Holy Toledo! Otto Layman and his Santa Barbara High School Performing Arts Department have done it yet again. Montecito Journal has featured Layman's stellar productions of such classics as Beauty & the Beast, Singing Is The Rain, Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose (featuring an end of the show performance of the song "Footloose" by its creator, Kenny Loggins), and many other fine productions. I have often wondered in writing what mysterious ability Otto has that allows him to inspire a continuing cavalcade of youngsters bristling with unformed talent to perform at a level, dare I say, decades above their pay grade? But have yet to discover what that is.Read More
I caught Otto Layman’s Santa Barbara High School musical production of Chicago last Friday night. And, it was terrific. It was better than terrific. It was overwhelmingly good. I didn’t simply “enjoy” the show, I was bowled over by it, riddled with glee, sumptuously entertained, jubilantly absorbed... you get the picture.
Let’s start with the performers: Let’s start with, say, Camille Umoff, who takes on the role of Velma Kelly (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the movie version). Camille was Nancy in Janet Adderley’s Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theater production of Oliver! at the age of eleven. She is now thirteen and a freshman... a freshman!... at SBHS.Read More