San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Projected Photography, ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ArtWalk And Jazz
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Credit: Courtesy Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
Welcome to December. This weekend in the arts we have plenty of non-wintry and non-holiday arts offerings, but also the start of some holiday performances, including Scrooge him (and her) self.
We have a dance film offering this weekend only on the timely theme of home from TranscenDANCE, a youth arts project. Swing through San Ysidro after dark to check out a stunning and thought-provoking projected photography exhibition, and while you're there, check out the murals recently installed on nearby buildings in a cross-border collaboration. La Jolla Playhouse brings a national, one-man presentation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" to our homes, ArtWalk goes virtual (and shoppable), and round out your weekend with some lively jazz from some San Diego icons.
The Front Arte and Cultura in San Ysidro opened two new exhibitions recently. Indoors, by appointment, you can view the visual art exhibition "Magnetic Currents." It features border-fueled work by 13 artists, including Griselda Rosas, the De la Torre Brothers and Noé Rodríguez, and is curated by Theresa Avila and Armando de Torre.
Exciting in a 2020 sort of way is the adjacent outdoor exhibition, "Nattiva," which features works of photography projected onto the gallery's front facade. They installed a large screen and cast the projected visuals from across the street, and it's viewable each evening. There are four artists involved, Yvonne Venegas, Start Evil, Chata and Aimeé Serret, and the works are themed on reflections, mirrors and movement. Yvonne Venegas' pieces in the exhibition, for example, are striking portraits that evoke movement.
I love the idea that you could drive by and catch a split second of an image, or perhaps the transition between two and experience the art in a completely different way than if you stand on the sidewalk and watch the whole thing. Run time is about 15 minutes. And bring a flashlight so you can check out the murals recently commissioned by The Front on some of the adjacent buildings (you can read my story here).
Details: 'Nattiva': Thursday and Friday from 6 p.m. through morning. 'Magnetic Currents': by appointment. 147 West San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro. Free.
Is there a better test for an actor than the 50 roles in a one-person theatrical rendition of "A Christmas Carol"? Jefferson Mays stars in this adaptation by Mays, Susan Lyons and director Michael Arden that originally premiered at the Geffen Theater in LA in 2018. This year, the La Jolla Playhouse is bringing a new, filmed version of this show to San Diego… virtually.
This production was filmed at New York's United Palace theater, and it's part of a partnership between La Jolla Playhouse, producer Hunter Arnold's TBD Pictures and On The Stage, the streaming and production platform. A portion of the proceeds go to the La Jolla Playhouse, so it's a great way to see the same work being shown simultaneously across the country — eleven theaters so far and counting — while still supporting our local theater.
Mays is hypnotic in his run as Ebenezer Scrooge (et al). It's a rich and spooky production, playing up the terror of these hauntings with some fun special visual and sound effects.
Details: Streams on demand through January 3. $50.
More "A Christmas Carol": For a twist, New Village Arts partnered with Rubicon Theater in Ventura to bring San Diego audiences a nationwide production of "Estella Scrooge." It's a stream-on-demand musical retelling of the classic tale, with a Wall Street hot shot female main character.
TranscenDANCE is a San Diego creative youth development nonprofit that provides access to intensive as well as recreational dance instruction, community programming, counselling, middle and high school programs, and more. Each year they put together a performance from their intensive dance group with original choreography.
Things were different in 2020, of course, but they've managed to create a film version of this performance this year. "Home Within A Home" is a collection of nine dance pieces performed by TranscenDANCE students in middle and high school. One is a collaboration with musical youth nonprofit David's Harp. A few of the pieces involve spoken word, including a collaboration with Miesha Rice, a San Diego-based, award-winning spoken word artist. And "Women of the Home" is a collection of texts the dancers themselves wrote about the women in their lives and the always complicated themes of home and domesticity.
The pieces are beautifully edited and it is definitely a blend of art film and dance performance — rather than a start-to-finish static stage recitation of the choreography, there's multiple camera angles, blended vignettes and looping movements.
Details: Saturday at 7 p.m. or Sunday at 3 p.m. Virtual. $10+
Visual art, Music, Performing arts
The upside to the virtual version of the Mission Fed ArtWalk is that it runs all month, and you can tune in at any time. Beginning Saturday morning, they'll unleash a wide selection of visual art pieces to view (or shop) — metalwork, painting, photography, pottery, mixed media and many more, about a hundred different artists and exhibitors — plus a packed slate of music and dance performers. There's even DIY youth activities courtesy of ArtReach San Diego. The event is free.
Details: Opens Saturday at 10 a.m. through December 31. Virtual. Free.
Ease back into the work week with some of San Diego's finest jazz. Peter Sprague has been central to the jazz scene here since the '70s, and has been collaborating with vocalist (and hand drummer) Leonard Patton for years. Their performances often hop around genres, dabbling in jazz sounds as well as Americana and covers of rock and roll, folk and more.
Listen to Sprague and Patton's rendition of Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up And Fly Right" from their 2015 full-length release, "Dream Walkin'":
Details: Monday at 7 p.m. Virtual. $12-17.
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