Thursday, August 7, 2008

Local stars, they shine so brightly

A huge congratulations to Santa Barbara PR dynamo and fav gal about the town Maureen “Mo” McFadden on her new gig as the Executive Director of the 9th Annual Ojai Film Festival. The fest’s annual summer fundraiser is taking place next Wednesday, August 13th and Mo is hoping to see a few familiar faces at the event. The “Party in Paradise” will take place at the enchanting Glen Muse Estate, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. There will be both a live and silent auction with proceeds benefiting the upcoming Festival.

Expect music, music, music by The Household Gods with special guest Julie Christensen while nibbling on hors d’oeuvres and sipping drinks at sunset. Tickets for the “pink moment” party are $75/per person and tables for six are available if you want to get a group together and carpool. Also, there’s a “Buy one VIP pass, get a second at 50% off” special for the Festival, good through August 15. Something else to look forward to for duffers: actor Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange”) will be hosting a Celebrity Golf Classic at Ojai Valley Inn during the Fest which will take place November 6-9. Mo says to R.S.V.P. as soon as possible to (805) 640-1947. For more information, go to

A Funny Haskell
Comedian Will Ferrell has a website called “Funny or Die” and local thespian/antique dealer Eric Haskell (son of Spanish Colonial art and antiques expert/dealer Michael) has been garnering more “funny” than “die” votes for his contribution, “Hands Free” to the site. Let’s help this great young man and local boy (Haskell’s Beach was named for his dad ‘cuz he hung out there all the time surfing as a kid) push it over the top! Just in case you are wondering: Eric is the one driving the car and chasing his dog Blue down the hill—he is NOT the fellow in the loin cloth!

Bortolazzo Goes Microsoft
Speaking of homegrown talent, sculptor and all around nice guy Ken Bortolazzo has a super exhibition of his metal sculptures on display at Sullivan Goss Gallery through the end of the month. The “soon-to-be-re-titled” curtain of beaded chain is worth a walk through: it consists of millions of beads, actually four and half miles of beaded chain, suspended from the ceiling. (Take the kids!) Ken is working on a proposal to create a piece for the new World Trade Center’s forthcoming “Freedom Tower”. One of the pieces in the show, “Dyadic Dance” is a maquette for the project. Ken was noted sculptor George Rickey’s studio assistant for a number of years during Rickey’s winter stays in Hope Ranch. Congratulations are also in order to Ken on his recent commission for Microsoft Corporation’s Redmond Washington Campus, as well as to he and his wife, Kathy, on their first grandchild, Deetric Evans.

More Local Stars: Pounding the Boards
A plea from Judi Weisbart, director of the Patricia Henley Foundation, to please buy tickets as soon as possible to the Foundation’s 2008 Summer Youth Theater production "Newton's Cradle", which she promises to be “a humorous, gritty, true-life original musical”. Opening night performance at the Center State Theatre in Paseo Nuevo is on August 14, at 8 p.m. and will be followed by a Gala event under the stars. Five other performances are scheduled during the show’s run from August 15 - 17. Tickets for Opening Night are $50; all other performances $20/adults $15/students & Seniors.
“This is a PG-13 production,” warns Judi, “so no young children please.” Hmmm, wonder how old the kids in the show are? For tickets, call Center Stage Theater at 805 963 0408 or go to for more information.

Speed Business Connecting
Want to be in star in your own business? Ladies Who Launch, an organization that helps women launch their new businesses and products, is holding it’s first ever Speed Incubator Mixer on August 13 at Arcobaleno Trade, 7 West Haley Street. The 7 p.m. -8:30 p.m, $10 mixer says organizer Maria Elliott, is designed to get businesswomen connected—and fast— to other women doing great things. It’s like speed dating, only for business connections.
This could be fun and useful, I’m going to try and make it, as I am also curious about checking out the fair trade, ethically produced global imports at Arcobaleno, a shop that donates 20% of their proceeds to our local Headstart Programs. Register online for this, and other Ladies Who Launch Santa Barbara events, at

Fiesta Friar’s
Father Richard and Father Daniel had some pretty big robes to fill for Fiesta Pequena on the steps of our historic Old Mission this year and they, along with the gorgeous Paula Lopez (who gave a shout-out to her husband, Judge Ochoa in the audience) did an admirable job. Just two months to the day, since the funeral Mass was held for Father Virgil on those very steps, the Mission traditions continued honoring Father Virgil and celebrating one of favorite occasions with music, dancing singing and good fellowship. Viva la Siesta!

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