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Culture Lust Weekend: Chelsea Handler, Chocolate Festival, and Vintage Prom

BOOKS

Warwick’s has seen its share of pop culture lately – Ozzy Osbourne dropped in last month, and this weekend, Chelsea Handler is set to stop by this Saturday at 5 p.m. to sign copies of her new book, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang." We’re crossing our fingers that her hilarious pint-sized sidekick, Chuy, tags along. Tickets required.

EVENTS

There is a chocolate festival this Saturday at the Botanic Gardens in Encinitas! Say it with us: chocolate. Festival. What that means: complimentary tastings, baking lessons, and, naturally, three (!) chocolate fountains that’ll turn even the hardened dieter into Augustus Gloop.

Remember those cheesy 90’s infomercials for Space Camp? Well, this is just as cool – Space Day takes place this Saturday at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and invites junior space cadets to meet local astronauts, touch a real Space Shuttle tire, take the wheel of a Mars Rover model, and more. Awesome.

Take mom to ‘Nawlins for Mother’s Day this weekend with the Gator by the Bay fest, happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Spanish Landing Park. The event boasts 70 live performances from down-home Zydeco, Blues and Cajun bands (like Lady Dottie and the Diamonds!), as well as over 4 tons of crawfish shipped in straight from the Louisiana bayou.

Missed the prom, or just feeling a twinge of nostalgia at the influx of frothy dresses afloat lately? Visit the Pearl Hotel this Friday for their first-ever Vintage Prom, presented in part by The Urbanist. Proceeds will benefit the San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation, and yes, a King and Queen will be named, so be sure to dress to impress.

ART

A creature from illustrator Joel Nakamura's "Octopus Garden"
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Above: A creature from illustrator Joel Nakamura's "Octopus Garden"

Illustrator Joel Nakamura’s tentacled creations literally reach out for the viewer with their vivid tones and otherworldly charm. They’ll be on display this weekend at Subtext in “Tako Niwa (Octopus Garden)”.

Sushi Art’s latest feat: almost 100 oil paintings by Leslie Nemour decking their walls from the floor up. Visit this weekend to see for yourself.

Stop by adorable Mission Hills Wine Bar 57 Degrees this Saturday at 7 for Creative Compound, an art collective aimed at highlighting the freshest local talent. This time, the theme is “Without Intonation,” and each artist participating is asked to submit their own interpretation. Live music from Cuttyman and Tuan is also planned.

In light of February’s racially charged controversy at UCSD, the school will host the Arts in Action festival, which will feature a forum for critical discussion, one-act plays, art pieces and more. Lemons, lemonade?

Ripped off? Protect your work with some free legal advice from lawyer Michael B. Farber, who will speak about "What Artists Need to Know about Copyright and Intellectual Property" at the Escondido Municipal Art Gallery this Saturday afternoon at 12:30.

Over 120 pieces of Mexican folk art from two very different collectors will be on display in Carlsbad this weekend at the William D. Cannon Art Gallery’s “Tesoros Mexicanos: Mexican Treasures from Two Folk Art Collections.” Works range from festival masks and carved relics to paper mache skeletons, so it should be an interesting visual history lesson on the human aspect of Mexican art.

MUSIC

Singer Cate Le Bon (no relation to Simon) is famed on the other side of the pond for her lo-fi sound, plus, she sings in two languages – English and Welsh! She’ll be at The Loft this Saturday night.

Like many of the greats, The Ferocious Few began busking on a San Francisco street corner, but it wasn’t long before their rockabilly-raw musings caught the ear of execs at Birdman Records (and The New York Times’ music blog). Catch them live at Bar Pink this Wednesday.

Composer John Stubbs’ self-proclaimed “big experiment,” Luscious Sound, continues at Anthology this Mother’s Day. Stubbs, a violinist for the San Diego Symphony by day, injects a modern twist into the group’s performance by combining multimedia with classical compositions, making full use of the club’s contemporary feel and big screen TV’s.

Bert Lams and Tom Griesgraber will play at Normal Heights Church this Sunday, and we’re excited to see the Griesgraber’s instrument of choice, the Chapman Stick, in action – think a pointy-edged guitar neck that produces totally unique tones.

The Jason Parker Quartet will bring their brand of indie jazz to Dizzy’s this Wednesday, on loan from Seattle as they make their way down the I-5.

Funk drummer Stanton Moore has grooved with Garage a Trois and the soulful Irma Thomas, and this Friday, he’ll join friends Robert Walter (keyboard) and Will Bernard (guitar) at The Belly Up for an evening of “Groove Alchemy.” Anders Osbourne is set to open.

Composer Michael Pisaro counts poets John Ashbury and Wallace Stevens as inspiration for his out-there experimental sound. He’ll be at Sushi Art this Friday alongside Greg Stuart and Red Fish Blue Fish for a presentation of “Fields Have Ears,” which is part of the gallery’s ongoing (and perpetually cool) Fresh Sound series.

FILM

Venerable architect William Krisel set the tone for California mid-century mod (including the Coronado Shores) and tonight, you can reflect on his work at screening of “William Krisel, Architect” at MCASD La Jolla. It's free, but reservations are highly recommended.

The documentary “Shanghai Ghetto,” which captures a micro-community of Jewish exiles living in Shanghai, will screen at the Oceanside Museum of Art tonight. It’s part of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, and KPBS’ own Scott Marks will discuss the film and its history.

THEATER

The Intrepid Shakespeare Company continues their fresh take on the Bard with classic yet underrated drama King John. Rarely produced (it hasn’t seen the likes of San Diego since 1968), the tale focuses on the snobbery and murky business dealings of power-playing politicos. It’s set to debut this weekend.

Following in the, um, footsteps of the locally legendary Trolley Dancers is Art Traxx, a dance troupe that will be staging impromptu performances at all SPRINTER stations this Friday. Take your pick from the Oceanside Transit Center, the Rancho Del Oro/Mira Costa station, the Vista Transit Center, the Palomar College station, the San Marcos Civic Center station or the Escondido Transit Center – different groups will be at all six from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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