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Arts & Culture

Ask KPBS/Arts: What (Football-Free Thing) Can I Do On Super Bowl Sunday?

A photo of Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin from the Bolshoi Ballet's "Swan Lake."
Damir Yusupov
A photo of Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin from the Bolshoi Ballet's "Swan Lake."

Super Bowl Sunday is always a glorious day for arts lovers. Those of us not watching the big game (this year it's between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons) enjoy an afternoon of empty supermarkets and movie theaters. But one reader is looking for a little extra this Sunday.

I don't care at all about the Super Bowl, not even the commercials. What is there to do on Sunday that has nothing to do with football? - Kathryn S.

Kathryn, I'm assuming you already know about the empty aisles at Costco and you're not enticed. So here are some more highbrow options.

Hopefully you like ballet because there are two choices. The first is the Russian National Ballet performing "The Sleeping Beauty." It's a complete story ballet set to a score by Tchaikovsky. Expect high-quality dancing, gorgeous costumes and an afternoon of romance. More details here.

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, Fathom Events will screen the Bolshoi Ballet's "Swan Lake" at select area movie theaters. It's a gorgeous three-hour escape from all things sports. More details here.

The San Diego Symphony is having fun with the whole Super Bowl thing with A Lang Lang Super Sunday. Superstar pianist Lang Lang will perform some grand pieces of music: Shostakovich's Festive Overture, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. More details here.

It's the final day of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts, an event that puts a spotlight on injustice. Watch "The Crossing," a story about Syrian refugees, and "All Goverments Lie" about independent journalism. More details here.

A 2017 photo from Cygnet Theatre's "Bad Jews."
Courtesy of Cygnet Theatre
A 2017 photo from Cygnet Theatre's "Bad Jews."

It's also the last day to catch "Matilda the Musical." The Tony Award-winning show is in San Diego for the first time and it definitely lives up to its hype. More details here.

There's also plenty of local theater. Some shows I've liked lately are "Bad Jews" at Cygnet Theatre and "Altar Boyz" at Coronado Playhouse. I'm also curious to see "Urinetown" at the OB Playhouse. Find a complete list of shows here.

And, I know you don't care about football or commercials, but what about Lady Gaga? Many of these events happen early enough in the afternoon so that you can plan to be home in time to catch Lady Gaga's halftime show performance.

How does a film festival work? What are good concerts for kids? Send me your events-related questions and they'll be answered each Thursday.