Not many things can boost one’s ego like a long list of invites under one’s Events page – except, perhaps, a well-placed Super Poke from that special someone. But after attending the fifth or sixth or 20th party with “TIME TO GET WASTED” in the description, you might crave a little more variety in your recreational calendar. So, we cordially invite you to check out the following venues for some culture.
Campus events have plenty to offer when it comes to entertaining and enriching programs. UCSB Arts & Lectures hosts a veritable smorgasbord of unique musical acts and movies. Upcoming events on its calendar range from Queen Latifah swinging with her very own big band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and lectures from authors like Salman Rushdie and George F. Will. Recently, they have also hosted classic movies such as Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” and Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” with many more classic and contemporary films to come. For tickets and dates, visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.
Associated Students also brings in some big musical names that are sure to end up on your iLike top five. Most notably, they had the Killers come and play an outstanding show in the Events Center last winter. Their biggest annual event is undoubtedly Extravaganza, a free concert held during spring quarter that was graced in ’07 by Ben Kweller, Mickey Avalon, and headliner T.I. You can see all of the information on the Program Board portion of its website: www.as.ucsb.edu.
If you are looking for some visual stimuli on campus to supplement all of that aural pleasure, you need to pay a visit to the University Art Museum. It exhibits some quality professional and student works and is open from 12 to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, located right next to the UCen.
When the News Feed fails to provide the comedy and tragedy you desire, Artsweek highly recommends attending one of the many top-notch plays and dance performances staged by the Dept. of Dramatic Arts. The annual UCSB New Plays Festival is usually very well received by both casual theatergoers and veteran viewers of ye old proscenium alike. You can easily find their schedule and tickets on the UCSB website under Dramatic Arts. If you want to support more of your fellow student dramatists, you should also see a performance by Monstrous Little Productions, a company based out of the Old Little Theater known for their eclectic program of plays and their grand use of a criminally small stage.
Now that we’ve covered all those cool campus events, we can get to the hipper happenings of Isla Vista and Santa Barbara.
First of all, make sure not to splurge all of that “just in case” money your folks naively gave to you on handles of Popov. Instead, use some of that saved scrilla for the big name bands at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Nederlander Productions has the Cure, the Shins, and Tony Bennett lined up within the first two weeks of school, and there is always more where that came from. Get a schedule and tickets at nederlander.com, take the 24X bus downtown (free with your ACCESS card,) and stroll on down to Milpas Street for the show. If you decide to make a day of it, get down there early and stare contemplatively at the current Japanese woodblock exhibit, “From Geisha to Ghosts,” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art on 1130 State St. Impress your date with terms like chiaroscuro, vanishing point, and impasto. Contrary to popular belief, that last one is not an Italian appetizer at Pascucci’s.
For a much cheaper show, you might peruse www.myspace.com/islavistamusic for all things alternative in the Isla Vista music scene, like some experimental jazz at the Biko House at 6612 Sueno Rd. You’re in college now; learn about something new, huh?
Finally, if you want to laugh at something other than Mr. or Ms. “Sure, let’s do a few more shots of Jager” falling down the Manzanita stairs to the lagoon, Isla Vista Arts hosts two great chuckle options: Improvability and Comedy Central comics. The former is UCSB’s local improve troupe, performing almost every Friday in Embarcadero Hall, while the latter is a series of professional comics with some filthy mouths aimed directly at your delicate, college sensibilities. Both happen to be highly hilarious.
Hopefully, this little list will help you get started, but make sure you get out there and explore your options – there is no shortage of movies, music, and performances to enjoy. And, a word of advice: Watch out for that rather large dude sporting only a butcher’s apron at your next costume party. He’s 10 beer bongs deep and that pale rump roast looks undercooked. Stay safe and classy, you future leaders of America.