On the Town

Students act out mash-up of fairy tales

play review /// ‘Into the Woods’


More than any other writer, Stephen Sondheim represents the gold standard to which most theatrical companies aspire. When a high school takes on a Sondheim show, it sets a high bar for its students. Sondheim’s shows traditionally push the envelope with their unconventional stories, complex production values and challenging scores. Elisa Griffin completed her first year as Westlake High School’s […]

Chili and cars, a perfect weekend

Are your taste buds ready? The 43rd annual Thousand Oaks Chili Cook-Off and Craft Brew Festival will be from noon to 5 p.m. Sun., May 5 at Conejo Creek Park North, 1379 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. VIP ticket entry is 11 a.m. The all-day, family-friendly event will feature over 40 chili tasting booths. Free unlimited chili tasting is included […]

Take a chance on a zesty show

play review /// ‘Mama Mia!’


The modern era of the jukebox musical began with “Mamma Mia!” This insufferably effervescent show, built around the greatest hits of Swedish pop group ABBA, debuted in London in 1999 and made its way to Broadway two years later where it lasted for over 5,000 performances before finally closing in 2015. Since then, it has become a permanent part of […]

Witch hunts continue to incite citizens

play review /// ‘The Crucible’


Cries of “witch hunt!” have been in the news for the past couple of years, but many people probably don’t know the origins of the accusation. If you think it comes from “The Wizard of Oz” or “Wicked,” you’re way off base. Witch- phobia dates back to at least the Middle Ages. In 16th- and 17th-century Europe, thousands of suspected […]

CLU makes waves with swashbuckling show

play review /// ‘The Pirate Queen’

A swashbuckling tale of a real-life pirate—Grace O’Malley, lord of Ireland’s Ó Máille dynasty in the 16th century—sailed into the Conejo Valley last week for a brief run in the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza’s Scherr Forum Theatre. The idea of an empowered woman who became captain of her own pirate ship and fought the English was too good of […]

Warning: Laughs ahead

Members of the Conejo Improv Players will set their brains on overdrive when they take audience suggestions and spin them into off-the-cuff skits and songs at 7 and 9 p.m. Sat., April 20 at Conejo Players Theatre, 351 S. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. The 7 p.m. show is rated PG; the 9 p.m. show is rated PG-13. The evening of […]

Mary Poppins flies into town on May 3

Young Artists Ensemble will present Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins Jr.” from May 3 to 19 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The show is directed by Georgeanne Lees with musical direction by Susan Trewory- Culkins. “Mary Poppins Jr.” […]

A big basket for a little boy

EGGSTRAVAGANZA—Westlake Village resident Rocky Stayart and her 5-year-old grandson Kade Hood walk near a large Easter basket during Underwood Family Farm’s Springtime Easter Festival on March 30 in Moorpark. The festival, which runs through April 22, includes a visit with the Easter Bunny, a petting zoo, a haystack, an animal show, arts and crafts, carnival games, face painting, pony rides […]

A ‘starry’ night with LA Winds

The nonprofit Los Angeles Symphonic Winds, directed by Stephen Piazza, will present the annual “Stars of the LA Winds” concert at 2:30 p.m. Sun., April 14 in the Calabasas High School performing arts education center, 22855 Mulholland Hwy. The Winds will pay tribute to tribute to music teachers by featuring four respected Southern California music educator/conductors, all members of the […]

Actresses ‘seize the day’ in energetic show

play review /// ‘Newsies’


There is something refreshingly brazen about a Catholic college prep school for young women putting on a production of the male-dominated musical “Newsies,” so when it was announced that La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks was doing just that, we had to check it out. “Newsies” relates the true story of the New York newsboys strike of 1899, when […]


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