A good night out

Taking in a play is always cause for celebration

By Saundra Sorenson

Carry-all for all seasons

Be it a business card, secret stash of smokes or your own lovely reflection, Cara Mia offers a smoother way to carry it around with embossed, brocade or faux leather cigarette cases and compacts. Think of these accessories as matching mini-luggage that lets you fold some currency or connect with a new acquaintance before curtain up, then stow it all away in sleek style before the actors’ first lines. Cara Mia, 424 E. Main St., Ventura. Call 641-2556.

A good dressing down

California style is casually sophisticated, and a night at the opera — which traditionally bears the promise of velvet cloaks, white gloves and mini-binoculars — is no exception; we prize our comfort here. This dress by Calypso seems a happy medium: In a subtle but feminine hue, the cut suggests a vintage dress suit combined with the effortless, laid-back charm of the West Coast attitude. The intentionally crinkled flow brings relaxation to a classy and classic look fit for the finest theaters this side of Broadway. Two Sisters, 318 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. Call 640-9719.

Clutching whimsy

For those who feared that the glitzy beaded clutch was merely an artifact from a bygone generation, Mary Frances has designed an extensive line of seemingly antique handbags that bear the mark of modernity. Bolder than grandma’s, this single accessory pulls out all the stops as it carries your tickets, cash and cell phone (set to silent, of course) with panache. This capricious hand candy ranges from demure to charmingly outlandish. It’s worth building an outfit around. Chameleon Boutique, 326 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. Call 646-2979.

Treading brightly

A night at the theater calls for a little drama from head to foot, and the Irregular Choice shoe line, distributed from London, always performs. Designs include the whimsical, funky and even questionable, but when founder Danny Sullivan opts for elegance, he does it full throttle. Shown here, in a nod to Louis XIV — one of history’s most grandiose of fashion icons — is an impossibly detailed pair of kitten heels to complement the chicest of night-out attire. Wild Planet, 560 E. Main St., Ventura. Call 643-5238.

Faking it beautifully

Why wear the Hope Diamond when you’re immersed in a theatrical world of illusion? Instead, do as the actors do and garb yourself in costume jewelry, glamorous depictions as artistic as the real thing. Anne Koplik crafts a line that harkens back to bygone eras: the drama of Art Decco, the modest beauty of the Victorian Age — making it possible to accessorize according to the genre of the play. Kindred Spirit, 302 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. Call 646-8900.

Studying up

Live music is so much better if you’ve already memorized the lyrics, and a play is easier-going if you’ve read ahead. Stop by Bart’s Books for a good deal on a volume of Shakespeare or Stoppard or Sophocles; holding a well-worn paperback in your hand brings you that much closer to audiences who have come before, and who knows? You may end up with a hidden treasure: the odd pencil-etched stage direction describing a past production or a high school student’s moment of discovery. Bart’s Books, 302 W. Matilija St., Ojai. Call 646-3755.


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