by Eileen Sondak November 30, 2011


By Eileen Sondak

The kids will be out of school on break this month, out-of-town vacationers are headed your way, and you’re probably looking for suitable family entertainment. Fortunately, San Diego stages are featuring a grab-bag of delights, from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the perfect choice for the small-fry set) to an assortment of “Nutcrackers.” Music lovers can celebrate with The San Diego Symphony or catch Arnaldo Cohen at Sherwood Auditorium — and everyone can enjoy the world premiere of “Some Lovers,” the new Burt Bacharach musical.

The Old Globe’s world premiere production of “Some Lovers” will enchant audiences through Dec. 31. The show (with book and lyrics by multi-award winner Steven Sater) is nicely ensconced at the Globe’s White Theatre and is based on the classic O. Henry short story, “The Gift of the Magi.” It promises to be a treasured gift for musical theater buffs.

The Globe’s Main Stage was transformed into Whoville for the 14th annual staging of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” This delightful musical will continue to light up the stage through New Year’s Eve, and the entire Old Globe complex is decorated in keeping with the show’s zany holiday theme.

The La Jolla Playhouse brought a very special revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” to town recently. This second coming of “Superstar” was directed by the Playhouse’s former superstar, Des McAnuff, who created his vision of the rock musical in Canada. San Diegans can experience this stunning and widely acclaimed production through Dec. 31. The show is off to Broadway at the end of this run, so don’t miss it!

J*Company will pay tribute to the La Jolla Playhouse with a series of Playhouse hits, starting Dec. 2 with “The Who’s Tommy,” a classic rock musical “with J*Company family values.” The musical will be performed at the JCC in La Jolla with a full rock band through Dec. 11.

The San Diego Symphony will kick off the month Dec. 1 with a Symphony Expose performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” It will be offered as part of the Jacobs Masterworks Series Dec. 2-4. Jahja Ling will conduct the concerts, with violin virtuoso Robert McDuffie as guest artist. Works by Glass and Glazunov are also scheduled for the Masterworks performances.

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is coming our way Dec. 9-11, with John Nelson on the podium and Heidi Grant Murphy, Susanne Mentzer, Robert Breault and Richard Zeller. The San Diego Master Chorale is handling the vocals. Holiday Pops will feature Matthew Garbutt on the podium to conduct a concert brimming with Yuletide cheer. John Pagano, the San Diego Master Chorale, the San Diego Children’s Chorus and Mariachi Champana Nevin are all part of the festive programs set for Dec. 16-18.

The La Jolla Music Society has a special treat for music lovers. Arnaldo Cohen will perform a Liszt Anniversary Concert Dec. 9 at Sherwood Auditorium.

Broadway/San Diego is bringing five performances of the ever-popular “Riverdance” to the Civic Theatre Dec. 2-4. Following on Dec. 6, for one performance only, is Mannheim Steamroller delivering a program of holiday music.

The San Diego Repertory Theatre will wind down its rollicking production of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” (set in a Florida trailer park) Dec. 4. The campy musical is performed at the Lyceum Stage.

North Coast Repertory Theatre has a few holiday shows on the board. “Mistletoe, Music and Mayhem” is slated for Dec. 8-18, “An Unscripted Carol” (an Improv Theater presentation) will be performed Dec. 19 – 20, and “Sister’s Christmas Catechism” is due at NCR Dec. 21-24. A Theater School production of “Charlotte’s Web” will play at North Coast Rep’s Solana Beach home Dec. 1-4.

Cygnet Theatre is presenting its sixth and final production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” this month at Cygnet’s Old Town Theatre. The show will deliver its heartwarming message through Dec. 31.

The Lamb’s Players Theatre will provide some holiday cheer with its two annual Yuletide shows. “An American Christmas” is a feast and celebration circa 1911, complete with a sumptuous feast for guests. The merry evening of music, dance, song and fine dining is slated for the Hotel del Coronado Dec. 11-24. The Lamb’s brings “Festival of Christmas” (with a new story every year) to its resident stage in Coronado Dec. 1-30.

Welk Resort Theatre is rockin’ with “Jingle Bell Rock” through Dec. 31. This holiday show features The Alley Cats in an all-new comedy show with wintertime music sung acappella. The musical is preceded by a lavish buffet. Tuesdays are ventriloquist days, with Kevin Johnson performing. Wednesdays at the Welk bring “Illusions with Anthony Hernandez” and Saturdays promise Abbey Road’s “Ultimate Tribute to the Beatles.”

‘Tis the season of “The Nutcracker,” and City Ballet will unveil its production of the holiday classic Dec. 9-21. The ballet will be danced at Spreckels Theatre with the City Ballet orchestra, conducted by John Nettles.

California Ballet brings its “Nutcracker” production to the Civic Theatre Dec.17-23. Cal Ballet boasts the longest-running “Nutcracker” in San Diego, with performances accompanied by members of the San Diego Symphony.

San Diego Ballet’s version of the holiday bonbon is slated for the North Park Theater Dec. 3-4. Then “The Nutcracker” moves to Mandeville for performances Dec. 17-18.

The Oceanside Museum of Art will showcase “It’s Not My Fault: Everett Peck,” an exhibition that spans 30 years in the artist’s evolution, through next January. Becky Guttin’s whimsical vinyl paintings are also staying put through next January.

“Parallel Visions,” a photographic exhibit, will be on display through Dec. 18, and you can see “A Matter of Space: Cathy Breslaw” until Feb. 12.

The Museum of Contemporary Art will turn the spotlight on “Phenomenal,” an exhibition of works by Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Bruce Nauman, and other artists, through Jan. 22. The show will be on view at both La Jolla and the downtown facility. Also on tap for the La Jolla facility is a site-specific, light-based installation by Spencer Finch. Finch’s artwork, which evokes ancient Rome, will remain in Axline Court through January.

Mingei Museum is showcasing an original exhibition documenting a fascinating chapter in San Diego’s recent past. The show, dubbed “San Diego Craft Revolution: From Post-War Modern to California Design,” features more than 60 artists, including Ruth and Toza Radakovich, Arline Fisch and Martha Longenecker.

“Maneki Neko,” an exhibition of Japan’s Beckoning Cats, will remain on view through Jan. 15.

The Museum of Photographic Arts is showcasing “Imagine That: Photographing An Invisible World,” an exhibition that contains 24 photographs from the permanent collection, and “Inside Out,” which features about 7,000 photographs. Both shows will stay on through January.

The Westgate Hotel features Teddy Bear Teas for the youngsters (and their parents) every weekend Dec. 3-24.


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