SB Orchid Show -- 2018

Prehistoric dinosaurs roam among the blooms in this display from last year’s Santa Barbara International Orchid Show, which is set for this weekend at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

Beauty abounds at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show and in the music of Mozart this weekend. There’s Celtic music and jazz concerts as well.

Orchids aplenty

The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show is one of the country’s oldest, most prestigious and largest celebration of Orchidaceae, the second-largest family of flowering plants. It boasts 25,000 species distributed around the globe.

Held Friday through Sunday, March 15 to 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the orchid show features extravagant displays. This year’s centerpiece is inspired by “Cinderella,” complete with coach, horse, clock tower, pumpkin, mice and “glass” slipper -- all fashioned from orchids. That’s just one display from more than 50 exhibitors and vendors.

You can also attend workshops about orchids, watch demonstrations about cultivation and care of orchids, visit displays of art and photography inspired by orchids, and even buy orchids. Did you know that the Central Coast is a hotbed of orchid growing? That’s one reason this show is so special.

Admission is $14, seniors and students $12 and children 12 and under free with a paid adult. A three-day pass is $22. Visit

'Amadeus' live

“Amadeus,” the 1984 Oscar winner for best picture, will be screened at the Granada Theatre with live musical accompaniment by the Santa Barbara Symphony on Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 17, at 3 p.m.

But it didn’t just win best picture, it also won best director (Milos Foreman), best actor (F. Murray Abraham), best adapted screenplay (Peter Shaffer, from his play), as well as sound mixing, costume design, production design and makeup. Tom Hulce was also nominated for best actor -- who can forget his manic high-pitched laugh as the somewhat demented, musical genius Mozart?

Mozart’s glorious music is matched by the sumptuous visuals -- “Amadeus” will look gorgeous on the big screen and the orchestra should sound simply delicious, led by Dirk Brosse, who scored Belgian film “Daens,” a 1993 nominee for a best foreign film Oscar.

As Emperor Joseph II says in the film, “Well … there it is.” Tickets start at $29. (805-899-2222,

Musical roundup

Irish band the Decent Folk performs a double dose of Celtic music to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend, first at the James Joyce (513 State St.) on Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. and then at the Red Piano (a few doors down at 519 State St.) on Sunday, March 17, from 2 to 5 p.m. Their instrumentation includes guitar, banjo, mandolin, bodhrán and Scottish bellows pipes, tin whistle and low whistle, hurdy gurdy (hand-cranked stringed instrument) and limberjack (a dancing doll used as percussion). (

Jazz at the Lobero presents an evening with Derek Douget and the UCSB Jazz Ensemble on Friday, March 15, at 8 p.m. This saxophonist is a member of the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and director of New Orleans’ Heritage School of Music. The show concludes a week’s education residency that included visits to Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valley high schools. Tickets are only $25. (805-963-0761,

Julia McHugh can be reached at


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