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Weekend Preview: ‘Blood and Gifts,’ Encinitas Foodie Fest And Kevin Nealon

From left to right: Danvir Singh Grewall, Kelly AuCoin and Babak Tafti in La ...

Credit: Craig Schwartz

Above: From left to right: Danvir Singh Grewall, Kelly AuCoin and Babak Tafti in La Jolla Playhouse’s West Coast premiere of "Blood and Gifts."

David Coddon, theater critic at San Diego CityBeat.

Nina Garin, arts and entertainment reporter at the U-T San Diego


Summer is officially here, and longer days mean extra time to get out and play. Whether you're looking for comedy and drama, foodie festivals or family-friendly fun, you can satiate your cultural appetite this weekend with an array of activities throughout the county (and even south of the border).

Need a laugh? "Saturday Night Live" alum Kevin Nealon brings his standup comedy routine to the American Comedy Co. in downtown on Friday and Saturday.

For musical fans: Diversionary Theatre in University Heights presents the world premiere of "Harmony, Kansas," a new musical set in the Midwest about a gay farmer who finds community through joining a singing group. The play is in previews now and officially opens Saturday. It runs through July 22.

Drama and thrill-seekers: La Jolla Playhouse presents the West Coast premiere of "Blood and Gifts," a new spy thriller by J.T. Rogers. The play tells the story of the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s, and has received rave reviews since its New York debut. "Blood and Gifts" runs now through July 8. (Read San Diego CityBeat theater critic David Coddon's review.)

For visual art enthusiasts, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla tonight presents a conversation, Perspectives: Mexican-American Art Today. Artists Perry Vasquez and Misael Diaz and Amy Sanchez of Cognate Collective will discuss their practice as well as the challenges of art-making in the border region.

Hungry? Food festivals reign supreme this weekend. Some of San Diego's top chefs will show off their skills at the Encinitas Foodie Fest, happening Saturday at Pacific Station in Encinitas. The food fest celebrates artisanal, sustainable and eco-friendly businesses and features live cooking demos, music and dance.

On Sunday, take a stroll or cruise down Adams Avenue during the annual Taste of Adams to sample the menus of more than two dozen restaurants in North Park, Normal Heights and Kensington. Also that day, the Caesar Salad Festival in Tijuana celebrates the city's legendary contribution to culinary life: the Caesar Salad, which was invented and first served there in 1924. The free annual event presented by Caesar's Restaurant features local music, art, a children's area (along Avenida Revolucion, between third and fifth streets).

Thirsty? Head to the San Diego County Fair Friday through Sunday for the sixth annual San Diego International Beer Festival, where you can sample brews from nearly 140 breweries and more than 300 beers from around the world.

Families looking for fun in the sun for the little ones should head to the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas for the annual Fairy Fest, happening Saturday. Activities include creating a fairy house and fairy treasures, plus singing and dancing. Fairy costumes are encouraged but not required.

Need more options? There's always the beach. U-T San Diego arts and entertainment reporter Nina Garin has this guide to the county's beaches.

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