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Diversionary's production of "Monsters of the American Cinema" is shown in an undated photo.

San Diego weekend arts events: Art Alive, Reggie Watts, 'Monsters of the American Cinema' and more

'Monsters of the American Cinema' Closing Weekend

Just four shows remain for Diversionary's production of San Diego writer Christian St. Croix's new play, "Monsters of the American Cinema," and tickets are running low. Directed by Desiree Clark, it stars Kirk Brown as Remy, a Black, gay man who inherits his late husband's drive-in movie theater — and his white teenage son, Pup, played by Nicholas Toscano.

The show came through San Diego Fringe Festival in 2019 and won the Artists' Pick honors. With such a small cast, so much depends on dialogue, and St. Croix's is precise and witty, with ample classic movie (and San Diego) references.


Details: 7 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Ends Apr. 2. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. $50+.

Marisa DeLuca
"Topeka and Horne" by Marisa DeLuca is a 2021 oil painting.

Marisa DeLuca: 'Part & Parcel'

Visual art
Oceanside-based visual artist Marisa DeLuca will open a new solo show at the Oceanside Public Library's Civic Center Branch on Saturday. The exhibition is an homage to what DeLuca describes as "disappearing spaces" in Oceanside — both from gentrification as well as her own evolution in her relationship with where she lives and the idea of possessions and permanence. DeLuca's paintings are high-contrast and thick with texture, with a nostalgic, film-like warmth that makes the works feel photographic. They're also full of everyday life — a peeling wall set against a blue sky, iron bars on a window, chain-link fences.


Details: Library hours this weekend are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. An opening reception and artist talk is 5:30 p.m. on Apr. 8. On view through June 30. Civic Center Branch Library, 330 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Free.

Art Alive

Visual art
The San Diego Museum of Art's annual floral design festival takes place this weekend, filling the entire museum with sculpture-like flower arrangements perched near the works of art that inspired them. This year's theme is "Modern Women," inspired by the exhibition currently on view featuring works by significant contemporary women artists — many of whose careers were overshadowed by their famous husbands, like Lee Krasner, whose husband was Jackson Pollack.

Liz Martin
Native Poppy
Florists from Native Poppy are shown installing the in-progress rotunda design at San Diego Museum of Art for Art Alive.

The centerpiece is the massive rotunda design, created by Native Poppy owner and florist Natalie Gill. The design cascades and pools from the ceiling, with splashes of pinks and oranges filling the two-story lobby with color and foliage.

Designs and arrangements are spread throughout the museum and outside too, including the sculpture garden, where you can also find their "Garden of Activities" each afternoon, with artmaking stuff for all ages.

Note: The museum's usually-free galleries 14 and 15, and the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden will require an Art Alive ticket this weekend.

Details: Noon to 5 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. $40 for adults, $5 for youth ages 7-17 and free for youth 6 and under. Free for museum members.

Reggie Watts and Jackie Mendoza

Music, Hip-hop, Comedy
Reggie Watts is probably best known right now as the bandleader on The Late Late Show with James Corden. But he's also a solo recording artist, comedian and performer. His comedy is super absurd, and his shows kind of alternate and journey between songs and jokes, but it's all comedy, and it's all mindblowingly inventive.

Courtesy of Music Box
Reggie Watts is shown in an undated photo.

Local Jackie Mendoza opens for this show, which is also the ListenSD 10th anniversary party. Mendoza is from Chula Vista, sings in both English and Spanish with synth instruments (and a distinct-sounding electric ukulele). Her album "Galaxia de Emociones" just came out earlier this month.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 1. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. $42. Ages 21+.

Flim Flam Revue: Ladies' Takeover

Music, Bluegrass, Folk, Indie
Grampa Drew's Flim Flam Revue is a monthly "songwriter fest," featuring mainly roots and Americana music, and this month brings a ladies' takeover to the Whistle Stop Bar. It's guest-hosted by Lauren Leigh, and musicians include Shelbi Bennet from the Midnight Pine and the Havnauts, Julia Sage, Tamar Berk, Chloe Lou and more.

Details: 5 p.m. Saturday. Whistle Stop Bar, 2236 Fern St., South Park. Free. 21+

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Dance, Ballet, Music, Kids
The resident youth ballet program in Balboa Park since 1948, the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, is preparing for next weekend's performances of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," with a score by Felix Mendelssohn. This Sunday, however, you can catch a free preview at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion — with shorter excerpts from the full ballet. It's a great way to get a taste of ballet, music and Shakespeare's fairy adventure.

Details: 2 p.m. on Sunday, Apr. 2. Spreckels Organ Pavilion, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. Free.

More weekend arts events we're covering:

I interviewed Kemp Powers, playwright of "The XIXth (The Nineteenth)," currently on stage at The Old Globe. Powers is also the cowriter of Pixar's "Soul," and co-director of the forthcoming "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" sequel, coming out in June. "The XIXth" is about the moment two Black American sprinters raised their fists in protest at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games, the 19th Olympics.

"Whenever there are greater truths and greater lessons to learn from moments in history, those are the types of stories that really draw me in," Powers said. Check out the full story here.

Rich Soublet II
The Old Globe
Patrick Marron Ball as Pete (Norman), Biko Eisen-Martin as John Carlos, and Korey Jackson as Tommie Smith are shown in an undated production photo of "The XIXth."

For more arts events, to submit your own or to sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar here.

Julia Dixon Evans writes the KPBS Arts newsletter, produces and edits the KPBS/Arts Calendar and works with the KPBS team to cover San Diego's diverse arts scene. Previously, Julia wrote the weekly Culture Report for Voice of San Diego and has reported on arts, culture, books, music, television, dining, the outdoors and more for The A.V. Club, Literary Hub and San Diego CityBeat. She studied literature at UCSD (where she was an oboist in the La Jolla Symphony), and is a published novelist and short fiction writer. She is the founder of Last Exit, a local reading series and literary journal, and she won the 2019 National Magazine Award for Fiction. Julia lives with her family in North Park and loves trail running, vegan tacos and live music.
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