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Arts & Culture

Culture Lust Weekend: The Black Keys, Human ACTion Festival & Holiday Theater

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas is one of many stage shows in San Diego this holiday season.
Richard Benton
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas is one of many stage shows in San Diego this holiday season.


Balancing traditional classics with new favorites, San Diego’s winter theater scene promises to enchant. Between The Nutcracker, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Santa Clause is Coming Out and Mistletoe, Music & Mayhem, there’s something for everyone this holiday season. For Culture Lust’s master list of local stages, click here.

Part artistic festival, part call to action, ion theater is inviting everyone to bring their extra socks, shoes, blankets and pillows to their first HUMAN ACTion FESTIVAL. Starting this friday and continuing through the week, ion will be hosting a donation based week of readings, performances and documentary films with all proceeds going to help the homeless families of San Diego.

Inspired by Julia Alvarez’s novel, "Time of the Butterflies," Las Mariposas is the story of three sisters who were murdered for standing up to the Dominican Republic’s dictatorship. This Sunday, the modern dance performance by Eveoke Dance Theatre will honor the memory of Diana Gonzales, and will be followed by a workshop for anyone who’s lost a loved one to domestic violence. The show will run through the 19th.


The artistic optimist, Matte Stephens highlights “the good life.” This artist has an impressive client list (American Express and IBM) as well as a fondness for the whimsical, giving us hope that his new exhibition at Subtext, Greetings from the East, will be a real treat.

Get a backwards glance at the art of 2010 this month at “Summation 2010.” Hosted by Escondido Municipal Gallery, and curated by SDMA’s Amy Galpin, this exhibition touts 50 pieces of art that neatly “sum up” this past year. The opening reception is this Saturday.

Forgo the Silly Bandz and video games and get your kid/niece/neighbor something interactive and imaginative! Kites, terrariums and vintage toys will all be on sale at Mark Quint's Specimen pop-up shop at The New Children’s Museum this holiday season. And as it is the season of giving, give yourself a treat and give your wallet a rest this Sunday because it’s FREE Second Sunday at the New Children’s Museum!

The architectural and light-infused art of Michael James Armstrong is featured in Black and Blue, a new exhibit at Ice Gallery. All the in-the-know arts writers and hipsters are raving about this show, so while we haven’t seen it yet, his work is all the buzz.

Taking interactive art to a new level, the always interesting Hugo Crosthwaite is painting in front of a live audience, using a nude woman as his canvas. "Drawing Theresa," part of the Noel-Baza Fine Art’s Bare, Naked and Nude exhibition, will take place this Saturday at the Little Italy gallery.


In case you missed them at SOMA last month, The Black Keys are back in San Diego for the 94.9 Holiday Hootenany. Influenced by Muddy Waters and Junior Kimbrough, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have an extraordinary ear for experimental blues/rock, and have upheld their following from “The Big Come Up” in 2001 to the recently released “Brothers” (which was just nominated for a Grammy last week!).

Before hip hop took over the holiday music genre, there was Handel’s Messiah. Thank goodness Orchestra Nova and the Bach Collegium of San Diego are still committed to bringing us this sacred music for the holidays. They’re performing Masterpiece Messiah this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

He’s a little “tex-mex” and a little bit Latin soul, and he's ending his west coast tour this Sunday at Anthology. Raul Malo produced and recorded his latest album, "Sinners & Saints", in his home studio and now he’s bringing that same energy and spirit to San Diego.

In case the holiday sounds of Nat King Cole or N*Sync have started to get a little stale (with every other store playing them on repeat, it’s hard not to go a little nutcracker), you’re in luck. Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks are presenting their very first holiday release "Crazy for Christmas" this Wednesday at the Belly Up. They cooly incorporate yodeling into "Carol of the Bells." Not your typical holiday fare.


Robb Lawrence was scheduled to be at D.G.Wills Books last week, but as the Hendrix family asked him to perform in Seattle on Jimi’s birthday (November 27th), Lawrence had to reschedule. It goes without saying that Lawrence is a guitar expert and Les Paul authority, and this Saturday, he will be at the treasured bookstore (at least by us) in La Jolla, discussing his two volume study of the famed musician.

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