Author: Leslie Westbrook

OLÉ! | New West Symphony kicks off the 2017-18 season with flamenco, tango and three conductor semifinalists

Sunday afternoons at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center should prove quite exhilarating this musical season, thanks to the announcement of the New West Symphony programming for the 2017-18 season. Listeners will enjoy a sampling of the orchestra’s potential new maestro or maestra, along with additional stellar guest conductors. Those who prefer or who live closer to the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center can book Saturday evening seats there. The orchestra’s muy caliente “Grand Season Opening” kicks off on Oct. 7-8 with a tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month. The program includes three works by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla: the sublime...

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Flavors of Mexico with a California twist

La Cosecha Modern Cocina 450 E Harbor Blvd., Ventura 652-5151 $6-23 Hotel dining can run the gamut from fun to surprising, disappointing and more. I like hotel dining in my hometown because it makes me feel as if I am on staycation/eatcation. A sashay to the Crowne Plaza is great for people-watching. In the case of the beachfront high-rise hotel this usually includes bathing suits, surfboards and business suits. Staff members, trained to cater to tourists (happy/grumpy/demanding), are usually cheerful and helpful, which indeed they are at La Cosecha, the “rebranded” Mexican restaurant under the direction of Chef...

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Fresh from the sea

Fishermen’s Catch Fish Market & Grill 1185 Victoria Ave. Oxnard 985-6200 $3.50-$45 (lobster)/market price “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, Fish are jumpin….” — George Gershwin, “Summertime” Whenever summer “rolls” around, I get a hankering to splurge for a lobster roll or an entire Maine lobster to remind me of the summer I visited the state known as “Vacationland” long, long ago. Two friends and I devoured something insane like 39 lobsters at a Yankee Fourth of July party, where the lobster pot never stopped boiling and we all sang songs around the piano. (I prefer the sweeter...

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SHOW US THE MELODY | The Ventura Music Festival is full of surprises

Many years ago, Anne Davison, the wife of jazz cornet player “Wild Bill” Davison (1906-1989), used to wear a large button that read: “Show Me the Melody.” Methinks she’d be mighty pleased with the programming of this year’s Ventura Music Festival. The 2017 version, “An American Season,” runs over two weekends with a range of musical styles presented in nine concerts in a variety of locations that include the Olivas Adobe, Ventura College Performing Arts Center, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Pierpont Inn and even cozy Squashed Grapes, where student jazz competition winners will perform. Ojai talent appears in the...

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Go for the carbs, try out the roots

Ojai Harvest 307 E. Ojai Ave. Suite 105, Ojai 633-9232 $8-28 There’s good news, and there’s bad news at the recently opened Ojai Harvest in the old Los Caporales Mexican restaurant spot in downtown Shangri-La. The restaurant and bar is located next to Libbey Park, which is handy. Outdoor seating faces a parking lot. The two spaces are connected by the kitchen on the inside, but have separate entrances, and guests can dine in the bar if they prefer. Let’s start with the positive: the cozy bar. Great jazz tunes (Chet Baker, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday) were playing over...

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  1. Lunchtime Organ Recital Series

    September 8 @ 12:30 pm - December 8 @ 1:30 pm
  2. Rubicon Theatre Company’s Fall Acting Classes

    September 25 @ 4:00 pm - November 11 @ 6:00 pm
  3. Vulnerability inVisibility

    October 5 @ 8:00 am - November 11 @ 8:00 pm
  4. World War I and America

    October 11 @ 8:00 pm - November 14 @ 10:00 pm
  5. Theatre Arts Student Black Box

    October 19 @ 8:00 pm - October 22 @ 10:00 pm