San Diego weekend arts events: Queer Mvmnt Fest, 'Twelfth Night,' Mozart and more
Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is currently on stage as part of The Old Globe's summer outdoor Shakespeare series. This production is astonishing and deeply funny. The cast and crew's mastery of comedic timing is prime evidence for the argument that Shakespeare's plays are best when seen. The production also leans into the original text's use of gender fluidity in clever, funny and even profound ways. The story follows twins, a brother and sister, who each presume the other is lost at sea. Viola (Naian González Norvind) dresses as a man to intervene in an unrequited royal love situation, and (of course) things start to unravel.
It's hard to pick a favorite character, but Sir Andrew Aguecheek, deftly performed by Jason O'Connell, will probably stick with me the longest. Bolstered by brilliant comrades (Esco Jouléy as Feste and Cornell Womack as Sir Toby), O'Connell suggests that just the slightest shift of tone and affect delivers Shakespearean speak full-speed into the 21st century.
It's powerful to see how language can endure for over 400 years and still be sharp (and super funny) — when delivered well.
Details: "Twelfth Night" is on stage through July 9. 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; no performance this Saturday, June 16 or July 4. The Old Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. $39-$116.
More theater: The Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival (JFEST) brings LA-based theatre dybbuk to perform their investigative, "annotated" production of "The Merchant of Venice" at the LFJCC in La Jolla. 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 18. $25.
Disco Riot's Queer Mvmnt Fest is underway — a full week of free performances, dance film screenings, discussions and workshops. On my radar is a showcase, as well as a set of performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego downtown from Rogelio Lopez & Dancers, a modern dance company based in the Bay Area.
"Entre Despierto y Dormido" translates to "Between Awake and Asleep." I saw one clip of a beautiful duet set to "Moon River," but the work as a whole — drawing from Lopez's experience — is about someone who, according to the program notes, has "put to sleep so much of himself in order to succeed in a society that constantly reminds him that he doesn't belong." Performances are Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at MCASD downtown.
Saturday evening's "Queer Convergence" is a set of eight distinct short works of choreography by regional and guest artists, including Anna Brown Massey, Chloe Rosen and Alyssa Rose, Gabriel Mata and more.
Details: Queer Mvmnt Fest runs through Sunday. "Entre Despierto y Dormido" is 7 p.m. on Friday, June 16 and 4 p.m. Saturday, June 17. MCASD Downtown, 1100 Kettner Blvd, downtown. "Queer Convergence" is 7 p.m. on Saturday at Southwestern College Performing Arts Center, 900 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista. Free, with RSVP.
More dance: San Diego children's dance company, Kidz Danz Kompany, will perform two shows of their twist on the "Wizard of Oz" story in "Oz." This one is actually about a La Mesa kid called Donny, the great-great grandson of Dorothy — there's so much to love there. Shows are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 16-17 at San Diego Musical Theatre, 4650 Mercury St., Kearny Mesa. $13-$23.
"The Artist at Home" at the La Jolla Historical Society is a fascinating exhibit consisting of multiple related sections that consider the way homes and the proverbial "room(s) of one's own" can shape creativity and culture. The first is a series of recreations ("reimaginings") of homes and studios of artists from the San Diego border region, including the husband and wife duo Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel, Tecate-based Irma Sofia Poeter and Iréne de Watteville. For the second part, curator Joey Herring also photographed some artists' actual studios, including Beliz Iristay, the de la Torre Brothers, indigenous artist Johnny "Bear" Contreras and another husband and wife duo, Marisol Rendón and Ingram Ober.
Details: "The Artist at Home" opens with a reception from 6-7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 16. On view through Sept. 3. La Jolla Historical Society, 7846 Eads Ave., La Jolla. Free.
More visual art: Materials, place and landscapes abound in the two-person exhibit, Sylvia Fernández and Jamie Franks: "Shape Shifting," which opens at the new-to-the-scene Two Rooms Gallery in La Jolla this weekend. An opening reception is 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, and then it's viewable by appointment through July 8.
The Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival brings some of the finest symphony musicians from around the country to San Diego beginning this weekend at the Del Mar Surf Park. Next week, it will move to The Conrad in La Jolla and UC San Diego's Epstein Family Auditorium for a final week June 20-24.
This weekend's performances include a kickoff with Mozart's Bassoon Concerto (always a treat when the more obscure instruments get the center-stage treatment), plus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 on Saturday. Sunday spotlights violinist Karen Gomyo on a Brahms Violin Concerto (and of course there'll be Mozart).
Details: Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival concerts this weekend are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15, Saturday, June 17 and Sunday June 18. Del Mar Surf Sports Park, 14989 Via de la Valle, Del Mar. $25+.
Chris Baron has a new middle-grade book, "The Gray," and he'll be in conversation with Matt de la Peña at Warwick's Saturday evening. Baron, a local author and community college professor, fills his books with relatable characters, propulsive prose (or verse!) and fascinating backdrops.
"The Gray" follows an anxiety-riddled middle schooler dealing with the mysterious disappearance of a friend. In addition to the book, Baron and de la Peña will discuss healing and other benefits found in middle-grade books.
Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Warwick's Books, 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free. ($18.99 to purchase a book and reserve a seat).
The Old Globe's AXIS: Juneteenth Celebration takes place Saturday afternoon in the Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. It's hosted by local star Gill Sotu and includes performances from poets, spoken word artists and gospel, soul, jazz and hip-hop artists. A performance of a new, original play about Juneteenth by local artist Miki Vale will be performed, shaped around retelling the history to children.
There are limited seats in the outdoor theater so an RSVP is recommended.
Details: AXIS: Juneteenth Celebration is from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 17. 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Free with RSVP.