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San Diego's Top Weekend Events: A Big Musical, A Small Musical And A Potter Musical

A 2018 photo of Moonlight's production of "Newsies."
Adriana Zuniga
A 2018 photo of Moonlight's production of "Newsies."
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: A Big Musical, A Small Musical And A Potter Musical
San Diego's Top Weekend Events: A Big Musical, A Small Musical And A Potter Musical GUEST: Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar

This is PBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavanagh. If you've got tickets for Comic Con this weekend then you know what you'll be doing for the rest of us. There are some interesting productions on San Diego stages and that's the focus of this weekend preview. Joining me is PBS arts calendar editor Nina and Nina welcome. Hello. Now moonlight amphitheater just opened its latest musical Newsies. Tell us about it. So this musical is based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899. Back then a lot of the newsboys selling the papers were orphans and runaways and they had to buy the papers and then sell them and get the money back. And then Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. They raised the price on the papers. The boys didn't like that. They formed a union and they went on strike. Well you know the subject seems pretty grim. How is the music all. Well Disney took it took the story and they gave it to Alan Menken who did the music and it was adapted from an 1992 movie by Harvey Firestein. The story follows Jack Kelly. He kind of took care of the gang of newsboys but he dreams of this quiet life in Santa Fe New Mexico. It's beloved by musical theater people because it has these amazing dance numbers. They're really inventive. One of the things that it's famous for is that they use newspapers on their feet and use them to glide around. So that's kind of why it's very revered in musical theater. You mentioned the movie that this was based on the movie wasn't as popular as the musical. Was it. The movie has an interesting backstory so it starred Christian Bale. It was pretty terrible. Bombed at the box office. No critics liked it but it was embraced by the kids it was meant for. And they grew up loving this movie and gave it kind of a cult status. And then 10 years later when it was turned into a musical. They're the ones who started liking it and then it just became a thing. Let's listen to a song from Newsies. This is seize the day from the original Broadway soundtrack. Hey. Tell us about the local production. Yes. Moonlight amphitheater is doing it and they've got a big cast. And what's great about it is that a lot of the leads are college age or younger and they really capture the spirit of being young and being kind of desperate. And obviously they also have great dancing and they use their unique Amphitheatre stage in really great ways so you just have to go check it out. Newsies runs through August 4th at Moonlight amphitheater in Vista. There's another show opening this weekend this one Inkar nado. Tell us about the man of no importance. Yes. This is actually a musical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aarons and together they've done once on this island they've done they've done ragtime and Seussical this particular show won the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway musical. This is from a very well-known show. Can you tell us a little bit more about the plot. Yes it's set in 1964. Alfie is secretly gay but he's never acted on it. But in Dublin he's like a local celebrity. He kind of adds a touch of color to working class Ireland by reciting Oscar Wilde poems to his passengers. Then he directs plays at his church but when he wants to do Salomé the church says it's an appropriate. And then there's a scandal that forces Alfi to reveal who he truly is. Let's listen to music from a man of no importance. This is love who you love. Your common sense tells. Me in. Your heart. You just have to. Love. Your. Who's doing this local production. This is Coronato Playhouse. At the shows there I don't know if you've been you sit at tables and so it feels very intimate and like you're with friends so I think it's kind of the perfect atmosphere to see a show like this. A man of no importance opens tonight and plays through August 26 at Coronato Playhouse. And it's not like we're actively avoiding Comic Con. In fact there's a pop culture comic con related play at the Lyceum this weekend put on by turning tides theater company Nina. Who are they. This is a group that during the Fringe Festival they put on mash ups of pop culture films or shows mixed with popular musicals. So in the past they've done the Phantom of the Empire witches Phantom Of The Opera and Empire Strikes Back and then they did into the walker Woods which was Into the Woods and the walking dead. So what are they up to this year. They're doing wicked wizards. That's a mash up of all seven Harry Potter books with the musical Wicked. I haven't had a chance to see it but they did. I do know some of the songs and so here are some of the titles. No one names the wizard ask about life and a wizard Imai. So do you have to be a fan of wicked or Harry Potter to enjoy this show. Obviously the more familiar you are with each of them the more you'll get out of it. There are things that maybe wicked diehards will only get in the same with Harry Potter but you'll be fine if you go and you have a general knowledge of either one. How can people go to wicked wizards. Do you need a kamikaze badge. No you don't need comic con badge. You do have to fight kamikaze traffic. This is playing at the Lyceum and you can find tickets through the San Diego rep website. Wicked wizards plays through Sunday at the Lyceum and I've been speaking with Kate PBS arts calendar editor Nina. Nina thank you. Thanks have a good weekend.

Three new musicals open this weekend, one based on a Disney movie, another based on an Irish indie film and the third inspired by the Harry Potter series.

"Newsies"

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Theater

Moonlight Stage presents the San Diego regional premiere of "Newsies."

"Newsies" tells the story of poor newsboys taking on publishing magnates Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst (read about it here). Moonlight's production is packed with great dance numbers, and those alone are worth the ticket. But you'll also find an enthusiastic ensemble that brings heart and authenticity to songs like "King of New York" and "Once And For All."

Details: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Through Aug. 4. Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $17 to $57; find tickets to "Newsies."

Turning Tydes Theatre Company Presents "Wicked Wizards"

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Theater

Turning Tydes is a theater group that puts on mash-ups of pop culture favorites and beloved musicals like "The Phantom of the Empire" ("Phantom of the Opera" and "Empire Strikes Back") and "Into the Walker Woods" ("Into the Woods" and "Walking Dead.")

This year's show is "Wicked Wizards," a musical that combines the Harry Potter series with "Wicked." Some songs you'll hear include "No One Names the Wizard," "Azkaban Life," and "A Wizard Am I."

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown. $30; find tickets to "Wicked Wizards."

A 2018 photo from Coronado Playhouse's "A Man of No Importance."
Ken Jacques
A 2018 photo from Coronado Playhouse's "A Man of No Importance."

"A Man of No Importance"

Theater

Coronado Playhouse presents "A Man of No Importance," a musical based on the 1994 indie film.

Set in 1964, the show is about a Dublin bus driver Alfie who recites Oscar Wilde poems to his passengers and stages plays in his church meeting hall.

When Alfie decides to stage Wilde's "Salome," the church finds it inappropriate and the scandal forces him to reveal who he truly is: a gay man who has been hiding his identity from the community.

This intimate show was the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Award winner for Best Musical, and was written by Tony-winning "Ragtime" creators Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

Details: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 8 p.m. Thursdays. Through Aug. 26. $20 to $27; find tickets to "A Man of No Importance."

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