Those involved say its purely by coincidence, but three of Santa Barbara's leading performing arts organizations--Access Theatre, the Civic Light Opera and the Ensemble Theatre Company--have shows opening Friday night. Rather than fight each other for attention, the groups have decided to band together for a unique artistic achievement called the "Accidental Theatre Festival."
Here, then, are brief descriptions of the three shows:
* First, there's the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera's version of "A Chorus Line" at the Lobero Theatre. It's the story of the men and women who try out for a musical and their trials and tribulations. The Broadway production of the show was a hit for more than 15 years. The show runs through June 2. Evening performances will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and at 7 p.m. Sundays. There will be matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $23 and $24.50. Call 963-0761. The theater is located at 33 E. Canon Perdido.
* Then there's Access Theatre's production of "At Long Last Leo" at the Center Stage Theater. It's a comedy about a man who dreams of saving the world but has a hard time getting his family to take him seriously. The show runs through May 26. Show time is 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14.50 and $16, depending on the day. Call 963-0408. Center State Theater is located on the second floor of the Paseo Nuevo shopping center, the entrance at De La Guerra and Chapala streets.
* Ensemble Theatre Company's presentation of "The Alto Part," at the Alhecama Theatre, will complete the trio of events. It is a comedy/drama, set in the 1950s, that focuses on the hopes and dreams of a mother and her daughter. This show has the longest run of the three "Accidental" shows, scheduled to close June 22. aShow time is 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sundays (except May 12 and June 16, when performances will begin at 2 p.m.) Tickets are $12, $14 and $10, depending on the day. Call 962-8606. The Alhecama Theatre is at 914 Santa Barbara St.
A ticket stub from any of the shows will get you $2 off a weekday ticket for the two other shows.
Hungry for food and entertainment? Today is the last day to reserve a spot for Santa Barbara City College's third annual "A Taste of the Arts" gourmet dinner. This benefit for the school's fine arts departments will feature food prepared by Master Chefs of the Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Department. Between bites, diners will be entertained by members of the theater department, the symphony, the Jazz Combo, the Vocal Jazz Choir and the Chamber Singers. Tickets are $25 general admission. Call 965-5935 for tickets and information.
UC Santa Barbara will present the 1979 Hungarian film "Angi Vera" Sunday at 8 p.m. at Campbell Hall. Set in 1948 in communist Hungary, it's the story of an 18-year-old nurse, the title character, who speaks out against the horrible conditions at her hospital.
Her strong stance impresses Communist Party leaders and she is recruited to join their school of indoctrination. The rest of the film is about Angi Vera's training at this school and the people she meets during her three-month stay. "Angi Vera" won the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Festival.