It’s summertime at the Lobero, and I’m looking forward to spending some warm summer evenings on the new Esplanade, enjoying a cool drink before a great show. With performers like Richard Thompson, Marshall Crenshaw and the Bottle Rockets on the lineup, the Lobero LIVE season is off to a great start.
We are excited to welcome back the Music Academy of the West for performances by members of their Festival Orchestra, and Opera Scenes featuring some of the genre’s most beloved moments. And of course we can always count on Sings Like Hell to present “the greatest music you’ve never heard.”
Recent renovations to the theatre will make each of these summer performances even more enjoyable. The Esplanade gives us a safe and comfortable place to meet before the show with guests and friends. New seats provide better sight lines and more legroom. Enlarged restrooms mean the intermissions run smoother with much shorter wait times. And of course, a state-of-the-art air conditioning system keeps the climate cool when weather is warm, the house is full, and the audience is rocking out.
With our newest issue of Backstage at the Lobero landing in mailboxes, and digital distribution now complete, I wanted to follow up with a few personal notes about this special edition, as the editor. Starting from the cover — a striking image of the Gail Towbes Auditorium without any seats in it — to the personal stories of contractors, donors, and passionate friends who have made all this possible.
I had been hesitant to show photos of the theatre during demolition, close-ups of cobwebs and the general grimy nature of construction… I didn’t want our friends to worry about what was happening behind closed doors, but I wanted to share some of the exciting bits of renovation. (Full disclosure: I’m an avid DIY-er in my own home, and fan of all the related television series.)
As with any issue of BACKSTAGE, it’s the stories that have the most heart, and remind us why the Lobero is Santa Barbara’s favorite theatre. For example, the Lobero’s newest board member, Steve Hayes, shares a personal story about meeting legendary jazz-man Wynton Marsalis with his son. Comedian Jonathan Winters‘ memorial was held at the Lobero Theatre earlier in 2013, and many stories and photos of him and his friends at the theatre came to light. This is also the first time the Lobero LIVE has listed some of the exciting Encore Season events, so remember, you’re the first to read about them. (Stay tuned, more to come!)
The issue can be downloaded here, if you have, or create, an account. Enjoy it on your digital device, anytime.
BACKSTAGE AT THE LOBERO
Behind the scenes of Encore: Lobero Preservation work
Don’t forget, the Lobero will re-open in December with new seats, bigger restrooms, heating and air conditioning, and improved access for all patrons as a part of Encore: Lobero. Learn more at LovetheLobero.com.
There’s a new clothing company based off Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara company with an innovative catalogue, Meet 32 Bar Blues, who produces quality apparel with casual styling. They also feature music by noted artists and clever tech pieces that folks who appreciate a Marshall amp will dig.
Baby Ride With Me jacket seated in Row J
Just before closing to begin Encore: Lobero preservation work in June, 32 Bar Blues came in to shoot their products for the fall catalogue throughout the Lobero theatre.
There’s great shots of supple leather jackets slung over seats, shoes tapping on guitar pedals, and sweaters hung in the dressing rooms. Fans of the theatre will have fun pointing out all the Lobero locations used in the instagram-styled book, and jazz and blues fans will enjoy the spliced insights from John Scofield and more. Live music fans should check out the Marshall ipod speaker and their selection of music available for sale by, wouldn’t you know it, a few Lobero LIVE alum. Best of all, proceeds on music and other arts pieces goes directly back to the artists.
The clothes and other pieces look comfortable and worn-in, unpretentious and full of deep knowledge and experience–kinda like the Lobero. The catalogue is available now by request, and we fully encourage you to learn more about 32 Bar Blues – a company committed to finding “the sweet spot where commerce and art meet.”
To borrow a phrase from our dear friend Hale Milgrim, we’re inviting you into “the vault.” Which, in this case, is the collection of Lobero LIVE videos we’ve recently uploaded to the Lobero YouTube channel. We’ve been lucky enough to chat with a few artists as they’ve performed at the Lobero, and saved those videos.
Check out Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan‘s impromptu jam in the greenroom, and David Lindley strummin’ away in his dressing room. We hope you enjoy the backstage banter with all these great talents. After you’ve watched, feel free to subscribe in case we’re able to get back to adding to our collection.
Below is a clip from the late Richie Havens who said it better than anyone else, back in 2007:
Lobero Theatre board and staff ride in the 2012 Fiesta Parade
It all began in 1924…
Tracing the history of the Lobero Theatre’s reopening and Old Spanish Days Fiesta
The grand opening of Santa Barbaraʼs rebuilt Lobero Theatre took place on August 4, 1924, with the play Beggar on Horseback. Nine days later, on August 13, 1924 another horse-related event took place just around the corner on State Street, soon to be known as the ﬁrst ofﬁcial Fiesta parade. Given that these two celebrations occurred so close together, was there a connection?