Show Time

Vol. 10, No. 25 - Sept 13 - Sept 26, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Steel Magnolias capture the South at Elite Robert Harling’s comedy-drama, Steel Magnolias, is now on stage through October 1 at the Elite Theater in Channel Islands. The highly popular play, written by Harling in just ten days, reflects how women bond through many of life’s challenges, providing support, guidance and a touch […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 24 – Aug 30 – Sept 12, 2017 – Movie Review

Girls Trip Review 2.5 Palm Trees out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Girls Trip is a 2017 comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee and written by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, from a story by Erica Rivinoja and the screenwriters. The film stars Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith. After […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 24 – Aug 30 - Sept 12, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Becky’s New Car offers delightful ride Ready for a theater experience that will make you laugh, touch you and possibly even involve you? It is waiting for you now at the Santa Paula Theater Center in the form of Becky’s New Car by Steven Dietz. The engine is revving up and the […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 23 – Aug 16 – Aug 29, 2017 – Movie Review

This issue does not have a movie review so enjoy this Hollywood gossip: Hollywood by Tony Rizzo We told you that Daniel Craig, who said, “I’d rather slash my wrists than do another Bond film,” was sure to sign for the next Bond movie, tentatively titled “Bond 25.” What was really happening was that Craig […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 23 – Aug 16 - Aug 29, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Camarillo Stages The Last Five Years Currently playing through September 10 on the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse stage is the Drama Desk award-winning musical The Last Five Years. The musical is performed by only two characters and is essentially two one-person shows being presented simultaneously. Book, music and lyrics penned by Jason Robert […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 22 – Aug 2 - Aug 15, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Billy Elliott Dances into Simi Billy Elliott, the Musical is the current offering by Actors’ Repertory Theatre of Simi, now playing at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. Based on the 2000 film, the staging features music by Elton John with lyrics and book by Lee Hall. Hall also wrote the screenplay […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 22 – Aug 2 - Aug 15, 2017 - Movie Review

Dunkirk 4 Palm Trees out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Dunkirk is a 2017 war film written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. Following three separate perspectives, Dunkirk explores […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 21 – July 19 – Aug 1, 2017 – Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming review: 2.5 out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, The film is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 21 – July 19 – Aug 1, 2017 – A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Catch Anything Goes on Ojai Stage Love on the high seas lends itself to high energy on the Ojai Art Center Theater stage, a welcome summer offering. The toe-tapping hit with memorable music and lyrics by Cole Porter is a favorite for both audiences and actors. Why? It’s just plain fun. The […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 20 – July 5 - July 18, 2017 - Movie Review

Baby Driver by Manuel Reynoso 4 Palm Trees out of 4 Baby Driver is a 2017 action film written and directed by Edgar Wright, starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx Forced to a getaway drive to repay his debt, Baby finds that it takes a […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 20 – July 5 - July 18, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Suspense fuels The Birds at SPTC The sound of furiously flapping wings permeated the theater as the lights dimmed. Feeling appropriately claustrophobic, brief flashbacks of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film flew through my mind as I awaited the Santa Paula Theater Center’s production of The Birds by Conor McPherson, adapted from the […] Read More »

Fair announces 2017 grandstand entertainment

The Fair will also feature nightly fireworks. Photo by John Ferritto The Ventura County Fair, “Rooted in Tradition,” proudly presents the 2017 Grandstand Entertainment Series, including motor sports, music, comedy and rodeos. The fair opens Wednesday, August 2 with Motor Sports, which requires a $5 admission in addition to paid Fair admission. (Children under 12 are […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 19 – June 21 - July 4, 2017 - Movie Review

Wonder Woman review (3 of 4) by Manuel Reynoso Wonder Woman is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is directed by Patty Jenkins, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and a story by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs, […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 19 – June 21 - July 4, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine A Chorus Line kicks it on High Street With an energetic 5,6,7,8, the High Street Arts Center’s production of the acclaimed A Chorus Line kicks its way into the hearts of dancers and theater-lovers throughout the county. The 1976 Broadway show swept nine Tony awards out of twelve nominations and still holds […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 18 – June 7 - June 20, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Lost genius revealed at Rubicon by Shirley Lorraine The Rubicon Theater’s current offering, The Other Mozart, presents a side of history that has heretofore been sequestered. A one-woman show presented in one fluid act, the production is a study in language, music, movement and pure artistry. Living in the shadow of another is never easy. […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 18 – June 7 - June 20, 2017 - Movie Review

Alien: Covenant by Manuel Reynoso 2 Palm trees out of 4 Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American sci-fi horror film and sequel to Prometheus. Directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. I have to admit I came into Alien: Covenant with no […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 – June 6, 2017 – A View from House Seats

Spelling Bee in Ojai Lively and Fresh by Shirley Lorraine How good is your spelling? Could you compete with the “kids” in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee now onstage at the Ojai Arts Center Theater?  A winner of both a Tony and Drama Desk award for Best Book, this charmingly engaging musical will […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 - June 6, 2017 - Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2.5 Palms trees out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 superhero film based on superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 16 – May 10 - May 23, 2017 - Movie Review

The Circle Review: by Manuel Reynoso     The Circle is a 2017 thriller film directed by James Ponsoldt and written by Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers, based on Eggers’ 2013 novel of the same name. The film stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega. Mae Holland lands an entry level position at the largest tech company […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 16 – May 10 - May 23, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Family Bonds Prevail in Mullingar by Shirley Lorraine The Irish countryside provides a lush and laid-back setting for this play about family ties, love, persistence and obligation in Outside Mullingar now on the main stage at Santa Paula Theater Center. Oscar, Pulitzer and Tony award winning author John Patrick Stanley of Doubt and Moonstruck fame […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 15 – April 26 - May 9, 2017 - Movie Review

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) By Manuel Reynoso 4 palm trees out of 4 Your Name, or in Japan Kimi no Na wa, was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. Based on the novel by the same name also written by Makoto Shinkai. As streaks of blue and red cascade past a crimson horizon, […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 15 – April 26 - May 9, 2017 - A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Romantic Repartee Rules Engaging Shaw at Elite Can two self-confessed “anti-romantics” find ultimate happiness in marriage? In the period drawing room comedy Engaging Shaw now onstage at the Elite Theatre, this relationship quagmire is explored, dissected, challenged and delightfully portrayed. The tightly written two-act play by John Morogiello incorporates bits of Shaw’s […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 14 – April 12 - April 25, 2017 - Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell 1 Palm Tree out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger, based on the Japanese manga by Masamune Shirow. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche. It’s very difficult for me to […] Read More »

SYLVIA, a howlingly funny canine comedy

Rubicon Theatre Company presents a contemporary updating of the 1995 comedy SYLVIA, a howlingly funny canine comedy by Drama Desk, Obie and Lortel Award-winner A.R. Gurney (Love Letters, The Dining Room). Considered a comic masterpiece, this hilarious and heartwarming comedy follows a love triangle that forms between empty-nesters Greg and Kate (Kevin Symons and Stasha […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 - April 11, 2017 - Movie Review

Logan 3 Palm Trees out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Directed by James Mangold and written by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green. Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, and Dafne Keen. Sick and retired, James “logan” Howlett lives day to day as a chauffeur in texas while caring for Charles Xavier, who […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 - April 11, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Gender bending with the Bard by Shirley Lorraine Imagine being given the chance to play what is considered by many to be the greatest role ever written – Hamlet. But what if you are a woman – and too young for the role?  These scenarios and others are put under the microscope of thought in […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 12 – March 15 – March 28, 2017 – Movie Review

Get Out 4 Palm Trees out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Written and Directed by Jordan Peele, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, LaKeith Stanfield and Catherine Keener. Black photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) travels to the suburbs to meet his white girlfriend’s affluent parents. What starts as an […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 12 – March 15 – March 28, 2017 – A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine Faith vs fantasy disputed in Agnes of God Reality and fiction collide in John Pielmeier’s compelling drama Agnes of God now playing at the Elite Theater in Fisherman’s Wharf, Oxnard.  The story centers on a young postulant, Agnes, who gives birth in a convent. She denies knowledge of having done so and […] Read More »

Freud’s Last Session debates life, love, sex and the meaning of life

On the day England enters World War II, renowned psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud invites the young Oxford Don C.S. Lewis to his London home to discuss their work, debate the meaning of life, and clash on topics of love, sex, the existence of God, all mere weeks before Freud takes his own life. Freud’s Last […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 11 – March 1 – March 14, 2017 – A View from House Seats

Kimberly Akimbo puts the fun in dysfunction by Shirley Lorraine To the consistent delight of Ventura County theater audiences, Santa Paula Theater Center isn’t afraid to take chances with lesser known works. Opening their 2017 season is Kimberly Akimbo by Pulitzer prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. The unusual two-act comedy presents an inside look into […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 11 – March 1 - March 14, 2017 - Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 by Manuel Reynoso 4 Palm Trees out of 4 Directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad and  stars Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane Shortly following the events of the first film, John Wick finds himself being violently thrusted back into […] Read More »

Rubicon Theatre Company celebrates Black History Month

Bessie Smith would go on to inspire Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin The Devil’s Music: The Life And Blues Of Bessie Smith, starring singer and actress Miche Braden of the original Off-Broadway production (named one of the 10 Best Off-Broadway productions of the year by the N.Y. Daily Times). The Devil’s Music: The […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 10 – February 15 - February 28, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Camarillo Playhouse makes Much of Much Ado About Nothing by Shirley Lorraine The wisdom, humor and wit of The Bard merrily graces the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse stage in Much Ado About Nothing, considered to be one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. Penned toward the middle of his career, Much Ado glides forward with charm to warm […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 10 – February 15 - February 28, 2017 - Movie Review

Split by Manuel Reynoso 1 palm tree out of 4 Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley. Three teenage girls are abducted by Kevin (James McAvoy), an abused suffer of Dissociative Identity Disorder, and are being held in cellar against their will. Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 9 – February 1 - February 14, 2017 - Movie Review

Hidden Figures by Manuel Reynoso 4 palm trees out of 4 Directed by Theodore Melfi, and adapted to screenplay by Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, And Kevin Costner. Based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The spectacle of the space race has been celebrated time […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 9 – February 1 - February 14, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Gulf View Drivewinds up winning trilogy by Shirley Lorraine Two seasons ago Ventura County audiences were introduced to the love story of May and Raleigh, a couple who meet during the early years of WWII in Last Train to Nibroc. Last season See Rock City continued to follow the couple’s adventures and trials through life. […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 8 – January 18 - January 31, 2017 - Movie Review

A Monster Calls 3 Palmtrees out of 4 by Manuel Reynoso Directed by J.A. Bayona, Written by Patrick Ness, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall and Liam Neeson. Besieged by the turmoil’s of life, armed only with his imagination, 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to come to terms with a tenacious […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 8 – January 18 - January 31, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Variety Arts Gala performance Comes to Oxnard by Shirley Lorraine A conference of Variety Family Performers is once again coming to our neighborhood! The fourth annual KAX (Kidabra International/Axtell Expressions) Conference will be gathering at the River Ridge Residence Inn in Oxnard January 25-28. To cap off the conference, there will be an All Star […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 6 – December 21, 2016 - January 3, 2017 - Movie Review

Skip the “Office Christmas Party” relentlessly unfunny by Richard Lieberman 1 Palmtree Directed by Josh Gordon, Will Speck. Starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Karan Soni, Jamie Chung, Abbey Lee, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Fortune Feimster, Ben Falcone. […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 6 – December 21, 2016 - January 3, 2017 - A View from House Seats

Christmas Classic Told a New Way by Shirley Lorraine Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol comes to life on the stage of Ventura’s Rubicon Theater bringing the wonder of the season, the familiar story and the pageantry of the classics. Now in its second annual Christmas showing, the innovative staging and creative characterizations allow the audience […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 5 – December 7 – December 20, 2016 - A View from House Seats

Elite Branches Out with Family Trees by Shirley Lorraine 2731 S. Victoria Ave In the World Premiere of Family Trees, family members come together to solve a problem and secrets are revealed following the death of Mike (Evan Austin) and Tina’s (Genevieve Levin) mother. A curmudgeonly busybody neighbor (Dorrie Braun) and her milquetoast son (Sabastien […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 5 – December 7 – December 20, 2016 - Movie Review

Arrival – Poignant on the spot instant sci-fi classic  (4 trees) by Richard Lieberman Director Denis Villeneuve combines hard sci-fi and deep seeded emotion in one of the best sci-fi movies of the year. A thoughtful grown up piece of science fiction not the usual alien invasion doomsday setup that we have become familiar with. […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 4 – November 23 - December 6, 2016 - Movie Review

Doctor Strange/4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com When we first meet Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), he’s an esteemed neurosurgeon at the top of his game. His unparalleled skill comes with a cost, however – he’s arrogant, a bit brash and very shrewd of the patients he deems worthy of his time. When a freak […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 4 – November 23 - December 6, 2016 - A View from House Seats

“Calendar Girls” Bust Out the Laughs by Shirley Lorraine First, it happened. Then it became a hit movie. Now it is hitting stages across the country and the world. A delightful lightweight romp based on a real event, “Calendar Girls” centers around a stalwart and staid British women’s organization, the Women’s Institute Association, referred to […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 3 – November 9 - November 22, 2016 - Movie Review

Arrival / 4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Our very existence is built around the need to communicate, and more importantly, understand one another. Arrival deconstructs this idea from the ground up, exploring language as a measure of intent, an art form, and depending on how you look at it, a weapon. It’s a stunning […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 3 – November 9 - November 22, 2016 - A View from House Seats

Sci-Fi Musical Rocks the Bard Shirley Lorraine In a decidedly out-of-this-world variation to their usual fare of dramas, comedies and introspective works, the Rubicon Theatre has brought together a stellar cast to take the audience on an unforgettable journey through time and space. From the moment one enters the theater, the scene is set. Blue-haired, […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 3 – November 9 – November 22, 2016 – A View from House Seats

Sci-Fi Musical Rocks the Bard by Shirley Lorraine In a decidedly out-of-this-world variation to their usual fare of dramas, comedies and introspective works, the Rubicon Theatre has brought together a stellar cast to take the audience on an unforgettable journey through time and space. From the moment one enters the theater, the scene is set. […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 2 – October 26 - November 8, 2016 - A View from House Seats

Curtains Rises at Camarillo Playhouse by Shirley Lorraine Curtains, now onstage at the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse through November 20, is a send-up of backstage murder mystery musicals set in 1959 Boston.  Music and lyrics are by John Kander and Fred Ebb of Cabaret and Chicago fame. In Curtains the ultimate bad omen occurs on opening […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 2 – October 26 - November 8, 2016 - Movie Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children/2 ½ Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a return to form for director Tim Burton. It’s not anything particularly new, but it’s what he does best – gothic mystery that finds its affection and beauty amidst tragedy. Burton, above all, has always been […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 1 – October 12 - October 25, 2016 - Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com It was only a matter of time before Akira Kurosawa’s action masterpiece Seven Samurai was updated for a modern generation. Only this time around, the filmmakers have chosen to stick to the Western genre and use that format to bring the story to life once more in a re-telling […] Read More »

Vol. 10, No. 1 – October 12 - October 25, 2016 - Two On the Aisle

Jim’s interest in magic began at age 14. R.I.P. Jim Spencer by Shirley Lorraine The seat on the aisle is now empty.  James (Jim) L. Spencer passed away at the age of 74 from a swiftly-moving inoperable brain tumor on Friday, September 30 with me, his wife of 26 years, Shirley Lorraine Spencer, at his […] Read More »

An out-of-this-world musical at the Rubicon

Rubicon Theatre Company presents Return To The Forbidden Planet, a fabulously campy send up of “Forbidden Planet” and other sci-fi film and TV shows from the 1950s, loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Set on a space ship sometime in the future, the show features a galaxy of 1950’s and 1960’s rock and roll classics, […] Read More »

Broadway comes to Ventura for 3 performances

The 2015-16 Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Broadway Musical Concert Series at Rubicon Theatre Company concludes with the concert reading of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along.  Directed by award-winner Bonnie Hellman, who helmed the first long-run hit version of the award-winning show in Los Angeles, the cast includes Broadway stars Jason […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 26 – September 28 – October 11, 2016 - Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven/3 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com It was only a matter of time before Akira Kurosawa’s action masterpiece Seven Samurai was updated for a modern generation. Only this time around, the filmmakers have chosen to stick to the Western genre and use that format to bring the story to life once more in […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 25 – September 14 – September 27, 2016 - Movie Review

Hell or High Water / 4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Hell or High Water is a film about characters, who, for the most part, have been marginalized and forgotten by the system, each finding different ways to survive amidst the fringes of society. The film captures how violence is a permanent stain that marks […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 25 – September 14 – September 27, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

The ensemble works as a tightly knit team executing rapid-fire delivery. Moonlight and Magnolias debuts at Rubicon by Jim Spencer & Shirley Lorraine The latest production at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre Company is Moonlight and Magnolias. It is a fascinating comedy about the process of converting the book, Gone with the Wind, into a movie. All […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 24 – August 31 – September 13, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Night Alive is luminescent at SPTC by Jim Spencer & Shirley Lorraine Once again the Santa Paula Theater Center (SPTC) brings a new level of theater to Ventura County with its current production of The Night Alive, a New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award winning play for 2013-14. Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s gripping and surprisingly […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 24 – August 31 – September 13, 2016 - Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon / 4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria / eduardovictory@yahoo.com Pete’s Dragon is a reminder that we should never forget “the magic”. The term, as it pertains to the film is broad, but can be distilled to an innate awe and wonder, a reverence and respect for what we can’t control or take for […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 23 – August 17 – August 30, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Elite Theatre Co. debuts new drama by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine From police to private eyes to preachers.  These are just some of the principal characters populating the various works of the Elite Theatre Company’s prolific resident playwright and artistic director, Tom Eubanks. The Elite just debuted Eubanks most recent work, In The Midst […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 23 – August 17 – August 30, 2016 - Movie Review

Suicide Squad/ ½ Palm Tree by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com In theory, Suicide Squad represents a combustible amount of rich possibilities perfect for smart, counter programming and an irreverent middle finger to superhero status quo. And who better to helm a film about broken and desperate criminals than director David Ayer, whose street savvy direction has always […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 22 – August 3 – August 16, 2016 - Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond/4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com After reinvigorating Trek with his rebooted timeline, J.J. Abrams crashed and burned with Star Trek Into Darkness, a muddled, misguided film that chose to reuse one of the franchise’s biggest villains, in the process, coming up as a pale imitation. Beyond, now directed by Justin Lin and […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 22 – August 3 – August 16, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Peter Pan prequel on stage in Simi by Jim Spencer & Shirley Lorraine Peter Pan. Tinkerbell. Wendy.  J. M. Barrie created these iconic characters and the story of the boy who would never grow up in 1902. One hundred years later another Barry, humorist Dave Barry, along with co-author Ridley Peterson, launched a widely popular […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 21 – July 20 – August 2, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Midsummer Night’s Dream sparkles under the stars by Jim Spencer & Shirley Lorraine The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is celebrating its twentieth anniversary of presenting quality productions on the main lawn of California Lutheran University. The final show of the 2016 season takes the professional company full circle with a re-staging its inaugural production of A […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 20 – July 6 – July 19, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Showbiz’ Original Annie is in Ojai by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine The world’s first entertainment superstar was William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.  For three decades he toured America and Europe with a cast of hundreds presenting his wild For 17 years the star of the show was a petite exhibition sharpshooter who became a national […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 20 – July 6 – July 19, 2016 - Movie Review

The Neon Demon/4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria It’s fitting that so much of Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is seen through mirrors, flashy reflective surfaces and blinding neon lights. All of these things present idealized, glossy versions of what’s on display, but remain fake reflections of the real thing. Herein lies the duality […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 19 – June 22 – July 5, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

The Fantasticks in Camarillo by Jim Spencer & Shirley Lorraine The Fantasticks is the longest running musical in theatrical history, playing continually in Manhattan for 50 years. It’s a classic tale of love, loss, reality and fantasy involving a boy, a girl, two parents and a wall. Why, then, do people feel a need to […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 19 – June 22 – July 5, 2016 – Movie Review

The Conjuring 2/4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com The Conjuring 2 finds Wan picking up right where he left off, proving that his greatest achievement on the first film was not just its scares, but his ability to turn the Warrens into two genre heroes we truly love and care about. Digging deeper into their […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 18 – June 8 – June 21, 2016 - Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse/ 2 and ½ Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com The latest feature in the X-Men franchise finds a younger version of familiar characters. This time around, the team is up against big bad Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) as he tries to destroy humanity to create a world fit for mutants. The stakes aren’t high, it’s […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 18 – June 8 – June 21, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Classic murder mystery at the Elite by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Since 1952 Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, The Mousetrap, has played continuously in London’s West End. For a brief time, local audiences can enjoy the English classic on stage at the Elite Theatre at Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor. The Mousetrap is arguably one of […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 17 – May 25 – June 7, 2016 - Hollywood

by Tony Rizzo Tom Cruise wants his Mummy! Not long ago we suggested that the 53-year-old superstar should stop making action films and return to making movies like “Born on the Fourth of July” (1990), “Jerry Maguire” (1996) and “Magnolia” (1999), for which he received Oscar nominations. Now instead of the tall buildings and fast-moving […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 17 – May 25 – June 7, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Darrow is at the Rubicon by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine The legacies of two prominent figures from the early 20th Century remain major influences today. One was magician Harry Houdini whose approach to self-promotion made him a household name and revolutionized mass marketing concepts. The other was the legendary lawyer, Clarence Darrow. His personal […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 17 – May 25 – June 7, 2016 - Movie Review

The Nice Guys/4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com   Watching a Shane Black film is like stepping into the mind of a madman – his films are wildly unhinged, whip-smart and have an unmistakable charm that’s equally obscene yet oddly endearing. All of these things, and more, are in full display in The Nice Guys, Black’s […] Read More »

HOLLYWOOD

by Tony Rizzo Have moviegoers tastes changed that much? The 2016 film release schedule reveals 15 documentaries and 10 superhero movies. The documentaries range from O.J Simpson, Frank Zappa, Norman Lear and Anthony Weiner to environment and climate change, stem-cell research, animal rights and cyber warfare. On the superhero side, we’ll be barraged with “Captain […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 16 – May 11 – May 24, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Intrigue abounds in Framed at the Elite by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Now through May 22 Oxnard’s Elite Theatre Company it is presenting a world premiere murder mystery thriller entitled Framed. The story has multiple murders, multiple lawyers, multiple potential culprits, and possibly multiple frame-ups. It is full of twists and turns. One moment […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 16 – May 11 – May 24, 2016 - Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War/ 3 ½ palm trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Thirteen films into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Captain America: Civil War is a home run that acts as a mid-act payoff to their long-form narrative, but also a sobering dissection of everything we’ve seen so far. The result is a film that’s highly textured and […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 15 – April 27 – May 10, 2016 - Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!!/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Like a fastball coming at you full force, director Richard Linklater’s latest film flies at its audience with great stride, confidence, and attitude. The Oscar nominated director of Everybody Wants Some!! says his film is a spiritual sequel to his indie classic Dazed and Confused. What his […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 14 – April 13 – April 26, 2016 - Movie Review

Hardcore Henry/3 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Video games have been adapting cinematic vernacular for some time now, so it’s only fitting that films like Hardcore Henry appropriate the medium’s unique perspective to push the bounds of cinematic immersion. Filmed entirely in first person POV, what director Ilya Naishuller’s pulled off with his directorial debut […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 14 – April 13 – April 26, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Cabrillo Music Theatre brings stories of miracles By Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Created in the early 1970s, formally incorporated in 1988 and the resident musical theatre company at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza since 1994, the Cabrillo Music Theatre (CMT) has been presenting big Broadway musicals in Ventura County for over 40 years. […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 13 – March 30 – April 12, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

An Oops at An Open Table by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Ventura’s Flying H Group Theatre Company is well known for presenting unusual and edgy works not often seen this side of Los Angeles.  Its current offering, An Open Table, is no exception. Billed as a world premiere, the piece is performed in a […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 13 – March 30 – April 12, 2016 - Movie Review

Batman v. Superman/1 Palm Tree by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com The DC Cinematic Universe is proving to be a tired experiment by only the second film, the awkwardly titled Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. In a sea of undeveloped ideas, poorly written characters, and a general lack of respect toward source material are some truly wonderful […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 12 – March 16 – March 29, 2016 - Movie Review

10 Cloverfield Lane/4 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com When the world ends due to circumstances beyond human involvement, who will ultimately be our greatest enemy? Our inhuman attackers or ourselves? 10 Cloverfield Lane sets out to explore one possibility of a similar scenario. For a movie that runs only 113 minutes, the script is extremely […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 12 – March 16 – March 29, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Addams Family Musical at Ojai is Altogether Kooky by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine The well-known Addams Family cartoon is brought to life on the Ojai Art Center Theater stage in a fresh new musical comedy. If you are a fan of the cartoon series, you will enjoy seeing your favorites live on stage. Be […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 11 – March 2 – March 15, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance visits the Rubicon by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine In 1890 a cowboy named Bert Barricune found an Easterner lying on the prairie. He had been brutally beaten and left for dead by a vicious outlaw named Liberty Valance. Barricune took the injured traveler to the town of Two […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 11 – March 2 – March 15, 2016 - Movie Review

The Witch/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Robert Eggers directorial debut is a force to be reckoned with. If you are entering this film expecting jump scares, cheap characters, and a predictable plot – The Witch will not be for you. Instead, the viewer is tested for 90 minutes, an all too efficient runtime that […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 10 – February 17 – March 2, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

The Other Place at Santa Paula Theater Center by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Are you ever really ready for a life-changing experience? The answer is no. The truth is, if it is happening to you, you probably will not recognize it. If it is happening to someone else, then you see it without truly […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 10 – February 17 – March 2, 2016 - Movie Review

Deadpool/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com From the studio that has failed to create any viable franchises besides Wolverine comes the latest entry into a year packed with superhero films. Deadpool is the adaptation of Rob Liefield’s foul-mouthed, wise cracking, pansexual “superhero” that appeared in several incarnations over the years thanks to Marvel. Yes, that […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 9 – February 3 – February 16, 2016 - Hollywood

Arnold Schwarzenegger has completed his next film, the revenge thriller “478,” in which he plays a man whose wife and child died in a plane crash caused by an air traffic controllers screw-up. When Arnold makes it known he wants vengeance, the controller is placed in protective custody. You can guess the rest. “Star Wars: […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 9 – February 3 – February 16, 2016 - Movie Review

13 Hours/2 1/2 Palm trees By Eduardo Victoria eduardovictory@yahoo.com After defining a distinct type of action blockbuster, polluting the world with transformer films and becoming a defacto scapegoat for disgruntled movie nerds, slacker auteur Michael Bay’s sets his sights on the infamous 2012 Benghazi attacks with 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Though his […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 9 – February 3 – February 16, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

See Rock City at the Rubicon Sequels are often not up to the standards of the original. However, See Rock City is a glowing example that lightning can strike the same place twice with double the intensity – especially when presented with the power and delicate finesse of the artists assembled by the Rubicon Theatre […] Read More »

Professional Variety Show in Oxnard

by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Five world class professional entertainers will materialize on stage in the ballroom of Oxnard’s River Ridge Residence Inn at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 30 to present a rollicking evening variety show filled with comedy, magic, ventriloquism, laughter, puppets and surprises. And the public is invited. The show caps […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 8 – January 20 – February 2, 2016 - Movie Review

The Revenant by Eduardo Victoria eduardovictory@yahoo.com Walking out at the end of Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s latest film, I was taken by its visual grandeur, stunning cinematography, and incredible performances. Then I found myself questioning why the film needs to be two hours and thirty-six minutes in length, when it probably could have been wrapped up much sooner than that. Upon further thought, […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 8 – January 20 – February 2, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Four Star Theater Awards by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Luminaries from Ventura County’s theatrical community gathered for a night of recognition and entertainment at the Sixth Annual Four Star Theater Awards ceremony. This year’s event, called “A Night of Four Thousand Stars,” was held January 10 at the iconic High Street Art Center in […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 - Two on the Aisle

Innovative Studio V 4 Arts opens in Ventura by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Thanks to specialization, advanced technology and globalization, gone are the mythical glory days of the prosperous lone wolf entrepreneur and the “I-can-do-it-all” career-oriented urbanite. Personal and business success in the 21st Century require development of four different skill sets – collaboration, […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 - Movie Review

The Hateful Eight / 3 ½ palm trees By Eduardo Victoria / eduardovictory@yahoo.com Quentin Tarantino is a gift upon those who love cinema. His latest effort, a take on Stagecoach by way of John Carpenter’s The Thing, will prove to be a triumph for fans of his work and love those who aren’t unswayed. Picking […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 6 – December 23, 2015 – January 5, 2016 – Movie Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens   /4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com 10 years after the “final” installment of the Star Wars saga, the latest entry proves that there are plenty of stories left to tell in the galaxy far, far away. Newcomer to the series J.J. Abrams wrote the script with veteran Star Wars writer […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 5 – December 9 - December 22, 2015 – Movie Review

Krampus/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Krampus is one hell of a good time, unabashedly set apart from almost every horror release this year thanks to its distinct, throwback vibe and inventive confidence from writer/director Michael Dougherty. Those unfamiliar with the titular European anti-Claus’ will definitely fear a visit from the legendary monster when the […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 5 – December 9 - December 22, 2015 – Two on the Aisle

A Christmas Carol at the Rubicon by James Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Over the years many versions of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens have been created for stage, screen, TV and radio. This holiday season Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre Company is presenting a new adaption of the classic story that has been penned by Karyl […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 4 – November 25 – December 8, 2015 – Movie Review

Suffragette/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com It took many “suffragettes” to force changes in voting laws, but the use of the word in this movie’s title is singular. The story of the fight for women suffrage in early 20th century Britain is told through the eyes and the experiences of a young laundress named Maud […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 4 – November 25 – December 8, 2015 – Two on the Aisle

The Clean House at Santa Paula Theater Center by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine If you’re looking for an uncommon experience to close out the year, The Clean House, now playing on stage at the Santa Paula Theater Center may just fit the bill. It is uncommon in many ways.  It does not have a […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 4 – November 25 – December 8, 2015 – Ventura Film Society Season 7

Please join the Ventura Film Society at 6pm on Sunday December 6th at the Museum of Ventura County for our Season 7 Closing Night Celebration. The two films we’ll be screening are “Cave Digger”, an Oscar-nominated documentary about an artist who spends ten years sculpting an other-worldly cave interior only to be cut off by […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 3 – November 11 – November 24, 2015 – Two on the Aisle

Lion in Winter at Elite Theatre Co By Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Tempers flare at Christmas time in a stark and drafty castle in 1183 as King Henry II of England, and his queen, Eleanor of Acquitaine, parry and thrust in an ongoing verbal joust about which of their sons will succeed the king […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 3 – November 11 – November 24, 2015 – Movie Review

Spectre/ 1 ½ Palm trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com The latest outing for super-spy James Bond takes us back to his roots in director Sam Mendes’ Spectre. The evil organization behind some of Bond’s best films over the years makes its return in a not so spectacular fashion in a film bogged down by clichés, a […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 2 – October 28 – November 10, 2015 – Two on the Aisle

My Fair Lady at the Rubicon by James Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Famed English playwright George Bernard Shaw premiered a play in 1913 about an egotistical professor of phonetics, Henry Higgins, who wagers he can pass off an uneducated flower girl as a duchess simply by teaching her to speak correctly.  He selects a subject […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 2 – October 28 – November 10, 2015 – Movie Review

Bridge of Spies/ 4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com What does Steven Spielberg have left to prove after having one of the best and most enviable careers in the history of film? He invented the blockbuster, his partnership with John Williams was crucial in the salvation of the orchestral film score, and he gave us […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 2 – October 28 – November 10, 2015 – Ventura Film Society Season 7

Ventura Film Society at 7:15pm on Wednesday Nov.11, Century 10 Downtown Ventura presents “Advanced Style”. This 2014 documentary examines the lives of seven unique New York women, aged 62 to 95, whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided and inspired their approach to aging. This film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women who are challenging conventional ideas about […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 1 – October 14 – October 27, 2015 - Ventura Film Society Season 7

Please join the Ventura Film Society at 7:15pm on Wednesday November 11th at the Century 10 Downtown Ventura for “Advanced Style”. This 2014 documentary examines the lives of seven unique New York women, aged 62 to 95, whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided and inspired their approach to aging. Based on Ari […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 1 – October 14 – October 27, 2015 - Movie Review

Sicario/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario doesn’t allow us to be a bystander – if you come at it thinking you can just sit back and enjoy, you’re wrong – it’ll chew you up and spit you out. At the very least, it’s a compelling crime drama with unrelenting tension; what separates […] Read More »

Vol. 9, No. 1 – October 14 – October 27, 2015 - Two on the Aisle

Small Engine Repair works at Flying H by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine On a New Hampshire evening three former high school buddies, now in their mid-30s, reunite for an evening of alcohol, testosterone, tall tales, pot and erotic braggadocio. The three – Packie, Swaino and Frank – arrive separately at Frank’s Small Engine Repair […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 26 – September 30 – October 13, 2015 – Ventura Film Society Season 7

Please join the Ventura Film Society at 7:15pm on Tuesday October 6th at the Century 10 Downtown Ventura for “Listen To Me Marlon”. With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive, including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 26 – September 30 – October 13, 2015 – Movie Review

Black Mass/ 3 1/2 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Black Mass is a tempest of a film that exposes the tragedy, drama, suspense and intrigue of its characters as they slowly but surely have their lives pulled out from underneath them. This is a rare case in which the end result is saved by the […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 26 – September 30 – October 13, 2015 – Movie Review

Black Mass/ 3 1/2 Palm Trees by Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Black Mass is a tempest of a film that exposes the tragedy, drama, suspense and intrigue of its characters as they slowly but surely have their lives pulled out from underneath them. This is a rare case in which the end result is saved by the […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 26 – September 30 – October 13, 2015 – Two on the Aisle

Nora reinterprets a classic by Jim Spencer & Shirley Lorraine Back in 1879 Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen debuted his now classic domestic drama, A Doll’s House. The story deals critically with the paternalistic attitudes and cultural restrictions imposed on married women in the 19th Century, who were treated like dolls rather than persons. The central […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 25 – September 16 – September 29, 2015 – Movie Review

Grandma/4 Palm Trees By Eduardo Victoria/eduardovictory@yahoo.com Grandma gets straight to the point. Armed with a fast pace and brief runtime, there’s nary a wasted moment, but instead a frank simplicity that hooks us from the very start up until the bittersweet end. Impressively directed and written by Paul Weitz, his latest film is an unabashed […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 24 – September 2 – September 15, 2015 – Two on the Aisle

Mad Gravity – it’s the law at Flying H Theatre by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine Many plays billed as comedies often have only sporadic comedic moments. Not so with Mad Gravity, the current production at Ventura’s Flying H Group Theatre Company. The laughs start in the first 60 seconds and continue constantly to the final blackout. Mad Gravity is a 21st Century farce from the […] Read More »

Movie Review - Straight Outta Compton / 3 Palm Trees

By Eduardo Victoria / eduardovictory@yahoo.com One of the great divides of the musical world is the rap genre. Relatively speaking, it’s still in its infancy and changing as much as the times it has existed in. Straight Outta Compton tells the story of 3 important figures in rap: Eric Wright (Eazy-E), O’Shea Jackson (Ice Cube), […] Read More »

Vol. 8, No. 23 - August 19 – September 1, 2015 - Two on the Aisle

Little Shop filled with big delights by Jim Spencer and Shirley Lorraine This month the rafters at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center are rocking as the Actors Repertory Company of Simi (ACTS) presents the classic sci-fi rock musical Little Shop of Horrors.  But this production is anything but a horror.  It is filled with […] Read More »

Two local journalists just launched their book project on Kickstarter

Mira Reverente has been a staff writer of the Ventura Breeze since 2009, covering the local business, sports and non-profit beats. She is also the associate editor of the Conejo Valley Happening Mag, a local all-digital mag. “Suddenly Single Women’s Guide to Finances,” is Mira’s first book. “The material for this book came at the […] Read More »

16th Annual Phoenix Scholarship Ceremony

by Victoria Usher On Thursday April 16th there was a truly inspiring event that took place at Ventura College in the school’s Wright Event Center.This event was the 16th Annual Phoenix Scholarship Ceremony where 28 re-entry students who have chosen to return to Ventura College to finish their education were not only congratulated but they […] Read More »

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