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San Diego’s Top Weekend Arts Events: From Civic Art To A Modern Dionysus

The San Diego Ballet, Fear No Art at the Central Library, Golden Howl pens a score for ‘Hurricane Diane’ and The Frights

San Diego band Golden Howl penned original music for the west coast premiere ...

Photo by Adam P. Johnson

Above: San Diego band Golden Howl penned original music for the west coast premiere of "Hurricane Diane" at the Old Globe.

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It's Valentine's Day weekend. There's a lot of arts and culture events in San Diego, from surf rock to Johann Strauss and Greek god modern gardeners to civic art, and ... Read more →

Aired: February 14, 2020 | Transcript

Valentine's Day and culture go hand-in-hand in San Diego this weekend, from Johann Strauss to Greek god modern gardeners. Plus, there's an exhibition of civic art at the San Diego Central Library and a free emo surf punk show.

Photo by Canela Photography

The San Diego Ballet's "Dances of Love and Laughter."

San Diego Ballet: 'Dances of Love and Laughter'


In a joyful and diverse line-up, the San Diego Ballet presents a full program of some of the company's favorite works, set to romantic music including Nat King Cole, Roberta Flack and Rachmaninoff.

They'll also feature the San Diego premiere of a beloved 1977 choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton of the Royal Ballet, "Voices of Spring." It's set to the Frühlingsstimmen waltz by Johann Strauss II, and while it is a traditional, regal ballet duet, it's well-known for being a fun, cheeky and playful performance.

And they'll perform artistic director Javier Velasco's interpretation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." To quote the bard: "The course of true love ne'er did run smooth."

Details: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego; find tickets here.

Photo by Jim Cox

"Hurricane Diane" is now on at the Old Globe and features an original score by local band Golden Howl.

'Hurricane Diane' at the Old Globe


Pulitzer Prize finalist, playwright Madeleine George, brings a west coast debut of a new Obie Award-winning play, "Hurricane Diane," to the Old Globe. The play is a reimagination of the Greek god Dionysus story, but if Dionysus returned to the modern world as what the Globe calls "a butch gardener," tasked with seducing a bunch of housewives.

For this production, the Old Globe tapped a local band to pen an original score. Golden Howl, which has a folksy and soulful indie sound, wrote music, lyrics and served as music directors on the set.

Details: Through March 8. Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre at The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park; find tickets here.

Photo by City of San Diego Art Collection

"Fear No Art," (artist unknown, circa 20th/21st century) was on display at the Central Library Art Gallery as part of an exhibition of civic art in San Diego in February 2020.

'Fear No Art' at the Central Library Art Gallery

Visual Art

"Fear No Art: Civic Engagement, Histories, Currencies" is a new exhibition of artworks from the city of San Diego's Civic Art Collection. Hosted in the Central Library Art Gallery, the exhibition will display works from as early as 1822 — an etching and engraving by William Hogarth — and also include contemporary works: by Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney, Zoya Sardashti, Joe Yorty and more.

"Art can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be," said curator Lara Bullock. The aim of this exhibition and in the Civic Art Collection as a whole is to invite San Diegans to interact with public art, and to seek it out and notice it out in the community.

The Civic Art Collection, established in 1909, contains over 800 works of art. The goal is to have 70% of the works on display to the public, and the city is constantly adding to it.

Details: Fear No Art opens on Saturday with a reception at noon, through May 17. Central Library Gallery, 330 Park Blvd, San Diego; more information here.

Photo by The Frights

The Frights play a free, all-ages show at Spreckels Organ Pavilion on Saturday.

The Frights at Spreckels Organ Pavilion


Here's an unexpected use of the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion: surf punk. The Frights, which got their start in Poway, are coming home to perform a free, all-ages show at the Organ Pavilion Saturday night.

The band has a new album, "Everything Seems Like Yesterday." It's a bit of a departure from their gritty surf rock sound, and more pared down and sonically mellow but more emotionally wrought. Perfect for a Valentine's Day antidote.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. Spreckels Organ Pavilion, 2125 Pan American Rd E., Balboa Park; more information here.

For more arts and culture events, check out our KPBS Arts calendar or subscribe to the KPBS Arts newsletter.

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