Santa Barbara singer Kenny Loggins, a veteran of benefit concerts and fund-raisers, came up with the idea of Christmas Unity four years ago.
The nonprofit organization is a unified campaign throughout the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo to attract money, food, toys and clothing for the needy.
Loggins again heads the annual Christmas Unity Telethon, scheduled from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday on KEYT-TV, Channel 3. Among his guests will be actors Michael Douglas and Jane Seymour. The past three telethons have raised more than $350,000, and Loggins said he hopes this year's event will set a new pledge record of $200,000.
Contributions come from throughout the tri-counties, with the money donated by each county going directly back to that area.
Also in the Christmas spirit of unity, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation will stage a bilingual play tonight through Dec. 16, (except Mondays). " Una Pastorela " is in the tradition of the many shepherd's plays that were brought by European settlers to California, then a part of Mexico.
In the 1850s, Pablo de la Guerra, who lived in Santa Barbara, transcribed one of the plays. Five years ago, Francisco Gonzalez, a Santa Barbara resident, found the script in the mission's archives and adapted it as a bilingual play, to be performed by both professional and amateur actors in the community. Gonzalez, a former member of the rock group Los Lobos, also wrote the music for the lyrics.
The fifth annual presentation will be at the Presidio Chapel, 124 E. Canon Perdido at 8 p.m., with an additional 5 p.m. performance weekends. Tickets are $5. Call 966-9719.
Beatrice Wood, an internationally known Ojai artist, will have an exhibit of her ceramic art at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Saturday through Jan. 20.
Her pottery, both wheel-thrown and handcrafted, is known for its iridescent glazes. The exhibit will focus on a selection of her larger vases, but some of her figurative works and tiles will also be included.
Admission to the museum is $3, and is free Thursdays and the first Sunday of each month. Call 963-4364.
For holiday entertainment with a twist, the public will provide the entertainment and a bunch of animals will serve as the audience. The Santa Barbara Zoo will hold its annual Sing-to-the-Animals afternoon of Christmas caroling Sunday. It's mostly for the kids but anyone who wants to sing to the bears and monkeys and lions is invited.
Carolers should meet at the information booth at the zoo's parking lot at 2 p.m. Participants will be led on a musical tour of the zoo with a representative who will provide commentary and background information on the animals. Admission is $4; children $2. Call 962-5339.
The Santa Barbara City College Jazz Ensemble will play at 8 p.m. Monday at the Garvin Theater. Admission is $6. The Concert Band and Christmas Brass Concerts will perform 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Garvin Theatre. Admission is $6. Call 965-5935.
"Reckless," a dark comedy about a woman who escapes a slaying planned by her husband, opens tonight at Santa Barbara City College's Studio Theatre. It runs every night at 8 p.m. through Dec. 15, except Monday. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled Sunday. Tickets are $7. Call 965-5935.
Also opening tonight is "The Belle of Amherst," a one-woman act exploring the life of poet Emily Dickinson. The play will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, beginning at 8 p.m., through Dec. 22 at the Backstage Theatre in Solvang. Tickets cost $8 to $16. Call 922-8313 or 800-221-9469.