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Arts & Culture

San Diego's Top Weekend Events: A Look To 2019

A 2018 photo of Jeanna de Waal, who will portray Diana in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical "Diana."
Little Fang
A 2018 photo of Jeanna de Waal, who will portray Diana in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical "Diana."
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: A Look To 2019
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: A look to 2019 | GUEST: Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar Subscribe to the Midday Edition podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

I'm Maureen Cavanagh. This time of year everyone is talking about the best and biggest things that happened in the last 12 months. But instead of repeating the events of 2018 we thought we'd look ahead to some of the most anticipated arts events coming up in 2019 from concerts to art exhibitions. Hey PBS arts calendar editor Nina Gueron is here with a preview. Hello. Hi Nina. Happy almost New Year. Yes well OK so there is a lot to look forward to in 2019. Where should we start. Let's start with theater where a theater town and there's a show opening scene that people around the world have been anticipating for a long time which is Diana the new musical about the life of Princess Diana. Now that's having its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse. Do we know much about it yet. Yes. The book and lyrics are by Joe DePietro music and lyrics by David Bryan. Those are the writers behind the Tony winning musical Memphis Diana will be played by the Broadway actress Gina de Waal. She was in Kinky Boots and American Idiot and I know that the music is kind of a more 80s rock than the kind of traditional musicals kind of music. So here's a big question why is it opening here. Well La Jolla Playhouse now has a reputation of sending shows to Broadway. And this show's going to be directed by Christopher Ashley who is from the La Jolla Playhouse and he won a Tony for directing come from away. And that so is done quite well and they're hoping the same with Diana and that show is actually already extended through April 7th. Wow. So what about the Old Globe is there something you're looking forward to from them in the New Year. I'm actually excited about their summer season and in particular Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Barry Edelstein. And I know you think Romeo and Juliet you think like a high school drama Barry is one of the country's best Shakespeare experts and to have him direct the show should be really special. All right so those are the bigger theaters the Old Globe La Jolla Playhouse. What's happening in the smaller venues Cygnet theater is doing Angels in America which was just done in New York and had a lot of acclaim here it's going to be directed by Sean Murphy. And that's in March and in the summer moonlight amphitheater will be putting on West Side Story. So since you brought up West Side Story always a good time to take a listen to some music from that musical. This is America from the 1961 movie. Here you are and you have time. I mean how many organized crime scene in London right now. OK so let's move on to concerts. There are some big names coming here in 2019. Yes Paul McCartney is coming from Paul to Sorry Sir Paul McCartney. He returns to San Diego for a second concert at Petco Park that's in June and tickets just went on sale. I looked at the setlist from his show in 2014 and it's awesome it's a mix of Beatles Wings and his solo material. And then also returning is Justin Timberlake. He has a man in the woods tour in February. This show is more like acoustic. Justin Timberlake. But of course because he's such a show man you will have your dancers in costumes and projections and everything you'd expect. Let's listen to Justin Timberlake. This is one of his latest songs midnights summer jam. OK. So that's Justin Timberlake. You're also excited though about massive attack. Tell us more. Massive Attack is a 1990s electronic band and they were one of the pioneers of the kinds of electronic music we hear today. It's like a blend of electronica jazz and hip hop music. They're having a reunion concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their album melamine. Well since you mentioned it let's listen to a song from mezzanine. This is teardrop and let me mention that that singer is from the band The Cocteau Twins and they will be performing at the show too. So it's very likely that you'll get the original version of Islam OK. What about classical music next year 2019 is a big year. It's when ratified by yet it takes over as the music director of the San Diego Symphony. There's a lot of anticipation about that. He's an exciting young conductor. He's working all around the world and he begins January 10th with a concert of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. It's also the year when La Jolla Music Society opens its new concert hall in downtown La Hoya. It's called the Conrad and it's been under construction for a long time and that's scheduled to open in April. We covered music and theater. What should we anticipate in the visual arts. In May the San Diego Museum of Art is going to have art in the Empire. The Golden Age of Spain which is the first U.S. exhibition to kind of expand on the golden age of Spain by including art from other Spanish controlled areas like Mexico Lima and the Philippines. And that art is from 15 50 to 1750 so there's a lot to look forward to. And I've been speaking with PBS arts calendar editor Nina Garenne. Thank you very much Nina. Enjoy the holidays. Thank you.

This time of year, when people are talking about the year's best, we look ahead to some to some of the most anticipated arts events coming up in 2019, from world-premiere shows to art exhibitions.

Theater

"Familiar," a play about a family from Zimbabwe taking a look at what it means to be American.

When: Jan. 26 through March 3

Where: The Old Globe

Why we're excited: This show is written by Danai Gurira, the actress known for her roles as Michonne on "The Walking Dead" and Okoye in "Black Panther." She is also a successful playwright.

Tickets: Find tickets via The Old Globe

"Diana," a world-premiere musical about the life of Princess Diana.

When: Feb. 19 through April 7

Where: La Jolla Playhouse

Why we're excited: This ambitious show brings together Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, the team behind the Tony-winning "Memphis." It's also directed by Tony-winning director and Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

Tickets: Find tickets via La Jolla Playhouse

"Angels in America," The epic, two-part play that looks at the United States in the mid-1980s, during the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration.

When: "Millennium Approaches" (part one), March 6 through 9; "Perestroika" (part two), March 22 through 24.

Where: Cygnet Theatre

Why we're excited: The show just had a successful Broadway revival starring Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield. The local version will be more intimate and will be handled by Cygnet Artistic Director Sean Murray.

Tickets: Find tickets via Cygnet

"Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's iconic tale of forbidden young love.

When: Aug. 11 through Sept. 15

Where: The Old Globe

Why we're excited: We've seen lots of "Romeo and Juliet" productions, from high school shows to movie adaptation. But this version will be directed by Globe artistic director and Shakespeare expert Barry Edelstein.

Tickets: Check Old Globe later in 2019 for details

"West Side Story," the classic musical inspired by "Romeo and Juliet" about young, forbidden love.

When: Aug. 14 through 31

Where: Moonlight Amphitheatre

Why we're excited: This is considered one of the best musicals of all time. And with its production of "In the Heights," Moonlight proved that it can handle a massive show like this.

Tickets: Subscriptions go on sale March 9, single tickets go on sale March 30. Find details via Moonlight Amphitheatre.

A 2018 promotional poster for Justin Timberlake's "The Man Of the Woods" tour.
A 2018 promotional poster for Justin Timberlake's "The Man Of the Woods" tour.

Concerts

Justin Timberlake, everyone's favorite pop star and Saturday Night Live guest returns to San Diego.

When: Feb. 21

Where: Pechanga Arena San Diego (formerly Sports Arena)

Why we're excited: Timberlake is a true showman, and even though this Man Of the Woods tour has a more toned-down feel, it still promises all the dancing, costume changes and projections we'd expect from Timberlake.

Tickets: Find tickets via Ticketmaster

Paul McCartney, the former Beatles member takes us on a nostalgic musical tour.

When: June 22

Where: Petco Park

Why we're excited: It's Paul McCartney! His 2014 performance in San Diego featured a mix of Beatles favorites, songs from Wings and McCartney's solo material.

Tickets: Find seats via Paul McCartney's official site

Massive Attack, the seminal 1990s electronica group reunites.

When: April 2

Where: California Coast Credit Union Open Air Amphitheater at San Diego State University

Why we're excited: The band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its album, "Mezzanine" with Cocteau Twins vocalist Elizabeth Fraser performing its best-known single, "Teardrop."

Tickets: Find tickets via Ticketmaster

Classical Music

Rafael Payare joins the San Diego Symphony as its music director.

When: His inaugural concert is Jan. 10.

Where: Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall

Why we're excited: After more than a year without a music director, the symphony will now be guided by this young conductor from Venezuela.

Tickets: Find tickets via the San Diego Symphony

La Jolla Music Society opens the doors to its new venue, The Conrad

When: April 5

Where: 7600 Fay Ave. in La Jolla

Why we're excited: This world-class venue was designed for classical music, plus it should also attract more high-quality arts events to San Diego.

Tickets: See events and find tickets via La Jolla Music Society

A photo of Francisco de Zubarán, Virgin and Child with Saint John, 1658 for the exhibition Art and Empire: The Golden Age of Spain.
Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R., Amy and Irene Putnam. 1935.22
San Diego Museum of Art
A photo of Francisco de Zubarán, Virgin and Child with Saint John, 1658 for the exhibition Art and Empire: The Golden Age of Spain. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R., Amy and Irene Putnam. 1935.22

Visual Arts

San Diego Surreal, a look at Surrealism in Southern California.

When: Feb. 23 through June 16

Where: Oceanside Museum of Art

Why we're excited: This exhibit will put our sunny landscape and poolside lifestyle in a completely new perspective. Expect to see about 50 pieces from contemporary artists and earlier 20th-century modernists.

Tickets: Find admission information and details via Oceanside Museum of Art

Where to Find a Donkey Show: Teleborder Images, curated by Deslave, focuses on the representation of border issues in TV, film and online.

When: April 6 through May 19

Where: San Diego Art Institute

Why we're excited: This Balboa Park organization puts on provocative, meaningful exhibitions. Along with border representation, this show will also show how technology has shaped the artists working in Tijuana and Southern California.

Tickets: More information and tickets will be available via San Diego Art Institute

Art and Empire: The Golden Age of Spain, a collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from about 1550 to 1750.

When: Opens May 18

Where: San Diego Museum of Art

Why we're excited: This exhibition expands on Spain's "Golden Age" to include Hispanic areas abroad including Naples, Mexico, Lima, and the Philippines.

Tickets: Find details via San Diego Museum of Art

Dance

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the groundbreaking modern dance company returns to San Diego.

When: March 26 and 27

Where: Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall

Why we're excited: Alvin Ailey helped popularize modern dance and also created a company of diverse dancers to tell stories of African-American experiences. The company is in San Diego for its 60th anniversary tour.

Tickets: Find tickets via La Jolla Music Society

Romance: En Pointe!, excerpts from beloved classical ballets.

When: April 27 and 28

Where: California Center for the Arts, Escondido

Why we're excited: San Diego Ballet's Javier Velasco is one of the city's best choreographers and he'll be putting his spin on classic ballets like "Giselle," "Don Quixote" and "Romeo et Juliet."

Tickets: Find tickets via San Diego Ballet

California Ballet's "The Nutcracker," San Diego's most popular production gets an update.

When: December

Where: San Diego Civic Theatre

Why we're excited: Jared Nelson, California Ballet's new artistic director, is updating the annual holiday ballet. While this one is already San Diego's most popular "Nutcracker," Nelson hints that he'll be keeping the new version traditional but to expect something grander and more professional.

Tickets: Keep checking California Ballet for details and tickets