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.

Oz-Con, Surf Dogs, and Watermelon Days ...

... and other things to do as we enter August

Thursday | 30 The morning starts with a hosted, sit-down breakfast in the Casa del Rey Moro Garden overlooking the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where a group of presenters will speak about the future of the ...

Lizards, snakes, and the famous Madagascar hissing cockroaches

Thursday | 23 Join Slow Food Urban San Diego for a pre-screening event featuring honey-bee experts and mead and honey from local producers. Join the conversation and the community. Then you can head across the ...

Duet for organ and canine

Summer Organ Festival brings a true outdoor flavor to Balboa Park

I try to make it down to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at least once during summer. There is a concert at the Organ Pavilion every Monday night at 7:30 p.m. through August 31. On Monday ...

Sparky, hectic, unmediated inventiveness on display

This way to Radium Girl!

The Self-Taught Genius exhibit at the Mingei, artifacts from their conversation with the world

Kiss Me, Kate's brassy, unfettered swagger

Wunderbar!

When Patricia Morrison and Alfred Drake began rehearsing Cole Porter’s latest effort, they weren’t impressed. “We were using just a piano,” she recalled. “It was so disjointed we didn’t think we had a hit.” Then ...

Girls will be boys in the Old Globe's Twelfth Night

Energy's external

Production takes Shakespeare’s night of revels out of doors.

Stunning but remote physicality in Essaydi’s women

The poses matter.

Essaydi’s women don’t “present” to the viewer: each has an inner life made visible but unavailable to us.

Comic-Con Cometh

Thursday | 9 Comic-Con International returns to the San Diego Convention Center. 2015 marks the 46th year for the show, making it the longest continuously run comics and popular-arts convention in the U.S. Runs through ...

Old Globe defends use of Victoria's Secret models in summer production of Twelfth Night

What a piece of work is (wo)man; in action, how like an Angel, in apprehension, how like a god!

"It's common knowledge that in Shakespeare's time, even the women's roles were played by men," says Old Globe artistic director Bart Delistein. "It's 2015. Frankly, we feel it's high time the ladies got a little ...

San Diego Flag Girl, 1921

Everyone was in a patriotic mood 94 years ago...

My paternal grandmother Elizabeth Long was San Diego's Flag Girl in 1921 for a Daughters of the American Revolution event. San Diego had recently decided to preserve Balboa Park after the Panama–California Exposition of 1915. ...

July is busting out all over!

Theater preview for the month to come

T’is the season. Count some of the ways: NOW PLAYING: La Jolla Playhouse: Come From Away. The world premiere musical, by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, creates a comedy within a tragedy. On the morning ...

Young Lions roam

New generation jazz jam led by Gilbert Castellanos moves from Croce's to Panama 66

Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos sent out a press release on June 4 announcing that his mentoring program, the Young Lions Series, would be entering its final month in residency at Croce’s Park West, after a 16-month-long ...

Horses**t in the air at climate-change rally

Paul Revere and his steed bring message of impending World War CO2

A national day of action calling for "the urgent WWII-scale national mobilization we need to prevent catastrophic climate disruption" kicked off early, with a midnight rally in Balboa Park early Sunday morning, June 14. The ...

Bring the healing

Michael Francis talks Mainly Mozart in Balboa Park

There is a unique event coming up on Sunday, June 14th, at 3 p.m. — a free concert at Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama. What is the event? I’ll let Maestro Michael Francis tell us ...

Press 1 for Spanglish

English resistance

“The Desert at Night” is the Natural History Museum’s attempt to engage Spanish and English speakers at the same time.

Rich Girl finds little purchase at the Old Globe’s theater in the round

Contested territory

The only time it happened was at the old Old Town Theatre. I was watching a production of The Heiress, where a complete and total jerk courts rich, innocent, young Catherine. He was so obviously ...

George Bernard Shaw pays a rare visit to the Old Globe

A Shavian rinse

Arms and the Man succeeds despite an antsy itch to entertain.

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 ...

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.”

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 ...

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