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Culture Lust Weekend: One Book, One San Diego, Steve Poltz and ‘Nabucco’

BOOKS

2010’s One Book, One San Diego is “Outcasts United” and you’ll be able to analyze it with author Warren St. John at Isabel’s Cantina tonight at 6:30. The novel follows the mass refugee resettlement to Clarkson, Georgia, that occurred during the 1990’s, and one woman’s real-life plan to unite the youth (a hint: it involves a soccer ball!). Local refugees will also join St. John at the event for some added insight. Meanwhile, readers can explore the book further during a discussion at the San Diego Public Library’s Central branch this Monday, with insight from Dr. Philip Gunderson.

If you witness a tenebrous cloud of doom and a few harpies swooping in on La Jolla this Friday, don’t be alarmed – it’s probably due to the arrival of the one-and-only prince of darkness. That’s right: Ozzy Osbourne will be at Warwick’s signing copies of his new memoir, "I Am Ozzy", at 6:30 P.M. Don your take on Ozzy and feast while you wait – the first 25 in costume and in line by 6:00 will score some free slices from Extreme Pizza.

FILM

The San Diego Italian Film Fest’s anti-mafia series continues Friday with a screening of "La Scorta (The Bodyguards)", director Ricky Tognazzi’s take on the mob’s deep-seeded political corruption and those protecting the good guys. The movie focuses on the assassinations of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two actual magistrates who were murdered after attempting to bring down high-profile Mafiosos lurking in the Italian government.

Visitors to MoPA this Saturday are in for a totally trippy treat. The first-ever Burning Man Film Fest Fest will feature art and films gleaned from footage shot during the annual party in the desert. Be sure to catch their headline flick, Laurent Le Gall’s “Voyage in Utopia,” which follows a group of Burning Man newbies and includes interviews with founder Larry Harvey and temple builder David Best.

MUSIC

It’s hard to believe that Rugburns founder and local legend Steve Poltz is hitting the half-century mark this Friday (though he has the anecdotes to prove it), but he’s celebrating in style (how else?) at The Belly Up with a release party for his newest, “Dreamhouse.” Cameos read like a short list of the S.D. music mafia: The Rugburns, Nixon, Anya Marina, Berkley Hart, Lisa Sanders, A.J. Croce and Gregory Page will all make appearances.

Sure, you could get excited about Anya Marina coming home to The Casbah this weekend in all of her flossy, flaxen glory (we are), but don’t gloss over her opening acts – the Softlightes' airy electro sound doesn't soon leave the mind (visit their MySpace, linked above, if you don't believe us). Wirepony, lead by Truckee Brothers front man Patrick Dennis, are also slated to open.

Led by multi-instrument maestro John Schneiderman, The Hutchins Consort will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Neurosciences Institute this Saturday. The performance, "A Celebration of American Strings", will employ a symphonic blend of Vivaldi’s Concerto, ensemble member Joe McNalley’s original work, and even a bit of banjo.

Put some soul in your Sunday (and curtail the previous night’s libations) with the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues. Nosh on fried chicken and more Southern comfort food at an all-you-can-eat buffet... guilt free! $2 from each ticket sold will benefit the Urban Corps of San Diego County, a non-profit that aides 18-25 year-old inner-city youth. Delicious karma.

THEATER

The curtains may have dropped on La Boheme, but we’re already clamoring for our Nabucco playbills. Considered Gisueppe Verdi’s cardinal masterpiece, it’ll take the stage at the Civic Center this Saturday for the first time in 29 years, and features the internationally-acclaimed vocals of Željko Lučić as Babylonian king Nabucco and Sylvie Valayre as Abagaille, as well as direction from S.D. stage stalwart Lotfi Mansouri.

ART.

If you haven’t taken advantage of Museum Month yet, coast up to MCASD La Jolla this weekend, because it’s going out with a bang (and, forgive us, a pop) – blazingly bright canvasses from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Edward Ruscha, amongst others, are part of the museum’s new Classic Contemporary exhibit, debuting this Saturday.

The eminent Joaquín Torres-García – the painter/sculpturist who exhibited alongside and ran in circles with Picasso, Gaudi and Mondrian – is bringing his maderas to the SDMA in their latest exhibit, Constructing Abstraction With Wood. Torres-García is considered one of the foremost South American artists, and this exhibit, which features over 80 of his small-scale boxes, abstract male and female figures, masks and assemblages, is the second of its kind in the U.S. (and West Coast exclusive to the SDMA). Meanwhile, poet Michael Chung Klam will recite his take on the artist’s playful aesthetic during his Poetry and Art presentation, at the museum this Sunday at 3.

Note to Tim Burton: though you may find us in theaters March 5, artist Maggie Taylor captures Alice-in-Wonderland’s subversive whimsy just fine without Johnny Depp and 3-D glasses. Fall into her dreamy illustrations this weekend at the Joseph Bellows Gallery at her exhibit, Selections from Almost Alice…and More.

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