What’s Goin On Februaryby Eileen Sondak February 1, 2019
The La Jolla Playhouse will unveil its world premiere of the musical “Diana,” on Feb. 19, under the direction of Christopher Ashley. The story of this fairytale princess and her troubled marriage features a contemporary score by Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist David Bryan. “Diana” will captivate audiences through April 7, with its emotionally charged plot and strong production values.
The San Diego Opera is gearing up for a production of Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” coming to the Civic Theater Feb. 2-10. The dramatic opera pits a lecherous Duke against his hunchback jester – when the jokes go too far for comfort. Corruption and arrogance are at the heart of this powerful piece, and the music features one of the most memorable quartets in the repertory. The Opera Lover’s Ball – honoring philanthropists Frank and Lee Goldberg – will take place on Feb. 23 at the US Grant Hotel.
The Old Globe will continue to run “Familiar” on the Main Stage through March 3. “Familiar” is an engrossing black comedy that promises subtlety and insights. The play takes a heartwarming look at tradition and marriage – and what it means to be an American family. The Globe’s sister stage, the White Theater, will present the West Coast premiere of “Tiny Beautiful Things” Feb. 9 through March 10. Based on a bestseller, the play follows the relationships between an anonymous advice columnist and the many real-life readers who pour their hearts out to her. The dramatic work is uplifting and charged with emotion, but it’s not recommended for children.
The San Diego Symphony continues its first season under the new music director with “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” on Feb. 3. This family-friendly introduction to the orchestra features pre-concert activities as well. “Jurassic Park in Concert,” a thrilling sic-fi adventure film accompanied by the orchestra, follows on Feb. 9, as part of the Fox Theater Film Series. “Augustin Hadelich Returns” on Feb. 15 with Cristian Macelaru on the podium conducting a four-piece program that includes Dvorak’s Violin Concerto and works by Janacek, Bartok and Brahms. The concert will be repeated on Feb. 16 and 17.
Broadway-San Diego is ready to charm the whole family with Disney’s “Aladdin,” the hit Broadway musical. The stunning production uses beauty, magic and spectacle to tell the age-old tale, and songs by award-winning Alan Menken to propel the plot. You can see it at the Civic Theatre Feb. 20 through March 3.
North Coast Repertory Theatre turned up the volume with “Moon Over Buffalo,” a virtual laugh machine by comic genius Ken Ludwig. Sadly, this old-fashioned farce will end on Feb. 10. However, on Feb. 20, NCR will be focusing on the West Coast premiere of “Gabriel,” a haunting tale of wartime drama that promises to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. This award-winning off-Broadway play will run through March 17 at the troupe’s Solana Beach home.
San Diego Repertory Theatre will continue its staging of “Aubergine,” a play about love, family and the healing power of food through Feb. 17. The story revolves around a Korean-American chef and his efforts to connect intergenerational members of his family. Todd Salovey directed the heartwarming show, ensconced at the Lyceum Theatre. Hershey Felder makes a welcome return to the Rep for his one-man show, “Beethoven,” in which Felder takes on the persona and performs the music of one of the greatest composers in history. This time, Felder inhabits two additional characters as well. That very special production is slated for the Lyceum Stage Feb. 21 through March 24, and judging by his past hits, this one is not to be missed!
Cygnet Theatre is showing off a rafter-raising production of “Marie and Rosetta,” a play that chronicles Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s first rehearsal with her young protegee, Marie Knight. It’s a story about one of the great duos in musical history. The show – at Cygnet’s Old Town Theatre through Feb. 16 – is a soaring musical experience that abounds with guitar playing and gospel music. Following right on its heels is “The Finish Line,” a newly commissioned work in Old Town Feb. 17-18.
The Lamb’s Players will ring in its 25th anniversary season in Coronado with a cabaret celebration worthy of its proud history. Titled “A Jewel in the Crown City,” the show will take audiences down memory lane through its 25 years in the community. You can experience this musical journey through Feb. 17.
La Jolla Music Society has a busy month, starting on Feb. 8 with the Danish String Quartet performing at TSRI Auditorium. An Evening of Nordic Folk Music will follow at TSRI on Feb. 9, and Sunday Skal will be on tap at basilelE Gallery. The action moves to the Balboa Theater for Jazz in the Key of Ellison on Feb. 16, and Sir Andras Schiff on the 22nd.
The Museum of Art is featuring “Tim Shaw’s Beyond Reason,” an exhibition dealing with themes of global terrorism, free speech, abuse of power and artificial intelligence. Shaw’s work will be on exhibit through Feb. 24. Also on view is work by Mexican sculptor Javier Marin.
Birch Aquarium is highlighting “Hall of Fishes,” which also serves as a working laboratory. Birch has an installation on light by scientist Michael Latz, and another exhibition that helps you understand Scripps’ expeditions to discover and protect the planet. “Expedition at Sea” includes a 33-foot long projected triptych and hands-on learning opportunities.
The newest exhibition at the Birch is “Research in Action: 100 Island Challenge,” an exhibit that explores the way reefs are adapting to our rapidly changing planet. Also on display is “Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collection,” a comic book-inspired exhibit that highlights amazing adaptations of ocean species. In addition, Birch will feature visits to a local tide pool (through March) and Whale Watching Cruises (through mid-April).
The Reuben Fleet Science Center will be showing four films: “Great Barrier Reef,” Pandas” and a special addition: “Volcanoes,” which examines the contribution of volcanoes to the wildlife ecosystem and their impact on humans. Also at the Fleet is the “Renegade Science Project,” which escorts visitors through the park for a 90-minute exploration.
The Fleet is offering “Dream, Design, Build” – an exhibition that explores the museum’s collection of interactive engineering activities (and will remain on permanent display), and “Taping Shape 2.0,” which uses hundreds of rolls of packing tape to create a world of translucent spaces and tunnels. The Fleet has several other permanent exhibitions, including “Don’t Try This at Home,” “Studio X”, “Block Busters” and “Origins in Space.” The newest is “It’s Electric,” an interactive show that explores the fundamentals of electricity.
The Natural History Museum added “Escape the Nat” – an escape room experience that dares you to solve puzzles and save the world. “The Backyard” – a gallery for the 5-and-under set – and “Backyard Wilderness” (a 3-D film) are also on view. “Hidden Gems” is the newest exhibition at the NAT.
“Coast to Cactus in California,” and “Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage” – a display of specimens from around the world – are also worth checking out. “Unshelved” will be at the Nat for the next two years. The Nat has two new 3-D films: “Wonders of the Arctic” and National Parks Adventures. The museum also offers “Fossil Mysteries,” “Water: A California Story” and “Skulls.”
The San Diego History Center is featuring the first exhibition in Balboa Park exploring San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community. The History Museum’s permanent exhibition, “Placed Promises,” chronicles the history of the San Diego region – and the America’s Cup Exhibition, highlights the sailing race held in San Diego three times since 1988. A retrospective of the artwork of living San Diego legend Bob Matheny is on display through March 24.