Weekend Preview: Street Food Market, Gordon Lightfoot and 'Assassins'
March 22, 2013 2:29 p.m.
David Coddon, theater critic, San Diego CityBeat
Dayna Crozier, editor, Urbanist Guide
CAVANAUGH: I'm Alison St. John. We have the Weekend Preview, looking ahead to some of the good stuff we can do here in San Diego! And here to give us some ideas we have David Coddon, the theatre critic of San Diego City Beat. Nice to have you here.
CODDON: Thanks for having me, Alison.
CAVANAUGH: And Dayna Crozier, editor of the Urbanist Guide.
CROZIER: Thank you for having me.
CAVANAUGH: David, you'd like to start us off with a somewhat controversial new play old at old town's signet theatre.
CODDON: Assassins isn't now, actually, it's rather -- it's more obscure in the cannon of Steven Sondheim. This play was written in 1990, 23 years ago, and didn't appear on Broadway until 2004. It's set in a carnival. And there is a shooting gallery, and the contestants are either assassins that we know, like Lee Harvey Oswald, or people who were contemplating assassination. So this is not your grandfather's Broadway show.
CAVANAUGH: But is it as serious as it sounds? Is it seriously about assassination?
CODDON: I wouldn't -- it is. It's really more to put it as clearly as possible, it as a serious overtone. However, there is a commentary going on here that is done about fame, about notoriety, and about understanding people who Sondheim himself has said, like it or not, are part of the national history. People like Oswald, John Wilkes booth, squeaky Fromme, and a Manson girl who took a shot at Gerald Ford.
CAVANAUGH: Oh, yes, that's right.
CODDON: So you may not come out of this with rip-roaring laughter, but it isn't partner the pun a deadly serious show.
CAVANAUGH: So there is some humor to it.
CODDON: There is. And let's not forget, it is a musical. And part of the goal of the show is to reflect the music that was popular at the time of these people's prominence. So for example, Oswald we're going to hear music from the '60s, that kind of sound is going to be familiar and associated with the person at the time that they lived.
CAVANAUGH: Why do you think it took so long for it to be performed and to gain prominence?
CODDON: I think the subject matter certainly was the reason. I was just telling Dayna before we went on, when it come to New York City, it originally was going to be on Broadway in 2009, then we had 911. Then it took three years after that before the producers felt that we were ready for a show with this kind of subject matter in the wake of 911.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So there are some big names in the cast, I know. Will that be a motivation to go see it?
CODDON: Big names in terms of characters. John Wilkes Booth, Sarah Jane Moore.
CAVANAUGH: Are we going to see them in a different light?
CODDON: I think that we will come to understand them a little differently than perhaps we did before. One of the significant tunes in the play is called "everybody's got the right to be happy." And that actually includes the assassins. I don't think we'll come out of there --
CAVANAUGH: Taking the constitution to its limits!
CODDON: It is. I don't know if we'll come out of there feeling sympathy for these people, but we will understand them and their place in our national psyche a little better.
CAVANAUGH: Okay. And it is Steven Sondheim so it'll be a good show.
CODDON: How bad could it be! Exactly.
CAVANAUGH: So Assassins runs through April 28 at the Signet Theatre in Old Town. So let's talk about food! Dayna, you've got an event that foodies will be delighted to hear about. The street food market.
CROZIER: The San Diego public market in Barrio Logan, which is pretty new, is putting on an authentic street food market to celebrate San Diego's culinary scene as well as Tijuana's culinary scene. And it's really about street food, just across cultures. And since the public market -- it's part of the public market, and there's a farmer's market there, and it's co-chaired with Suzie's Farms, it's going to be a celebration of farm fresh ingredients and the creativity that goes into chefs working with those. And the chefs will be preparing street food items like tacos and food on sticks and kettle corns, and the tickets will also include drink tickets for adult beverage, but it's going to be pretty kid-friendly too, aguas frescas and lemonades. So they get a discount.
CAVANAUGH: What else can we expect beside the food?
CROZIER: So it is going to be a big event! It's going to be kind of -- have this authentic street festival feel. There'll be cocktails from Snakeoil and Cusp, and there'll be beer from Stone, but also puppets and chickens and goats, and nationally renowned mariachi, bicyclist, street dancer, and they're going to be giving tours of the market's property as well.
CAVANAUGH: Wow! So great for the whole family. This is part of a transformation of the San Diego public market. Tell us about what's happening down there.
CROZIER: If anyone has been there, they have a farmer's market two days a week right now. And that space is actually only 20% of the entire property. So the plan is to have around 50 permanent, full-time shopkeepers six days a week. So there will be butchers and bakers and fishmongers. And they'll have permanent oven, display cases. So they'll be open much more often, and there'll also be a handcraft market as well.
CAVANAUGH: So this is part of the whole street market thing expanding and becoming more permanent and grounded.
CAVANAUGH: And this is in Barrio Logan?
CAVANAUGH: So the street food market is Sunday, March 24 at the San Diego Public Market in Barrio Logan. David, you've got an idea for us here which is more musical, and it is Gordon Lightfoot!
CODDON: I'm really knighted about this. Because this guy has been around for 50 years. Hard to believe it. Celebrating 50 years in the business. I didn't look up to see how old he was, but I guess he's got to be at least 70, right?
CAVANAUGH: Feels like he's always been there!
CODDON: Yeah. This guy is a Canadian singer/songwriter who is noted I think most for taking folk and pop and fusing them in the late '60s and early to mid-70s and making that melding of music accessible. He's known for his rich baritone, his 12-string guitar, and his light touch.
CAVANAUGH: Well, just in case anyone isn't immediately conjuring up in their mind a little riff of gourd know Lightfoot, here's something from if you could read my mind.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: Such a wonderful piece. He's in town this week! So David, you're telling us about his celebration this year. What is it?
CODDON: He's celebrating 50 years in the business! And I think the show, which by the way is at the Belly Up, which is a terrific venue because it's an intimate venue, and I think you'll feel like he's in your living room, and he's going to play songs like that that most everybody knows. But for the diehard fan, they'll hear album cuts that perhaps they cherish as their own. And we might even have a few little surprises from him too. So this is going to be a well worth evening on Sunday.
CAVANAUGH: They have some wonderful musicians, but this is quite a big name for them.
CODDON:They're used to having big names, but this kind of a show is a little bit different for the Belly Up. They have a lot of variety. But Gordon Lightfoot in the past has tended to play Humphrey, which is a great venue. But this rather cavernous venue in Solana beach is going to be special for fans. I'm looking forward to it.
CAVANAUGH: A more intimate venue.
CODDON: Just last night, my girlfriend and I were talking about this show, we just started going on YouTube and playing all these Gordon Lightfoot songs, here's another one, here's another one, and we just had a lot of fun with it.
CAVANAUGH: That's this Sunday, March 24 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. All right. Back to food! Another event that caters to the taste buds. There's a second foodie event. The Handlery hotel in Missions Valley.
CROZIER: You can have a pretty busy Sunday doing lunch at the Handlery and dinner at the public market in barrio Rogan. The Missions Valley Craft beer festival was created in 2010 to bring food and beer together. So this is their fourth year, and they have been growing tremendously. So to accommodate this year there, it's going to be pretty big. And they're going to have a beer garden with a shaded area to sit and eat. And it's going to be pretty great. There's pretty equal representation of food and beer.
CAVANAUGH: Give us a bit of a synopsis!
CROZIER: Sure, so there are about 30 breweries and about 20 chefs who will be bringing a dish that pairs with the beer in know general. But there aren't any specific pairings. Hannah's cabin from Carnitas Snack Shack is going to be at both events.
CAVANAUGH: So the proceeds from this event are going to the wounded warriors home. Can you tell us about that?
CROZIER: Yeah, so they're a really great service. They provide housing to single men and women who were recently medically disarmed from the armed forces for brain injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And their mission is to provide not only affordable housing but also hands-on resources, and a defined path for each member to transition from active duty to independent living as a veteran.
CAVANAUGH: Okay. So this is the Missions Valley craft beer and food festival, their proceedings will go to that. And this is the last round of this festival? Why?
CROZIER: The beer scene has blown up in San Diego pretty intensely. And there is a lot of competition. And they're not really interested in competing with everyone else. What they want to do is something good for the community. So they're going to step back and actually focus more on frequent smaller events that are highlighting things like the new breweries. So they have an event called new kids on the block which will focus on breweries that have only been in existence for less than a year. Because they tend to get lost at the bigger events when they're sort of the big boys like Stone and everyone else.
CAVANAUGH: You're nodding, David. Do you go to these events?
CODDON: I've been known to go to these event, and I'll probably go to this one before I see Gordon Lightfoot. With a designated driver.
CROZIER: They have a designated driver ticket so you can get in more cheaply.
CAVANAUGH: Oh, they do! Okay. So this Sunday, this is your last chance. After that, I guess there's more of a market for the -- the food market! That'll be the event that takes over as a big community event.