‘Memory’ lingers – A big hit on London’s West End when it opened in 1998, “The Memory of Water” is not only making its Santa Barbara debut in this presentation by the Ensemble Theatre Company – it’s also the first time veteran actress Stephanie Zimbalist is hitting the boards in town. Zimbalist plays Mary, one of three sisters who return home to the north of England for their mother's funeral, in the process rekindling old sibling jealousies rife with witty bickering and touching on all the joys and sorrows of family relationships. WHEN: 8 pm Tuesdays thru Saturdays and 2 pm & 7 pm Sunday through March 11, WHERE: 914 State St., COST: $25-$37 (discounts for students, seniors and groups), INFO: 962-8606 or

First for Fugard – South African novelist Sheila Fugard, wife of world-famed playwright Athol Fugard, makes her playwriting debut alongside well-known Santa Barbara writers Ellen K. Anderson, Emma-Jane Huerta and Sojourner Kincaid Rolle for this evening of new works under the aegis of Dramatic Women. “Women’s Work” includes tales the program describes as Sexy bears and humans cavorting in the woods, a bizarre family crisis in the back room of an outlet store in Nevada, urban chaos at a radio station in Washington DC in the wake of Martin Luther King's assassination, and a confrontation in a South African squatters camp. Local actors and directors bring the plays to life. WHEN: 8 pm through Feb. 24, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra), COST: $35 opening night; $16 general, $14 students/seniors, INFO: 963-0408 or

Film Series screenings – Two art exhibits, one each at Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum and Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, a community celebration and several movie presentations comprise the eighth annual African-American Heritage Film Festival event aiming to build understanding and interaction within the community. Film screenings include “From Swastika to Jim Crow,” which delves into the story of Jewish refugee scholars who were expelled from their homeland by the Nazis and found new lives at historically Black colleges in the American South, plus “St. Louis Blues,” and many others. WHEN: Through Feb. 28, INFO: 899-1160 or

Tamayo at SBMOA – Santa Barbara Museum of Art is serving as lead organizer of a new international exhibition of the works of Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. “Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted” is the first major exhibit of Tamayo’s work in the United States in more than 27 years, and features more than 100 paintings and portable murals amassed from public and private collections around the world. Dubbed “The Fourth Great One” in his native Mexico, Tamayo’s works conjure familiar images of the country, including the colors, textures, culture – particularly in his numerous renditions of Mexico’s traditional marketplaces replete with flowers, tropical fruit and native folk art. The exhibit travels to museums in Florida and Mexico City after its inaugural run here. WHEN: 11 am to 5 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, through May 27, WHERE: 1130 State St., COST: $9 (discounts for seniors, students and children; free every Sunday), INFO: 963-4364.

Timbers Supper Club – After a few months of serving dinner and several “soft” opening shows, the new dinner theater at the freshly restored Timbers Restaurant is back in action! Dan Goggin’s award-winning irreverent musical “Nunsense” kicks things off with a semi-slapstick/farce of a sisterhood that needs to raise funds fast by putting on a variety show. The musical grabbed a slew of awards when it debuted 20 years ago off Broadway. Glenn Novack produces and Peter McCorkle directs a cast of local actors including Katie Thatcher, Jennifer Gimblin, Julie Anne Ruggieri, Holly Ferguson Kelly Ary in what is just the first of an ongoing series of shows that featuring a fine table-served meal followed by high quality theater in a historic building that flourished in the ’60s and ’80s. WHEN: Dinner 6:30 pm, show at 8 pm (Sunday brunch 12:30 pm/2 pm); Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons through March 18, WHERE: 10 Winchester Canyon, Goleta, COST: $55, $65, $75 ($10 less for brunch show), INFO: 968-2222.

Last weekend for ‘Love’ – The Rubicon Theatre Company’s current presentation, “A Time for Love,” is a sweetly comic, charmingly romantic and touchingly poignant song-cycle about a couple – played by Lois Robbins and Brian Sutherland – who fall in love, come together, marry and grow apart. The world premiere features familiar musical favorites plus original songs by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr., who previously collaborated on “Baby,” “Big” and “Closer Than Ever” on Broadway; Maltby created the show and directs. WHEN: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm; ends Feb. 25, WHERE: Laurel Theater, 1106 E. Main St., Ventura, COST: $25-$45, discounts available, INFO: 667-2900.

Thursday, February 22

Arts seminar – Non-profit arts organizations, arts advocates, artists, arts educators and anyone with an interest in the arts is invited to take part in the County Arts Commission’s Symposium for The Arts a community dialogue on the topic of “Finding Sustainable Funding Solutions and Improving Accessibility to the Arts.” John E. McGuirk, program director for arts programs at the Irvine Foundation, serves as the keynote speaker for the daylong event. WHEN: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, WHERE: Cabrillo Arts Pavilion, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., COST: $15 (includes lunch), INFO: 568-3990 or e-mail

Los Lobos acoustic – The three-time Grammy Award-winning band returns to its roots and exchanges electric instruments for guitarones, jaranas and bajo sextos in this special acoustic concert, part of a limited 16-city tour. The “Acoustic En Vivo” tour takes its name from the band’s 2005 live album, but the concert will also include selections from the new “The Town and the City,” plus traditional folkloric songs from Latin America. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $45, INFO: 893-3535.

Friday, February 23

Road race – Floyd Landis, winner of last year’s inaugural Tour of California bike race, is a bit busy defending himself from doping allegations in last year’s Tour de France, but 144 other riders comprising 18 teams will be cycling from San Francisco to Long Beach this week. The roster of cyclists – including Ivan Basso, George Hincapie and Dave Zabriskie – is perhaps the best field ever to compete in a U.S. stage race, evidenced by the fact that the TOC was upgraded to the highest rating a professional stage race outside of Europe can receive. The racers will stage a time trial today in Solvang, before departing Santa Barbara for Santa Clarita tomorrow morning. Info at

Up With People on tour – The four people behind the creation of the international music and educational program that had its heyday in the 1960s are promoting their new book, “A Song for the World.” The Colwell Brothers (Steve, Paul and Ralph) and Herb Allen chronicle their 50-year saga of artist diplomacy covering 60 countries on six continents and performances for millions, a story that covers myriad songs they wrote songs in 37 languages. The foursome will perform some of their uplifting music before conducting a book signing. WHEN: 7 pm, WHERE: Borders Books, 900 State St., COST: free, INFO: 899-3668.

Saturday, February 24

Viva Verdi! – Opera Santa Barbara is dedicating its ambitious second annual opera festival to the great composer Giuseppe Verdi, featuring new, fully staged productions of the much-beloved “Rigoletto” and the lesser-known but much-admired “A Masked Ball” in repertory. Five major singers are making their OSB debuts in the two productions, which are both conducted by OSB’s artistic director, Valery Ryvkin. The 16-day festival also boasts recitals, masterclasses, lectures, behind-the-scenes tours, pre-performance dinners and a brand new Young Artists Program. Get a complete schedule online at

Women’s Literary Festival – The second annual festival is a one-day event designed to celebrate women authors and their diverse life experience and is dedicated to promoting literacy, diversity and social justice. This year’s event features several local writers as well as out-of-town guests, including Beirut-born poet Dima Hilal, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, novelist Katia Noyes, former News-Press feature writer Starshine Roshell, novelist and broadcast journalist author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Rebecca Walker and mystery novelist Jacqueline Winspear. The women are all speaking about the cultural or social ideas that moved them to write in opening remarks, and will conduct breakout sessions throughout the day. WHEN: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, WHERE: Fess Parker DoubleTree Inn, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., COST: $60 (includes coffee and lunch) INFO:

Writers’ Workshop – The 24th annual daylong seminar sponsored by SBCC’s Adult Ed is geared toward both the established authors and would-be writers to find out more about the art of writing from professionals, agents and editors. Patricia Smiley, a protégé of best-selling author Phyllis George and whose third novel, “Short Change,” is due in July, serves as keynote speaker, while local writers, including Journal humor columnist Ernie Witham, conduct breakout sessions in genres ranging from poetry to travel writing. WHEN: 9 am to 4 pm, WHERE: Schott Center Auditorium, 310 W. Padre St., COST: free, INFO: 687-0812.

Central Asian Film Day – The UCSB Film Series teams up with the Silk Road Cultural Encounters series now in residence at the university for this special one-day film series screening four movies from the region. “Beshkempir – The Adopted Son” is set in Kyrgyzstan, where it tracks a young boy’s coming of age amid the particulars of village life and the universal mischief of boyhood. The festival also offers the local premiere of “The Cave of the Yellow Dog,” which sets the age-old story of the bond between a child and her dog amid the eternal cycle of Buddhist reincarnation. “Travellers and Musicians” and “The Story of The Weeping Camel,” which have previously been screened at both the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and UCSB, will receive repeat showings. WHEN: 2 pm to 11 pm, WHERE: Victoria Hall, 33 W. Victoria St., COST: $8 per screening, or $20 festival pass, INFO: 893-3535.

Singing for clean water – Rap-funkmeister Michael Franti & Spearhead, jam-band Animal Liberation Orchestra and singer-songwriter Matthew McAvene headline the first annual Solutions for Dreamers festival, a benefit for the local environmental group Heal the Ocean. EcoFriendly booths showcasing local organizations and earth-friendly products will be open in the promenade entrance of the Arlington at 1 pm, with the music starting at 5 pm. WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., COST: $25, $40 & $55 (VIP tickets $150 & $300, which include prime seating, a gift bag and entrance to the VIP tent, plus a meet-and-greet with the artists), INFO: 963-4408 or

Music Club matinee – Piano lovers and fans of strings will be thrilled by the next installment in the Santa Barbara Music Club’s free concert series. Keyboardist Gail Embree offers Amy Beach’s “Sketches, From Grandmother's Garden”; Anne Weger (with flutist Linda Holland) plays Amanda Fox’s “Infinity”; and John Sonquist (and violinist Barbara Coventry) takes on Hal Isbitz’s “Three Tangos” and William Bolcom’s “Graceful Ghost Rag.” Finally the Channel Island String Quartet plays Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 1. WHEN: 3 pm, WHERE: Faulkner Gallery, SB Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., COST: free, INFO: 683-0811 or

Tuesday, February 27

The Russians are coming – The National Philharmonic of Russia is the latest super-group from the former Soviet republic making its initial tour of America. Founded in 2003 by President Vladimir Putin, the orchestra is composed of Russia’s leading symphonic musicians and Vladimir Spivakov, its artistic director and principal conductor, is also the founder, conductor and violin soloist of the Moscow Virtuosi, Russia’s most prominent chamber ensemble. Olga Kern is the soloist for the philharmonic’s Santa Barbara debut featuring an all-Russian program; the pianist will perform Rachmaninoff’s challenging and romantic Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18, sandwiched between two works by Shostakovich – the Festival Overture, Op. 96, and Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., COST: $35-$75, INFO: 963-4408 or

Hip-Hop Theater – Universes, a downtown New York contemporary theater company, presents “Slanguage,” a dynamic, boundary-busting play about life in urban America. Built loosely around the structure of a subway ride from Brooklyn to the Bronx, the play integrates street humor, poetry, theater, jazz, blues, hip-hop and more in a gritty yet literate tale that aims to challenge as well as inform and entertain. WHEN: 8 pm, WHERE: UCSB’s Campbell Hall, COST: $40, INFO: 893-3535.

Wednesday, February 28

The real illusionist – With his mystifying magic and seemingly illogical illusions, David Copperfield can not only amaze and astound audiences of all ages, he will also likely all but make “The Prestige” and “The Illusionist” – the two magic-themed movies that inexplicably held cinema-lovers spellbound last fall – disappear from memory. WHEN: 5:30 pm & 8:30 pm, WHERE: Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St., COST: $38.25-$48.25, INFO: 963-4408.

Sophomore staging – The Loose Affiliation of Artists, one of Santa Barbara’s promising new theater companies, presents “Tape,” by Stephen Belber. Described as “a biting examination of motive, memory, truth, and perception,” the play delves into the relationship between an up-and coming filmmaker, and his best friend from high school who is a volunteer firefighter who makes his money selling pot, and what happened with a girl they both dated 10 years earlier. The show is directed by company founder Sara Martinovich, who put together the company’s crisply incisive production of Neil Labute’s “The Shape of Things.” WHEN: 8 pm tonight, tomorrow and Friday, WHERE: Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo (Chapala @ De la Guerra), COST: $20 (students and people under 30, $10), INFO: 963-0408.

Rebel journalism – Myra MacPherson spent 15 years researching her monumental biography of journalist I. F. Stone, who had a secret feud with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover that lasted for 40 years beginning in the 1930s. MacPherson will sign and discuss her book, “All Governments Lie! The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone,” which serves as both a profile of Stone and a sweeping review of the turbulent late 20th century politics, at a luncheon sponsored by the Channel City Club. WHEN: 11:30 am to 2pm, WHERE: Fess Parker DoubleTree Inn, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., COST: $35 ($10 discount for members), INFO: 884-6636 or