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San Diego’s Top Weekend Arts Events: Cirque, August Wilson And Ukuleles

A photo from Cirque du Soleil's Volta.

Photo by Matt Beard

Above: A photo from Cirque du Soleil's Volta.

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This weekend offers an eclectic mix of arts, from a jam with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to Cirque du Soleil’s street-inspired acrobatics. Plus, there's a festival dedicated to the playwright August Wilson.

Cirque du Soleil's Volta

Theater, Dance

Cirque du Soleil returns with Volta, a big-top production that celebrates the culture of street sports.

The mesmerizing Cirque acrobatics blend with jump ropes, roller skates, parkour movements and more. Even the costumes are street-inspired; designed by Zaldy, they're infused with bright colors and bold patterns to complete the visual story.

Every show has a message and this one is about embracing our differences in a time when social media isolates us. Volta is Cirque du Soleils’s 41st original production and it will be performed at the Del Mar Fairgrounds through April.

Details: 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 4:30 and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sundays. Through April 28. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. $54 to $235; find tickets to Volta.

Photo credit: Intrepid Theatre

A 2019 promotional poster for the August Wilson Festival.

August Wilson Festival


August Wilson is considered one of America’s best playwrights, and this weekend there will be a festival to celebrate his words and legacy.

Wilson wrote a series of 10 plays, each set in a different decade, exploring the African-American experience in the 20th Century. Intrepid Theatre and the San Diego Central Library present an all-day event featuring student monologues, panel discussions and a staged reading of “Fences.”

This festival was created because next year San Diego will participate in the 2020 National August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Details: 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., downtown. Free; find festival details.

Photo credit: La Jolla Music Society

A promotional photo of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain


When you think of ukuleles, perhaps you imagine island music and gentle breezes. But that’s not exactly the style of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

La Jolla Music Society brings back this popular ukulele ensemble to perform its trademark blend of classical, rock and pop music — think Bach to Nirvana. The ukuleles are all different sizes, creating a lush and unexpectedly varied sound.

Something unique about these concerts is that audience participation is encouraged. Here’s a video tutorial where you can learn to play a song for the play-along portion of the show.

Details: 8 p.m., Friday. Balboa Theatre, 868 4th Ave., downtown. $25 to $75; find tickets to Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.


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