Those of us who are not students but who live down the coast from the UC Santa Barbara get to enjoy college entertainment--minus the all-night cram sessions and the essay exams. And now that the student population has settled in, UCSB is offering more music, dances, lectures and cultural events these next seven days than during any other one-week period this fall quarter.
Supplying as many wild antics and good times as any fraternity party, ISO and The Bobs will invade the campus Saturday night. An acronym for "I'm So Optimistic," ISO is a dance group that combines modern techniques and acrobatics with imaginative choreography. In "Linguini Arms," two creatures, connected at the arms and feet by stretchy white fabric, unfold into complex images. A dancer donning a super-hero outfit flings herself onto a Velcro wall and gets stuck in "Captain Tenacity." And in "Rubber Band," another dancer become a stretchy Frankenstein.
The four members of ISO have created dance videos for Sting, John Fogerty, U2, and Simply Red and helped David Bowie choreograph his Glass Spider world tour. They also did the choreography and performed in the film "Earth Girls Are Easy" and they've done several commercials for companies such as Coca-Cola.
Meanwhile, The Bobs, an a cappella quartet from the Bay Area, will be do-wopping all types of tunes from The Talking Heads to Jimi Hendrix. The Bobs have been pleasing audiences to the north for years with favorites such as "Let Me Be Your Third World Country" and "My Husband Is a Weatherman." They got started in 1981 when the two founding members lost their jobs at a singing telegram company and decided to form their own group. Since then, they have performed worldwide, in concert and over the airways. Their television appearances include guest spots on "The Tonight Show" and the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." And their first album was nominated for a Grammy.
The ISO and The Bobs will appear at 8 p.m. Saturday in Campbell Hall. Tickets are $16 to $20. Call 893-3535 for tickets and information.
If you don't want to wait for the weekend, master clown James Donlon will continue his one-man act in "Truck Dog" in the Studio Theatre tonight at 8. Tickets are $8. Also tonight "Zu: Warriors From the Magic Mountain," a film made in Hong Kong, will be shown at 8 in Campbell Hall. This sword and sorcery tale is full of monsters, ghosts, wizards and a countess who rules an all-woman empire. Dialogue is in mandarin. Admission is $5, but a 50% discount is offered on a full set of tickets to the 12-film International Cinema series.
The next film in the series, at 8 p.m. Sunday in Campbell Hall, will be "Bellman and True," an English thriller about a computer specialist forced to participate in a bank robbery.
On Friday, the classic German drama "Faust," Goethe's tale of a man who makes a bargain with the devil will begin its run at the Main Theatre. It also will be performed Oct. 12, 13 and 14. Tickets are $12.
Nat Hentoff, an authority on First Amendment rights and a writer for the Village Voice, will give a free talk on the threats to freedom of speech Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Rod MacLeish will give a free lecture Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. in the same hall. A National Public Radio commentator, MacLeish will discuss the impact of modern science on our ethical systems.
Survival Research Laboratories will explore the impact of modern science on performing arts as the avant-garde artists send radio-controlled robots on stage, amid smoke and fumes and a soundtrack, to fight with each other Monday at the Main Theatre. It's free.
And the beauty and energy of Brazilian tunes will come to Campbell Hall at 8 p.m. Tuesday when Joel Nascimento and the Brazilian Sextet perform cross-cultural music. Tickets are $11 to $15.
Carpinteria has some cultural events of its own this weekend during the fourth annual California Avocado Festival.
In tribute to the green, rough-skinned fruit, locals will mash it, whip it and freeze it into an array of foods--from avocado ice cream, avocado cream pie and avocado brownies to avocado-laced tacos and burgers. Plus local cheerleaders will prepare the world's largest bowl of guacamole to outdo last year's 8,960 servings of dip.
In addition to the food booths, the celebration will feature arts and crafts, musical entertainment plus flower displays from the 23rd annual Carpinteria Flower Festival which is part of this year's Avocado Festival.
Admission is free and events will run along Linden Avenue. Traveling north on U.S. 101, take the Casitas Pass Road exit and then turn right.
And to benefit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the second annual Artwalk will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Well-known ceramist Beatrice Wood from Ojai will be honored at a reception 5:30 to 7:30 Saturday. The Artwalk is free and the reception is $25. 682-4711.