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GOINGS ON : Theater Group Closes Season, Looks to Future : Amid hopeful internal changes, the Santa Barbara Ensemble finishes with performances of 'What the Butler Saw.'

July 07, 1994|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

As the Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre Company closes the door on its 1993-1994 season with a production of Joe Orton's "What the Butler Saw," beginning tonight, it may very well be opening up the gate to its future.

The company has a new managing director, Patricia Baldwin, who most recently worked with the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater of New York, and an entirely new 12-member board of directors. This is the team that will lead the theater group into its 15th season next October.

"The Theater has gone through a financial struggle the last few years, and we're just coming out of it," said Christopher Vore, a regular lead actor with the company.

Vore said the new board members want to "support the artistic vision of the artistic director and create a solid foundation for the theater to keep going."

As for now the company's newest production--which centers around Dr. Prentice, a high society psychiatrist who occupies his time seducing women--will run through Aug. 14 at the Alhecama Theatre.

"It's a pretty wild and zany farce. It's a typical, classic farce in a way, but sort of a set-up for undermining all sorts of other things. It really takes a stab at the Establishment," said Vore, who plays the role of Dr. Rance, a Government Institutions inspector. "What starts out as a simple sort of seduction turns out to be a nightmare for Dr. Prentice."

Show times are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sundays July 17 and Aug. 7 at 2 p.m.; and Sundays July 10, 17, 24, 31 and Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. General admission ranges from $14 to $19. Call 962-8606. The theater is located at 914 Santa Barbara St.

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More than 1,000 horses will compete at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds tonight through July 17 for the 75th anniversary Santa Barbara National Horse Show. Daily hours are 8 a.m. to about 10 p.m. General admission is free.

The first part of the show will be dedicated to saddle horses, harness ponies, roadsters, quarter horses, and Western and reining categories. Evening shows tonight through Saturday will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday's evening activities will include a Royal Lipizzaner Stallion presentation.

Part two of the horse show will focus on the hunter-jumper division. Evening shows July 14 to 16 will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Grandstand admission to all evening shows is free, box seats are $8 (adults), $5 (children). Call 687-8711.

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Santa Barbara's New Vic Theater has a new home for its film screenings--the Lobero Theatre. And the housewarming party is tonight. This evening of celebration will begin with a grand reopening reception at the Old Towne Cafe, in the historic El Paseo complex, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. There will be live music and hors d'oeuvres.

From there it's on to the Lobero, where the former Victoria Street Theater group will open its summer film series with an 8 p.m. showing of "High Lonesome."

The movie will be repeated Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., with an additional 5 p.m. showing on Sunday. Tickets are $6 adults, $4 seniors and children. Call 963-0761 for tickets and information. The Lobero is located at 33 E. Canon Perdido St.

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Turning back the clock, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and the Santa Barbara Shakespeare Festival will team up to stage "Merchant of Venice" Sunday at the Casa de la Guerra adobe.

Show time is 2 p.m. General admission, which includes a post-performance reception, is $30. Call 965-0093. The adobe is located at 17 E. De la Guerra St.

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More than 60 floral displays and "living sculptures" will be on display this weekend at the third annual "Art in Full Bloom" exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

The series of related museum events opens with the gala preview party from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Guests can view the floral art while dining on a buffet supper prepared by the Wine Cask. Tickets are $75.

Then on Saturday and Sunday, the work will be on display to the general public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be a series of lectures and video presentations on the art of floral design. Admission to the museum is $5 general, $1 for children under age 12. Lectures are $10 each, which includes the admission charge. For more information call 963-4364, ext. 325. The museum is located at 1130 State St.

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