Friday, March 1, 2019

Theater in spring spells glorious goodies on the San Diego boards

Hershey Felder channels Beethoven via a father and son who knew him in Vienna in a glorious production at San Diego Repertory Theatre's Lyceum Theatre. The staging is glorious, the story moving and Felder plays many Beethoven pieces.  

From left, Jessica John, Richard Baird and Catalina Zelles in "Gabriel," a 
riveting North Coast Rep drama set on the island of Guernsey in World War II.
Sold out houses and rave reviews have extended the run to March 24!
                                                              - photo courtesy production director Christopher Williams


and theater marketing/media departments

IF YOU LOVE theater and warm temperatures, that should be enough of a hook to draw you to San Diego for a week or even a few days. Feed the artistic soul, warm the heart and hands, chill out and maybe catch a whale watch tour.
Cygnet Theatre in Old Town undertakes Tony Kushner's
two-part epic, "Angels in America" opening March 6.
In our dozen years of frequenting San Diego's many fine playhouses, this season offers one of the most varied and satisfying dockets we've experienced. Fabulous theater in a fabulous part of the world. Here are favorites from the region's bountiful playhouses. (Alphabetical order.):
CYGNET THEATRE. "Angels in America." Old Town. Ambitious two-part multi-award winner by the brilliant playwright Tony Kushner "a gay fantasia on national themes" focuses on two troubled couples, one gay, one straight -- and much more.  Redemption, forgiveness, salvation, politics, morality are all explored. March 6-April 20. Seven hours, two parts, running in repertory. "Pride and Prejudice" caps the always inventive Cygnet season.
Add Jeremy Wilson and Cashae Monya
star in the intriguing "Hedwig and the  Angry Inch."

DIVERSIONARY THEATER. "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." 4545 Park Blvd. Outcast turned rock underdog, "Hedwig'' took Off-Broadway by storm and Diversionary's inventive production promises "to catapult the audience into the outrageous original story." A sex-change operation goes wrong with both hilarious and horrifying results and a theme with both personal and universal breadth. March 15-April 15.
Intrepid Theatre's plays unfold at
the Lyceum downtown in Horton Plaza.

INTREPID THEATRE COMPANY. At the Lyceum Theater downtown, Horton Plaza.  This top calibre organization pushes the envelope, explores a range of work both new and classic.  Intrepid plans an intriguing "lab" this spring to workshop and modernize its upcoming production of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus." Keep your eye on Intrepid, for its ambitious, eye-opening work such as a brilliantly acted "Art." After "Titus Andronicus," "Joe Turner’s Come and Gone" by August Wilson concludes the eighth season season.

Actress Jeanna de Waal, right, portrays
Princess Diana in a new LJPH musical.
La JOLLA PLAYHOUSE. "Diana." Mandell Weiss Theatre. A new beautifully staged musical in the state-of-the-art LJPH features Jeanna de Waal takes the title role in this world premiere musical with the Tony Award-winning Memphis team of Joe DiPietro writing book and lyrics and David Bryan collaborating with music and lyrics. Playhouse artistic director and 2017 Tony winner Christopher Ashley directs. Through April 14.

"Chaps" promises a foot-stomping, energetic time at the
theater in an adventuresome musical comedy at Lamb's.
LAMB'S PLAYERS THEATRE. "Chaps." Coronado. Prepare for another lively presentation laced with plenty of country tunes. The new Lamb's musical is described as "Monty Python meets the Wild West." It's set in WWII during a live BBC Broadcast from London. The storyline: a studio crew must act fast to fill in when Tex Riley's Singing Cowboys are late. March 5- April 14.
Mar. 15 – Mar. 24. Fresh. Imaginative. Irreverent. That describes Moxie's quality work. "Hookman" features a homesick college freshman girl with a weird roommate while a hook-handed serial killer is about. Billed as "an existential slasher comedy" it promises bloody humor.
"Smokey Joe's Cafe" offers a spirited
revue of blues and rock 'n' roll hits.

NEW VILLAGE ARTS. "Smokey Joe's Cafe." Through March 10.Carlsbad. High-energy tune-filled musical revue with 39 block-busting rock 'n roll and blues songs, ably acted by a winning cast of nine singers-dancers-actors and a terrific five-piece band. in favorites from the '50s and '60s.. "Servant of Two Masters" and "Little Shop of Horrors" follow."
North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach offers
an enticing mix of quality work in a small, welcoming venue.
NORTH COAST Repertory Theater. "Gabriel." Solana Beach.  Through March 24. Intriguing, beautifully acted story set in World War II, directed by Christopher Williams. A stranger appears, changing the dynamic in the Nazi occupied island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. "All in the Timing," a lively satire directed by David Ellenstein and the Tony winning "A Walk in the Woods" follow.
SAN DIEGO REPERTORY THEATER. "Hershey Felder's Beethoven." Downtown. Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza. Brilliant production by pianist-actor-writer Felder, whose Chopin, Liszt and Bernstein are stunning, too. Through March 24.

Jeffrey Scott Parsons is the lead in "Crazy for You" ending
a successful run this weekend, here with the tapping ensemble. 
SAN DIEGO MUSICAL THEATER.  "Crazy for You." Horton Grand Theatre. High energy Gershwin musical stylishly directed by Kirsten Chandler with engaging tunes, bravura vocals, a crack orchestra, snappy dancing and splendid costumes. Followed by "Freaky Friday March 22-31 and "Sister Act" April 26-May 26. Final weekend for "Crazy...." Through March 3.
WELK RESORT Theater: "Menopause the Musical" follows a smashing "Mamma Mia" run. Features four sassy women at a lingerie sale, singing their way through hot flashes, night sweats, sex problems, memory loss and more. Hit parody set to classics from the '60s to '80s.March 15-June 2.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Spirit took our veteran travelers around
southern Europe and into the Greek Isles and, here, Valletta, Malta. 

UP NEXT: Come with us to as we rediscover the pleasures of Norwegian Cruise Line, which we chose for our 115th cruise recently, touring the Greek Isles, with stops in Malta and Italy. What makes NCL special for veteran cruisers?  We'll give you reasons to try the line if you're new to cruising or have many happy cruises under your belt. We'll look at the dining options (including abundant tables for two and flexible times) and we'll consider the ports of call and well organized tours as part of the lure. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekends for a fresh look at travel, the arts, nature, family and off-beat fun.


  1. Carlsbad Culture LoversMarch 7, 2019 at 11:49 AM

    We have seen all of Hershey Felder's magnificent productions. He is a true genius. Thanks for this. We see it this weekend. Excited.

  2. Enchanted in EncinitasMarch 7, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Dawn "Gabriel" last night and it blew us away. Richard Baird is brilliant -- the play left us in a hypnotized state. Great theater. Fun column. Just discovered it!

  3. Vancouver VagabondsMarch 7, 2019 at 9:30 PM

    Astounding range. Wish we were there. Soon.