the Song Tree Concert Series. SB-based Chris Cairns Band, who were instrumental in bringing the Dillards to town, open. WHEN: 4 & 7:30 pm WHERE: Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 820 N. Fairview, Goleta COST: $20 INFO: 403-2639

Sunday, June 24

Visiting adobes – John Woodward gives a "Virtual Tour of Santa Barbara Adobes in the 1850s.” Woodward, a local attorney whose real passion is the study of Santa Barbara and California history, will use early photographs and paintings, many which have never been published, to conduct a tour of Santa Barbara as it looked 150 years ago. WHEN: 2 pm WHERE: Archive Library of Old Mission Santa Barbara, 2201 Laguna St. COST: Free INFO: 687-6582

Monday, June 25

Catch a Goo Goo – Buffalo-based band Goo Goo Dolls were dismissed as Replacement rip-offs when they first came out in 1986. Twenty years later, the alt-rock band is still touring, albeit with a tamer, more mainstream format. Lifehouse – whose “Hanging By a Moment” was the No. 1 single of 2000 – opens the show. The band’s fourth album, “Who We Are,” came out earlier this week. WHEN: 6:15 pm WHERE: Milpas at Anapamu Street COST: $32.50-$62.50 INFO: 962-7411

Tuesday, June 26

Young at heart – Can a single song define a generation? Perhaps not, but the Youngblood’s “Get Together” sure seemed to capture the mood of the country in 1969, and filmmakers have used it countless times to represent the era. The thing is, Youngblood’s lead singer Jesse Colin Young didn’t even write it, and Young has had a very worthy solo career both before and after his time with the band, which was far shorter in comparison. Hear some of his other tunes – many drawn from a recent best-of collection, tonight in a return engagement at SOhO. WHEN: 8pm WHERE: 1221 State St., upstairs in Victoria Court COST: $25 INFO: 962-7776

Thursday, June 28

Concerts in the Park – SB’s popular free summer concert series kicks off with a perennial favorite: flamenco/Spanish guitar band Benise. Led by the wildly charismatic Ronnie Benise, the group has risen to become one of Southern California’s most popular acts of its kind, offering music that is great for outdoor dancing on a summer evening. Get the complete schedule on line at WHEN: 6-8:30 pm WHERE: Cabrillo Blvd. near Calle Cesar Chavez COST: free INFO: 897-1982

Friday, June 29

Kids’ Night Out – The SB Maritime Museum again invites youngsters to take the night off and let the kids go solo for a “whale of a good time” exploring “Whales Tales,” participating in colossal crafts and watching a big screen whale’s tale featured in the Munger Theater. WHEN: 6-9:30 pm WHERE: 113 Harbor Way COST: $20/$10 each additional sibling ($18/$9 for members) INFO: 962-8404

Saturday, June 30

SB Wine Festival – The 20th annual event combines tastings from 70 of the finest Central Coast wineries, tantalizing appetizers from local restaurants, caterers and bakers, and a lovely setting along Mission Creek on the grounds of the Museum of Natural History. WHEN: 2-5 pm WHERE: 2559 Puesta del Sol Rd. COST: $75 ($25 discount for museum members) INFO: 682-4711 ext. 443 or

Evening of Dance – Multidisciplinary company Interplay presents “An Intimate Evening of Dance Theater,” featuring international artist Aida Amirkhanian, local dancer and choreographer Susan Shaberman, Los Angeles-area dance teacher and performer Diana Cummins, and Horton Award-winning graduate of the Cal State Long Beach dance program Narineh Ghazarians. These four dancers and choreographers will perform solo and duet work – including three premieres – set to music by Hugo Diaz, Marlene Dietrich, Tino Rossi, Poulanc and Bach. WHEN: 8 pm WHERE: Contemporary Arts Forum, upstairs in Paseo Nuevo Mall COST: $20 INFO: 963-0761 or

Sunday, July 1

e-SCAPE with art – Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (SCAPE) presents “Island and Estuaries,” benefit exhibit and sale of paintings all created locally. Works range from realistic to abstract, in watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels and mixed media, with a subject of the coastal and interior scenery of Santa Cruz Island as well as of Coal Oil Point Reserve, including Sands Beach and Devereux lagoon. Reception with the artists 5-7 pm on July 6. WHEN: Opens today, ends July 29 WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Main Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. COST: free INFO:

Wednesday, July 4

Patriotic concert – The SB Symphony’s 20th annual free July 4th concert at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens features New Sousa Band music director Jon Brion conducting the orchestra abetted by The SB Choral Society in a program filled with patriotic favorites, from marches to hymns, Broadway favorites and “The Armed Forces Medley,” all selected as a stirring salute to America. Pre-concert entertainment includes the Dancing Drums Community Ensemble starting at 3:30 p.m., and local bluegrass stalwart Peter Feldmann and the Very Lonesome Boys at 4:10 pm. Come early for the best lawn space and remember to bring chairs, sunscreen lotion, blankets and refreshments. WHEN: 5 pm WHERE: 100 West Anapamu St. COST: free INFO: 898-9386.