Short List July-August 2022

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VENTURA MUSIC FESTIVAL

July 27 – Aug. 7|Ventura

The 27th season of the Ventura Music Festival has the theme of “Onward!” in celebration of its return to form and hopes for the future. The always-new, always-exciting lineup includes African rhythm and vocal group Adaawe, which will offer a free pre-season concert on July 27 in Ventura’s Mission Park. The festival proper opens on Friday, July 29, with We Banjo 3. Other highlights of the first weekend (July 29-31) include Django Festival Allstars and pianist Sean Chen, while sax sextet the Moanin’ Frogs, vocalist Veronica Swift and chamber choir The Crossing enliven the second weekend (Aug. 5-7). All performances except Adaawe take place at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center, 4700 Loma Vista Road, Ventura. For tickets, full schedule and more information, visit venturamusicfestival.org. 

GRATEFUL SHRED BENEFIT FOR THE LAND CONSERVANCY

July 30-31 | Ojai

Grateful Shred Industries is proud to be partnering with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy for a two-night benefit concert in unbelievable Ojai, California. A portion of all ticket proceeds will benefit the Land Conservancy’s work to protect and restore open space, wildlife habitat, watersheds and views of the Ojai Valley for current and future generations. The weekend will feature two full days of music from Ojai local and area artists with two gigantic headlining sets from Shred each night plus food, drink, Vendor’s Row and, of course, a real good time had by all. Gates will open at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. Tickets range from $33 to $350. Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street, Ojai. Tickets and more information available at ovlc.org/shred/. 

JAKE SHIMABUKURO

Aug. 4 | Ojai

Over the past two decades, Jake Shimabukuro has proved that there isn’t a style of music that he can’t play. While versatility for any musician is impressive, what’s remarkable about Jake’s transcendent skills is how he explores his seemingly limitless vocabulary — whether it’s jazz, rock, blues, bluegrass, folk or even classical — on perhaps the unlikeliest of instruments: the ‘ukulele. Responding to the urgent calls of his fervent imagination, Jake has taken the ‘ukulele to points previously thought impossible, and in the process he’s reinvented the applications for his this tiny, heretofore underappreciated four-string instrument, causing many to call him “the Jimi Hendrix of the ‘ukulele.” Doors open at 5 p.m. $39-$79. Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street, Ojai. For more information, visit libbeybowl.org. 

BONSAI TOUR AT VENTURA BOTANICAL GARDENS

Aug. 6 | Ventura

View some of our members’ beautiful bonsai creations and learn how to create your own. Plants suitable for bonsai will be available for purchase in our gift shop, and there will be a demonstration lecture at noon. This event is free for members, non-members are $7. You are welcome to explore the gardens before or after viewing the exhibit. Event takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ventura Botanical Gardens, 567 Poli Street, Ventura, 805.232.3113, venturabotanicalgardens.com. 

KINGSMEN SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

Through Aug. 7 | Thousand Oaks

The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, the professional theater company of California Lutheran University, continues its 25th festival with the tragedy of Macbeth. This Scottish tale of ambition, fate, betrayal and guilt features unforgettable characters like the duplicitous Macbeth, the scheming Lady Macbeth, the weird sisters with their disconcerting prophecies and more. Performances July 23-24, July 28-31 and Aug. 5-7 on the lawn of Kingsmen Park. All performances start at 8 p.m. $15-$110. California Lutheran University, 60 West Olson Road, Thousand Oaks, 805.492.2411,
www.kingsmenshakespeare.org.  

LOBBY HERO

Through Aug. 7 | Oxnard

When Jeff, a charming young security guard, is drawn into a local murder investigation, loyalties are strained to the breaking point. Jeff’s tightly wound supervisor is called to bear witness in a criminal trial involving his troubled brother. Meanwhile, an attractive rookie cop finds she must stand up to her seasoned but morally suspect partner. Truth, honor and duty becomes elusive, and justice proves costly in this comedic and insightful drama. $10-$20. The Elite Theatre Company, 2731 Victoria Avenue, Oxnard, www.theelite.org. 

OJAI PLAYWRIGHTS CONFERENCE NEW WORKS FESTIVAL

Aug. 7-14 | Ojai

Playwrights and plays set to be part of the OPC’s 25th Anniversary New Works Festival include Vivian Barnes, Bill Cain, Jahna Ferron-Smith, Peter Kim George, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Matthew Paul Olmos, Michael Shayan, Zakiya Young and Anna Ziegler. Playwrights will participate in play development workshops with actors, directors, dramaturges and OPC’s artistic staff, culminating in public presentations. Writers in Residence Zora Howard and Lyndsey Bourne will take part in a non-public play development process. In addition to the New Works Festival plays, OPC is presenting special events at the Zalk Theater. Festival passes are $300; individual event tickets are $30. For full plays, venues, full schedule and more information, visit www.ojaiplays.org.

HIGH STREET ARTS CENTER SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Aug. 12 – Sept. 3 | Moorpark

Starting in mid-August, the High Street Arts Center becomes the hottest music venue in the county with a series of music events every Friday and Saturday night through the first weekend in September. Aug. 12-13, it’s tributes to Bryan Adams (Cuts Like a Knife) and Billy Joel (Billy Nation), respectively; followed by the Chicago Tribute Experience and Raymond Michael’s Elvis act Aug. 26-27. The concert series wraps up Sept. 2-3 with Friday’s the Heart of Rock and Roll (tribute to Huey Lewis and the News) and Saturday’s Fortunate Son (CCR). All shows start at 7:30 p.m. $35. High Street Arts Center, 45 East High Street, Moorpark, 805.529.8700, highstreetartscenter.com.

BOOTS AND BREWS COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL

Aug. 20 | Ventura

Love craft beer, country music and fun in the sun? Then Boots and Brews is your ticket to a great time! The beloved music festival is back, bringing Cole Swindell, Eddie Montgomery (of Montgomery Gentry) and Raelynn to the stage, along with good drinks, an array of food vendors, a special lounge for VIP guests, daybeds, cabanas and more. Grab your cowboy hats, dancing boots and some friends and come on down to Surfer’s Point Live at the Ventura County Fairgrounds for Boots and Brews! Tickets: $59-$7,500; Parking: $20-$40. 10 West Harbor Boulevard, Ventura, www.bootsandbrews.com. 

WILD AND SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL

Aug. 20 | Ventura

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival inspires environmental activism and a love for nature through film. Wild and Scenic shares an urgent call to action, encouraging festival-goers to learn more about what they can do to save our threatened planet. The film festival raises funds that help Ventura Land Trust protect and conserve Ventura County’s open spaces. This year, the film festival will be offered as a live or virtual experience. The live event features food, drinks and a raffle of items from local businesses. Screenings 5-10 p.m. outside on the grounds of the Ventura County Credit Union. $5-$125. 2575 Vista Del Mar Drive, Ventura, www.venturalandtrust.org. 

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

Through Aug. 21 | Simi Valley

Produced by Actors’ Repertory Theatre of Simi. One of the most enduring shows of all time, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. This magical, musical reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers, and the coat of many colors features many unforgettable songs, including “Go Go Go Joseph,” “Any Dream Will Do,” and “Close Every Door.” An inspiring, entertaining and magical tour de force. $20-$28. 3050 Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, 805.583.7900, www.svvac.org. 

ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE IMPOSTERS

Aug. 28 | Thousand Oaks

TOArts and Live Nation present this English musical powerhouse whose singing, songwriting and producing career spans more than four decades. Elvis Costello boasts more than 30 albums, a Grammy Award and induction into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters’ Halls of Fame. Costello and his band, The Imposters, will perform songs from the January 2022 album The Boy Named If. Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets will open the show. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the musician Rolling Stone magazine named as one of its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time! $49.50-$179.50. Bank of America Performing Arts Center, 2100 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, 805.449.2787, bapacthousandoaks.com.

HIROKO YOSHIMOTO: NEW WORKS 

Through Nov. 6 | Santa Paula

An exhibition of 40 new artworks that represent the Ventura artist’s continued work on her long-running “Biodiversity“ series. The exhibit also features “Impending Storms,” a large-scale installation designed by Blue Marble Art Collective, a group that includes Yoshimoto and artists Katherine Chang Liu, W. Scott Miles and Tori Tasch. Kay Zetlmaier’s Geomorphic: The Living Earth will also be on exhibit through Sept. 11. Santa Paula Art Museum, 117 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, 805.525.5554, www.santapaulaartmuseum.org. 

ON THE HORIZON

CONVENE AND CONNECT WITH COMMUNITY

Sept. 1-4 | Ojai

As we slowly return back to something resembling normal life, it is we who need to be the driving force in this reawakening, so that we may come out the other side of a tragic few years and enter a new — better — world. Throughout this workshop, you will be able to learn, soak up the energy, and connect with like-minded friends in a sprawling, beautiful, outdoor space. Enjoy an Olympic-size pool on premises, the pristine valley, walk the forest, have a wonderful time outdoors with your friends…All while learning, healing, and coming away with powerful, life-changing knowledge and an experience to remember. Workshop, room and board: $1,500 single occupancy, $2,775 double occupancy. Zimmer Retreat Center, Ojai. For more information, visit deborahking.com/events/convene-and-connect-with-community-retreat. 

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME 

Sept. 2-24 | Thousand Oaks

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain: He is exceptional at mathematics but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. Now it is seven minutes after midnight, and Christopher stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork. Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, and he carefully records each fact of the crime. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world. Rated R for language. Conejo Players Theatre, 351 South Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, 805.495.3715, conejoplayers.org.