May Performance Art Portal

By: Marc Emmelmann

Some seriously creative and valuable strains of art are spicing up San Diego.  Before I mention specific happenings, I’d like to mention some of my favorite venues for performance art that both just happen to be in the East Village.  Sushi Performance & Visual Art and 10th Avenue Theatre.

Sushi’s space is truly raw and laden with concrete. There is nothing fishy about it – sound quality, diversity and creative talent are never an issue at Sushi. They also just announced their 2010 RED BALL  for June 5, with details coming soon. I wonder what the RED BALL will be!?

The 10th Avenue Theatre (Near E St.) used to be a church and is now an arts space with an aged yet welcoming ambiance. It seats over 100 with new bleacher style seating.  A wide range of artists actually work in the mildly renovated top floor. A fitness studio operates out of the second floor, but is creatively coupled as an art gallery. Stained glass windows shed light in the lobby and a hip rooftop space crowns this artsy hot spot.

One very unique online happenings is Art Rocks 247. They allow you to get up close and personal with the innovative lives that shape the artistic landscape of San Diego and southern California through their weekly online radio show. Art Rocks covers fashion, film, and all genres of arts. Catch the buzz with spicy Alexandra and witty Lu via and give your ears a LIVE listen Thursdays between 8-9pm.

Belly dancing is very popular in San Diego. Local belly dancers will be at World Belly Dance Day on May 8th at the Mission Valley YMCA, while belly dancers from all over the country are gathering at the 13th Annual San Diego Middle Eastern Dance Association (SAMEDA) Faire at NTC Liberty Station on July 18th at NTC Liberty Station in Point Loma. You can also get a dose of belly dancing in May and June at Portugalia Restaurant in Ocean Beach with Iza Moon Dance Collective. Melanie Dellas of Iza Moon also teaches classes ( if you are ready to experience the art of belly dancing first hand. I can attest that her “booty bounces” are an intense work out!  Lastly, be sure to investigate The Shimmy Sisters shows which often include snakes, candles, fire fingers, isis wings, glowing hula hoops, veils and zils!

Footloose The Musical is showing at  the Welk Resorts Theatre in Escondido this May and June. The dance driven Tony Award nominated play is based on the 1984 musical film starring Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow.  Footloose exemplifies the “cut loose” maxim to not be bound by the challenges and obstacles that life might present us. I’m hopeful for a fun juxtaposition of the movie and this stage performance.

Families with little ones might enjoy Cinderella at Coronado Playhouse which is showing until May 30th or Bye Bye Birdie The Musical at Lyceum Theatre presented by ACT San Diego. ACT San Diego is an exciting new theatre company for young people. Their mission is to provide educational and artistic opportunities to young actors to perform, act, and learn the art of stagecraft.

I’m very intrigued with the edgy play Dog Sees God.  It’s an “unauthorized” parody from the comic strip Peanuts, imagining the characters as teenagers.  DSG had its premiere at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival and was well received. You’ll be able to see it in San Diego at Diversionary Theatre (one of my favorite spaces for live theatre) this June. Thank you in advance, InnerMission Productions, for pushing the envelope in San Diego.

Got a birthday or company party to plan? You might get a kick out of Mystery Theatre Cafe’s new Night of the Laughing Dead show. You can enjoy this highly interactive dinner theatre performance at Imperial House Restaurant in Banker’s Hill and half price tickets are usually available at the day of the show, which are on Friday and Saturday nights.

Improv Comedy update – Comedy on the Crest has been happening Wednesdays 8pm @ Cafe Libertalia in Hillcrest. National Comedy Theatre stages weekend improv performances every Saturday and Sunday night and has no age or drink minimums!  Some of the choicest San Diego improv comes from  94.9 FM’s morning show, “The Mikey Show.”  Mikey and his entourage, Sienna, Lauren, Woods and Jay are leading the pack in my unsolicited opinion.

The Old Globe — have you heard of it? It’s kind of like the Godfather of the arts, it continuously remains the largest arts employer in San Diego. Over 250,000 attend productions or participate in OG outreach programs each year.  This summer, consider the west coast premier of The Whipping Man. This drama is set in Virginia following the final days of the Civil War. A Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his childhood home only to find it in ruins and occupied by his former slaves preparing for a Passover Seder.

I’m a huge fan of the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” so I must mention that Aziz Ansari is heading our way this July 24 on his  Dangerously Delicious Tour. Location – House of Blues. I’m expecting potent stand up comedy and will see you there.

Although San Diego may have a long way to catch up with say… the artistic prowess of San Fransisco, I can honestly say that we are well on our way. Get connected to the arts and join this budding movement by attending performances and making the arts a part of your life. Lastly,  I’d like to invite you to join the Arts Tix e-news club to get privy to weekly arts happenings.

Email to sign up or visit

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.