San Diego Weekend Arts Events: A Hanukkah Play, Los Lobos, SDSU Art Gallery And Festive Choral Music
Holiday-themed arts events are in the air this weekend, and all of these event picks are available for you to safely experience from home. Plus, for a break from the season, you can virtually walk through one local gallery in a new exhibition of visual art by women.
'The Temple and the Secret Code'
New Village Arts is bringing this Kids On Stage production to our region, virtually. It's a kid-participation, interactive virtual program — parents can download some printables or write out the text for the kids and gather a few household items to have on hand for the "sleuthing."
Each showing will have room for just 10 kids per "seating," so that the actors can interact with them — and there's a few showings throughout the day each day until Hanukkah ends next Friday. The premise is a brother and sister team, sharing stories from their grandpa's storybook while the detectives (the audience) will try to solve clues and crack the secret code to get into the temple. So there's plenty of action and lots of stories and history.
It’s cute, and a little bit silly. I think parents and grade schoolers will especially love it. Plus, it's a great way to support our local theater community.
Details: Multiple production time slots through Friday Dec. 18. Virtual. $15.
New Village Arts is also presenting a stream-on-demand version of their "Holly Jolly Cabaret" show that drops starting on Monday — so contemporary holiday hits and showtunes, with local actors and singers, PLUS! a preview of their own brand new original holiday musical and that will hit the stage, hopefully, in the 2021 holiday season.
Details: Viewable on demand, Dec. 14 through Dec. 31. Online. $10.
SACRA/PROFANA's Free Virtual Holiday Concert
So many of our beloved holiday performance traditions are built around singing, but singing together is one of the hardest things to pull off during this pandemic. Fortunately, many local groups are still making great things happen. Let's take a look at local choral ensemble SACRA/PROFANA, who have been churning out some really inventive, adaptive work during the pandemic — including a music video rendition of Gary Neuman's "Cars" with all the singers in cars. Their free virtual holiday concert takes place Saturday night, and they'll screen past performances of some of their recent holiday concerts and previous recordings.
Director Juan Carlos Acosta will host the event, and is bringing in some of the composers to discuss the work — much of the music is written by living composers, like an arrangement of "Angels We Have Heard on High" by LA-based Filipino composer Saunder Choi.
Details: Saturday at 7 p.m. Online. Free.
'Upon Closer Inspection' At SDSU Art Gallery
Not only is this an impressive collection of works from three women artists, it's also a fantastic virtual platform. Featuring photography, drawings, textiles and more from Phung Huynh, Adama Delphine Fawundu, and Claire A. Warden, this show digs into things like West African heritage, rituals, identity and the trauma of the slave journey, pulls from the stories of Vietnamese refugees, and one intriguing method — Warden uses saliva on film and other mark-making processes in photography in her work — tries to understand the narratives of power and identity.
Using the KunstMatrix exhibition platform is like a virtual tour, where you can navigate through the gallery on your computer or touch screen, and tap each work as it hangs on the walls to see it close up and read the card. It's not the same, of course, but it really does make me feel more like I'm wandering the gallery than just clicking through pictures online.
And, not a holiday theme in sight.
Details: 'Upon Closer Inspection' Exhibition: Phung Huynh, Adama Delphine Fawundu and Claire A. Warden is on view online from the San Diego State University Art Gallery now through March 31, 2021. Free.
Los Lobos 'Still Home For The Holidays'
Los Angeles-based Los Lobos will take the virtual stage at the Belly Up. The band is known and loved for their rock takes on traditional and popular Mexican tunes as well as bringing a Mexican folk influence into top 40 music, and they were regulars on the Belly Up stage in the before-times. Tonight's show is a holiday-themed show, and pulls from traditional favorites, new songs and plenty of songs from their 2019 holiday album, Llegó Navidad.
Listen to their rendition of "La Rama" here, which is a tune in the regional folk style known as "son jarocho," from the Veracruz region of Mexico. La Rama is also a traditional holiday custom where neighbors decorate branches and parade through the streets.
Details: Los Lobos streams tonight at 7 p.m. from the Belly Up. $20.