Author: Mike Nelson

On a roll, 50 years and counting

Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant 1620 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo 805-482-3810; $11-30 My late, beloved, proudly Sicilian mother-in-law Connie, who knew something about good Italian cooking, always said you can tell a good Italian restaurant by its bread. “If the bread’s no good, forget it!” she’d declare, in a voice loud enough for any kitchen staff to hear. The bread at Ottavio’s — and the rest of the menu — stood up to Connie’s test, as it has to diners aplenty (Sicilian and otherwise) for the last 50 years. Founded by native Sicilian Ottavio Belvedere and his wife, Noella, the restaurant...

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NEW WEST, YOUNG MAN | NWS music director seeks to boost audience interaction with musicians

Seeing a live Buffalo Philharmonic performance of the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” as a teenager may not have been an “a-ha” moment in the life of New West Symphony music director Michael Christie. But it did offer a powerful insight into what made music, in his mind, magical. “My parents had told me about Disney’s Fantasia and how ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ was used to such great effect,” recalls Christie. “And as I listened to it performed live, I was captivated by how these images came alive in my head — and, even more, how amazing that people playing musical instruments could evoke...

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THE LANGUAGE OF STRINGS | Landmark String Quartet will translate a new kind of classical for Santa Paula audiences

Four musicians, four countries of origin, four very diverse backgrounds. And it all adds up to one very good time — for the musicians and their audiences. That’s what the Landmark String Quartet (nee Sincopa String Quartet) promises to bring to the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula on May 11. What distinguishes the Landmark String Quartet is its members’ ability, and especially their desire, to communicate with each other during performance in a way that “draws our audience into the music,” says Jennifer Wu, the Taiwanese violist and spokesperson for the group. “The audience likes to see our...

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ON THE BOOKSHELF | A History of Oxnard by Jeffrey Maulhardt

It’s quiet these days at the old Teatro theater at 620 South Oxnard Boulevard, in the heart of Oxnard’s old business district. But close your eyes, and imagine… The excitement of 90 years ago — March 21, 1929 — when Ventura County’s first “talkie” theater, the art-deco Boulevard Theater, opened with My Man starring Fannie Brice, with an admission price of 35 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. Or decades later, when the Boulevard — known by now as the Teatro — became a music studio where albums were recorded or mixed by the likes of Willie...

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EASTERN INFLUENCE | Pianist Miriam Arichea looks to China for CHICO’s “World Music Gala”

Defending accused criminals and playing piano concertos may not seem like compatible pursuits. But to defense attorney-slash-concert pianist Miriam Arichea, they have quite a lot in common. “They’re both very detail oriented,” says Arichea, who is also a wife, parent, Ventura High School academic decathlon coach, youth choir director and teaching-credential seeker. “That means they both require a lot of discipline. As an attorney, you have to make yourself sit down and read through 20 cases to prepare yourself for court. And as a pianist, you have to learn — well, in this case, a 64-page concerto.” The 64-page...

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  1. Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia

    August 22 @ 8:00 am - October 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. History Lecture Series: Accommodation and Resistance

    October 15 @ 7:00 pm - December 11 @ 8:30 pm
  3. Artist in Residence: Delesprie

    October 16 @ 3:00 pm - December 4 @ 6:00 pm
  4. The Innovative Vision of Poet Dana Gioia: American Poetry and Public Life

    October 23 @ 4:00 pm
  5. Career Education Programs Open House

    October 23 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  6. Drum Night

    October 23 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  7. NOAA seeks public comment on updating management plan for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

    October 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  8. Photography Exhibition: A Tree Grows In & On the Margins

    October 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
  9. ‘The Wolves’

    October 24 @ 8:00 pm - October 27 @ 2:00 pm
  10. Cocina Sin Fronteras Hosts Annual Haunted Housing Run/Walk

    October 26 @ 7:30 am - 10:00 am