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San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Disco, Jazz And Tennis!

A 2017 photo of LaChanze as “Diva Donna,” Ariana DeBose as “Disco Donna” and Storm Lever as “Duckling Donna” in "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical."
Kevin Berne
A 2017 photo of LaChanze as “Diva Donna,” Ariana DeBose as “Disco Donna” and Storm Lever as “Duckling Donna” in "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical."
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Disco, Jazz and Tennis!
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Disco, Jazz and Tennis! GUEST: Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar

I'm Alison St. John in for Maureen Cavanaugh and you're listening to Midday Edition on KPBS. This weekend a lot of people have family in town and even if you don't maybe you're in the mood to start the holiday season.Our arts editor Nina Garin has suggestions. Thank you for being with us.Let's start off by talking about the new musical. The Playhouse has history of turning lives of musicians into successful musicals and now putting on a show of the life of Donna Summer. Remind us of some of the past successes and whites a good bet for another one.La Jolla Playhouse has a history of musicals about musicians. There must popular was Jersey Boys which was a tale of Frankie Valley. Recently they did escape to Margaritaville which pay tribute to Jimmy Buffett. Now we have Donna Summer. She's like a woman who takes control of her musical and creative life and it's the perfect time to hear the story.Let's listen to some of her music. This one is the last dance. [ MUSIC ] that's pretty high energy.Apparently three different actresses are playing the role of Donna summer. Who are they and what does it add to the production?The person who plays Donna in the later years of her life is Tony winning Broadway star LaChanze. Then we have the Disco Donna, the one that lived in Germany and became the queen of disco the trade by Ariana DeBose. She was in Hamilton, the original cast. Then we have Duckling Donna which is Donna in her early years in Boston and she is pretrade by Storm Lever from freaky Friday.This is a musical about the disco era so what does the set look like?There is no platforms or polyester on the set. It's very high glam. Stark colors, very bright and high-tech and it also has a fantastic set were things pop up, letters and bright lights. It's pretty fantastic.Sounds like a really good night of entertainment. That's the Donna summer musical at the La Jolla Playhouse and it's playing through December 24Next he will tell us about San Diego Jazz Fest which is an event that's been around for many years. What's the secret to its success?It brings very devoted families. People who love jazz, they flocked to this event. It's always held on the Thanksgiving weekend. You know that you always know where you'll be if you love jazz on Thanksgiving weekend. That's a big reason it's still around.Not everybody loves jazz. Is this an event that anyone could enjoy?Yes. This event has all styles of jazz. If you're a fan of complex jazz, swing is also big part I would say check out Saturday night and they are having a swing extravaganza they have bands nonstop from 6:00 until midnight. You can dance and wear your beautiful swing clothing and if you forgot the jitterbug, they will have lessons. If you're a newbie, that's a good time to check it out.Tell us about the performers?Some other favorites are Sue Palmer. The euphoria brass band. Then there's the 25-year-old clarinet and sax player. She's got again following so she's bringing a new crowd.Let's listen to something from Chloe. [ MUSIC ] very cool. So the San Diego Jazz Fest continues this weekend at the Town & Country hotel in Mission Valley.Finally were going to talk about tennis. This is an indie rock band.A sporty name but this is actually a husband and wife in the pop outfit made of Mellaney Moore and Patrick Riley and they've been together for several years performing.Let's hear a bit of tennis. [ MUSIC ] that's the indie rock band tennis plane tonight Friday at the music bought -- the music box a little ill -- in Little Italy.

This holiday weekend features a tribute to the queen of disco, a swing dance party and some Tennis.

'Summer: The Donna Summer Musical'

Theater, Music

La Jolla Playhouse presents the world-premiere production of "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical," a musical about the life of the queen of disco.

The show features three actresses, each representing various phases of Summer's life. Tony-winning Broadway actress LaChanze is Diva Donna, "Hamilton's" Ariana DeBose is Disco Donna, and Storm Lever is Duckling Donna.

The show is directed by Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff.

Details: Various times and dates through Dec. 24. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. $80 to $115.

A photo of musician Chloe Feoranzo.
Courtesy of YouTube
A photo of musician Chloe Feoranzo.

San Diego Jazz Fest 2017


This 38th annual event brings over 30 bands and guest artists for a weekend of concerts, jams, dance lessons and workshops.

Venues are located at the Town and Country Convention Center and attendees will find both large concert rooms with dance floors and small, intimate listening rooms. The Swing Dance Extravaganza happens Saturday, Nov. 25 and has nonstop swing music and dancing from 8:15 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Details: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley. $30 to $115.

A 2017 photo of the band Tennis.
Courtesy of The Casbah
A 2017 photo of the band Tennis.



Casbah Music presents indie rock band Tennis. The group is on tour in support of its fourth full-length album, "Yours Conditionally."

Husband-and-wife team Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore self-produced the record in a small cabin in Fraser, Colo. The couple originally began writing music as a way to document the history of their time living aboard a sailboat. There is an easiness to the music, but not in a yacht-rock kind of way. Expect music that’s more atmospheric and melancholy, with singing that has its heart in 1950s pop.

Details: 9 p.m. Friday. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. $22 to $24.