With events canceled due to the Montecito mudslides and the temporary closure of Highway 101, let’s look ahead at some Santa Barbara happenings to note on your 2018 calendar. Still consider visiting now, as local restaurants and merchants need your support.
Star-studded film fest
Already slated to appear at this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Willem Dafoe (Feb. 1), Gary Oldman (Feb. 2), Saoirse Ronan (Feb. 3) and a whole passel of stars at the Virtuosos Awards (Feb. 3), including Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”) and Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”). There are hundreds of films from around the globe -- movies you just can’t see anywhere else -- during the 11-day fest, and lots more to see and do. Visit www.sbiff.org for details and to buy ticket packages.
For one delicious week, Feb. 23 to March 4, more than 20 Santa Barbara restaurants offer special three-course menus for both lunch and dinner with fixed prices, starting at just $25. You have three options for each course, including appetizer, entrée and dessert. Makes for a fun date night! (www.sbrestaurantweeks.com)
The 73rd International Orchid Show, March 9 to 11 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, is an extravaganza of bold and beautiful blooms of every shape, color, pattern and texture. One of the country’s largest and oldest celebrations of orchids, it is a flower-lover's dream. Expect 25,000 species and more than 50 exhibitors and vendors. (www.sborchidshow.com)
Two visually stunning groups are coming to the Granada -- kids will love them! Pilobolus Dance Theater (Jan. 28) are dance illusionists, renowned for athleticism, grace and jaw-dropping imagery. Cirque Éloize (Feb. 7) are among the world’s leading contemporary circuses. (www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu)
“It’s Magic” returns to the Lobero Theatre in late March with an all-new lineup of top illusionists and magicians performing sleight of hand, off-beat comedic magic, and mind-boggling full stage illusions. (www.lobero.com)
Two Broadway hits are at the Granada Theatre, including “Kinky Boots” (Feb. 20 and 21), which features songs by Tony Award-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper. “A Chorus Line,” winner of Best Musical Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, takes center stage March 20 and 21, with the original Michael Bennett choreography and the lovely song “What I Did for Love.” (www.granadasb.org)
Rossini’s comic masterpiece, “Barber of Seville,” will be staged by Opera Santa Barbara in early March, also at the Granada. It’s a wonderful introduction to opera, and includes the hilarious “Figaro” song. (www.operasb.org)
Three new exhibits open at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art on Jan. 28, all drawn from their permanent collections. “Bright to Light” features “revelatory” or unusual photography. Two separate “Crosscurrents” exhibits focus on portraits -- one of American European photographs from 1840 to 1900, another of painted portraits from 1750 to 1850. Renovations continue, so enter through the Museum Store on State Street or in the back, near the library. (www.sbma.net)