Balboa Park news & stories

Your source for news and stories about Balboa Park in San Diego. For more on Balboa Park, including events, museums, photos, and more, visit the Balboa Park section.

Last call: The White Snake and My Fair Lady

The final opportunity to see these notable shows is fast approaching

Two beautifully performed shows must end their runs this Sunday. The White Snake, Old Globe Theatre. Mary Zimmerman does theatrical adaptations of literary works, among them The Odyssey, The Arabian Nights, and The Notebooks of ...

Babs for a day

One-man Buyer & Cellar takes on Barbra and Alex at the same time

Alex Moore, struggling actor, not only works at Disneyland, he’s the “Mayor of Toontown.” He hates it so much he calls the “happiest place” on earth “Mousechwitz.” The drive from his Los Feliz studio apartment, ...

Centennial suds

A second collaboration beer to celebrate 100 years of Balboa Park

In January, I reported on a beer commemorating the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park named Centennial IPA. Karl Strauss Brewing Company brewmaster Paul Segura and Automatic Brewing Co. owner and head brewer Lee Chase collaborated ...

The White Snake slithers into the Old Globe

Believing is seeing

"Sir, you are married to a snake!” the holy man Fa Hai tells bewildered Xu Xian at the Golden Monastery. “You are coiled in the snares of a snake demon.” His wife and her sidekick ...

Easter on the beach

And select events for the rest of the week

Thursday | 2 Cafe 21’s Chef Leyla and the team from Suzie’s Farm have created a menu using only Suzie’s organic, local produce. Add a cocktail pairing for an additional $20. Friday | 3 Photographer ...

Growler art, shred talks, and asteroids

Thursday | 26 Stories about riding the bus, reading a map, dealing with helmet hair, and whatever else can happen when people move en masse. The VAMP (Visual/Audio Monologue Performance) reading series is an evening ...

The ol' climate action plan push thing

Activists and councilman urge persistence, discourage passivity

A group of environmental activists organized by the Environmental Health Coalition and San Diego 350 gathered Monday, March 2, in Balboa Park to urge the city to "start here, start now" by fast-tracking implementation of ...

The Old Globe stages The Twenty-Seventh Man

Fellow travelers

Their crime: they compose in Yiddish, “from right to left on the page.”

A spoken-word look at African-American artists

Five great sultanates ruled central India at the same time as the Mughal Empire, producing wonderful paintings, textiles, and metalwork. Marika Sardar, associate curator of Southern Asian and Islamic Art, will introduce the art from ...

Fungi wanted for fungal library

To contribute specimens to the herbarium isn’t all fun and foraging

San Diego is so arid, it can leave mushroom hunters foraging for irrigation. Try parks and cemeteries, some suggest. Or go see local species on display at the annual Fungus Fair in Balboa Park on ...

Lightweight, miniature musical

Fluffy, undersized Murder For Two outruns the audience

Murder for Two, a musical/detective story, would be a lot more fun in an intimate, cabaret setting: clinking glasses, lubricated laughter, face-to-face interaction. But on the Old Globe’s Donald and Darlene Shiley mainstage, the two-hander ...

Classical California gold

Notable classical music events in San Diego, January 15-16

Here’s a quick rundown of some upcoming classical music events of note. The San Diego Museum of Art is holding the first a monthly series of concerts on Thursday, January 15 at 7 p.m. The ...

Happy 100th "beer"thday, Balboa Park

Local brewers celebrate iconic centennial with 100-IBU IPA

The 100th anniversary of Balboa Park is a pretty cool thing. You know what would make it even cooler? A beer brewed to commemorate that milestone. But not just any beer. How about a San ...

Centennial stroll

A deliberate trek through Balboa Park, 100 years later

Visit Balboa Park during the 100-year celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Local gift guide: Lady edition

San Diego spots provide great options when shopping for her.

Christmas shopping can be such a hassle. I have the tendency to avoid malls during the entire month of December. Parking is a nightmare and sales people are overworked and grumpy. Luckily for San Diegans ...

Food Waste Fiasco

"We could be feeding another 10,000 people."

Rob Greenfield returned to his home in Ocean Beach about three weeks ago. He’d been on a five-month tour of the country, by bicycle, raising awareness of food waste in many grocery stores along the ...

March of time

20th Century icons from an old art museum in Buffalo are at the Museum of Art.

“I have always liked hot music. There’s something wrong with an American who doesn’t.”

Last Call: Black Sunday

Some fine productions, including one of the city's all-time best, must close November 2.

These shows must close this Sunday, November 2 — aka “Black Sunday,” given their high quality. The Royale, Old Globe Theatre One of the year’s best directed shows is so well done you’d think Marco ...

Ritualized conjuration

Knockout theatricality saves Old Globe's The Royale.

Take away the spectacular theatricality and Marco Ramirez’s The Royale would be a thin-ish script that makes some important points. The characters stand as much for a position in a debate as for themselves. But ...

German Currents flow back to Balboa Park

The German Currents Film Festival returns this weekend to Balboa Park for its fourth annual two-day, four-film celebration. This year, the festival doubled its venues by holding its opening-night gala at the Natural History Museum, ...

Southern woe

Bright Star may be too sweeping for its own good.

Billy Cane is home from World War II. He wants to follow his “bright star” and write for the prestigious Asheville Southern Journal. The editor, Alice Murphy, works with the Southern Renaissance headliners: Faulkner, Eudora ...

Children, children everywhere

October's Kids Free family deals

For the fourth year in a row, the San Diego Museum Council and Time Warner Cable present “Kids Free in October,” which means kids under 12 have a free pass (more specifically, two kids per ...

Nothing stank with Balboa Park Celebration, Inc.

Some contracts awarded sloppily, but audit found little fault

City auditor Eduardo Luna's report of what went wrong at the fizzling of Balboa Park Celebration, Inc., points few fingers According to a report released today, October 1, the committee got $3.08 million in funding, ...

The Two Gents Template

If you didn’t know who wrote it, you’d swear the author of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, currently at the Old Globe, stole every Shakespearean device he could find. Two Gents is “early” Shakespeare. The ...

My fantasy food day

My day always starts with coffee from Cafe Moto (2619 National Avenue), whether it ends up being a dream day or not. It’s usually in my own kitchen, but my fantasy morning would have me ...

Odd lover out

For once, the young characters do an adult thing: they pause and reflect, as if weighing alternatives.

Might have felt like a good news/bad news situation. Renowned director Mark Lamos gets to do Shakespeare at the Old Globe. The bad news? It’s “Two Gents.” The Two Gentlemen of Verona was a popular ...

Relative harmony

Old Globe Theater stages retiring Quartet

“It must be dreadful to be famous and applauded and acclaimed and not be able to practice your art.”

Panama 66 "mushy" opens at Museum of Art

Already offers some difficult beer decisions in advance of its proper unveiling

It wasn't long ago that I heard the proprietors of Tiger! Tiger! and Blind Lady Ale House had won the contract to open an eatery in the Sculpture Garden Court outside the Museum of Art ...

The Old Globe ventures back Into the Woods

The Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into the Woods world-premiered at the Old Globe in 1986. The set had three structures, fixed, and a “woods” behind. Along with fairy tale characters — Cinderella, Jack (of beanstalk ...

From blushing bridegroom back to cold-blooded killer

Iago plays on Othello’s fears like a maestro on a Stradivarius.

Iago: “Men should be what they seem. Or those that be not, would they might seem none.” Othello: “Certain, men should be what they seem.” I was re-reading Shakespeare’s Othello recently, and the obvious poked ...

Sharp minors are the key

Slow start, fab finish in world premiere Dog and Pony at the Old Globe

Rick Elice and Michael Patrick Walker are the multi-talented, mega-award-winning creators of Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Altar Boyz. Their world premiere musical isn’t a dog. But, even with a top flight cast, ...

Chekhoviana hodgepodge

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Old Globe is much more comedy than tragedy

The first three names come from Anton Chekhov: Vanya and niece Sonia from Uncle Vanya; Masha from Three Sisters. And Spike? From the imagination of Christopher Durang which, he says, tossed the Chekhovian trio “into ...

Grunge in the Park

There are a couple of different San Diego spots I head to anytime I am suffering from a particularly awful day — the La Mesa Library, Mission Trails, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, the AmVets off ...

Fevered, emotionally reportorial realism

Art for life's sake

“The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it.” Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain, on view at the San Diego Museum of Art until September 9.

Found: another proposal from the now-disbanded Balboa Park Centennial Group

San Diego, then and now

From the minutes of the December 2013 meeting of the Balboa Park Centennial Group, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and a fifth of Glenlivet: Mr. [REDACTED] noted that, during the 1935 Expo, ...

Dance on a minefield

The Old Globe serves Water by the Spoonful.

He’s so addicted to alienation, he wouldn’t march in his “own parade.”

Time and the Conways at the Old Globe

J.B. Priestley’s 1937 drama is not a great play. But it’s a haunter. The Old Globe’s excellent cast probably won’t have too many standing ovations because the spell doesn’t break until long after the curtain ...

Atheists, Evangelists, and Prophets take over Balboa Park

Walk in the park of shame.

Billy Stewart wants to know if I am ready to accept Jesus Christ into my heart. He stands under a cluster of palm trees along the Prado in Balboa Park. A navy-blue ball cap with ...

Hipsters or nerds?

Judging youthful style on grown men

My friend Natalie recently broke up with her boyfriend. In an effort to get her to move on, I attempted to set her up with a good guy friend of mine. They have a lot ...

Dazzling musical feats

“For me, this concert began about four years ago, when I was wondering to myself if it might be possible to gain access and play artistically with the Giant Dome Theater at Reuben H. Fleet ...

Gender-blending Sisters

“Most of the songs on this album were written while I was recovering from a major injury,” says singer/songwriter Sherri-Anne of Sister Speak’s upcoming debut full-length Rise Up for Love. “I broke my pelvis and ...

Plan presented for more Balboa Park cottages

"It is incomprehensible that there is no House of Mexico now."

A plan that would add five permanent cottages for ten countries to Balboa Park's House of Pacific Relations was sent back for revision Thursday, March 6, after a packed meeting that pitted a room full ...

Technology meets art at the park

Balboa Park partners with Maker Faire for first STEAM Day

This marks the first year that Balboa Park includes “A” for Art in their annual event to highlight the education movement traditionally known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). On March 16, from 11 ...

Pet almost abducted from Grape Street Dog Park

Dog-napper or aggressively altruistic dog-owner?

On Wednesday, February 19, what seemed to be an attempted dog-napping at Grape Street Dog Park was thwarted by park regulars, who stopped the would-be perpetrator in the parking lot. More than one eyewitness claimed ...

Forgiveness reigns

Time is a destroyer that will “come and take my love away.”

Why does Leontes go stark raving mad in The Winter’s Tale? The King of Sicilia looks to have it all. His beautiful wife, Hermione, is pregnant with their second child. His son, Mamillius, is a ...

Balboa Golf Course clubhouse to expand?

Expansion contingent on pedestrian pathway

On February 12, the Golden Hill Planning Committee unanimously voted to deny support of a proposed extension of the Balboa Golf Course clubhouse. All present members of the community advisory group took issue with the ...

Arm candy

Purses worn in San Diego

“You're never too fat for a new purse.” ― Nia Vardalos I gained a couple of pounds over the holiday season. As a result of my refusal to go up a dress size, I have ...

Downsized dreams

Old Globe stages Laura Marks’s Bethany in the round

Bethany, by Laura Marks Old Globe Theatre, Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Balboa Park Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch; cast: Carlo Alban, DeAnna Driscoll, Jennifer Ferrin, Amanda Naughton, James Shanklin, Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson; scenic design ...

Tennis camp for Wounded Warriors seeking funds

Balboa Tennis Club aims to fly in 50 or more wounded, ill, or injured veterans

The San Diego District Tennis Association last week began soliciting donations for its third annual National Tennis Camp for Wounded Warriors, to take place in San Diego the week of May 19–25. "This event is ...

A day in Balboa Park

I try to live my life in accordance with the famous quote attributed to Walt Whitman: "Be curious, not judgmental." On a recent visit to Balboa Park, camera in hand, I came across a plethora ...

Walking San Diego

“It’s a bit of a mountain getaway feeling if you ignore the freeway noise.”

Walks around town, walks in the mountains, walks next to the freeway that make it easy to pretend you’ve gotten away from it all (if you ignore the sound of traffic).

Public balks at Balboa Park "West End"

But it's temporary! says PR firm

Over the weekend, I posted this story announcing the new website and name, Balboa Park West End, which was created to alert the public to the fact that the museums and institutions at Balboa Park ...

Win a pair of VIP tickets to
Reader Tacotopia!

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close