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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: 'Les Mis,' Weilerstein, free ballet and more

The cast of Broadway's "Les Misérables" performs "One Day More" in an undated production photo.
Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman
Murphy Made
The cast of Broadway's "Les Misérables" performs "One Day More" in an undated production photo.


Broadway’s “Les Misérables" opened at the Civic Theatre this week. The touring production is a powerful staging of the beloved musical. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo and adapted into a musical in 1980, it has been seen by over 130 million people. Set amidst uprisings in 19th-century France, the play spans decades of Jean Valjean's life, beginning with his incarceration. Valjean agrees to care for Cosette, daughter of the dying Fantine, which transforms his life. Standout performances are Nick Cartell's Valjean, Victoria Huston-Elem's delightful Madame Thénardier, and Phoenix Best's noble and poignant Éponine. With a striking, inventive set and stunning lighting, it's a hit.

Details: On stage through Oct. 15. This weekend's performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $30-$209.

"The War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script" from North Coast Rep's Theatre School is on stage for just one weekend. It's a production of the radio play version of H.G. Wells' novel, responsible for fooling listeners that aliens were actually invading during its original 1938 radio broadcast.


Details: On stage Oct. 5-8. $21-$25. Showtimes are 10 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5-8. North Coast Rep Theatre School Studio Space, 985 Lomas Santa Fe Dr. Ste. D, Solana Beach. $21-$25.

“The Addams Family" is now on stage at San Diego Musical Theatre, just in time for goth season. Based on the original comic strips by Charles Addams, the musical zooms in on one single night with the macabre-loving family.

Details: On stage through Oct. 29. This weekend's showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. San Diego Musical Theatre, 4650 Mercury St., Kearny Mesa. $25+.

Visual art

"Son de Allá y Son de Acá" opens at the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center on Saturday at an event that also celebrates the museum’s first anniversary. Curated by Rigoberto Luna, Christian Ramírez, Vicente Telles, and Ricardo Islas, this special traveling exhibit features the work of dozens of Chicano/a/x and Latino/a/x artists, highlighting the region along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. While the museum will be open all afternoon, a special celebration begins at 4 p.m. with DJs and free food.


Details: Open 1-7 p.m. with a reception from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, 1960 National Ave., Barrio Logan. $3 general admission (kids 18 and under are free).

For more arts events, or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar. If you want more time to plan, get the KPBS/Arts newsletter in your inbox every Thursday to see event picks for the weeks ahead.

A painted breast cast collaboration from Al Marcano and Marlene Hurtado is shown in an undated photo.
Keep A Breast Foundation
A painted breast cast collaboration from Al Marcano and Marlene Hurtado is shown in an undated photo.

For the Keep A Breast X Fall Brewing "Breast Cast Exhibition," 20 artists adorned plaster casts of breasts — cast with care by Keep A Breast's founder Shaney Jo Darden — of local community members. The Keep A Breast Foundation is a Yucca Valley-based nonprofit focused on channeling the power of the arts for breast cancer awareness. They're partnering with Fall Brewing to launch a special exhibition of the casts on Saturday, which will be on view at the North Park brewery through the end of October. The casts will be auctioned off virtually by Brewbies, and Fall Brewing will unveil a new pink lager, "Check Yourself," at the event.

Artists include Britton Neubacher, Lindy Ivey, Nan Coffee, Hanna Gundrum and Bepydoll. Angela "Bepydoll" Nguyen, who is also a breast cancer survivor and Fall Brewing employee, co-curated the exhibit with Darden.

Details: 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. Fall Brewing Company, 4542 30th St., North Park. Free (food and drink available for purchase).

"How We Gather" is the next group exhibition at UC San Diego's Mandeville Art Gallery, with work that explores solidarity and community, from artists Zarouhie Abdalian, Adelita Husni-Bey, Pia Camil, Cog•nate Collective, Kimi Hanauer, Susan Jahoda, Caroline Woolard, Elana Mann, noé olivas, Nina Sarnelle, Selwa Sweidan and Alice Yuan Zhang.

How We Gather: Exhibition Opening
Elana Mann and Sharon Chohi Kim, Hope Is a Hammer, 2023, performance documentation, Human Resources, Los Angeles, January 4, 2023. Photo by Ruth Kim
Ruth Kim
Elana Mann and Sharon Chohi Kim, Hope Is a Hammer, 2023, performance documentation, Human Resources, Los Angeles, Jan. 4, 2023.

Saturday's opening reception includes tacos, a bar, and a new performance work from Elana Mann and Sharon Chohi Kim, featuring the San Diego New Verbal Workshop ensemble. That performance is at 4 p.m.

Details: Opens with a reception from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. On view through Dec. 9. Mandeville Art Gallery, 9500 Gilman Dr., UC San Diego. Free.

Worth the trip: The Borrego Art Institute will open two new exhibitions, both revolving around themes of the natural world. A group show, "The Art of Flora, Fauna and Earth's Elements" is a collection of works by regional artists.

Jerry Berkstresser
"Sierra Moonset" is a work of infrared photography by Jerry Berkstresser, on view at Borrego Art Institute beginning Oct. 7, 2023.

Also on view is Jerry Berkstresser's "Heat Echoes: Infrared Landscapes and Other Works," featuring striking black and white infrared renderings of western landscapes like the Sierras or the Mojave Desert.

Details: Opens with a reception from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. On view through Oct. 29. Borrego Art Institute, 655 Palm Canyon Dr., Borrego Springs. Free.


"People Who Look Like Art"
Lorraine Triolo
San Diego Ballet
Photography from the "People Who Look Like Art" series will be shown at the Dorothea Laub Dance Place on Oct. 6, 2023.

San Diego Ballet will perform at Liberty Station's First Friday Arts District event, previewing performances alongside a fashion show with company dancers. The festivities continue in the building's Mandell Weiss Gallery, with a photography exhibition by Lorraine Triolo, "People Who Look Like Art."

Details: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6. San Diego Ballet performances are 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dorothea Laub Dance Place, 2650 Truxtun Rd., Liberty Station. Free.

"WDO Inclusive Dance Annual Showcase" is a production of Wheelchair Dancers Organization, a San Diego nonprofit dance school for disabled and non-disabled San Diegans. There are no age limits for the program or showcase. Students and instructors will perform dance styles ranging from hip-hop to Bollywood. There'll also be a "dance fitness pop-up" at the end of the show, and anyone can join in. The event is a fundraiser, though admission is free.

Details: 12-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. Champion Ballroom Academy, 4255 Ruffin Rd. #200. Free.


The San Diego Symphony's "Carnegie Hall Preview: Weilerstein Plays Dvořák" brings husband and wife duo cellist Alisa Weilerstein and conductor Rafael Payare together with the San Diego Symphony to preview the repertoire they'll perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City later this month. Weilerstein's appearance on Dvořák's "Cello Concerto in B minor" is the headlining moment of course, but the orchestra will also debut a new work by contemporary composer Carlos Simon, a world premiere. Rounding things out will be Shostakovich's 5th Symphony.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. The Rady Shell, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25-$108.

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein holds a cello and wears a red dress, looking off to the side.
Paul Stuart
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is shown in an undated photo.

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason performs at the La Jolla Music Society, lending her virtuosic, expressive piano skills to classic works by Haydn, Fanny Mendelssohn, Schumann and Chopin.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. $71+.

Le Salon de Musiques kicks off their new season with the help of Quartet Integra, performing Purcell's "Chacony," and quartets by Beethoven and Schubert. Le Salon de Musiques performances spotlight a salon-style close seating arrangement, a musicologist lecture and post-concert mingling and refreshments with the artists.

Details: 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. La Jolla Woman's Club, 7791 Draper Ave., La Jolla. $45-95.

"Casa Fest" is a music and art festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Casa Familiar, a San Ysidro nonprofit and home of the Front Arte Cultura gallery. The festival will be held at Waterfront Park, and includes music from Nortec: Bostich + Fussible, Mara Su Lu with Revival, Mariachi Internacional de San Diego, La Diabla, and more.

Details: 1-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy, downtown. Ages 21+ only. $60+.

More live music picks:

Thursday: Josh Ritter and Sarah Harmer at Belly Up.

Friday: Miniaturized, The Color Forty Nine, Scary Pierre and Mistress77 at Casbah; The All-American Rejects, New Found Glory, Motion City Soundtrack and The Get Up Kids at Petco Park;

Saturday: The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble at Casbah; Owl City at House of Blues; Casa Fest at Waterfront Park.

Sunday: The Shivas at The Whistle Stop; Clem Snide and Alex Bergan at Casbah; Jamestown Revival at Belly Up

More weekend arts events we're covering

Acclaimed writer Dave Eggers will speak at the San Diego Central Library on Monday, Oct. 9. I recently talked to him about his newest book, a delightful all-ages novel about a wild dog — and about what happens to stories and creativity when we are just as untethered.

The San Diego Filipino Film Festival is off to a successful third year, and KPBS' Beth Accomando has a preview.

Ready to take advantage of the San Diego Museum Council's Kids Free October? We've pulled together a list of our top picks here.