San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Baseera Khan, Flower Fields Theater, Dances To Strings, 'Hype Man' And Wood Type Prints
This weekend in the arts: testing the waters of in-person performances and events, plus some virtual and solo appointment options too.
This weekend, the art world is dipping its neglected toes in the in-person programming waters — much like everything else in town. As California and the county face loosening restrictions in the coming weeks, there's a good chance our year-long crisis of missing community, in-person art and live performances will be quickly replaced with new (or even just dormant) anxieties: how much are we comfortable with? Am I ready to be around people yet? Do I remember how to wear real shoes? One thing is for certain: I am not looking forward to the return of FOMO.
At least for the time being, the baby steps like you'll see in the art world this weekend are easing us into things. There's even plenty of stuff you can do at home or alone. Here's some picks from me for this weekend, shoes or not.
Could this be real? An actual opening reception? Artist-in-residence Baseera Khan has arrived at Lux Art Institute, and they're kicking off the exhibition with an on-site opening reception Friday night — COVID-safe 30-minute time slot style. We may be starved enough that this will still feel like a party. It's in the evening, and DJ Ohmega Watts will be providing the music, and there'll be art.
Khan's work restructures fashion, photography, textiles, collage and multimedia performance to study identity. Khan, who is a queer femme Muslim American, hones in on the boundary between assimilation and hiding. What I've seen of Khan's work feels larger than life, sometimes implicating and sometimes highly personal.
If you miss the opening reception, you can make a free appointment to visit during regular gallery hours, Thursday through Saturday, 2-5 p.m., April 10 through June 5. More here.
Details: Opening reception is Friday from 6-8 p.m. with advance reservations required for 30 min time slots. 1550 South El Camino Real, Encinitas. Free for members, $10 general or guests.
Local dance company LITVAKdance is streaming a performance of duets set to a broad range of compositions for strings — contemporary original works, Bach, Klezmer, improvisational jazz and more — and new choreography created for the pieces.
The dances hail from guest choreographers Rebecca Margolick and Maile Okamura, as well as company dancers. Musicians include Pete Polansky, Colin Jacobsen, Sean Walsh, Kate Hatmaker, Yale Strom, Kristopher Apple, Joshua White and Meredith Yayanos. The performances, seven in total, were filmed on stage at the La Jolla Music Society's Baker Baum Concert Hall or the La Jolla Historical Society Wisteria Cottage. Expect plenty of elegance and intrigue in these limited-spot virtual screenings.
The 7 p.m. screening is nearly sold out, but LITVAKdance just added a second showing at 8 p.m.
Details: Saturday at 7 and 8 p.m. Online. Sliding scale: $8-25.
Playwright Idris Goodwin was selected in 2020 as one of the San Diego REP's inaugural Hear Us Now playwrights, where he was commissioned to write new work — he cowrote "Beyond the Crossroads" with K. Quinn Marchman. San Diego REP is now presenting a virtual presentation of Goodwin's 2018 play, "Hype Man," in the form of a filmed production in partnership with Company One Theatre and American Repertory Theater. The cast is Kadahj Bennett, Rachel Cognata, and Michael Knowlton.
The play is about a hip-hop trio which includes a white rapper, and the group grapples with the disconnects between shared experience and race. Ultimately, the white rapper has to come to terms with his privilege as the rest of the group wants to take a stand against injustice. Set amidst a heightening epidemic of young Black people killed by police, it's a backdrop that is, sadly, ever relevant. The music is fantastic, and you can even check out a digital album on Bandcamp recorded from the cast from the 2018 production here.
Details: Streams on demand now through May 8. Online. $15+
The Athenaeum Art Center in Logan Heights just opened an exhibition of works by graphic designer and bookmaker Susan Merritt. These are all wood-type prints, broadsides and unique books she made during a residency 18 years ago at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Wisconsin. As far as wood type and printing museums are concerned, this one is iconic. I've been really impressed with the AAC's commitment to printmaking in all its forms, and this is a great continuation of their work.
Merritt will be onsite in residence during the exhibition's run, and will also be "overprinting" directly on top of some of the original pieces.
Details: On view through June 29 by appointment or during gallery hours (10-4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday). 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free.
Live performances are not just within reach now, they're also pretty and fragrant. New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad just announced a six-month long residency at the Carlsbad Flower Fields to present outdoor, COVID-safe live performances. They're kicking things off this weekend with several performances of a Cabaret-style singing showcase. The theme is carpooling songs. This first crop of performances will feature vocals from Jasmine January and Zackary Scot Wolfe, with accompaniment from JD Dumas, performing the kinds of songs they love to sing in the car. This weekend's shows are billed as "previews," offering reduced cost tickets and keeping the audience capped at 50.
Masks are required except at concession tables, and the Flower Fields' "Strawberry Shack" will be open for treats. And your ticket will also grant you same-day admission to the Flower Fields, which are currently in bloom, so get there early.
Details: Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad. $33 including fees.
More music: OMG the Casbah is reopening. Well, there's no live music (yet), but there'll be live DJ sets, tacos from Salud and cocktails served on the patio and the newly renovated Razzmatazz room. I can practically smell it. Tre3BEATles will spin tunes Friday and Saturday, 5-10 p.m. There are rules: masks are required while seated, patrons are required to be seated — so no mingling, and food service is required.