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San Diego’s Top Weekend Events: Jay Gatsby, Sean Penn And Branford Marsalis

A photo from Septime Webre's

Credit: Courtesy of California Ballet Company

Above: A photo from Septime Webre's "The Great Gatsby."

San Diego's Top Weekend Events: Jay Gatsby, Sean Penn And Branford Marsalis


Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar


It's a literary weekend with a ballet inspired by "The Great Gatsby" and a book reading by actor Sean Penn, plus musician Branford Marsalis returns for a classical music concert.

California Ballet's "The Great Gatsby"


California Ballet brings back Septime Webre's "The Great Gatsby."

Webre's contemporary ballet adaptation fuses live music, narration, singing, contemporary and classical dance, tap and more to bring to F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic story to life.

The show features live music by jazz band Billy Novick and the Blue Syncopators, and stars Zachary Guthier as Jay Gatsby, Reka Gyulai as Daisy Buchanan and Trystan Merrick as Tom Buchanan.

Go early: the Zzymzzy Quartet, a San Diego swing band inspired by Django Reinhardt and the American Songbook, will be performing before the ballet beginning at 6:30 in the theater lobby on Friday and Saturday nights.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $22.50 to $112.50.

Photo credit: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP

A promotional photo of actor and author Sean Penn.

Sean Penn


Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn will be in San Diego to promote his novella, "Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff."

The story is about an aging entrepreneur who also happens to be a government contract killer. There's a lot more to it, and critics are comparing the book to a fever dream because the plot is all over the place.

The book is filled with dense prose and an unsettling amount of alliteration. But you can hear Penn read from his writing at two separate events: D.G. Wills Books and the University of San Diego.

Details: 2 p.m. Saturday at D.G. Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free; (858) 456-1800. 5 p.m. Sunday at University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park. $26; find tickets to Sean Penn.

Photo by Palma Kolansky

A promotional photo of musician Branford Marsalis.

Branford Marsalis with Art of Élan


Art of Élan presents "Highways & Byways," a one-night-only concert that features jazz artist Branford Marsalis along with Kontras Quartet.

The idea behind this concert is to take listeners to exciting and unexpected places through music. Marsalis will perform a world premiere commissioned piece called "Beg, Borrow or Steal" by acclaimed Chicago composer Dan Visconti.

The evening also features music by Kontras Quartet and San Diego's Art of Élan.

Details: 7 p.m. Sunday. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. $25 to $55; find tickets.

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