Downtown San Diego Stories

San Diego Fringe: Falling Man and Hikari

Falling Man. In his one-man, completely improvised dance/theater piece, Leonard Cruz tackles topics that range from 9/11 to his own days as a troubled frat guy searching for acceptance at UCLA. Wildly different themes? Sure. ...

San Diego Fringe: Blamed: An Established Fiction and Work Schmerk

Blamed: An Established Fiction. In Rose & Rue Theatre Company and the La Habra Theatre Guild’s new play, a troupe of ladies, dressed as if fresh off the boat at the turn of the 20th ...

San Diego Fringe: ¿Y Tú Qué?

¿Y Tú Qué? When the prima ballerina couldn’t use her legs, she created a “dance on wheels.” Rossana Penaloza performed in Peru (her home country), Havana, Cuba, and Mexico City, always to robust applause. For ...

San Diego Fringe: So Small a Thing and Breaking Waves Festival

So Small a Thing. Even tragedy can be played for comedy. Dominique Salerno’s scripts opens years following the gruesome events in Euripides’ Medea. Stuck together on an elevator for the deceased, the angry Medea (Jennie ...

San Diego Fringe: Bodies Are Not Borders and Men and Juliette

Bodies Are Not Borders. A woman and two men sit with their backs against a stark orange fence patched by sheets of corrugated steel. A second woman, on her back, slides out from a doggy-door-like ...

San Diego Fringe: The Hustle, A True Historie of Prince Prospero, and The Golden Age of Burlesque

The Hustle. Lion Fludd, from Las Vegas, Nevada, may start out nervous in his one-man magic act. But he eases into his most impressive skill, his humor. His concept is street-style hustling magic, from card ...

San Diego Fringe: Put Your Face On and Train of Thought

Put Your Face On. Touted as a parade into the complex human psyche, Put Your Face On is The Great Borealis & Pisces Dance Project’s two-part modern dance expose of the dark emotions that bubble ...

San Diego Fringe: 84 Gradini and Jay & Charlie Get Drunk

84 Gradini. Kinetic Giuseppi Mortelliti tells his story as much with his body as his words. His character, Fabrizio, learns that “life is made of stairs, of obstacles, of ups and downs.” But he has ...

San Diego Fringe: Tears of the Knife and My Mother’s in the Audience

Tears of the Knife. Ah, the Fringe Festival! Where else in San Diego can you walk into a theater and see a hanged man, his head in a gunny sack, looming above the stage? And ...

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 ...

Bust those eyeballs!

11 days, 430 events: the third-annual San Diego International Fringe Festival is here

There’s that eyeball-buster logo again! The third annual San Diego International Fringe Festival begins Thursday, July 23 and runs through August 2. That’s eleven days. As fans of the first two found out, they go ...

No to Starbucks, yes to Calabria

Calabria expands in leisurely Italian style

Later this summer, longtime North Park coffee roaster Caffé Calabria will launch its first offsite expansion in 15 years, opening a satellite coffee bar in a ground-floor storefront at the 1 Columbia Place high-rise in ...

Party with the horses in Del Mar...

...and other things to do this week

Thursday | 16 A ticket includes Stretch Run admission and access to the party in the trackside Seaside Cabana and concert area with DJs, first-come first-served seating in shaded tents, gourmet food trucks, a beer ...

Comic-Con rocks!

The Reader breaks down the Con's companion concerts

Comic-Con-themed music events around town on Thursday include Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions at Embarcadero Marina Park South, with orchestral arrangements performed to visuals drawn from video games. The House of Blues will host its annual musical ...

Swanky 22nd-floor loft in the heart of downtown

Beds: 3 Baths: 5 Current Owner: Eleanor Jaffe Asking Price: $4,900,000 On the block this week is an “alluring, stylish, and swank” 22nd-floor loft in the heart of downtown, featuring three bedrooms, five baths, and ...

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 ...

Iron Chef Vietnam comes to San Diego

The fancy and flavorful at Sovereign Kitchen & Bar

I’ve tasted my way around gỏi cuốn (salad rolls), phở (rice noodle soup), and lemongrass chicken; I’ve sampled “classic dishes” such as ca kho to (fish in a clay pot), and several versions of bánh ...

Delivery.com needs more restaurants

The service works, but it’s short on options

I’m amazed how many restaurant delivery apps and web sites have sprung up in San Diego the past few years. Read about some of them here, here, and here. As I dig deeper into available ...

Fireworks, Where’s Waldo, and Brian Posehn

Thursday | 2 Gluten-free folks can have foodie fun on the Fourth of July. Complete with gingham tablecloths and the scent of an evening barbecue, the bakery hosts their first in-house lawn party featuring food ...

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 ...

Certified fat cat at Sevilla

Taking stretch-dollar business to the Gaslamp

It’s sunset on Fifth, Friday night. Gaslamp’s rocking. Pedicabs strain by with tourists squeezed three across in the back and reggae music blasting out. The cyclo guy’s calf muscles bulge as he hauls his load ...

Ocean Beach street fair and chili cook-off

Thursday | 25 Seventeenth-century Dutch paintings testify to their obsession with Asia’s riches and wonders. When remnants of the White Lion — shipwrecked in 1613 — were discovered in 1976, no traces were found of ...

Racy conclusion

Beethoven contemplates but Mozart drives fast

As of June 20, the Mainly Mozart Festival is done for 2015. The final concert was a study in contrasting styles of music. Or perhaps I should say contrasting moods instead of style. The entire ...

Shining, happy people

Mainly Mozart musicians deliver a Biblical experience

“As he [Jesus] was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus...As the ...

John Legend makes the ladies squeal

Neo-soul singer launches his European tour from Copley Symphony Hall

There’s nothing as entertaining as seeing an artist at the top of his game in an intimate venue. Such was the case when nine-time Grammy-winner John Legend made a stop in San Diego prior to ...

Top-notch Mozart by way of Bach

San Diegos request to classical music might just be "talk to us a little"

Saturday night’s Mainly Mozart concert was a wonderful experience of musicology. Conductor Michael Francis spoke before each piece instead of having a printed “Maestro’s Notes” in the program. This is the type of approach which ...

Sinatra suits singer — and so does the suit

British performer Richard Shelton celebrates Ol' Blue Eyes at the Grant Grill

Richard Shelton has a very good reason to keep in shape: he owns a tuxedo once worn by Frank Sinatra — and it fits him perfectly without any alterations. “We’re the same height and weight,” ...

Convention center sails in some choppy financial waters

Ragged condition, ragged balance sheet

There is no way to justify a convention center expansion when the insides are coming apart, and so are the finances. Grand jury, independent budget analyst raise questions.

Oysterfest, Fairy Tales, and Nudes

Thursday | 11 Actress, comedian, and New York Times bestselling author Heather McDonald performs, best known for her roundtable appearances on Chelsea Lately. Also on Friday and Saturday. Friday | 12 The opening reception for ...

You need an epic to describe an epic

A Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra experience only Homer can describe

“No more words — he dashed toward the city, heart racing for some great exploit, rushing on like a champion stallion drawing a chariot full tilt, sweeping across the plain in easy, tearing strides — ...

Wide open to interpretation

Talent's not the issue with Everybody’s Talkin: The Music of Harry Nilsson at San Diego Rep

“Goin’ where the sun keeps shining/Thru the pouring rain/Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes…” To those who recall when Midnight Cowboy came out, the lyrics conjure up Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight scuffling down ...

Tomato dominates fish at Mr. A’s

The “fritos” were fun to eat and inspired another round of drinks

I’ve long heard that Mr. A’s has the best view in town, but I’ve avoided finding out for myself. For a while, the jacket-and-tie dress code kept me away (I couldn’t even tell you the ...

Storytime on Broadway

Plans for towers 21- and 41-stories tall on blighted downtown block

Under review before Civic San Diego is a proposal to build two mixed-use towers downtown — one 21 stories and one 41 — on a blighted block along Broadway. The project, temporarily called “Broadway Block,” ...

Voice of understanding

Conductor Michael Francis talks Mozart, "the most fascinating of all musical lives"

The new music director of Mainly Mozart, Michael Francis, hits us with a firehose-stream of knowledge and understanding prior to the opening of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra concerts. The interview is so extensive that ...

Mainly better than sliced bread

The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra starts this week!

I’ve been waiting for this moment for 49 weeks. I’m not even joking. The first of five Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra concerts is this Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. The venue is the Balboa ...

Rolling Stones set fire to the Gaslamp

Plus four of Daniel Knighton's Pixel Perfect photos from the show

In the hours leading up to Sunday's opening night of the Rolling Stones 2015 Zip Code Tour at Petco Park, the atmosphere in the Gaslamp Quarter was on fire. Every bar, every restaurant was at ...

Raelee Nikole offering her Answers May 29 in East Village

Twenty-year-old singer/songwriter's debut full length

“My best local gig ever happened last year on my nineteenth birthday, when I was a final contestant in the San Diego County Fair’s Singer/Songwriter Competition,” says Raelee Nikole. “Although I only performed two songs, ...

Above the bar, below the legend

San Diego Musical Theatre's Singin' in the Rain a competent rendering of a classic

Aw come on, you mean the movie where Gene Kelly — with a glow-ree-us feelin' — kick-splashes puddles, spins that black umbrella, glides with gymnastic grace, and joy-hangs from the side of a lamp-post didn’t ...

Stanley Cup at the Stout

The most genuinely pubby pub in town

“Oh no!” I hear it from B Street, plus a racket of laughs and arguments and cheers. It must be Stanley Cup time. The fan clans have gathered at Sixth Avenue between B and C, ...

Three of clubs

The Reader's on the case of all that empty space

The California Theater hasn’t hosted a show since 1989.

Strawberries, jazz, and a woman in the moon

Thursday | 21 A brief survey of silent sci-fi films from 1898 through 1929, followed by a screening of Fritz Lang’s 1929 sci-fi flick (with excellent science). The library’s silent-film ensemble will provide the live ...

Spanish music by French guys comes to the Symphony

Sounds like they might punch you or make love to you — or both

I complained about a lack of variety in symphonic programming just in time for the San Diego Symphony to present an entire concert of hidden gems, built around a Spanish theme. Ravel is the most ...

Atmosphere project no longer up in the air

Apartment house will provide 205 affordable residences

On March 25, 2010, the Reader published a story titled “What's Up with the Big Cortez Hole?” The hyped Atmosphere condo development had fizzled and left a giant construction hole between Fourth and Fifth avenues ...

Bacon, crawfish, and mimosas (not at the same time)

San Diego's tastiest events from May 7-13

Thursday | 7 Four days of live music with over 85 musical acts on six stages and 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked from Louisiana. Cajun and zydeco performers include BeauSoleil, Michael Doucet, the Euphoria Brass ...

Show thief!

Conrad Tao runs away with the entire evening at San Diego Symphony

Conrad Tao stole the show twice on Saturday, May 2, at Symphony Hall. He tore the place apart with the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 and then upstaged that monster with the conclusion of Prokofiev’s ...

"Hot Rod" DeMink firing on all pistons

Local blues man anticipates upcoming Gator by the Bay showcase

Blues guitarist Jerry DeMink has played music professionally for 30 years in front of all types of audiences. Still, he admits being daunted at a recent gig: Playing for the children at an orphanage down ...

No marketing, sharing, or promotion, please!

What if the sparsely attended Symphony realized it was 2015?

Never, ever, record a symphony or opera concert. Ever. If you do, it will be a blatant and vile transgression against the very foundations of what your friends want you to share with them. (And ...

San Diego Rep explores the Uncanny Valley between you and your replicant

Will you be you?

Robots became so human-like that thoughts of playing God plagued their creators.

Living on the edge with no living wage

Another day of action observed, another day of inaction from politicos

Activists pushing for a higher minimum wage through the labor-backed Fight for 15 campaign staged their biggest protest yet on Wednesday. Starting early on the morning of April 15, the protest — timed to coincide ...

Greatest of the great

The 50th Anniversary Gala at San Diego Opera may be a monumental experience

The voice was bouncing off the back wall of the house and echoing back onto the stage. The goosebumps were making their rounds through the assembly. It was obvious that this was going to be ...

What kind of racket is Civic San Diego?

Agency’s backers seek less oversight while one of their boardmembers sues

The Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit business-minded organization, is stepping up its defense of Civic San Diego, the private nonprofit in charge of permitting in select neighborhoods and handling redevelopment functions throughout the city. ...

Happy hour all day at La Mentirosa by Karina's

Seduced by scallops and sliders amidst a colorful lesson in Mexican history.

It’s not every day you get greeted by a president’s grandson. I’m in this oasis I’ve come across at the empty end of B Street, near City College. It’s called, uh, “The Liar.” Or, because ...

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