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San Diego's Top Weekend Arts Events: Joffrey, 'Angels' And Mariachis

A 2018 photo of dancers from The Joffrey Ballet.
Cheryl Mann
A 2018 photo of dancers from The Joffrey Ballet.
San Diego's Top Weekend Arts Events: Joffrey, 'Angels' And Mariachis
GUEST: Nina Garin, editor/producer, KPBS/Arts Calendar Subscribe to the Midday Edition podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

Kaye PBS is supported by the law firm of Mintz working with startups and growing companies. Mintz legal services can help clients raise capital secure space and protect intellectual property to achieve strategic goals. Moore admits myths built on excellence driven by change. Whether you like ballet or ballet foreclosure Co. This weekend is filled with all kinds of dance plus an epic play opens at Signet theater. Here to tell us more is K PBS arts editor Nina Gare and Welcome Nina Hello. The Joffrey Ballet is coming to San Diego. Why is this a big deal. The Joffrey is a world class ballet company that's based in Chicago. It's a company that puts out new works but they also reimagined classics. For example they've completely redone their Nutcracker. They set it in Chicago during the World's Fair and then for new things they did a world premiere of Anna Karenina just last month. And I understand it's pretty rare to see Joffrey dancers outside of Chicago. It is. The company does go on tour but they don't go to a lot of cities. This year they're only going to four New York Minneapolis Santa Barbara and San Diego. So what will they be performing. One piece actually has a local connection. It's increases which is a piece by San Diego bred choreographer Justin Peck. This piece was actually performed several years ago when New York City Ballet was in town. It's a really fast really moody piece where the dancers they form these complex shapes and patterns both as a group and individually. The music is by Philip Glass and it's performed with two pianos on the stage and you have a clip of that music. This is Philip Glass for movements for two pianos. You can hear the plot intensifying their piece. What else is on the program. There's beyond the shore which is a piece that takes you through these five different worlds and it uses music that's more kind of like a soundscape. And then there's a piece called Joy which is a B and it's a group piece. It's very modern. The dancers are wearing like skin colored leotards think of like cognac what's fashion collection. That kind of look I mean the music sounds a little bit like you're in Miami. The Joffrey Ballet performs tonight at the San Diego Civic Theatre. There is another pretty epic show opening this weekend. Tell us what Signet theatre is doing. Signet is a small theater an old town but it's staging one of the most epic modern plays. Tony Kushner's Angels in America a gay Fantasia on national themes. It's a two part play that in total is more than seven hours long. Part 1 is called Millennium Approaches and part two is called perestroika and both will be staged in rotating repertory meaning they'll do it together the same time. Tell us more about Angels in America. What's that about. It was first stage in 1993. It's an examination of AIDS and gay culture in America during the 1980s. It's a very complex play it revolves around various characters and they're struggling with their identities and how they have to confront who they are once they or their loved ones contract AIDS. In this play was recently revived in New York with an all star cast right. Yeah. Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane just did it on Broadway and in 2018 at one Tonys for each of those actors plus Best Revival of a play. So what will it look like in San Diego. This is a very intimate theater. When I first saw this play it was at a breakfast theater and I was in the last row and I felt very removed. So that's not going to be a problem at Signet. It's directed by Sean Murray who's the co-founder of the theater and the cast feature some San Diego favorites like Rosina Reynolds and James Newcomb. But there'll also be actors making their Signet debuts Angels in America Millennium Approaches opens this weekend at Signet part to perestroika opens March 24th. And finally you're going to tell us about a mariachi festival in Chula Vista. Yeah this is the seventh annual mariachi festival. Before it was held in national city and that's how people may know it. This year it's moving to bayside park in Chula Vista. So what happens at the mariachi festival. It's a free celebration of Mexican Arts so it's a day filled with music ballet for local and family activities. Really though at its core it's a competition of high school and middle school mariachi groups from around the United States and Mexico. So who you're seeing are these young musicians and how they take on this traditional Mexican music. And of course we need to listen to some mariachi music. Now you bought a traditional song What's it called. It's called a gathering. They don't buy mariachi Azteca. And so besides the music what else will be going on. As I mentioned they'll be dancing ballet from Florida Gore. There's going to be a local fashion show. Food vendors and of course that San Diego. So beer garden and just you know a day of free entertainment and ready actually festival happens Sunday at Bayside Park in Chula Vista. Remember to set your clocks forward on Sunday to four more weekend events. Be sure to check out W.W. W.K. PBS dot org slash arts. Nina Guerin a PBS Arts Editor. Thanks for joining us. Thanks have a great weekend. Only here is a UK PBS podcast about the place where San Diego and Juana meet. What I realized is that the border we often focus on our differences and today we focused on our similarities find only here wherever you get your podcasts.

Whether you like ballet or ballet folklorico, this weekend is filled with all kinds of dance. Plus Tony Kushner's epic "Angels in America" opens at Cygnet Theater.

Joffrey Ballet


La Jolla Music Society welcomes a rare performance by Chicago's Joffrey Ballet.


Under the direction of Ashley Wheater, this program of new works includes "Encounter" and "Beyond the Shore" by Nicolas Blanc and "Joy" by Alexander Ekman.

Also on the program is "In Creases" by Justin Peck, a fast, contemporary ballet in which dancers form complex shapes and patterns both as a group and individually. The dance is performed to a live score for two pianos composed by Philip Glass.

There will be a 7 p.m. prelude interview hosted by Molly Puryear, executive director of Malashock Dance.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave. downtown. $29 to $89; find tickets to Joffrey Ballet.

A 2019 photo of Cygnet Theatre's "Angels in America" cast.
Rachel Esther Tate
A 2019 photo of Cygnet Theatre's "Angels in America" cast.


'Angels in America'


Cygnet Theatre stages the epic drama "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes."

The two-part play is an examination of AIDS and gay culture in America during the 1980s. Written by Tony Kushner, the complex work revolves around various characters struggling with their identities and confronting who they are once they or their loved ones contract HIV, the disease that causes AIDS.

Directed by Sean Murray, the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is broken in two parts: "Millennium Approaches" and "Perestroika." They will be performed in rotating repertory from March 6 through April 20.

Details: Opens 8 p.m. Saturday. Continues through April 20. Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. $25 to $60; find tickets to "Angels in America."

This 2016 photo features a performer from the Mariachi Festival in National City.
This 2016 photo features a performer from the Mariachi Festival in National City.

Mariachi Festival

Music, Dance

This year, the seventh annual Mariachi Festival moves from National City to Chula Vista's Bayside Park.

But the event, which brings together amateur mariachis from throughout Mexico and the United States, remains the same. Middle and high school bands will perform traditional songs from Mexico, and the top bands will win cash and prizes.

The family-friendly event also features ballet folklorico dance groups, a fashion show, an area for kids, beer and cocktail gardens, crafts and more.

Details: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Bayside Park, 999 Bayside Parkway, Chula Vista. $5 to $50; find tickets to Mariachi Festival.

Joffrey Ballet Makes A Rare Stop In San Diego