Downtown San Diego Stories

SD Fringe: The Hideout

Haste delivers a must-see from the "boudoir of Dionysus."

It’s too bad San Diego can’t just adopt the Haste Theatre. Give them a nice, intimate space and let them showcase their fantastical (sometimes tragical) tales. Not only that, the London-based group would give locals ...

SD Fringe: Red, White, and Blacklisted

Tale of the Weavers' exile on Main Street brings out an icon and highlights the power of a space.

Ever hear of the Weavers? No? Well for over a decade the government wanted to keep it that way. The Weavers were a folk music group long before it became popular. They composed and sang ...

Off the chain, in the flow

A rambunctious festivus finishes this year's Mainly Mozart Festival

The final concert of the Mainly Mozart Festival was off the chain. "Off the chain" — what does that even mean? From Urban Dictionary: "Out of control, wild fun. Just like when your pitbull gets ...

SD Fringe: Red Shoes Revamped and other works and Long Way to Midnight

Red Shoes Revamped and other works Though I used to do a mean James Brown (“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”) and a so-so “Electric Slide,” I’m no expert on dance. I can appreciate the ...

SD Fringe: Fire in the Meth Lab and Ray’s Last Case

One-off spellbinder from Jon Bennett and a shallow look at Mr. CHON-dluh from Scripps

Fire in the Meth Lab A Fringe frustration: when a group from France cancelled their appearance, the Lyceum Theatre had an open slot. For one hour only, on Saturday Jon Bennett performed a work-in-progress, knocked ...

SD Fringe: Nothing With Nobody, Vucciria Teatro

Passion, tragedy, isolation in one act

Rosaria: “Then I’ll take him by his hand and we’ll jump straight down into the blue sea. He will think it’s a game.” Three characters. Sicily, 1980s. The uncredited lighting for this one-act tragedy from ...

SD Fringe: 7 Deadly Sins

Rare staging of the terse, bitter masterpiece makes the case for the Fringe fest itself.

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s 1933 “Ballet chante” — sung ballet — encapsulates many of Brecht’s themes in a short, spare piece. The full title’s “The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoise.” In nine ...

SD Fringe: Dr. Frankenstein’s Traveling Freakshow and The Peacock and the Nightingale

Freako-centric Vaudeville done right, Marilyn and Edith done wrong

Dr. Frankenstein’s Traveling Freakshow, Tin Shed Theatre Company The Fringe’s “Off Broadway” space is the stage of the Spreckels Theatre. Tiers of folding chairs, their backs to the house seats, provide an intimate atmosphere. Tin ...

Streetcorner to Spreckels and back

Internationalized SD Fringe Fest an update on the international arts scene

The first San Diego Fringe Festival was such a hit last summer, this year’s has doubled in size. It now runs eleven days, and offers over 80 entrants. Most will give five performances instead of ...

Last Call: El Henry, Milvotchkee, Visconsin, Miss Firecracker Contest, Spamalot!

Hate to see these go. But they will, come Sunday.

El Henry, Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash fame, has written a rousing, funny, and eloquent script based on Shakespeare’s history play, Henry IV, Part one. We’re at Aztlan City — i.e. post-apocalyptic San Diego in ...

Faulconer’s wife: master of cops and conventions

Gaslamp BIO party’s security force tries to block videography

It was the culmination of a year of elaborate planning at city hall and a major source of income to Katherine Stuart, wife of mayor Kevin Faulconer. And word was out to private security forces ...

Making up my own mind about Mozza

Pizzeria Mozza turns out to be another gem at Headquarters

I’m not much of a Yelper, but when I was searching to verify the address for the new Pizzeria Mozza restaurant at the Headquarters two weeks after it opened, Yelp was the first site that ...

Top of the food chain

Fine dining at Eddie V's

I wouldn’t have expected top-notch fine dining from a mammoth national organization like Darden (which owns 2100 restaurants, including Olive Garden), but because my fancy foodie friends Bill and Jane approved of and recommended it, ...

Jobless, with children

Illegal workers and union renew call for immigration reform

"Even though the politicians have stopped talking about it, we still need immigration reform," said Genoveva Aguilar, one of about two dozen protesters who gathered outside the federal courthouse downtown on Friday afternoon, June 13. ...

Ploughman's ten-year-old lunch at The Headquarters

Old cheese is good cheese at Venissimo

What's the best lunch deal at The Headquarters downtown? Four slabs of ancient cheese in a stretch of crunchy baguette and a fresh pear for $6.50. That's a deal? You betcha. Those four golden slabs ...

Words and ideas trickle away in Milvotchkee, Visconsin

A devastating portrait of dementia from Mo`olelo

If you’ve seen that look, that frozen Alzheimer’s stare, on the face of a loved one, you have to wonder what’s inside. If, that is, you can get past the unthinkable horrors a.) of no ...

Downtown windfall on the down low

City and Civic San Diego sit on $23.5 million in developer impact fees

Surely downtown residents would be thrilled to discover the city kept a secret stash totaling $23.5 million that could only be spent filling downtown's potholed streets, building parks, leveling uneven sidewalks, or funding public safety ...

Good food for the fourth day

Spike Africa's seafood spot does it right in the Gaslamp

You ever spend a few days with people who are showing you their city and all the hot spots in the tourist guide? By the time the fourth day rolls around, if you’re lucky and ...

Last Call: Book of Mormon, Happy Days, Mud Blue Sky

Three high quality shows must close this Sunday, June 8.

The Book of Mormon Maybe THE most hype-heavy show ever to come to the San Diego Civic lives up to all the accolades. Witten by the creators of South Park, the musical is guaranteed to ...

From Don Draper to Don Ho

Cat Eye Club transitions from toney to tiki

“This place looks out of my league,” my friend texted me hours before we were planning to meet downtown for drinks and appetizers. He was referring to the Cat Eye Club, which, during its first ...

Sophisticated simplicity

Fresh grapefruit is the key to Tipsy Crow’s Salty Dog

‘We have signs outside that say, ‘Home of the Salty Dog,’ so people think we’re claiming we invented the Salty Dog,” bartender Daniel Baker says with a laugh. “But I have to tell them that, ...

Did Toni Atkins side with "dirty energy companies"?

Assemblywoman's vote against "community choice" energy prompts accusation

A group of picketers took to the streets outside newly installed California Assembly speaker Toni Atkins’s office Friday afternoon, May 30, in protest of her vote in favor of Assembly Bill 2145, which environmental activists ...

Equal opportunity offender and uplifter

The Book of Mormon a striking success at the Civic Theatre

First things first. A word to every theater lover in San Diego who can’t afford a full-priced ticket to this truly remarkable event: two-and-a-half hours before every performance of The Book of Mormon, Broadway/San Diego ...

Masterful Finale in a golden era

The Masterworks season came to a conclusion this weekend at San Diego Symphony

If there's one thing Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony can do, it's play Brahms. Over the past few seasons we've heard all four of the Brahms symphonies and each time the performance has ...

Kirill Gerstein brings Russian rain

Downpour of Tchaikovsky, Stravinksy Rachmaninoff hits Jacobs Music Center

The San Diego Symphony concert the weekend of May 16-18 was a mixed bag for me. I'm not speaking of the performance, but the repertoire. The opening piece was Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky ...

Tax and spend on salaries and council campaigns

Does Downtown San Diego Partnership play by the rules? Are there rules?

City-council candidates Lorie Zapf and Chris Cate have a solid partner in the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The agency that manages the city's largest property-based improvement district and its CEO Kris Michell has gone to ...

The "Rach 3" and the flow of prestige

Is it the movie or the music that should be honored?

This coming weekend is the penultimate concert in the Jacobs Masterworks Series at the San Diego Symphony. The concert features the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 — the "Rach 3" as it was referred to ...

California fracking

Environmental activists demand anti-mining legislation from governor

Environmental activists representing SanDiego350.org assembled downtown on Tuesday, May 14, to confront governor Jerry Brown — here on a visit —and to urge support of SB 1132, which would ban a controversial method of extracting ...

Sailing America

“Anyone who does happen to lose their lunch while sailing will get it back with a gift certificate to a restaurant just down the street.”

Jsix rates a 10

Rabbit ragout the star at Downtown restaurant

Jsix at the Hotel Solamar downtown closed down at the beginning of the year to revamp the menu. The restaurant now promises food that is organic, sustainable, hormone-free, and that supports local farmers. All of ...

House at 1619 J Street historical? Guffaw.

Council removes designation, owner to move it and build apartments

The San Diego City Council on Wednesday, April 30, removed the historic designation for a house at 1619 J Street — but is banking on the owner, Jerry Navarra, to move it rather than tear ...

Boundary-free with a nostalgia rinse

Old Jews Telling Jokes mostly hits at Lyceum

“I must’ve looked pretty awful,” says a character in one of Peter Devries’ novels. “When I asked the bartender if he served Zombies, he said, ‘sure, what’ll you have?’” Ya gotta love the old ones! ...

Beware of “sham” wage-increase proposal!

Competing ballot measure pushes for $12/hour — not Gloria’s $13.09

A group of about 50 activists rallied Wednesday morning (April 30), holding a prayer circle on the city seal 12 floors below the city-council chambers downtown in support of council president Todd Gloria's proposal to ...

Brahms, Beethoven, Ax, and Dohnányi at the San Diego Symphony

Two legendary headliners at San Diego Symphony deliver on expectations

I was tempted to recite the musical biographies of Emanuel Ax and Christoph von Dohnányi but that is always boring, especially when the musicians are Emmanuel Ax and Christoph von Dohnányi — meaning they’re such ...

The web at my fingertips, Thai at my front door

Is it possible to make delivery even more convenient?

One perk of writing for Feast! is that I get to eat out a lot. But to look at it another way, I have to eat out a lot. Like anyone else, I have those ...

Third-floor fire at Hotel Sanford

Sprinklers douse fire and second and first floors

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on April 23, fire alarms went off at the Hotel Sanford in the 1300 block of Fifth Avenue. As the alarm is connected to the San Diego Fire Department, they and ...

Last Call: Red and Spring Awakening

Two quality shows must close this Sunday; now you see ‘em, or you won’t

Mark Rothko and his fellow Abstract Expressionists (though they didn’t like the name) battered the Cubists to pulp. Now, as Rothko contemplates what could be his masterpiece — and the place to showcase his special ...

The Roof arrives

Just as the success of the Moonshine Flats country bar downtown seems to signal a turnaround in the live-music scene, word is that the Gaslamp will get another live venue in late May or June. ...

Dave Mustaine and the San Diego Symphony

Mustaine and the orchestra play an all classical concert together.

Saturday night at the Jacobs Music Center was about the most fun I’ve had at a symphony concert. The buzz before the April 12 concert was alien to those hallowed walls — at least in ...

Project Trio at the Symphony

Beatbox and wave your hands in the air

The Project Trio was in town last weekend. I had recommended them sight-unseen earlier in the week. Having now seen them at the Jacobs Music Center on Sunday, I can say they are the most ...

Drywall company kicked off $6 million job

Canadian company began work without license, faces fine

A Canadian drywall contractor was kicked off the job at the $150 million, 45-story Pinnacle Towers development on the 1400 block of Island Avenue downtown for failing to obtain a California contractor's license, the state ...

Hillary Clinton takes fire downtown

Day after shoe-throwing incident, she skips speech at medical convention

A pair of protest groups descended on the convention center Friday morning, April 11, to picket outside a medical convention, only to find that their target, former secretary of state and likely presidential candidate Hillary ...

Bedford gets happy at the Factory

Unheard of in Yarrawonga

Trivia question: "Why are sliders called "sliders"?

The wild scene of the Gaslamp's new Werewolf

The mythical movie monster wearing sunglasses is an admonition against taking anything here too seriously.

I hate to pigeonhole a place, but when you stake out a central-Gaslamp location, write the word "Shots" in giant letters along the back wall and name it Werewolf, you've pretty much decided to cater ...

Lucky Liu's comes to the Gaslamp

New Chinese restaurant plays with old favorites without trying to make them more than what they are

After a few months of operation, Lucky Liu’s still hasn’t gotten a license to sell alcohol. Either the ABC is trying for restaurant infanticide, or owner Alex Thao and his associates were overly optimistic about ...

Major concrete pour planned 7th and J, downtown

Enough for L.A.-San Diego sidewalk

Downtown residents are being warned to expect a major disturbance on Saturday morning, as work crews will be pouring concrete for the slab of a new headquarters building for Sempra Energy. Partial street closures will ...

Rumbling Tins Construction’s Old Rye Sage

The fellows from Rumbling Tins Construction brought their pleasant clamor to the Westgate Hotel to offer patrons a trifecta of cocktails as part of a recent tasting soirée. A five-member collaboration of jiggering journeymen, Rumbling ...

An interview with Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano (3 of 3)

The conclusion of the Reader interview with Stephanie Blythe

Part one began our interview, it continued with part two, and concludes here. SB: Last night, for the first time in my life, I watched How Green Was My Valley. Oh my God, it’s a ...

Whiskey notebook: 2 Gingers rolls into San Diego

Just in time for St. Pat's

It's an odd thing to hear an it-is-ya-know Irish accent filtered through Minnesota real-good-then. Almost as odd, perhaps, as encountering an Irish whiskey named after a couple of redheaded women, dreamed up in a Minneapolis ...

Rally for paid sick leave, higher minimum wage

Councilmembers say voter referendum is coming

Raise Up San Diego, with backing from labor groups and their supporters, organized a rally outside city hall Wednesday afternoon, March 12, promoting a minimum-wage increase and access for workers to paid sick leave — ...

Handshake and a drink at renovated Jsix

Last month, Jsix completed a renovation that included walling off the dining room with exposed brick and concealing the open kitchen to place added emphasis on the bar, which has been extended to seat 19 ...

What’s this meatball deal at Rustic?

Follow the bear.

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy,” I say to no-one in particular. Sigh. Actually, no chance of a bottle in front of me. Not tonight. Gotta work. Came ...

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