Weekend Preview: 'Pippin,' Restaurant Week And Pinback
September 13, 2012 1:01 p.m.
David Coddon, theater critic at San Diego CityBeat.
Keli Dailey, food writer at U-T San Diego.
Related Story: Weekend Preview: 'Pippin,' Restaurant Week And Pinback
CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. A musical fairy tale from the 1970s, San Diego Restaurant week, a play about a decades long love affair, and a chicken cookoff. David Coddon is theatre critic at San Diego City beat.
CODDON: Hi, Maureen.
CAVANAUGH: And Kelly Dailey, San Diego food critic at UT San Diego.
CAVANAUGH: Let's start with pippin.
CODDON: Pippin is 40 years old this year. Debuted on Broadway in 1972. It features an acting troupe that breaks the fourth wall and actually addresses the audience. And they tell the story, and as you said, it's kind of a fairy tale, of a boy prince who is searching for the meaning of life back in the middle ages.
CAVANAUGH: And what kind of music is there? I hear it's a little with the WAH-WA, H getter from the '70s.
CODDON: It is. And the show when it began was financed in part by mo-town, and Michael Jackson recorded later one of the songs from the show, Morning Glow. One thing, in the original Broadway cast, Ben Vereen was the star. And Irene Ryan, granny from the Beverly hillbillies was in the original Broadway cast of pippin.
CAVANAUGH: Oh, that's wonderful to know!
CODDON: That's trivia.
CAVANAUGH: What about the local staging? Is there anything new in what's going up here?
CODDON: Well, with Diversionary, you know they're always going to do something different. And James Vasquez who did Rocky Horror at the globe last year, he's directing this. And they're calling this a reimagining of Pippin. So while I'm sure it will be faithful to the original, I would expect it to have some twists and turns that will surprise people.
CAVANAUGH: Now, there was -- if I recall correctly, a sort of racy element that went along with this particular play, but not in this version. Is this a family-oriented Pippin?
CODDON: I wouldn't go so far as to call it that. The allusion you're making I don't think is going to turn up in this production. Of but the very nature of Diversionary's work which is sophisticated and complex would make it less than an all-ages fairytale. Not for children.
DAILEY: Is there a tasteful way you can let me know what that allusion is?
[ LAUGHTER ]
CODDON: When we're off-mic, yes.
CAVANAUGH: Pippin is in theatres now, the Diversionary theatre in university heights. It's a coming of age tale, and there's a sexual element to it. Let me just say that. San Diego restaurant week!
DAILEY: It's an incentive to get locals back into restaurants after tourists have left town. It's a three-course dinner that you're promised to pay $20 or $30 for, and lunches are offered at some places, and it's kind of like the sandwich board that tells you exactly what you're in for, you're going to get three course for this amount of money and get out of there. They're all members of the California restaurant association, and it's 180 restaurants that are participating in this event.
CAVANAUGH: Wow! Any new restaurants?
DAILEY: Tons. There's been a downpour of restaurant, but some of the new ones are 100 wines, Ventana, in Escondido, D-bar in Hillcrest, and Brooklyn Girl which is a beautiful setting in mission hill, they've done this place up to feel like the social event of the year.
CAVANAUGH: Wow. Do you have tips for diners?
DAILEY: Sure. For a lot of people, this is their first chance to get into a high-end restaurant. So being patient with each other is always nice. I love to see young college kids at their first big date out, and make sure you make your reservations right away. It fills up. Everyone wants Thursday and Friday prime time nights. It's not offered on Saturday because that would just be a thunder of elephants. So make your reservations, be on time, and also tip nicely. They're giving you a discount on these courses. Some of them factor in gratuity. So if you're not familiar with 20% being a really nice tip, they just kind of do the thinking for you.
CAVANAUGH: Now, you've got a guide to restaurant week in the UT.
DAILEY: Thanks for bringing it up! It's a way to approach 180 restaurants. I mean, it's massive. So I break it down by places with good vegetarian dinners, or beautiful settings like places that were nominated for an orchid and onion award. Also places that offer you their signature dishes. It's important, if you go in to see what a restaurant is about for the first time, that they do something really in their wheelhouse. Like a Jamaican pork belly dish at 9-10. Of all of them, the one that I always -- well, are the two that I always recommend people try out, Marine Room which is in La Jolla, right on the La Jolla shores sand. And it's just because they love restaurant week. The chef there, the staff, they are really happy to see new face, new people. They give you the full high-end experience. So you want that kind of joy.
CAVANAUGH: San Diego restaurant week starts on Sunday and runs through Friday, September 21st at various restaurants. David, same time next year opens at New Village Arts theatre. What's the premise?
CODDON: It's about a couple George who is an accountant from New Jersey, and Doris, a housewife from Oakland California. And they meet at ann in 1951 and have a 1-nightstand. And the premise of the play is that they reunite every year at that inn to have another 1-nightstand.
CAVANAUGH: Now, we frown upon adultery.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CODDON: Absolutely. We don't encourage that. Of
CAVANAUGH: Why is this funny then?
CODDON: It's funny because George and Doris are funny. They're unlikely adulterers. But the reason we look past that is because as the years go by, and this is reflected in the play, you find common threads between these 2 people that has nothing to do with sex. Their lives become more complex in terms of their children, and changes that happen to all of us as we grow older, they develop a bond that's very, very meeting. And while they're meeting on the premise of a sexual liaison, the reunions become about a lot more.
CAVANAUGH: Again, just as in Pippin, in play is from the '70s. Wasn't it made into a movie?
CODDON: A very good movie.
CAVANAUGH: It's in previews now, it opens on Saturday, runs through October 7th at The New Village Arts theatre in Carlsbad. September is national chicken month!
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: There's an event this weekend that celebrates the bird. What is it?
DAILEY: Of the chicken cookoff at the Del Mar highlands town center on Saturday. And there's a chance for the publics to come and taste all of the participants in this chicken cookoff. And I'm one of the judges on the final word. And you've got Davante and Otecca, Mia Francesca, Burlap, and Sammy's Woodfire Pizza participating.
CAVANAUGH: You called chicken the world's most versatile protein. What kind of dishes are going to be made?
DAILEY: They're going to roast chicken. And Sammy's better do something on pizza. Burlap, they do a lot of Asian ingredients. I think chicken is making a comeback. I really think we've seen it in so many restaurants, every restaurant has a chicken entree. So I'm happy to participate.
CAVANAUGH: The other other white meat.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: We move from theatre to music, David. Pinback is playing this weekend.
CODDON: Pinback -- they're close to San Diego legends. Rob Crowe, and the single-named Zach, they have been making music here since the late '90s. Rob Crowe had a couple bands, one called heavy vegetable, the other was called thingy. And Zach had a band called 3-mile pilot. And they have been trucking along ever since. They haven't really broken completely out of Southern California. But if you go to their website and you listen to people on the chat, there's a lot of buzz for this band all over the country. And they're known for doing very layered, complex music. And it's really pretty inventive stuff.
CAVANAUGH: This is Proceed to Memory from Pinback's upcoming album, Information Retrieved.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: Now, we talked about the San Diego music thing where Pinback will be playing on Monday. It sounds like a really, really interesting event.
CODDON: It's a great event, especially if you're a musician. You not only get to hear bands, but you also get to go to workshops and seminars.
CAVANAUGH: And that's at the Lafayette?
CODDON: In Northpark.
CAVANAUGH: Pinback performs Saturday at sunset Temple in Northpark. Part of a plethora of bands.
CODDON: A true plethora.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: An evening of aloha, it's happening Sunday.
DAILEY: This is a chance to experience some of the city's best chefs. You'll be able to sample food, listen to Hawaiian music. All their dishes are going to be, like, tuna poke, pork belly with pineapple, and cured steelhead trout, and something with SPAM of course.
CAVANAUGH: I know! I know that bit of trivia, but it's going to be high-end spam, right?
DAILEY: I'm sure. They're going to just put a taste of spam into something really wonderful and gourmet. And I'm totally going to this event too, I should say.
CAVANAUGH: Okay, all right. We've mentioned that it's organized by cook's confab. Tell us about the group and the cause.
DAILEY: It's a chef collective that they assemble every few months for a good cause. Of either it's raising funds for children in school lunches or raising awareness about some cause. In this case, one of their fellow cooks confab members, his wife suffered a tragic fire accident on July 4th. So they're raising funds for the UCSD burn center, actually, to show gratitude for her speedy recovery. That was chef Antonio Frescia, and his wife Stacy. All of his pals are getting together, as well as restaurants, to show support for one of their own.
CAVANAUGH: Terrific cause. Sunday at Stingery in the Gaslamp quarter.