By: Marc Emmelmann
San Diego is undergoing a bit of drama in the performing arts world with the recent closure of SUSHI in the East Village, our ultimate advant garde performance art destination, and with the recent bankruptcy proceedings of the Starlight Theatre, the 4,000+ seat outdoor theatre in Balboa Park. As for SUSHI, theyâ€™ve thrown themselves right into the trash, leaving no traces or tales for any kind of fishy resurrection.Â Starlight, on the other hand, will hopefully be revamped by intelligent minds and utilized to improve Balboa Park, not defame it.Â But as for who will have jurisdiction over the theatre after the bankruptcy, that remains a bit murky. Time will tell if the space will be used for concerts, theatre, MMA, or simply parking.
John Alexander is the new Executive Director at Diversionary Theatre, so letâ€™s hope University Heights gets a little boost in arts participation because of his NYC influenced savvy.Â As a staunch supporter for IMPROVEMENT, I can only hope that he will continue to grow that village-esque LGBT theatre into something more creative and impactful than his predecessor. You donâ€™t have to be gay to visit their space, btw (Just saying).
Kevin Patterson, Executive Director of the Academy of Performing Arts, now also in charge of contACT Arts (contactarts.org), is teaming up with Shelly Breneman, Executive Director of the Actors Alliance of San Diego (actorsalliance.com), to present some game-changing, new variety shows in San Diego, bringing copious amounts of opportunities for emerging artists to build their resumes and get exposure. If you are a budding performing artist in San Diego, it would behoove you to take classes at the Academy of Performing Arts and join the Actors Alliance too.Â Keep an eye on contACT Arts for productions of new works, including â€œOnce Upon A Time,â€ which will have simultaneous acts sandwiched between producing DJâ€™s and digital art, occurring at a local nightclub with multiple stages.Â More on that soon! Auditions will be posted at above mentioned websites, or email email@example.com and let them know that NUG sent you!
Shows are plentiful this September, so take the time to get out and enjoy San Diegoâ€™s funny business. Try ROAR Theatreâ€™s Friday Night Comedy in Bankerâ€™s Hill, or Laugh Out Proud (facebook.com/laughoutproud) in Hillcrest at Martiniâ€™s Above Fourth.Â As always, The Comedy Store in La Jolla has entertainment; albeit, the drink minimum standard is a bit antiquated. The world famous Blue Man Group will be at the Balboa Theatre starting Sept. 20th and â€œThe Little Shop of Horrorsâ€ at Cygnet Theatre runs now thru Sept. 11th.Â Even North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach has farce on their mind, as they are presenting the 20â€™s screwball comedy, â€œLend Me A Tenor,â€ with copious amounts of door slamming, no doubt.
Other more serious shows will be available too, including â€œEvita,â€ which opens at the Kit Carson Amphitheatre in Escondido on Sept 16th, and â€œWalter Cronkite is Dead,â€ which opens Sept. 17th at the Lyceum Space Theatre in Horton Plaza. Moreso, you can see sexy smart art on the trolley via Trolley Dances on Sept 24th & 25th, and some dates in October. The company producing these works is having a â€˜call for young choreographers,â€™ so if thatâ€™s your forte, throw your name in the hat. The winner gets $2,500 and the runner up gets $1k. San Diego Dance Theatre is all about diverse dancers and audiences, soâ€¦why notâ€¦you? Get edu-ma-cated at sandiegodancetheater.org.
When local artistic dance guru, Peter Kalivas, isnâ€™t teaching Cirque de Soleil dancers in Vegas, heâ€™s busy teaching classes and workshops, and producing San Diego Dances and Dance Moves. Be sure to bookmark his website, thepgkproject.org.Â If itâ€™s not too late for you, the highly imaginative Steam Powered Giraffe musical pantomime troupe will be performing daily at the San Diego Zoo, near the main entrance inside the zoo until Sept. 5th! These robots go on at 4:40, 5:40, 6:40, and 7:40PM. Last but not least, the San Diego Salsa Bachata Festival is coming up on Sept. 15th thru the 18th for all you salsa aficionados.