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GOINGS ON : SANTA BARBARA : Spanish Theater : Repertorio Espanol Offers ' El Burlador de Sevilla ,' a 17-Century Play Written About Don Juan


Gilberto Zaldivar says Spanish-speaking fans of the performing arts in the United States are being shortchanged by a lack of Spanish-language theater productions. And as has been the case for the past 22 years, he's doing what he can to remedy the situation.

In 1968, having just arrived in New York from his native Cuba, Zaldivar co-founded Repertorio Espanol , which today is the only repertory company performing entirely in Spanish and touring the country.

"Everyone wants to make it mainstream, so they do plays in English thinking they will be discovered," Zaldivar said. "But there are people who want to see plays in Spanish. The U.S. has the fourth largest Spanish-speaking population. I think the Spanish audience is being deprived if they only have TV, radios and newspapers."

Repertorio Espanol will be at UC Santa Barbara's Campbell Hall May 8 with its production of the 17th-Century play " El Burlador de Sevilla y El Convidado de Piedra, " the first play written about Don Juan.

"There has been no adaptation, the text is intact," Zaldivar said. "It is divided into two parts. The first act of the play is the sins that Don Juan commits all over Europe, seducing women and using them for his purpose. The second act is his punishment. He goes to hell. There is no chance of redemption."

Though the play is done in Spanish, Zaldivar said, the non-Spanish speaking members of the audience will be able to appreciate it.

"There are nuances and certain subtleties that they will miss, but it's the same thing when you go to see Shakespeare," he said. "In my case there are certain words and things I don't understand in Shakespeare, but I understand the plays."

While the play's text is untouched, Zaldivar said that through simple costumes and stage setting it is easy to follow. "It has a modern approach which makes it accessible to today's audience, who are not accustomed to seeing theater often," he said.

Tickets are $14, $12 and $10. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. At 7 p.m. there will be a free English-language preview of the play and extensive program notes will be handed out. For more information call 961-3535.

Labor organizer Cesar Chavez will discuss government policies and public solutions to pesticide poisoning in a free lecture Friday at UC Santa Barbara's Campbell Hall, beginning at 5 p.m.

After his talk, Chavez will head over to La Casa de la Raza at 601 E. Montecito St. in Santa Barbara, for a fund-raising dinner to benefit the United Farm Workers of America. Tijuana's El Ballet Folklorico will perform in this start to the two-day Cinco de Mayo celebration at La Casa. Tickets are $5.50 (adults) and $2.50 (children). Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.

And that's just the beginning.

On Saturday La Casa has Cinco de Mayo activities scheduled nonstop from noon to midnight, beginning with the Latin jazz band Los Tres and ending with 3 1/2 hours of Latin dance music.

The rest of the day will feature, among others, the Kathy Cota Dance Studio doing Flamenco and Mexican Folkloric dancing, Toni del Rio performing ranchera music, the Adela Ibarra Aztec Dancers, and the Huehuecoyotl dancers from Durango. All events are free to the public. For more information call 965-8581.

How many miles would you travel to hear some jazz by Miles?

Trumpeter Miles Davis will kick off Santa Barbara City College's three-day Jazz Festival II with a performance tonight at the Arlington Theatre. Keyboardist Keiko Matsui will open the show. Tickets are $25 and $22.50. Show time is 8 p.m. Call the Arlington Box Office at 963-4408. Then on Friday and Saturday the college's Garvin Theater and the La Colena Junior High School theater will be packed with 42 competing jazz bands from junior high schools, high schools and colleges throughout the Western states. An all-day pass costs $3. Call 965-5935.

The Festival will conclude on Sunday with two performances by the group Free Flight, which will be joined at the Garvin Theater by the top two bands from last year's festival--the University of Southern California jazz ensemble and the band from Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara. Tickets are $10. Show times are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Call 965-5935.

For more information about the festival call Chuck Wood, the college's director of bands and jazz studies, at 965-0581, Ext. 232.

If you ever wanted to take a stroll back in time, now is the chance. On Sunday, Santa Barbara's Citizen's Planning Assn. will host Adobe Tour 1990. Just as the name implies, the day of tours will make stops at 10 different adobes in Santa Barbara's landmark Presidio district, some of which are not ordinarily open to the public.

The sites include the Pico Adobe, built about 1800 by a retired Presidio soldier and still used as a home; the Presidio Chapel (1788), the largest structure in the complex; and the Covarrubias Adobe (1817), the location of the last meeting of the Mexican Assembly of Congress.

Tours begin every half an hour, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at El Presidio Chapel, 127 E. Canon Perdido. Tickets are $7.50 (general) and children under 12 can take the tour at no charge. Call 966-3979.

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