What’s Goin On

by Eileen Sondak January 3, 2018


hamilton-castBroadway-San Diego

Broadway-San Diego will light up the New Year with one of the hottest shows ever to conquer Broadway – “Hamilton.” This mammoth blockbuster will move into the Civic Theater on Jan. 3 for an extended stay through Jan. 28. If you can still snare seats for this multi-award-winning musical about our founding fathers, you’ll count yourself among the lucky ones. This groundbreaking show mixes hip-hop and history to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton and his tragic death in a duel with his one-time friend Aaron Burr.

The Capitol Steps – an acclaimed political musical satire troupe – will perform a new show at the Spreckels Theater Jan. 11. “Orange is the new Barack” promises to provide laugh therapy, so keep that in mind.

Coronado Playhouse

Coronado Playhouse is unveiling “The Addams Family,” a musical comedy delight that appeals to the whole family. The show will be ensconced at the Playhouse Jan. 19 through Feb. 25.

Cygnet Theatre

Cygnet Theatre will showcase the West Coast premiere of “The Last Wife” Jan. 17 through Feb. 11 at its Old Town home. The play is an amusing and powerful contemporary examination of the relationship of Henry VIII and his last wife, Katherine Parr. This window into the sexual politics of the day involves Henry’s children in the palace intrigue – and it sounds fascinating.


JCompany Youth Group is ready to take on “Les Miserables” Jan. 12 – 28. This challenging masterpiece is an epic tale that requires strong voices and emotional power. Kudos to artistic director Joey Landwehr for giving his young thespians this magnificent piece on which to hone their skills. Don’t miss it!

La Jolla Music Society

La Jolla Music Society will present Igor Levit on Jan. 7, as part of its Piano Series at the Auditorium at TSRI, followed on Jan. 13 by SDYS Chamber Orchestra at Jacobs Qualcomm Hall. This special event will highlight Celino Romero on the guitar. The legendary Paul Taylor Dance Company is headed to the Spreckels Theater on Jan. 20 – which should be a treat for aficionados of modern dance. The program includes two classics: “Arden Court” and “Cloven Kingdom,” and Steven Schick will accompany the Men’s Quartet. The Rolston String Quartet will round out the month on Jan. 21 at TSRI.

La Jolla Playhouse

The La Jolla Playhouse will host a week-long engagement of Mike Birbiglia’s latest solo piece, “The New One” – a humorous and highly relatable one-man show. This special offering will take over the Potiker Theater Jan. 9 – 14.

Lamb’s Players Theatre

The Lamb’s Players is bringing back its successful staging of Smoke on the Mountain for a three-week run Jan. 11 – 28.

North Coast Rep

North Coast Repertory Theater will feature the madcap adventure, “Around the World in 80 Days,” adapted by Mark Brown from the novel by Jules Verne. The high-voltage comedy follows its hero in a great race – circling the globe amidst stampeding elephants, runaway trains, and all manner of comic obstacles. Five actors portray all 42 characters in this humorous race against time. The show will ride roughshod over NCR’s Solana Beach theater Jan.10 through Feb. 4.

The Old Globe

It’s a brand new season for the Old Globe, and the Main Stage starts off strong with a classic comedy by Oscar Wilde. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is rich in clever wordplay and hilarious situations that keep audiences in stitches. The show opens Jan. 27 and runs through March 4. If brilliant whimsy, flighty ingenues, scheming bachelors, and British dowagers are your cup of tea, “Earnest” is a must-see. It has been called “the most perfect comedy in the English language,” and it’s hard to dispute that claim.

The Globe will host “Plays by Young Writers” at its White Theater Jan. 18 – 27, sponsored by the Lipinsky Family Fund. Now in its 33rd season, the project will feature four full productions and two staged readings.

San Diego Symphony

The San Diego Symphony will launch the “It’s About Time” Festival from Jan. 11 through Feb. 11, with 25 events hosted by 13 of San Diego’s top performing organizations. The Jacobs Masterworks series continues Jan. 13 – 14 with a program that includes works by Berlioz, Roberto Sierra, and Prokofiev. “Percussion: A Listener’s Guide” follows on Jan. 16, with Steven Schick and four percussionists from the San Diego Symphony taking audiences on a tour of rhythm. Jader Bignamini will conduct a concert titled “Places in Time” Jan. 20 – 21. The program features Italian rhythms, including Rossini’s beloved Overture to William Tell.

“Stories in Time” (Jan. 26 & 28) will feature Schick conducting a four-piece program that highlights percussionist Alyun Huang and the orchestra’s percussion section. Among the interesting mix is Ravel’s Suite from Mother Goose and Bartok’s Suite from Miraculous Mandarin. “The Roots of Rhythm” is slated for Jan. 27. John Santos, one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music, will survey the “root system” of jazz.  The festival will move outdoors for a performance of John Luther Adams’ “Inuksuit” Jan. 27 at the Mexican border.

San Diego Opera

The San Diego Opera will continue its season Jan. 26 – 28 at the Lyceum Theater with a new production of “Maria de Buenos Aires.”

San Diego Rep

San Diego Repertory Theater’s Lyceum Stage continues to showcase “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.” Felder has been a favorite on San Diego stages for years, performing unforgettable one-man shows about famous composers.  This time, Felder set his sights on the iconic American songwriter of “God Bless America,” White Christmas,” and a litany of other enduring hits. This limited engagement will end on Jan. 7.

Vantage Theatre

Vantage Theatre will stage a new play, “The Color of Light.” The show, by Jesse Kornbluth, focuses on the life of artist Matisse. You can see this artistic achievement Jan. 11 through Feb. 13.
Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium is featuring “Hall of Fishes,” which is unlike any other exhibition in the history of the aquarium. It also serves as a working laboratory. Birch also has an installation on light by scientist Michael Latz, and an exhibition that helps you understand Scripps’ expeditions to discover and protect the planet. “Expedition at Sea” immerses you in the experience of life and work aboard the Sally Ride research vessel. It 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.

Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum is showcasing “Kantha — Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal,” through March 25. “Arline Fisch: One of a Kind,” a retrospective view of jewelry and other artforms designed by this San Diego resident, will close on Jan. 7. Also on exhibit is “Art of the Americas – Meso-American, Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei’s Permanent Collection.” That show will stick around through Feb. 18. “Weaving a Path – Navajo Women and the Feminine Ethos” will be on display through May 28. The exhibition includes rugs and blankets.

San Diego History Center

The San Diego History Center is celebrating “The History & Heritage of the San Diego Jewish Community” in its current exhibition. Also on display is “Irving Gill: New Architecture for a Great Country,” and “Art and Heritage: Maurice Braun, Belle Baranceanu, and Harry Sternberg.” The History Center is featuring the African-American Fine Art Exhibition, “Legacy in Black.” This show – esconced through April 15 — will turn the spotlight on the work of eight African-American artists.

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.

San Diego
Museum of Art

The Museum of Art has opened its vaults to show off a treasure trove of artwork usually kept under lock and key. “Visible Vaults,” a collection of 300 pieces, including works by Andy Warhol, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec and other great artists, will be on view through Nov. 12.

Also on display at the Art Museum is “Brenda Biondo: Play,” an exhibition of 25 photographs focusing on children’s playgrounds. The show will run through Jan. 10. “Reflections on Monet,” a small-scale exhibition that includes the famous Water Lily painting and one piece on loan from the Bloomberg Collection, will stay put until Jan. 21. The newest exhibition at the Art Museum is “Modern Masters from Latin America: The Perez Simon Collection.” This show features 100 works by seminal figures, including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Fernando Botero. These striking artworks will be on view through March 11.


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