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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC looks to ‘Light Up the Sky’

Jazmyne Cushenberry
Stephanie Erb as Irene, and Matt Cooper as Tyler who plays her husband in the City College rendition of Moss Hart’s, ‘Light Up the Sky,’ a production put on by the Theater Group, are pictured during a stage rehearsal on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 in the Garvin Theater. The play, directed by Michael Gros will raise its curtains on Wednesday, March 4.

The first major City College play of the semester, “Light Up the Sky,” premieres 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at the Garvin Theatre.

The play is a comedy written by Moss Hart and takes place in 1940’s Boston in the presidential suite of the Ritz Hotel. A truck-driver-turned-playwright watches his play in production prior to its premiere on Broadway.

The behind-the-scenes comedy features a dynamic cast consisting of the high-strung leading lady, her sarcastic mother, a self-absorbed director, a lowbrow producer and his witty wife.

As the opening night approaches, the characters differences start to create problems, and without some sort of miracle the play seems doomed to be a major fiasco.

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“There is a lot of biting humor in it,” said Michael Gros, the director of the play. “They do get nasty at times, so I’d like to say it’s a ‘love bite’ rather than just a slapstick comedy.”

The play was written by Hart in 1948. He was born in New York City and is a well known playwright and director of American comedy. Hart made his Broadway debut in 1930 with the play “Once in a Lifetime,” and has had numerous of Broadway hits since then such as the musical “My Fair Lady.”

Gros also explains how the play shows the audience how hard it is to put together a new play, and how it also makes fun of and stereotypes the very best and worst qualities of theater people.

The play has 15 cast members, including guest equity actress Stephanie Erb. Erb has done over 60 guest-star appearances on popular TV-shows like “True Blood”, “Weeds” and “24.”

Another well-known face is local actor David Couch, who has been involved in the Santa Barbara theater scene for over 25 years. Couch has performed with the Gilbert and Sullivan group at the Lobero Theatre and is now debuting with the Theatre Group at City College.

Four of the cast members are traditional City College students; Vinicius Santana DaSilva, Edward Dovzhansky, Caesar Franco and Joakim Leopold.

Franco is a sophomore and has performed in numerous shows before starting college and also starred in “Ten Red Kings” in fall 2014.

Leopold is a second semester freshman from Sweden, and has appeared in several shows and short films. Both DaSilva and Dovzhansky, on the other hand, are making their debut on the Garvin stage.

Tickets are $8 for students, $16 for adults and $13 for seniors (62+) and City College staff and faculty. For reservations call (805) 965-5935 or visit


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